Vox Pathfinder 15r Suddenly Voicing Oddly & Different - Help!

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by cravenmonket, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket TDPRI Member

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    I don't know a lot about amplifier electronics so please excuse me...

    I have a Vox Pathfinder 15r which usually sounds lovely - exactly why these little amps are so prized.

    Today I was playing my Tele on the neck pickup, which usually produces a warm, full, mellow tone. I wasn't playing loud at all, just noodling at low vol.

    Suddenly the tone shifted from the warm, rounded, rich tone I was getting to a slightly harsher, crisper, even slightly "driven" sounding one. It's not breaking up, but it sounds like it has lost some of the clarity and fullness it usually has. It was like I had switched pickups. The volume didn't change. When I *do* switch between pickups now there is a slight change in tone, but it's still kind of sounds less rounded, more jangly or metallic even.

    Does this sound familiar to any of you guys? I don't know what to look for inside the guts of the amp, and I miss it already!

    (Edit: I suppose it's conceivable too that something suddenly happened to my Tele?)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  2. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted

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    First step would I would want to do is try it with another guitar and cable. Also try a different speaker to rule that out. If either of these does not help, I would try fresh tubes in each position.
     
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  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    With a solid-state device there's limited things to go wrong. If it's older than ten years there's a chance an electrolytic capacitor has popped.

    You can take it apart and just look and see if any of the things that look like little batteries has popped it's end casing or is leaking goop. You could replace all of them if handy with a soldering iron for a few bucks.

    Failing that, take it to an EE or radio repair place. The odds of their inspect/repair fee being more than you could buy another for is high
     
  4. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket TDPRI Member

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    Thank you so much for the input!

    I haven't used a soldering iron for a few years but I could probably manage that if I knew what to look for.

    As far as repair fee, that's the problem really: this amp cost $120 new but they discontinued them a while back and they're something of a collector's item now. I'd buy a new one at that price in a heartbeat. I wish I had bought five of them when I had the chance.

    It is weird how suddenly it went. Playing gently one minute, and then out of the blue it was sounding wrong.
     
  5. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Holic

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    You didn't accidentally bump the Boost switch while gyrating wildly, did you? Other than that it could be anything. If not one of the above suggestions and you need to take it to someone, I've attached the schematic. Print it & take it along.
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, open it up and have a look. It might turn out something simple. It could be the speaker, it's worth trying another just to be certain. Anything would do.
     
  7. nomadh

    nomadh Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a vox da5 I really liked. I don't remember an exact moment but I'm sure it had a similar tone change. I also thought it would be an e cap but I didn't see anything. It still works but I just don't like it as much.
     
  8. spellcaster

    spellcaster Tele-Holic

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    I had a somewhat similar problem with a PF15R, which later turned into an intermittent speaker issue. On the advice of a Vox warranty tech, I reflowed the solder connections where the litz wires joined to the terminals. Problem solved.
     
  9. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Holic

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    Same experience here. My DA5 would cut out after about 20-30 minutes of playing and it sounded different. Wasn't worth bothering with, I gave it away.
     
  10. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket TDPRI Member

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    This is exactly how I feel! It still seems to work fine, the amp still responds, and the volume is the same. It's not cutting out. I just don't like the way it sounds now. I used to be able to play it for hours and never get tired of the tone. I can't imagine playing it at all any more.
     
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