Yamaha THR10

Great little idea this, got if for Christmas.  A compact, low-power amp that doubles up as a practice amp and an interface for recording.  It has clean, crunch and three overdrive models as well as bass, acoustic and ‘flat line input’ eq’s.  And five user-editable presets to keep your favourite sounds (like a fixed delay for playing U2, for example).

It also comes with a simple and effective editor so you can adjust all the controls and more on-screen.  It works as powered speakers for your laptop or pc and even runs on batteries so you can practice at the beach!

I use it with GarageBand which came bundled on my Mac, though it comes bundled with Steinberg’s entry-level Cubase AI.  God knows what the full version is like – you need a university degree to even register the product and another one to get any sound from it.  As I write, I still haven’t worked out how to monitor when I record and the instructions are pretty useless for a recording beginner like me, whereas GarageBand is plug and play.

The clean sound is very good, the crunch and overdrives take some tweaking to stop them sounding fizzy, but it records really well.  It also sounds pretty good slaved through a bigger amp to give it volume.  You could probably gig with it through a pa with a bit of careful eq.

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