Yamaha THR10 Amplifier Review and a Comparison with THR10C and THR5

Have you ever heard of Yamaha AMPs? I was looking for a new keyboard by browsing websites. There was a special filter by brand, you know? I saw a little flag near the AMP section, while looking for Yamaha Keyboard. Then, it all started!

We all know that Yamaha makes some of the best speakers (both DJ and studio) and synthesizers/keyboards, but most folks have no idea that this company is also behind an impressive line-up of guitar amplifiers. The Yamaha THR10, for example, is on par with the leaders of the race and has more than one trump up its sleeve.

Usually, one piece of gear can’t ever deliver a full spectrum of sounds, but we, the practicing musicians, are always trying to find that one and only amplifier that will take care of all our musical needs. And while that’s not really possible, the THR10 Yamaha amp is a solid pick for the beginners, students, teachers, and other fans of that million-dollar tone.

Tip:This is a tube-amp simulator, not a solid state amp, which means with 10 Watts under the belly, it offers the users not 1, but 5 different amplifiers to choose from.

For a home studio, this bad-boy is amazing. Some experts claim that takes away some of the quality – that’s not really the case here.

This might come as a surprise for you, but Yamaha decided to pack its baby with Cubase – a professional DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) – and a whole line-up of effects/amp simulations that will keep you busy and excited in the studio. Now, it’s obvious that the THR10 can’t really compete with the bigger, more expensive models that dominate the market. Yet, for the beginners, it’s got just the right tones and sounds.

#ModelRatingWeightRated OutputEditor’s ChoiceCheck
1Yamaha THR10 2,8 kg
1 Check

2Yamaha THR10C 2,8 kg
3 Check

3Yamaha THR5 2 kg
2 Check

Yamaha THR10
Weight2,8 kg
Rated Output5W
Editor’s Choice1
Check Check

Yamaha THR10C
Weight2,8 kg
Rated Output5W
Editor’s Choice3
Check Check

Yamaha THR5
Weight2 kg
Rated Output10W
Editor’s Choice2
Check Check

Getting To Know The Yamaha THR10 Amplifier Better

The first thing that will capture your attention is probably the old-school design, that retro Japanese tech appearance from the 60s. It’s safe to say that it will fit in any kind of environment, be it a dorm or a fancy recording studio.

Another cool feature of the Yamaha THR10 modeling amp: it’s incredibly light and weighs less than 10 pounds, which is 4, 5 kilograms. For the sound quality that it provides, the engineers did a fantastic job of making the amp portable. The tiny stereo speakers had a lot to do with that.

Generally, small amps are very light, but when it comes to combos, things change drastically. Well, not with the THR10!

The controls – the knobs and the buttons – are right there in front of you. In the far left corner, you’ll find the power switch and 5 separate buttons for saving different settings that you came to like. The attractive LED display is for the delay settings and tuning the instrument.

Again, even though this is a very small and light amplifier, it features enough controls to compete with the bigger brothers.

Remember:To switch between the various amp models, you’ll only need to touch one single knob.

Clean, Crunch, Brit Hi, Modern, and Lead – those are the names of the amp models. They are pretty self-explanatory and will give you a general idea about the way they sound.

Learning More About The Controls

Once you choose a certain amp, you’ll be able to fine-tune the sound using the master volume, gain, bass, middle, and treble knobs. Wait, that’s not it for the controls yet – there are two more knobs. You can use the first one to turn on some effects including flanger, phaser, tremolo, and, of course, chorus.

The second control is for choosing between spring and hall reverbs, a delay, and a delay-reverb setup. As for the inputs, the Yamaha THR10 model has a headphone jack and an aux stereo minijack.

There are two outputs: a USB output and 1/4-inch jacks. This is a standard configuration, but not all small amps come with a headphone jack, so, that’s a huge plus.

If you’re a fan of the vintage US-made combos that helped create some of the most iconic songs in history, try mixing the Clean amp model with some of that sweet spring reverb. The pros claim this combination will sound epic with a good-old Stratocaster.

You’ll instantly feel the warmth coming out of the THR10, especially when you start to really hit those strings and accentuate the attack. Blues riffs and solos will surprise you with a high-end sizzle (sounds good in this case) and some mighty low-end.

Tip:So, plug your favorite guitar in and let the entire hood listen to your hour-long solos with bends, slides, and everything else in between. With Yamaha THR10 recording and playing rock music turns into an epic jam every single time.

Turning Everything Up And Enjoying That Analogue Overdrive

Obviously, we all want to crank this thing up, and when I did, the amplifier didn’t break up and held its own, which is a rare thing among small amps. Volume and Master are important, but it’s the Gain knob that makes all the difference in the world.

The beauty of the Volume-Master-Gain combination is that you can get a roaring sound at reasonable levels so that the overdrive is still there but you won’t make yourself go deaf. The Crunch amp sounds exactly like a Vox AC30 would sound if you pushed it to the limit. For some riffs and rock rhythms, it’s pretty much a perfect model. Kicks the gain up a bit and you’ll get some awesome-sounding leads as well.

During this Yamaha THR10 review, I was impressed by how strong the tiny speakers are. There’s enough clarity in the high-end to enjoy an open, bright sound. At the same time, there’s a surprising amount of low-end response. Again, when you crank up the master control, the vibes will instantly take you back to the retro Vox tones.

Tip:The Lead model is best for the fans of sustains and people that want to play like Hendrix in his prime. Based on a Marshall gear, it is everything you could ever dream of (in a low-budget small amplifier, of course). The Yamaha THR10 specs might not be that impressive, but the end result sounds great.

What Else Does The THR10 Have To Offer?

The Marshall JCM800 is considered to be one of the finest pieces of gear ever created by mankind. And you’ll get more than a taste of it with the Brit-Hi model. It packs tons of saturation that will make the harmonics come forward like never before.

The final model – Modern – is based on a Mesa/Boogie amplifier that is all about thickness and density. This is a high-gain amp, meaning you need to crank it up to really see (or, rather, hear) what it’s capable of.

Remember:Please keep in mind that while the Yamaha guitar amplifier THR10 is more than impressive, it still can’t compete with the real thing.

The thing is – even though I did encourage you to push it to the limit, be aware that the low-end frequencies will break up at peak levels and you’ll lose some of that much-needed bass response. Usually, digital effects don’t really go well with amps like this one, as they tend to make everything sound a bit harsh.

Thankfully, the reverbs and delays available in this amplifier sound very musical; same goes for the flanger, phaser, and the rest of the effects. At the end of the day, the Yamaha amp THR10 is one hell of an amp with just the right number of models, effects, controls, and everything else.

Small and light
Retro Japanese design
Strong speakers
Variety of the amp models
Reverbs sound musical
Maybe: buzz on louder volume
Integrated Cubase AI 6

Comparing The Amp With THR5 And THR10C

Yamaha has always been one of those companies that like to create equipment for specific use. While the THR10 is an all-around versatile amp, the THR10C is all about country, blues, and classic rock. It comes with pretty much the same specs. So, who wins in this Yamaha THR10 VS THR10C battle? It all depends on what you’re looking for.


  • Five classic amp models, plus bass, acoustic, and instrument modes.

  • Can run on AC power or batteries.

  • Effects processing driven by Yamaha’s signature VCM technology

Same as the “older” version
Other AMP types
Same as the “older” version
Other AMP types (it all depends on your preferences)


As for the Yamaha THR5 VS THR10 comparison, let me say right now that THR5 still runs on 10 Watts (not 5, as many beginners like to think). It will cost you 200 dollars, but while you have the option of saving your Yamaha THR10 patches, that’s not available with THR5.

The “little brother” also lacks TMB controls or Aux volume. To put it simply, THR5 is more compact and affordable, while THR10 offers more controls and generates a bigger, wider sound. Apart from that, these two are pretty much identical.

For a beginner that doesn’t really care about all those “big boy” controls, the 100-dollar difference might be a strong enough argument to go with THR5, and that’s totally fine. Or, if you’re confident the owner is a good person and won’t try to trick you, think about buying a Yamaha THR10 used model – it will cost you considerably less.

By the way, the amplifiers in the THR series can run both on AC power and batteries, which makes them perfect for camping out somewhere in the middle of the forest and still cranking everything up to 11. If you lost or damaged your Yamaha THR10 power supply, you can buy a new one from the authorized Yamaha dealers or even on Amazon. But these usually last for ages and you probably won’t ever feel the need to buy a new one.

  • Includes five classic amp models and a range of effects processing, driven by Yamaha”s signature VCM technology
  • Lightweight, portable amp that can run on AC power or batteries.
  • Developed with Yamaha”s award-winning AV division to offer true hi-fi stereo sound and a new experience in guitar amplifiers.
A bit smaller and lighter than THR10
Cheaper than the “older” version
Same as the “older” version
the rests don’t differ from the “older” version
The smaller variety of AMP types
Same as the “older” version

Summing Up

I did mention that this amplifier comes with a free version of Cubase, right? Well, if that’s still not enough for you, make sure to download the totally free THR Editor that lets you take control over the amp and tweak it even more. Yamaha did a marvelous job of creating a solid small amp that will always be there to support your crazy creative ideas.

If you’ve got a tiny room and still want to play, THR10 will help you do that. It gives you the same amount of freedom a notebook gives compared to a big, bulky desktop workstation. As you already learned from our THR10 Yamaha review, this is a one-of-a-kind type of equipment.

True, these tones aren’t really on par with the sounds they’re trying to imitate, but for just 300 dollars, they do offer an impressive level of quality.

As the experts in the field like to say, it’s the closest thing you’ll ever get on a budget. As a beginner’s amp, it is pretty much perfect.

Tip:You can crank it up, turn it down, go for clean, overdrive, or stick with the golden middle. If you’ve got a nice-sounding electric guitar, this little box will allow you to create an unlimited number of tones without leaving your bedroom. Back in the day, this wasn’t possible because of the technological limitations. So, take advantage of the fact that you’re living in 2018 and get the most of it!

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3 Responses

  1. Michael
    I've heard that Yamaha makes good speakers and synthesizers, but for the first time I hear about them releasing guitar amplifiers. I like to play the guitar and often give small concerts. I liked Yamaha THR10 Amplifier because it is small enough and looks pretty good. Also, I want to ask what else from Yamaha can you recommend?
  2. SergeyKov
    Yamaha THR10 is the best guitar amp for today. I like that Yamaha creates equipment for specific use. I've been enjoying this sound for four days already. It is a pity that good sound only in a small room!
  3. Lisa
    after reading the article I immediately caught fire to buy this thing!I already had a guitar and I really wanted to have a strong player and speaker to it. And I have not lost-the music is loud, the sound quality is high!

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