VOX Pathfinder insanity

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Mike_LA, Oct 9, 2021.

  1. Dirty30

    Dirty30 Tele-Meister

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    I miss the one that I had, and gave away to one of my troops that was learning guitar. If was stolen shortly thereafter.

    Now looking back and reading this thread, the nostalgia is hitting me hard. But the world has continued turning for some time since we lost the 15r and I have to ask myself:

    Could the 15r still hold its place against amps like the Boss Katana 50? I got a used K50 for $150 and I’d love to hear it head to head with the 15r. Any have any experience with both amps side by side?
     
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  2. fuzz guy

    fuzz guy Tele-Meister

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    I have dialed mine in to get the best mildly broken up sound it will give, which is a very delicate balance between the volume and gain knobs and changes when switching guitars.

    I cannot compare it to a Katana, but I have four amps and the Pathfinder is the least good sounding of them and also the least versatile. The other amps are a Laney GH30R, Boss Nextone and Yamaha THR10. Admittedly they are all more expensive amps than the Pathfinder, but even as an inexpensive amp I still don't understand why it is so revered.

    I've listed mine for sale for more than what I paid and already have some interest.
     
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  3. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

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    Boss Nextone Sweetwater Price $499.99
    Laney GH30R Zsounds Price $879.00
    Yamaha THR10 Sweetwater Price $329.00

    Vox Pathfinder $89.99

    You seem to be comparing a vw bug to a rolls royce and expecting equal performance.
    Yah once compared to a real amp, yes, they do pale in comparison.
    It's all about sound quality for price point
    And people with internet GAS
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2021
  4. fuzz guy

    fuzz guy Tele-Meister

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    I did mention that I was aware of the price difference. I was merely responding to the post I quoted and the point was that's there's probably better sounding, lower cost amps out there these days, especially when shopping secondhand.

    Regardless of cost, if an amp doesn't sound all that great and has a limited window of versatility then it's useless to me. I also have a Vox Amplug AC30, which was something like $40, and it sounds better to me than the Pathfinder.

    Bottom line for me, with only the one Pathfinder I have as an example, I don't get the hype around these things and I think there's probably better, similar cost secondhand alternatives out there.
     
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  5. Dirty30

    Dirty30 Tele-Meister

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    Let’s go with my post then, since he was replying to me. I have to start by saying that Vox Pathfinder 15R (the desirable discontinued model that we are all talking about here) is NOT $89. I believe they were around $120 ish when they were discontinued. And that was back years ago, before a recession, a pandemic, and severe supply chain shortages in all industries. Not to mention inflation. So I’m guessing that the Pathfinder 15R would cost AT LEAST $179 dollars today If you could buy one new.

    Now that that’s out of the way, and considering the fact that you can only find them used, let’s look at relevant real world prices in the current market. If the desirable model Pathfinders are selling used for $200+, and the boss Katana 50 goes used for $150, then what is the better buy?

    You’d have to really love the tone of the Pathfinder 15R, and really hate the tone of the Katana 50 for that to make sense. Or you have to really be a sucker for the nostalgia of what was once the king of the mountain for good cheap tone, all while being dressed in a classy Vox suit. I’m one of those suckers lol, so I’d like to get one as well, but I doubt that it will beat my katana at anything other than being “cooler”.
     
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  6. fuzz guy

    fuzz guy Tele-Meister

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    Well I sold mine, and thanks to the reputation of these amps I made a tidy profit. It was a cool little amp, but it just wasn't going to get used much, and the guy who bought it was really happy, so everyone's a winner.
     
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  7. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    I have a K50 Mk. I. It has, as you know, a lot of power and versatility. One sound that I don't think it does well is Vox, even with the "Sneaky Amps" models. I was listening to the Byrds and the Beatles, and I wanted that sound. I bought a Nextone, which was new at the time and does the Vox power section well, but needs some editor tweaking to approximate the whole sound. (The current version of the Boss editor has a preset, "British Combo," that does this pretty well, but that didn't come along until later.) So I bought a used Pathfinder 15r on Reverb for around US$150. I happily bashed away on it with my Casino. I won't say "Instant Beatles," because they played the parts better than I can (currently), but I no longer felt like the amp was an issue.

    Would I get it again? Probably not: when the two amps are operating at similar volume, the Nextone can (now) sound close enough to the Pathfinder for me. I'm also more conscious now about the space that all this gear takes up in my house and in my mind. And I'm less concerned with matching tones. What really makes me sound better, I've realized, is me improving as a player.

    I'm still into the Vox sound. Last Christmas there was a sale on the Mini Super Beetle, which I tried when it first came out and returned after a week because of an overtone that bothered me. The cab sound was a letdown too. It's so cute, though! A little voice told me, "You don't need that," and it was right. I don't need or really want another amp.

    ...But there's always room for another pedal! This week I bought a used Mystic Edge, which is Vox's own "AC-30 in a box" pedal. It's not as cute as the Mini Super Beetle, and it doesn't have reverb or trem. On the other hand, it has a tone cut knob and a bright switch. It has the same Nutube technology as the Mini Super Beetle, runs on a 9V battery, and...it's a pedal.

    Back to the Katana 50: it's a better, louder, and probably more durable amp than the Pathfinder 15r. It has way more effects. But the Vox is, not surprisingly, better at doing Vox.
     
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  8. Ted Witton

    Ted Witton Tele-Meister

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    Amongst other amps. I do have a Pathfinder 15R and also a Katana Mk2 50. I entirely agree with the last para of dswo's reply. I would only add this. I do believe that a decent tube amp has a certain "je ne sais quoi" that is lacking in a solid state amp, but similarly I would claim that an analog solid state amp such as a Peavey Bandit has something that is missing from a modelling amp. Undeniably however the modeller is more versatile and it really is horses for courses. You would perhaps take a de Luxe reverb to a stage, a Bandit to a noisy bar and a modeller for sheer convenience at home. They all do the job and depending on your mode may very well be interchangeable.

    The affection for the Pathfinder is surely that somehow, in a very small and portable package, it captures the essence of AC30 tone. It was the first small amp to achieve such successful miniaturisation.
     
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  9. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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  10. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

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  11. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

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