WP just told me I am on a 100-day streak, with today’s posts. That would be since I started that song/day thing back in May. Cool beans.
NB: You can click on the pictures in this post to make them bigger! More detail! Yes!
I got a new toy! And it is amazing. It doesn’t look like it should be amazing. But it is!
Aaron, you say, don’t you already have 3 amps? Yes, I do. But we all know that the answer to the entirely reasonable question of “Do you really need more guitar stuff?” is an entirely reasonable “Yes. Of course. Always.”
Should I have spent the money, in these weird and mildly frightening days? Well…
This has been an unprecedented 6 months. It was recently my birthday. I am approaching 150 days of quarantine in the house with two kids. I really haven’t bought much for me in the last 6 months, not even albums. I’m on a blogging streak. The sun is shining… Yeah, I think it’s alright. Go!
Back when I bought my Boss Katana 50 (Mk.1), it came down to the Boss versus a Yamaha THR10. I wanted a modelling amp with more power than a wee practice amp. The Boss won out, and I love it. But it was a near thing for the Yamaha. The THR10 was an amazing little box amp, and it came in three versions (THR10, THR10C, and THR10X – I’ve listed what they emulated below). There was also the THR5 (and THR5A, acoustic guitar) but somehow I didn’t think about those…
Then Yamaha discontinued the THR series (except the THR5 and THR5A). Gah.
Then Yamaha brought back the THR series as THRii. For the record, Boss has also brought of a Boss Katana 50 (Mk.ii) but so it goes. However, I had my Boss and was loving it, and reviews of the THRii series somehow weren’t quite as loving as for the original THR series.
I was down the rabbit hole of YouTube guitar stuff recently and got reminded of the THR series, and I got a bit wistful. So I looked them up. Nowhere had a new, original THR10 in stock anymore (of course, it’s all THR10ii). But places did still have the THR5. So I watched videos about them. All reports were glowing. I found one at a family-run shop on the east coast. The price was right. Here it is, and here we are. I now own a Yamaha THR5!
Folks, this THR5 is amazing. WAY louder than you’d think – I was showing off its features to my lovely wife yesterday and, at one point, cranked both the Master and Volume, and holy hell, it was scary. It hurt our ears!
Yes, it has emulated chorus, flanger, phaser, and tremolo. Yes, it has delay, delay/reverb combined, as well as spring and hall reverb emulations. Yes, it has an AUX for your iPod. Yes, it connects to the computer for infinte tweaking. In other words, it does everything my Boss Katana does, in a box 1/5 (at least) the size.
Things the THR5 does that my Katana cannot do: It takes AA batteries for play anywhere you wanna go, it has a built-in tuner (awesome, I can’t believe the Katana missed this opportunity) and, less consequentially but still kind neat – it glows orange inside to look like it has tubes haha.
But the sound. It feels absolutely like there should be no way a sound that big, rich, and full should be able to come out of a box that is only 10.5″ across x 4.5″ deep x 5″ high. Seriously.
It just sounds SO GOOD. It’s so warm. So full.
My goodness, what a treat. I am so very very happy this is here!
Do I still want an original THR10? Yes. There are used ones on Kijiji, maybe one day. Would it also be cool to find THR10C and THR10X? Yes. I also want a THR30ii, the new, big gun with all 15 amp emulations on-board (no app fiddling). Because awesome.
Maybe some day. For now, this THR5 is kicking my ass with its amazing sound, its retro aesthetic, and its pure simplicity.
These are the amp emulations onboard for each of the original series:
CLEAN = Fender Twin Reverb
CRUNCH = VOX AC30
LEAD = Marshall Plexi
BRIT HI = Marshall JCM800
MODERN = Mesa Boogie
CLEAN = Fender Deluxe
CLASS A = Matchless DC30
US BLUES = Fender Blues Jr.
BRIT BLUES = Marshall Bluesbreaker
MINI = Dr. Z Mini-Z
POWER 1 = Engl Powerball
POWER 2 = Engl Powerball (lead channel)
BROWN 1 = early Van Halen
BROWN 2 = later Van Halen
SOUTHERN HI = Dimebag Darrell
CLEAN = Fender Deluxe