Jump to content
Hamer Fan Club Message Center

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Thought some on here would find this helpful or informative.

 

Edited by diablo175
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was looking at picking up one of those Yamaha THR amps for low volume practice when the family is sleeping. Buddy of mine got a spark last week. My brother has the Roland cube that runs on batteries. So many options...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I sold my Spark within days. ALL the dirt effects are annoyingly loud. If you play clean or get the dirt from the amp it’s better, but not great. For me, the hardware really got in the way too. If I’m practicing I’m usually near my computer, so the lack of computer software interface (phone/tablet only) and the physical size of the amp itself were distractions. 

I didn’t bother with any of the jam-along features which I get is the draw for some. 

I’m a sucker for “new” tech but it turns out I’m happier plugging into a USB interface and wearing headphones. I think I’ve finally decided anything more is unnecessarily complicated. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Yamaha THR10C and a Spark; I like the THR models for clean to mid-gain and the effects knobs simplify dialing in a decent tone on the fly (not so great if you want to tweak every parameter on an effect though, and the compressor model can only be activated from the windows interface).  It's easy to blast spotify on my pc, and just dial in a decent tone.  It just plain works.

The Spark is interesting; the models are ok but cluster primarily into 'cleanish' and 'total buzzsaw metal'.  Being able to download other people's presets are great if you like being deafened by shrill microphonic blasts of feedback; pretty much every patch i've downloaded from the web makes me wonder if any of those creators actually have ears.  The model interface is intuitive but somewhat clunky (put your finger on the knob of the pedal or amp and swipe up to increase and down to decrease).  The heralded 'jam with spotify or youtube' feature is ok if you only want to play one song or video at a time (I don't think it handles playlists afaik) but feels like a kludge.  I launch spotify separately and just use the spark app to tweak the models.  I've been using the clean Twin Reverb model with some reverb and echo to work on early Dire Straits and it does a nice job with that tone.  Outside that tone and one or two others i've tweaked to my prefs I scanned through the models once or twice without finding much compelling.  Probably it's best use is as a bluetooth speaker for listening to spotify while working at home.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love my Microcube GX. All the fun of the original Cube but each model can have a preset so it's a nice time saver when I just want to work on something without playing around with settings.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I still swear by my TM10, but my son has “borrowed” it as his apartment amp.  The Yamaha is very intriguing...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Marshall JMP1 or my tweed Champ.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't worry about tone too much for practicing at home, I have a couple ways I do it, non are very glamorous.

If I were concerned about good tones at home I'd probably be using a THR

Link to post
Share on other sites

I received my Spark the same day as Cynic.  We had several conversations along the way and I ended up with an RM number from Positive Grid, but complained I was going to have to pay shipping on the return.  They responded with a shipping label.  By then I'd decided to reconsider the return.

I'm still torn, but I haven't had another minute to work with it again.  We had 'people' working in the house a couple of weeks ago, so, as always, every single hint of guitar was put well out of sight and I have yet to get a thing back out.

It's noisy, but the gate can be used to hide most of it.  To me it seems the noise is coming from the modeling rather than the hardware.  If that is the case there could be a fix in a firmware update. Or not.

The appeal to me (above a guitar practice amp) is that it accepts bass and keyboards.  Putting my JD-Xi (70's organ preset) into the Marshall Plexi model cranked brought some serious John Lord (except for the chops, of course), so there is some merit to keeping it around... so far.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, velorush said:

I received my Spark the same day as Cynic.  We had several conversations along the way and I ended up with an RM number from Positive Grid, but complained I was going to have to pay shipping on the return.  They responded with a shipping label.  By then I'd decided to reconsider the return.

I'm still torn, but I haven't had another minute to work with it again.  We had 'people' working in the house a couple of weeks ago, so, as always, every single hint of guitar was put well out of sight and I have yet to get a thing back out.

It's noisy, but the gate can be used to hide most of it.  To me it seems the noise is coming from the modeling rather than the hardware.  If that is the case there could be a fix in a firmware update. Or not.

The appeal to me (above a guitar practice amp) is that it accepts bass and keyboards.  Putting my JD-Xi (70's organ preset) into the Marshall Plexi model cranked brought some serious John Lord (except for the chops, of course), so there is some merit to keeping it around... so far.

Damn.

I shouldn't have ordered one, I should have just bought Cynic's or yours.

Oh, well, there was no way to know.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

Damn.

I shouldn't have ordered one, I should have just bought Cynic's or yours.

Oh, well, there was no way to know.

I think Cynic's sold in around thirty minutes at a very reasonable price.  Given the backlog, any of them on Reverb or eBay not asking "Ludicrous Speed" prices are going quickly (e.g., when I started researching what to ask, there was one on eBay for $650).  If I throw in the towel I'll give you a shout.  If you just ordered your new one should make it in time for Christmas.

Edited by velorush
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I don't have my Spark yet.

Here are my stupid thoughts:

1) I have a MicroCube, and while I always loved it for it's portability (I get YEARS out of set of batteries), I think I never fully appreciated what it could do.  It really does have great tones from each of its settings. Not quite a "push button for Van Halen or Metallica or SRV sound", but almost. If I'd been more patient for tweaking it, I could probably get every sound I wanted out of it.  And there's probably a way to use it as a head through a Powered Speaker.

What it lacks: any reasonable sort of jam/practice capability or computer interface.

2) I had an AMPLIFi 150 I got on clearance from GC. I had avoided them because they got such bad reviews, and because I had tried out 4-5 different Line6 products but couldn't stand their control interface.  I finally decided to try one because it was cheap, and I was trying to find some sort of whole-house speaker system (like SONUS) but not so expensive, and the AMPLIFi's work as bluetooth speakers, too.  Well, when I got it home, it was incredibly easy to tweak tones. It still suffers, somewhat, from Line6's problem of throwing too many choices at you with some variations that are too minor to warrant so many choices. I tried some of the SoundCloud downloads, but it wasn't that intuitive and didn't seem like much of an advantage.  I played music through it a few times to jam, and it worked fine, but not really an advantage over playing along with a song coming from my computer. 

I ended up selling it because I got a Firehawk FX through a powered FRFR speaker, mainly because the Firehawk has the same interface, more functions, better input/output options, and better Variax interoperability. 

What the AMPLIFi lacked: any sort of interactive jamming or integral drum machine.

3) Digitech Trio Plus.  Great at learning the chords you want to play, sounds like real instruments.  Perfect for jamming to a groove, also decent for recording the basics of a song.

Can't pull a song off of the Trio Plus to build tracks around it.  Some basslines you might want can't be recreated. Never figured out how to set up the cables to get the crunch guitar tone I wanted without distorting the entire sound feed, unless I used the onboard effects, which are limited.

4) Spider Jam.  Typical Line6 user interface inadequacy.  I got one, had it delivered, saw a SpiderIV 75 that I thought was a Spider Jam for $100 cheaper, so returned the Spider Jam to GC. When I discovered my mistake, have never felt like it was worth paying full price for one, and never found one close by used for cheap enough to get it.  The learning curve to make it do the kind of stuff I wanted was just too high.

5) THR-10. Credible tones. I agree with the text printed here: 

 

Quote

The point here isn't to say the THR is better than the Boogie, or even that it really sounds like it, but it's to show that it sounds and reacts like a 'real' amp - even though it costs about the same amount as the cables in a high-end setup. The idea was simple - to show that, with the impact and volume of a 4x12 (which is normally unusable at home anyway) taken away, the difference in sound between a THR and a high-end setup is nowhere near as much as you'd think. But even this doesn't really do the point justice - despite using a high-end ISO cab, the Rectifier was still unmanageably loud in the room and was quite difficult to set-up and get sounding good. Dialling a sound in on the THR was almost instant, but getting the Boogie to sound good took time to tune the EQ, adjust the mic placement and tweak the FX settings. Not a problem setting up for a gig or session, but enough to put you off when you just want to jam a few riffs out at home.

I just didn't like it, tho. I had the same problem with it as I had with the THR-100 I tried out at Atomic Music: it gets credible sounds, but it just seems sort of lifeless, or edgeless, or soulless.  It's good enough, but it seemed way to difficult to get it to go extreme, to get a really inspiring guitar tone, the way I could with even the MicroCube (if I tweaked it).  It was like experiencing life on Sudafed, or listening to music with the speaker in the other room.  It just didn't sound *live* enough.  

But I sometimes don't give gear the full shake it deserves; I give up too easy.

Looking forward to the Spark, tho.  I hope I'm not disappointed.

I have the tones I need from other places, but I'm really hoping for a good jam device, that makes it easier to learn songs, play along with famous songs, and develop my own songs.

 

We'll see.

Edited by Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Yamaha THR10X, but I find the Spark to be a lot more versatile re: the availability of tones.  Having access to practice jam tracks and blue tooth are nice as well. One of the downsides to the THR10X is the connection for a smart phone or iPod (if anyone still uses those) ; I typically get it mono and the one side of the mix of songs is lower volume or missing outright.

The Spark is dependent on having decent access to WiFi so, if that's dodgy, you're kinda back to square one.

I noticed some folks citing volume issues and I too, have noted the volume at the low end of the spectrum to be problematic.  I am guessing because it can crank, the low end of the volume control was compromised on a bit. Dunno.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, velorush said:

I think Cynic's sold in around thirty minutes at a very reasonable price.  Given the backlog, any of them on Reverb or eBay not asking "Ludicrous Speed" prices are going quickly (e.g., when I started researching what to ask, there was one on eBay for $650).  If I throw in the towel I'll give you a shout.  If you just ordered your new one should make it in time for Christmas.

No, I ordered it at the end of March, and it is in Local Distribution...they imply, but don't promise, delivery within 2 weeks or so from now.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I will give a nod to the TM10, I dug it and putting it into the East Speaker made a even bigger positive change. I would try a Emi RC if one every passed through here again. 

Its tubes for me, I am the type of guy that likes to just boost the amp and play with my volume, tone and pick attack. I have heard some really really great demo's of most of the amps mentioned above, but hearing it and feeling it are two different things. I think fender will or should expand the new line of amps and put out a Champ version. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

No, I ordered it at the end of March, and it is in Local Distribution...they imply, but don't promise, delivery within 2 weeks or so from now.

S'bout right.  The real delay (and what torqued everyone) was we bought in December with a promise of something like February.  That was fine: but then they hit everyone's credit card IMMEDIATELY, then, did NOT deliver.  The constant flood of excuses really put a bad taste in everyone's mouth, so when the end result finally arrived it had to be absolutely perfect (which nothing ever is).  It was just handled poorly in so many ways.

That aside, it's a pretty well-done piece of kit with massive potential if Positive Grid will continue to support and innovate.  

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yamaha THR10 for the win.  And I'm a die-hard tube amp snob. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have newer Yamaha thr 10 & the older green thr10x.  I love them both . I tend to use the older version more for practice . I also can play my bass through both too on flat setting.. great amps metal chassis..

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

THR all the way. The software is pretty cool, adds the ability to save presets without too much tweaking. Honorable mention for the Trademark10. 

Edited by RobB
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I grabbed a Boss Katana 50 Mk2 a few weeks back and am surprised and amazed at how good it sounds every day. Some minor global eq tweaks within the app were all that was required along with playing through it as much as possible to get that speaker moving right. For pickup testing it saves me a boatload of time and is just as revealing as my Carr Hammerhead, Twin, Marshall, Peavey, etc. and all I have to do is press a button and jump to saved bank-presets. Also, plugging a bass in and using the Blackface Deluxe "Clean" patch; with a few adjustments I can get remarkably Showman-esque recorded bass sound for tracking. I'm all about quality tube amps and will never sell the killer ones I own but dang it, I love the Katana! Affordable too.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JGravelin said:

I grabbed a Boss Katana 50 Mk2 a few weeks back and am surprised and amazed at how good it sounds every day. Some minor global eq tweaks within the app were all that was required along with playing through it as much as possible to get that speaker moving right. For pickup testing it saves me a boatload of time and is just as revealing as my Carr Hammerhead, Twin, Marshall, Peavey, etc. and all I have to do is press a button and jump to saved bank-presets. Also, plugging a bass in and using the Blackface Deluxe "Clean" patch; with a few adjustments I can get remarkably Showman-esque recorded bass sound for tracking. I'm all about quality tube amps and will never sell the killer ones I own but dang it, I love the Katana! Affordable too.

I'll second this.  I use the power amp in if I'm using a modeler, and that works well too.  Although, the stock sounds (I go for more clean than not) are pretty great.

I've tried the Yamaha mini things more than once and have never been able to get something I like out of them.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/6/2020 at 1:46 PM, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

I have a MicroCube, ..... there's probably a way to use it as a head through a Powered Speaker......

I've run mine into the front of a clean amp and it works hilariously well. I wasn't expecting anything good but the Microcube delivered. Had a Cube 60 for awhile that was very good, too. Heard nothing but good things about the Katana line.

Anything with a decent headphone out is good for quiet practicing.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, JGravelin said:

I grabbed a Boss Katana 50 Mk2 a few weeks back and am surprised and amazed at how good it sounds every day. Some minor global eq tweaks within the app were all that was required along with playing through it as much as possible to get that speaker moving right. For pickup testing it saves me a boatload of time and is just as revealing as my Carr Hammerhead, Twin, Marshall, Peavey, etc. and all I have to do is press a button and jump to saved bank-presets. Also, plugging a bass in and using the Blackface Deluxe "Clean" patch; with a few adjustments I can get remarkably Showman-esque recorded bass sound for tracking. I'm all about quality tube amps and will never sell the killer ones I own but dang it, I love the Katana! Affordable too.

This^^^^^

I had a Yamaha THR , took me about 15 minutes before I packed it up to return. For a few bucks more the Katana is much better IMO.

arniez

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...