Yamaha are an uber-company; as well as making musical instruments, they also make motorbikes, golf clubs, semiconductors and boats. It’s only a matter of time before they make marital aids and spaceships, possibly combined.
What this means for us humble musicians is that they have a lot of sophisticated technology at their disposal, and that they’re not afraid to use it. Their latest guitar amp innovation is the THR series amps: not your standard guitar combos, these amps use some of the clever VCM technology from their pro audio mixers to offer super-real effects, combined with even cleverer technology from their hi-fi systems to offer exceptional sonic imaging and a wide stereo field out of what are pretty small boxes.
On unboxing, the immediate impression is of some kind of retro-futuristic ‘80s lunchbox. However, this isn’t a bad thing – there’s something reassuring about the design and, though small, they have a robust heft about them that instils confidence. At the same time, they’re pretty dinky, with Yamaha’s stated aim for them to fit “where, when, and how you play when you’re not on stage”. In fact they seem very keen for people not to use them on stage which, being a contrary type of person, makes me want to use them on stage. But that’s just me.
In terms of features, these are very versatile amps, with a simple dial offering everything from a hi gain British style sound to bass and acoustic amp models. The idea seems to be to have one of these sitting on your coffee table waiting for the moment when inspiration strikes. Sound quality is everything it’s cracked up to be: a surprisingly loud, wide and clear sound, and great effects and amp models.
All in all, another winner from Yamaha, and I look forward to their motorboat technology being incorporated into their next amp design…
Red Dog Music
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