Checking out Yamaha’s new THR amps and DTX drums – perfect for Christmas?

Musicroom’s product information expert Peter Hulley headed down to check out the latest products from Yamaha last week in London. Check out his report below, complete with photo gallery.

The day was arranged in an informal way, with visitors walking around the room and enjoying demos and displays for a selection of new and pre-release products. Yamaha also showcased a number of exciting new ranges that you’ll hearing all about in the future – until then however we can’t say anymore about them!

One of the main draws of the day were three new amp additions to the THR family: Metal, Blues and Acoustic.

The THR Blues in black!

These new models looked and sounded very impressive. My initial concerns were that the Metal THR 10X and Blues THR 10C models would lose versatility in favour of more specialised sounds to suit their names, but this wasn’t the case.

Although some sounds have been sacrificed to make room for stylistic tones, the product demonstrator was able to plug an electro-acoustic guitar into the Metal model and was still able to get a really nice acoustic tone through it. The THR amp models react like the real amp, modelling not only the sound, but the way that the sound is produced. This allows for really natural clean and dirty tone, and everything in-between.

As you’d expect, the Metal 10X is aimed at players looking for really high-gain tones with lots of drive whiles the Blues 10C is all about the warm, pure valve sounds.

Check out Yamaha’s trailer for the new amps in the THR family below:

My other concern was that the Acoustic model was too small to be any use; its tiny dimensions mean and 10W output mean that it isn’t much louder than an unplugged acoustic guitar anyway.

The new THR Acoustic – small and mighty!

However, it makes an excellent case for itself as a practice companion, allowing you to hear your playing “head-on”. The mic-models also transform the horrible popping sound of a piezo pickup radically, making it sound like you’re mic’d up with one of a range of industry leading microphones: an excellent feature for flexibility, tone and all round playability.

If you did want to use the Acoustic amp for performance purposes however (and the sound quality is such that you will want to!) a quick mic or two in front of the speaker grill, plugged into a PA would be all you’d need to take on a noisy gig.

The Acoustic THR 5A can also be powered from batteries as well as the mains, making it even more portable and adaptable to a player’s needs.

The DTX400 – not easy to hide under a Christmas tree!

These fantastic new models in the THR range combine Yamaha’s exclusive Virtual Circuitry Modelling (VCM) and USB interfacing into amps small enough for your desktop that pack in all the great sound and feel of a boutique tube combo.

Away from Yamaha’s new additions to the THR range, I checked out the DTX400 drums. Roughly priced around the same cost as a games console these electric kits will make for a great Christmas gift for both beginner drummers and experienced players looking for the extra sound options digital drums can offer.

The DTX400 can also be linked with an iOS app (for iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone) which features 20 lessons and songs to play along with, more of which can be added. It is also upgradeable, so the kit can improve with the player.

Check out Peter’s pictures in the photo gallery below:

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