Reviewed: Yamaha THR-II Amplifier Series

Yamaha Music Australia | au.yamaha.com | Expect to pay: THR10II – $499, THR10II Wireless – $749, THR30II Wireless - $849

Yamaha’s THR series of amps blew the world of practice amps away when they first line of THR amps, featuring the THR10 and THR5, followed closely by the THR10C, THR10X and THR5A, providing tones for clean, metal and acoustic players respectively. While a very complete range in itself, Yamaha have now presented the THR-II, an updated line of amplifiers for designed for 2019 and the future.

Featuring not only the same great specs as the THR series and the specialist amps that followed, the THR-II offers a combination of the original THR series, offering 15 guitar amp models, bass amp models, effects, both wireless and wired capabilities, as well as an auxiliary input, independent aux and guitar volumes, and EQ for your guitar or bass. The THRII series of amps are plenty powerful for practice of any kind, and can be used to practice silently via headphones or loudly via dual driving speakers rated between 20 and 30 watts, depending on your amp of choice. The THRII series features plenty of controls to tweak tones on the units themselves with familiar feeling and looking knobs for EQ, gain, master volume and effects, but can also be dialed remotely via the Yamaha smartphone app, and connected to a computer via USB 2.0. The THR-II series of amps are designed for players of any level, niche, age, experience who may be accustomed to any type of gear I can imagine. They can react and be used as an all-analogue amp, or be tweaked entirely digitally for more modern players.

 

 

Let’s begin with the most powerful in the THR-II series, the THR30II Wireless. A 30 watt amplifier with a wireless system that can be linked with a Line 6 Relay G10T transmitter and used wirelessly (great for practicing from the comfort of your couch or desk chair!), line in, line out, as well as a headphone out for silent practice. This makes the THR30II a perfect answer to practice at home, even if it didn’t contain dual 3.5" (9 cm) Full Range speakers. Music can be routed into the amp, your guitar or bass can be plugged in simultaneously, and settings can be toggled in and out via saved settings in user memory, or great tones can be created from scratch via the 15 guitar amps, three bass amps, mic models and inelegant modulation and time-based effects.

 

If 30 watts is a bit much, no worries, Yamaha has you covered. The THR-II is also available in a 20-watt wireless version or, simpler yet, a 20 watt wired version, where a more conventional approach is taken and a cable is required to plug your weapon of choice into the 1/4” input. All three models can be remotely controlled via the Mobile Editor app, and all models have Bluetooth capabilities. Both the THR30II Wireless and THR10II Wireless have, as their name suggests, wireless capabilities, and both models can be powered via rechargeable battery, while the THR30II features a line out for recording and/or other creative endeavours.

 

Inside and out, the THRII series is built for players needing a simple and convenient solution to rehearsing, creating new sounds and simple recording. All three of the amps can be controlled via Yamaha’s Mobile Editor, which for the THR10II Wireless and THR10II, offers a further ten amps. All models are capable of providing modulation effects such as flanger, tremolo, phaser, echo and multiple reverbs, with a compressor and noise gate available via the Mobile Editor app. All three models have an onboard chromatic tuner, so you can ensure your rehearsal is pitch perfect no matter what tuning you and/or your band decide to play in. 30 watts is a lot of signal being pushed around, even for practice at a healthy level. The THR30II provides 15 watts a pop from its two speakers, while the THR10IIs both provide 10 watts either side from dual full-range speakers. The amps are powered via AC adapters, and all except the THR10II can be used with a rechargeable battery for approximately five hours, and easily transported around with the THR30II being the heaviest of the lot, and still weighing a mere 4.3kg.

 

 

The THR was a one-stop-shop for practice and great new creative tones, but the THR-II series blows even these phenomenal examples out of the water, despite electronics usually thriving in dry conditions closer to room temperature. The existing series featured amps aimed at specific players, but the THRII series provides all these great sounds into one tidy package, offering players a multitude of different sounds within the one unit, rather than specialised amps for different styles. The amps are lightweight, convenient, stylish and practical, designed to make the focus of your sessions on playing and not dialling in tones or tripping over cables, or slowly selecting tones with a dial instead of a mobile app - ugh, remember the days when we turned knobs?

 

Your tones are only limited by your imagination, as the THR-II series offers updated and creative routing for recording, playing back, monitoring and practicing your playing. I really struggled to fathom what else could possibly be improved in the next series, but Yamaha continues to surprise with innovation and musician-focused, grounded design.

Hits and Misses

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Wireless capabilities

All amp models in one; no need to choose one model that limits its amps

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Still no output to a bigger cabinet

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