Yamaha's New Big Boy Digital Amp! December 02 2015

For those with short memories, you won't remember Yamaha's last attempt at higher power guitar amps, the DG series. In a few words, they were really good and I think that they enjoyed reasonable success in the market. For whatever reason, the DG series was shelved and we haven't heard anything from Yamaha (even though they purchased Line 6) since. Over the past few years, the only guitar amp product that they have had has been the THR line of practice or warm up amps. This line is fantastic sounding and has done very well in the market and continues to do so. With a maximum power output of only 15 watts, the THR series only address a small part of the guitar playing public until now ... Hot off the press is the THR 100 HD which takes Yamaha's existing VCM modeling technology and expands on it by adding a digital power section to the mix. All combined up into a 100 watt head this new format offers not only performance level volume but supreme versatility and most importantly incredible sound for a digital amplifier.

The THR100HD offers two discrete pre-amp sections each with 5 possible amp models from solid state to ultra high gain crunch. The power amp section allows users to select one of 5 possible tube setups plus either class a or class ab setups. Users can run the pre-amps as two separate and switchable amps or they can stack one on top of the other for all sorts of possible tones. Both amps feature reverb and a booster all foot-switchable with the included foot-switch. For the editor crazy people, the amp can be connected via USB to an editor for more detailed editing and patch storage.

One can use any cabinet but Yamaha has come out with two great options, either a 112 or a 221 both of which feature Eminence speakers.

How does it sound? Well, that's tricky to articulate and many of you wouldn't take my word for it anyhow. That said, I will say that in my humble opinion this amp sounds every bit as good and in many cases better then its tube competitors. With that and the fact that you get so much versatility in one box, I really think that Yamaha has hit a home run with this amp. It's not cheap, you'll pay close to $1000 for a basic set up but like I said, compared to a typical tube amp you get a lot more in this box. You'll have to try it for yourself and while I can't guarantee that you'll buy one, I'm sure you'll agree that it is very very good.