- Class A and Class AB switching
- Effects loop
- Tube simulation sounds almost as good as the actual valves
- Cleans might not be loud enough for some
There are two types of people in the music world: those who solely utilize amp combos and those who fancy their heads and speaker cabinets separately. Both categories have their gems and it all comes down to one’s preferences. As for this article, today we are going to discuss the distinguished member of amp head family – one and only Yamaha THR100HD. Those who are familiar with THR series and those who have never heard of it, get prepared to be blown away with amazement. At first glance, this little fella is not that promising, however, once you plug it in, it will make you eat your words. If you are intrigued, stay with me, as I discuss its features, controls and sound in depth.
Yamaha definitely does not play any games when it comes to the features of THR100HD. It has an abundance of diverse functionalities that will be useful in day-to-day utilization. Let’s start off by saying that this bad boy has 100 watts of power capacity that can be bisected if paired with 4 ohms of impedance. THR100HD is basically two amps in one: it has dual channels that can be used simultaneously for layered tones or separately for maximum optimization. Each channel has its own dedicated set of controls, as well as amp and tube simulations. THR100HD offers 5 different models of classic amps, including Solid, Clean, Crunch, Lead, and Modern.
Not only that, but it also allows you to choose between 5 types of tubes, namely, 6V6, EL84, KT88, 6L6GC and EL34. This amp offers the option of switching between class A and A/B circuits. This way you can elaborate your sound to perfection and control each and every parameter of it. Not to mention the speaker simulation (which enables you to replicate the sound of studio-quality recording), on-board effects (such as spring reverb, boost and noise-gate) adjustable wattage and impedance and effects loop for your pedals. THR100HD has two inputs for your instrument, an input for a foot controller (is included in the package), USB jack for connecting external sources, a headphone output, two speaker outputs and two line outs.
As we have already seen, Yamaha branched out in terms of features and offered a lot of interesting options. They decided to balance this out by equipping the THR100HD with a standard set of controls, making it comfortable to use even for beginners. As I have mentioned above, each channel comes with dedicated controls, however, they have identical functionalities. For this reason, I will be discussing only one set of knobs and you will know what the other does as well.
The front panel starts with the Power toggle that activates the device. It is followed by a Channel selector, which lets you move from one to the other. Then comes the amp modeling, which moves between 5 different amp types. The booster knob adds strength to your signal, and makes it louder and more defined. Gain control adds extra power to your signal and saturates it with gain in the preamp section, while the Master volume adds gain to the power section. Then we have a 3-band EQ with Bass, Middle and Treble knobs.
They modify low, mid and high frequencies, respectively and offer maximum control over your tone. To enhance the precision of your tone even further, here you will find the Presence knob, which tames down (or accentuates) any frequencies higher than Treble settings. And finally, Reverb adds reverb to your sound, while the Volume knob sets the level of the overall output.
When it comes to the rare panel, here we have Power Section I and Power Section II, which allow you to choose between different types of tube emulations. Class switches enable the user to select either A or A/B circuits. We also have Speaker toggles, the first one changes the impedance of the amp (4, 8 and 16 ohms), while the second one alters the wattage (25, 50 and 100 watts).
Yamaha THR100HD Sound
If you were not impressed with the features of THR100HD (which I really doubt), then you have to read this section carefully, because this little beast sounds AMAZING. Each and every parameter of it is extremely well-thought-out, contributing to creating a distinctive character of the amp. The amp models range from clean to distorted, gradually increasing the drive. They offer anything from British to American and anything in between. The sound of each amp is organic and natural as if you were performing with individual amps.
The tube selector takes the tone control to a whole new level and simulates the legendary valves with pristine and distorted sounds. It might seem like a bold statement, but it is the fact: the tube simulation on THR100HD is as real-feeling as it can get. This is due to the VCM Technology that strives to deliver the most accurate replications of various amps. Class A and Class AB systems offer different tones as well.
The former is more sensitive to your touch and craftsmanship, while the latter is a bit louder and more powerful. The effects themselves are quite well-balanced and articulate. The ability to utilize the channels simultaneously, as well as the effects loop, open up the doors of creativity and possibilities, which means you can be as adventurous as you want.
To conclude everything said above, THR100HD is a real beast featured in a small package. It has enough power to rock any stage and with the right speakers, it will blow your mind. This fella offers spectacular sound quality and usable features that will crank your performance up a notch. Grab your favorite instrument, plug it in THR100HD and let it turn your world upside down! Good luck!
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