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Vox Pathfinder Owners

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by robb3566, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. zekaisapa

    zekaisapa TDPRI Member

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    Boss pedal is just SD-1, good old. Pacifica: Not a paint job, its a bridge. Neck pickup is GFS Vintage Split Humbucker- Classic Fender Style, bridge pickup is stock, for a moment. Also, there are Vanson locking tuners, strap locks, String Retainer Trees Roller and volume/tone pots changed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  2. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the rig rundown. I thought that Boss pedal looked like one of their overdrives. As for the Pacifica, are you saying the flames at the bottom of the bridge are part of the bridge itself? :confused: If so, is that a custom mod, or some aftermarket bridge plate? Do you have any close ups of it?

    And the neck pup, I thought that looked like the Fender Wide Range humbucker. I didn't know GFS made something like that. And how do you like the sound of those humbuckers through the PF 15R?
     
  3. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

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    Cool setup. I saw a Fender at Guitar Center recently with that Wide Range Humbucker, but I don't see them very often and also did not know GFS made one.

    My Pathfinder 15 is a great amp, and given how well it takes pedals, it actually can do a variety of styles pretty well at bedroom volumes. But I find it much better paired with the output and tone of single coil pickups (or perhaps a mellower, low-output humbucker, which I don't have).

    Humbuckers sound great on the Pathfinder with the volume a bit lower, but they tend to push it hard and even cause some cabinet rattle if I get too aggressive with it. A compressor helps sometimes, too.
     
  4. zekaisapa

    zekaisapa TDPRI Member

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    Yes, bridge is aftermarket, looks like flame, I bought it from UK seller, I'll post close-up pic as soon as possible. And the neck pup is GFS version of Wide Range Hum, yes, and it's really, really good. My idea, in a first place, was to change a bridge hum also, with GFS P90 Dream, but, in fact, I like a Yamaha's bridge hum so much that I changed only pop neck which was muddy. The best part of the story is, thanks to differences in bridge and neck strenght, I get very "tele sound" in mid position, with both pickups, which position I didn't use before, 'cause the sound was deep and muddy, which was the neck pickup, after all...

    Edit: I found seller site that I bought bridge, here: http://www.chguitars.co.uk/bridges/...-telecaster-hot-rod-humbucker-bridge-459.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  5. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Friend of Leo's

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    Late to the party as usual but after reading all the good comments about the 15R on this site I jumped on one when I saw it on Gumtree at the weekend. Sounds great so far, might do the led clip, would love to try it through a 2 x 10" cab sometime. It reminds me a lot of my old AC10 twins so the possibility of mounting the amp into a 2 x 10 cab might tempt me somewhere down the line, will keep it as is just now as I love the weight. Paid £50 ($80) which seems pretty good, Korean, serial number is 003160, very clean condition.
     

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  6. zekaisapa

    zekaisapa TDPRI Member

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    Looks like awesome deal to me!
     
  7. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

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    Yup twas what I paid at Sam Ash in '11. Been going strong for gigs, practice, home noodling. Sounds awesome line out, miked, or in a medium room thru my 2x12 cab....
     
  8. zekaisapa

    zekaisapa TDPRI Member

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    Any recommendations for cheap 10" speakers, I'm planning to build cab box?
     
  9. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

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    Jensen Mod. About $40 for the 35w.
     
  10. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

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    I took a peek out of curiosity because I recently joined Reverb.com, and the going rate for used 15R's is already at around $140 to $150. Which is probably fair given that it is discontinued, and really freakin' good. Actually, you could make an argument pretty easily that this amp was worth $150 to $225 in retail "value", except that they probably didn't sell as well as they should have at any price, given that it was a solid state amp at a price point swamped with modeling amps that light up like a Christmas tree.

    @richey88 - That Jensen Mod should work for you. I actually thought about swapping in the 8" version of the Jensen Mod, but people lined up telling me not to do it. The stock Bulldog 8" speaker is apparently quite good, limited only by its size. A 10" Jensen would have some more fullness, I would think. I know that I ran the Pathfinder into the effects loop of a 2x12" Valvetronix I used to have, and was stunned how awesome it sounded. So much clean headroom for such a small practice amp.

    Question for you club members out there - does anyone here use the Boost button at very low gain settings as an "always on" setting? I was dismissive of the Boost for some time, but experimented with Boost on and something like 25% gain. Also had to back off the volume because the Boost setting is louder. The resulting tone had some of that same Vox sparkle, but was thicker and grittier, while still basically clean. Almost like a Vox/Fender lovechild. Anyone else do that, or do you just use the clean channel?

    Great amp.
     
  11. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted

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    I did a 10" Pathfinder conversion using the Jensen Mod 10-35. I did not like it, it gave a very woody sound. I'd use a WGS Veteran 10 before using the Jensen. It is a very nice speaker and are only $40 new, but probably hard to find in Europe. I ended up using a Weber Silver Ten alnico, but that was an $80 used speaker in my $45 used PF, so maybe not what you would call cheap.

    There may be other model Jensens that would do a better job. You could also look for a used Vox Celestion Bulldog (actually Asian-built clones) as used in the Vox Cambridge hybrid amps.
     
  12. BIGD5

    BIGD5 TDPRI Member

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    I normally use clean with a pedal for gain but lately I started experimenting with the button in when I can turn it up louder. This is with a pedal also though. Gets a lot louder and bassier if that's the word. And using something like 25% gain. All this is driving a 1x12 cab. I wished it was a smooth overdrive instead of a harsh fizz when you get into the higher settings. I am still looking for the right amount of dirt. Not over the top but enough to get heavy and still be able to clean up with the volume on the guitar. LOL....asking for too much?
     

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  13. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Not as an "always on" setting, if by that you mean never playing through your PF15R without the Boost switch engaged. But if you mean "always on" throughout the course of a particular song, then yes, I do that. For songs where Vox chime/sparkle mixed with grit is what I'm going for, I have the Boost on, the Gain as you said, around 9 o'clock, and the Volume somewhere around 11, depending on which of my Pathfinders I'm playing through.*

    I like to use these settings while playing in middle position on my teles, and then when I come to an instrumental break, I slap it back to the bridge pup and roll off a little of the guitar's Tone to make sure I'm not approaching ice pick territory. Depending on the room, I might roll back a little of the guitar's Volume as well. This gives me just the right amount of grit for my tastes, at manageable volumes.


    * Volume output on my older MiK is a little quieter than on my MiV Pathfinders. It's not drastic, but it's noticeable. Noon on the former is about equal to 1 o'clock on the latter. But that's another topic.
     
  14. WGD1

    WGD1 TDPRI Member

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    I have my boost button engaged at all times.
     
  15. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Your observations piqued my curiosity as well, but I'm not a member of Reverb.com. I am, however, of eBay, so I did some research there. They have a feature you can select that shows only "Sold listings," so I checked that out for the Vox Pathfinder 15R.

    From last November 26th to just 3 days ago (58 days), 27 Pathfinder 15Rs sold. I logged the facts of those sales, keeping shipping prices separate from auction/BIN ("Buy It Now") sale prices. I did this for several reasons. Shipping costs won't be the same for everyone across these United States. Besides, if you're a buyer, the shipping price absolutely figures in to what that given Pathfinder will cost you, but if you're a seller, it's not profit. (Or it shouldn't be, at least. See shipping facts below.)

    So, the highest sale price was $249.99! :)shock: YIKES!!! Someone actually charged that? It was a BIN eBay sale, not an auction, so no bidding war accounts for that high price tag. Maybe the better question is "Someone actually paid that for a Pf 15R? Plus $17.41 shipping on top of that?" :eek: :lol:) Anyway, the lowest sale price was $58.33, but that was because the amp needed a couple of pots replaced, and so it was advertized as a do it yourselfer, and priced accordingly. So the average sale price of a Vox Pathfinder 15R on eBay during this time frame was $127.998.

    The highest shipping charge was $71.50! :eek: :mad: It was "Expedited shipping" and I don't know how far that package traveled, but still... :eek: OTOH, several were shipped for free, and one was a local pickup. The average shipping charge of the of the 27 during this 58 day time period was $20.231.

    So, on average then (if eBay is used as a standard), a Vox Pathfinder 15R is going for $128 used, and shipping averages $20.23. I could live with those numbers, but I wouldn't pay more than that. But then again, that's easy for me to say, since I already have 3 of these great little amps! ;)
     
  16. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

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    Great stuff, thanks for the posts! On the "boost button" question, there are no "rules", right? So if you or I find a combination of settings on this little solid state amp that we personally like, then go for it, even if other people tell you that you shouldn't like it, or that it doesn't sound like a "Vox" tone. I haven't played an actual AC30 at volume, but I've played/heard a million things trying to be one, so I assume the boost is meant to be like the Top Boost on an AC30. It's impressive how "big" it can make the 8" speaker sound, but it's not like though the unboosted sound ever sounded "thin" given the size of the amp. And, yes, it gets kind of fizzy/fuzzy with the gain up, but the amp sounds absolutely terrific with clean or lightly overdriven tones.

    @LGOberean - Haha, thanks, that was a fascinating read. I want to say that as a person who lurks around guitar shops and even the occasional pawn shop looking for a good deal, the internet and online sales sites have arguably made it harder to find absolute steals nowadays. I know that my Guitar Center will spend a good 5-15 minutes researching "sold" prices on eBay and other sites when you bring in a piece of equipment to judge what they will sell it for (and then offer you about half of that if you sell to them). Pawn shops do the same thing, though if they aren't guitar guys, they may miss out on some of the little subtleties in brand/type that can influence value. My Guitar Center had a Pathfinder 15 for about $119 right after the time they discontinued it. I opted not to buy it because I already had one (had it been a 15R, I might have just to have that model).

    The thing about the Pathfinder is that it's not particularly rare - I think a good number of U.S. stores did carry them, and people seem to sell them for reasons I can't totally grasp. I like to think that if you had it as your first ever guitar amp, you might understand what makes it so great. Only after playing a variety of amps, including higher quality hybrids and tube amps, do you come full circle to appreciate how impressive the Pathfinder is applying basic solid state technology.

    Long story short, I don't think it's too likely we'll see these lurch up into the $200 range in the near future, but that could change as time goes by. Especially after the push buttons on all of those modeling amps wear out and used Pathfinders are still working into the 2030's and beyond like they did the day they were sold.
     
  17. Mark76

    Mark76 TDPRI Member

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    Does anyone think rising second hand prices might encourage Korg/Vox to reissue the Pathfinder at some point in the future?
     
  18. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

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    That's been debated in these parts, but just on speculation. What complicates matters is that Vox does still sell the solid-state Pathfinder, they just only sell the Pathfinder 10. It looks similar in a lot of ways, but it's a 6.5" speaker instead of the 8" Bulldog, and pretty much anyone who has played both tells me there it's a poor replacement for the 15/15R. So it can't be said that Vox isn't interested in marketing an affordable compact solid-state amp because they still do.

    Still, the consensus was that if the 15/15R was huge seller for Vox, they would have kept selling them. Unless there are significant cost savings advantages to making the 10 versus the 15, which I find somewhat unlikely.

    The fact of the matter is that retailers (okay, primarily Guitar Center) never really pushed sales of this undervalued amp. And frankly, for many beginner players, a Fender Mustang or even Vox's own Valvetronix line is a more appealing complete package if you (a) don't have many reference points for quality "tone"; and (b) don't have an arsenal of effects pedals to cover different genres of music. You can't play metal straight into a Pathfinder, but you can cop that tone and several others (with effects) on modeling amps that touch $100 (or even less).
     
  19. lareplus

    lareplus Tele-Afflicted

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    I think Vox realized that they had too many products competing for the same low end customer. I do appreciate that they are willing to try new things but several of their new products have been flops and when they have a tried and true good thing they should stick with it and offer enhancements, such as a ten inch speaker and more watts.
     
  20. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

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    This pretty much covers it. Vox would have to sell the PF15 at PF10 prices to compete with modelling amps, which to most entry level buyers are sexier and more versatile. Vox and Fender know this, so put their $ into these products instead.

    The Pathfinders used sales prices wouldn't even register. A bit of forum love doesn't cause a ripple in the market.
     
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