Vox Pathfinder Owners

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

  1. Camfinder

    Camfinder TDPRI Member

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    All 1999/2000 Pathfinders (V9158) and Cambridges (V9159) have the input on the right side (that's more AC30-like).
    In 2001 the Cambridge V9159 was discontinued. The Pathfinder's electronic unit was 180° rotated, it got a few more sockets and the blue speakers were replaced by silver or golden ones. From this point on it was called V9168.

    The V9158 are named PATHFINDER.
    The V9168(R) are named PATHFINDER 15.

    See the pictures, they are both Pathfinders (without the R).
    Maybe it is interesting to know, that there never was a 1999/2000 V9158 Pathfinder with reverb and a blue speaker. There wasn't even room left for the knob. All reverb models are V9168R, made in 2001 or later.

    Although the V9158 (the Pathfinder without the 15 in its name) were produced for only 2 years they are not rare, but they are the original Pathfinders with the Blue Bulldog.

    V9158 Pathfinder (1999-2000):
    Bildschirmfoto 2019-09-14 um 19.09.02.png

    V9168 Pathfinder 15 (2001-):
    Bildschirmfoto 2019-09-14 um 19.08.33.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  2. Camfinder

    Camfinder TDPRI Member

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    ...I've got four of these lovely little ****ers:

    DSC01412.jpg

    1. Pathfinder V9158, all original, w/ Blue Bulldog 8"
    2. Cambridge 15 V9159, all original, w/ Blue Bulldog 8"
    3. Cambridge 15 V9159, modified, w/ Fender Special Design 10" (taken from a 80s Fender Sidekick 25)
    4. Pathfinder 15EXR, all original, w/ Blue Bulldog 10" (purchased recently and waiting for the optocoupler)

    No. 3 is the hell of an amp. I can only recommend to go for the Cambridge with a 10" speaker.
     
  3. dinomike77

    dinomike77 Tele-Meister

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    I put a Fat Jimmy 8” speaker in my brown grille-cloth 15R this week and I have been very happy with it. I’ve always been impressed with the amount of bass that the amp is capable of but it’s the top end I’ve found annoying at lower volumes. The treble seemed tinny and disconnected from the meat of the tone, if that makes any sense(probably not). Anyhow(and I’ll qualify this by admitting I’m still in the honeymoon period), the Fat Jimmy has made the top strings sound fuller while also taming the bass a bit so that the overall tone seems fully integrated as opposed to the bass and treble seeming like they are coming from two different amps. I realize that this may not be the way everyone(or anyone, for that matter) else perceives the stock tone. Other mods to mine are the LED removal and the addition of a regular 3-spring reverb tank. I also enjoy the sound of the Boost switch more with the new speaker. Anyway, if you’re curious, I’m vouching for the Fat Jimmy. It’s made by WGS for a company called Vintage Fender Amp Repair and is a variant of the WGS’ own 8” ceramic, as well as the one they make for the Jupiter label, as I understand it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. havlma1

    havlma1 TDPRI Member

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    I'm rather new to VOX territory, but I've just got myself both Pathfinder 10 (new) and also Pathfinder 15R (used). The reason was seeing Pearl Jam's Let's play Two film where Stone Gossard is playing Pathfinder 10 (!) at a balcony rehersal just next to Wrigley Field stadium. I had to try this as well so I purchased one and before it was delivered I found this TDPRI thread which made me search for 15R as well. Luckily there was one for sale on our "national" 2nd hand music instrument market server. I've dedided to get it as well and then see if I like them or not.

    I must say both are nice for clean tones. The PF10 is not that loud and sounds bit ordinary, its distorted channel is very solid-state-y. I'm reather confused if this was indeed used by Stone, but it looks like it was.. The PF15R is much more interesting, the clean sound very tube-y, the distorted channel again solid-state-y. However I like the tremolo and its own sound on the clean. So after several days the PF10 goes back to the store and I keep PF15R. I was thinking to keep PF10 for it's not that expensive and I liked its design and portability, but I also have Fender Pro Junior IV which sounds incredible (even on bedroom level) and Champion 600 RI which is also quite nice, I feel the PF15R is interesting enough to be kept and PF10 is just a redundant amp.

    I tried to run PF15R it with a Greenback 10 in an extension cab and it sounded better then the stock VOX Bullet speaker - marginally better for clean tones, more prominent for distorted ones. Maybe I'll mod the amp for the 10" speaker or maybe rehouse the amp into the cab used by Greenback.. Let's see..

    Pearl Jam (Mike McCready and Ed Vedder) with Pathfinder 10 on the table (used by Stone Gossard - Les Paul sunburst).

    [​IMG]

    VOX Pathfinders vs. Fenders :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
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  5. rockntroll

    rockntroll TDPRI Member

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    Proud owner of the 15R here. It really does have a very magical sound.
    Anybody know how i could remove the tremolo circuit from the amp? I think mine is causing problem, based on what i read here on the forum i think it may be the "cambridgitis" thing that happens a lot to these amps.
    I never used the amp tremolo anyway, as i got it covered from my ms50g so i feel like it will be best to just cut it off the amp. Keep in mind i have zero knowledge about electronics! Can anybody help?
     
    tce63 likes this.
  6. The butcher

    The butcher TDPRI Member

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    Hey there Dinomike,

    Which reverb tank did you fit and how much did it improve? I have limited knowledge regarding electronics and heard tanks can mismatch impedance? My tank sounds weak and reckon an upgrade may turn this great amp into a really killer unit.
     
  7. dinomike77

    dinomike77 Tele-Meister

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    Check out this thread:

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/vox-pathfinder-15r-reverb-tank-swap-tutorial.475545/

    As for the sound after the swap: I feel that there’s more “character” in the reverb from that extra spring, but it won’t make your Pathfinder into a Princeton Reverb. Cranking the reverb level with the aftermarket tank, it’s not drippier. There’s just more crash after the note. That said, I still don’t like the verb up more than halfway when playing clean and maybe 9:00 at most when playing dirty. I’m okay with what I’ve done as an experiment(it didn’t make things worse), but it may not be worth the trouble for everyone. Sorry if that sounds wishy-washy!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  8. The butcher

    The butcher TDPRI Member

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    Great advice and thanks for the link buddy, I watched the clips and think I get your point. Much appreciated.

    I guess I’ll be looking at the speaker change first then - not just for the sake of it, but the bulldog speaker currently has a glass like noise about it from dust or damage perhaps. Ironically the noise actually sounds a bit like tube rattle, actually kind of adding to the coolness of these amps!
     
  9. foundjoe

    foundjoe Tele-Holic

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    I did the reverb tank swap and posted results and a short video in that other thread. The tank I had on hand was a two-spring tank. The initial swap was only marginally better than the stock tank. It was really disappointing.

    But in reviewing this thread, another member (Manolete) had posted several years ago about changing out a couple of resistors. On the schematic, he found resistors that change the level and negative feedback of the reverb circuit. I put a 100K resistor in the R55 position in place of the stock resistor. That has made a dramatic difference, even with the stock tank. The reverb went from subtle to noticeable and from mostly unusable to being much more usable and versatile.

    Then by putting in the other tank, it now sounds much more like it should sound IMO. I think a three-spring, long decay tank would be even better. Replacement tanks are inexpensive so it's not a huge investment. I just haven't gotten around to ordering one yet.

    With the resistor mod and different tank, the level at 9 o'clock sounds like the stock reverb did at 100%. I use it now mostly at 12 or 1 o'clock. The sound is still more splashy than drippy. And it doesn't have a lot of depth -- mostly like a bright reflection, which is why I want to try a long-decay tank.

    Also it sounds much better clean than dirty. With the gain and/or boost up, it becomes much more subtle for some reason -- less wet. With a dirt pedal in front of the amp, and with the amp gain down, the reverb sounds wet, so it's not the distortion but something about the amp's gain circuit that alters the reverb.

    One other note, the stock tank does sound harsher than the external tank -- especially when the level is maxxed out. I'll be curious to see if that would be different with another tank instead of the one I'm using now.

    It would be kind of nice to make the reverb footswitchable. Manolete, who talked about the resistor mod, mentioned how to do the footswitch too, but in place of the functionality for the boost and tremolo footswitch. I don't think I'd want to give those up.
     
  10. The butcher

    The butcher TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for sharing and for experimenting for everyone’s sake. Whilst I am not capable / confident with these matters it will no doubt be a resource for the next to stumble upon the thread. Meanwhile I will play the vox as she was made and still get plenty of joy - stock reverb and all. Cheers
     
  11. rick31797

    rick31797 TDPRI Member

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    Canada
    I bought mine new in 2003 , it’s a pathfinder 15 , made in Korea and the speaker is gold colour ( bulldog ) I also have the manual and bill of sale , the amp is mint ...great little practise amp.
     
  12. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Holic

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    I've had a V1958 for a few months now. I finally took it out on a gig Sat. night. I was playing a fairly small room with a drummer using only a high hat and snare, and an acoustic guitar player. I thouight it would be ok in that scenario but altough it sounded pretty good, I could not get much of a clean sound at all and it was just underpowered for the job. i could have tried the line out or micing it but there was a Blues junior available so I just switched to that for the rest of the gig.
     
  13. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    There’s always a bunch of variables that impact the “room” and how an amp will sound in it. The room itself, of course, and the number of people in it. As for the physical room, small does not always equal quiet, or favorable acoustics. Then of course there’s the number of band members/instruments, how they play, the style of music being played, etc.

    Playing solo performance gigs in a coffee shop or to a few dozen people in the activity room at a seniors community is what I call a small room. For a venue much larger than that, or noisier (a brewpub, or an outdoor gig, like the one I did on the north shore of Corpus Christi Bay a couple of days ago), I turn the amp towards me and Line Out from the rear panel to a PA. I've used that Line Out to go to a channel on a PA mixer, going out to a pair of 1x12” loudspeakers. I've also sent that signal out to a powered speaker I use as a PA for my solo performance gigs. The amp’s signal coming out of the PA/larger speaker(s) sounds very much like the amp itself, and the amp then serves as a monitor in such a situation.

    My signature tone is one of my teles going into one of my PF 15Rs. Just about anything else wouldn't sound right to me. And the signal from the Line Out does a great job capturing the Vox/15R tone, so this is what I do. The largest audience I've ever played for (or am likely to ever play for) was around 200 people in a church's fellowship hall. My Pathfinder 15Rs were up to that challenge. So for electric guitar playing, a Vox Pathfinder 15R and I'm good to go.
     
    dswo likes this.
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