Vox Pathfinder Owners

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

  1. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    I've had the PF 15R for a little over a month. Compared with the PF, which I'm playing clean, the Vox model in my Zoom G1 Four multieffect pedal sounds flat.

    And I had thought the Zoom model sounded pretty good before I got the PF! A lot of things are like that, I've found. You don't know what you're missing till you've had it for awhile. Of course, the opposite happens too: you don't know how good you had it till it's gone.

    Using the PF in combination with the Zoom's effects works quite well. I'm mostly using the Zoom for compression and slapback delay; or, to simulate a 12-string for "Turn! Turn! Turn!," compression and a 10-cent detune.
     
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  2. B-Waters

    B-Waters NEW MEMBER!

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    Hi all, first time poster here

    I have been reading through this thread the past couple of days hoping to find some specific info relating to the various revisions of the Pathfinder 15R and the stock speakers which were used in these amps during its production. Although other people have posed similar questions I can't seem to find any definitive answer to the the following questions and was hoping that some Pathfinder aficionados here could help me out.

    I use to own the non-reverb Pathfinder 15 which had the Blue Speaker but I now own a 15R which has a Gold Speaker.

    My 15R is the 'made in Korea' version which has the black grill cloth which I believe was manufactured from 2000 until 2008 when manufacture switched to Vietnam and the amps were then produced with the brown grill cloth, and it is these later ones that I see with the Silver speakers. I have also read in this thread that some people have owned a 15R with a stock speaker that was black.

    So first question... can anyone here shed any light onto the differences between the Blue, Silver, Gold, and Black speakers that were installed in these amps during their production? I assume that the bulldog speakers in these amps were probably made by other companies that Vox then slapped its Bulldog sticker onto but what are these speakers exactly? I have removed the speaker from my 15R but cannot see any speaker code that you typically expect to find which would identify the manufacturer such as Celestion, Eminence etc .

    Second question. I understand from previous post in this thread and elsewhere that the Pathfinder 15R underwent a number of revisions during its production but what were these revisions exactly and what differences in tone can you expect to hear between these different versions and are these sonic differences due to a change in the electronics/components or the change of speaker?

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  3. Al Nico

    Al Nico Tele-Meister

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    I hope someone can answer your question, I've owned an older MIK 15R with black cloth and a gold speaker, and a last run MIV 15R with brown cloth and a silver speaker. They both sound very similar from my recollection.

    I finished rehousing my 15R in a Blackheart Little Giant combo cab with a 12" Neodog. The control panel cutout was a hair too small, so I had to install a smaller power switch (didn't want to drill holes on the panel in case I wanted to return in to the original cab).

    [​IMG]

    Back view showing the hidden mid tone and gain boost knobs.
    [​IMG]

    It's not much bigger from the front... definitely deeper, but not much more heavy with the neo speaker.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  4. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Earlier this month I talked about one of my 3 Pathfinder 15Rs (a Vietnamese model with brown grill cloth) acting up. I described the sound as "fizzy," but that may be misleading. Here on TDPRI a lot people use that adjective to describe the character of an amp's gain "sounding fizzy." So to clarify once again, I'm referring to clean settings that have a sound reminiscent of effervescence, like an amplified carbonated beverage. And just as troubling, if not more so, was a volume drop. If I kept playing through it when this phenomenon occurred, the volume level would come back up again, but before long might drop out again.

    As I said, I have two other 15Rs that I can gig with or plug into at home, but a problem with even one of the three is still disconcerting. Well, I've continued to plug into this amp, trying to see if the problem is persisting, or getting worse. And to my surprise and great pleasure, it seems to be improving. The last several times I've plugged into it, no noticeable "fizz" or volume drop. "Vox Pathfinder, heal thyself." :):twisted:

    I'm thinking (hoping) now that it might be as simple as an issue of grit in the input. I've never had a dust cover for my PF15Rs, and dust and hair are a problem. I have long hair, my wife has long hair, and we have two cats and a dog, so one of us is always shedding. :oops::twisted: I'm going to get some contact cleaner and keep working a quarter inch jack plug into the input, and hopefully the problem won't recur.
     
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  5. B-Waters

    B-Waters NEW MEMBER!

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    Hey LGOberean.
    Sorry to hear that you are having troubles with one of your Pathfinder 15R's. Im not sure if any of the versions of the Pathfinder 15R's share the same component (hopefully someone here is able to confirm if this is the case or not) but the Vox Cambridge series that were produced around the same time were notorious for their stock optocoupler failing, resulting is a volume drop (sometimes after playing at high volume for 10-15mins) along with noise and/or distortion to the audio signal. If the Pathfinder 15R was produced with the same trouble prone component then perhaps that's to blame? However, I would first check that its not something far more simple such as a bad connection on the amps input jack.
     
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  6. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well, there are two suggesting that the culprit could be the optocoupler. Thanks for the tip, guys. I am woefully inept when it comes to electronics, so I'm hoping the diagnosis proves to be something simple, and toward that end, I'm trying the simple stuff first. I've already tried different instrument cables and even different guitars. As I said earlier today, I'm going to try the contact cleaner and 1/4" plug next. And as I also said, it seems that just plugging into it more, playing it more has improved things. We'll see. If it is a persistent problem and not a simple fix, well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
     
  7. Camfinder

    Camfinder TDPRI Member

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    Hello there!

    I am new to this board - only because of this very informative thread, as I own (and use) several of these lovely Pathfinders and Cambridges (V9158, V9159 and V9168/R).

    I know that you wrote this two years ago. But could you please confirm, that the name plate of your Cambridge really stated that it is/was a V9169. I have never seen a V9169 - which should be the later version of a Cambridge V9159 - before. When they were really existent there shouldn't be many of them.
    I am pretty sure that I searched the entire internet for a V9169, but I couldn't find one. This is the only semi-official site mentioning a V9169: http://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/c15.html

    In the 1999 VOX pricelist there is a V9158 (Pathfinder / no reverb) and a V9159 (Cambridge). The 2002 pricelist proves the existance of a V9168 (Pathfinder / no reverb) and a V9168R (Pathfinder / reverb).
    So if there ever was a V9169 that must have been in 2000/2001. Also I have never seen the model V9158R (early Pathfinder with reverb).

    So please, dear PF-users out there, is there anyone with a V9169 or V9158R?

    Thanks for reading & sorry for the confusion and my limited knowledge of the English language.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  8. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Willkommen im club, Camfinder! And don't worry about your English. Until I read the last line about your "limited knowledge of the English language," it didn't even occur to me that you weren't a native speaker.

    I can't answer your questions, since I've never owned an amp from the Vox Cambridge series, so hopefully @41144 or possibly others will reply with helpful information. I have three Pathfinder 15R (V9168R) amps: one Made in Korea, with black grill cloth; and two Made in Vietnam, with brown grill cloth.
    My Vox Pathfinder 15Rs and my Logan Custom teles.jpg My Korean Black Vox Pathfinder 15R.jpeg My Vietnamese Brown Vox Pathfinder 15Rs - 1.jpeg
     
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  9. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Camfinder & LGOberean …. apologies but, my mistake, it is (rather was) 9159 … this amp rear pic showing 9159 was in my original post, but here it is again, see below.

    Sadly the amp is no more, not long after making the original post I did start using it as a practice amp in rehearsal studios and halls with some old friends. Sonically it held up against not loud bass, drums and an acoustic with occasional keys. But! About a year ago now it proved itself incapable once too often of making the journey in my own car boot (trunk) to practice and still being playable without having to sort out one problem or another.

    Do I miss it, despite having had it for 18+ years, in truth, no. Now using a Champion 40 for practice which is much more versatile and an HT20 for the rare occasions we play to an audience; usually friends/relations parties. (At home now it's the HT20.)
    btw - big plus for the Champion 40 … being SS it lives in the garage when not in use, but with an outside temperature range of only -5 to +30 (ish) max … I don't think we get the weather/humidity problems/swings that some might experience.


    Cel1.jpg
     
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  10. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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  11. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Welcome, Gil. :) Glad you provided the link to your thread about the 4x8 here.
     
  12. SweetClyde99

    SweetClyde99 Tele-Holic

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    I picked up a Vox Pathfinder 15 watt 1x8 combo at a pawn shop this morning for $45. It’s not in the best of cosmetic condition, and there’s some adhesive gunk holding the input jack in place (I’m pretty sure that’ll be an easy fix), but it sounds really good, and I still feel like that’s a pretty solid deal. I posted this elsewhere, but I heard I should contribute to the Pathfinder owners club as well.

    I already have a practice setup that I’m pretty happy with so I’m not sure if this will get a ton of use or not, but I couldn’t pass it up. If nothing else, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to make a few bucks off it once I fix in the input jack.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  13. younkint

    younkint Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Well, SweetClyde99, if you spend a little time with the little Vox, you may just decide that your $45 was a very sweet deal indeed. I certainly wouldn't sell mine for $45. In fact, I don't want to sell it at all.




    .
     
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  14. solfege

    solfege TDPRI Member

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    Joined this club in April, finally. Got a barely used Brown 15R from a Reverb seller. This thread has been super helpful in terms of finding its sweet spots. It mostly lives up in my office and I use it to mess with my 'couch guitar' -- a Squier Cyclone with a Lollar low wind Imperial in the bridge and a Duncan SSL1 in the neck. It's fantastic for both of those very different pickups.

    Cheers to all who've shared knowledge.
     
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  15. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Holic

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  16. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

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    Someone out here in Seattle has one listed on CL in three parts - speaker, cabinet, and amp - but he's willing to take bids on all three as a lot. Seems like an odd approach.
     
  17. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    That does seem like an odd approach. Still, given the right circumstances, I could be interested.
     
  18. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    My PF got a new brother. I’d been looking at Casinos since last fall, but couldn’t find many to try. This one, made at the Peerless factory in Korea, found me at Orphan Guitars last month. I’ve replaced the tuners with snot-colored Gotohs and the Rattle-O-Matic bridge with a Wilkinson roller.

    4B7CC5EB-085B-4B73-B0A5-42E2FB009443.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  19. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have a tele with a P-90 in the neck, and I plug that into one of my PF15Rs whenever I play it. As you might expect, that pickup pushes the amp more. I usually have the Gain on the 15R at 9 o'clock or a little more. When I'm using my mahogany tele with that P-90, I turn the Gain down to about 8 o'clock, and there's still plenty of growl. So I'm hearing in my head what your Casino sounds like through your Pathfinder.

    I've never played an older Korean Casino. Are the pickups hotter, or more vintage wound?
     
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  20. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    This is my first guitar with P-90s, so I don't know. I'd rate these, output-wise, as somewhere between a Telecaster bridge and a Filtertron (which is weak for a humbucker). With gain at 9:30, the Telecaster and the Casino are fat but still clean; a Filtertron's starting to get a little hair.

    Some people talk about P-90s as "snarly." I would describe these rather as "punchy." I'm having fun experimenting with the different tones you can get. There's a lot!

    On a different subject, I'm really pleased with the combination of the Pathfinder 15R and this little multieffects box:



    I used it for a month while traveling: just the Zoom box, a pawn shop Squier that I unbolted so it would fit in my suitcase, and some headphones. It was everything I needed, and sounded better than I had any right to expect. Now that I'm back, it's back in front of my Pathfinder, providing compressors, delays, and drives; drums and a looper, too, when needed. This afternoon I was playing the Casino into the Zoom unit's Tube Driver. That sounded good into the Pathfinder, I thought. Same with the Zoom's Klon clone.
     
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