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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Jazzerclean, Jul 30, 2020.
Great info nojazzhere, thanks heaps.
GAS, Nah, accept what you can't control as I do and enjoy a great life.
Are these mods the sort of thing a rank amateur could undertake? Or is that asking for trouble? I have a Pathfinder 15r which gets scant use these days because I have a 65 Princeton RI which delivers the goods. But I'm reluctant to get rid of the Vox because I love the way it sounds clean and reverby. More of that would be awesome.
I have tried vox amp AC 30 before getting my pathfinder when I was testing out a Gibson Les Paul Studio that I ended up buying despite the fact that no matter how much tweaking of the AC30 I just couldn't dial in a nice tone. To my ears the AC 30 was spikey, ice pick (now matter how much adjusting and using the warm neck pickup of the Les Paul.
I bought the guitar knowing it was not being helped in anyway by the AC 30's tone and made me realise why I never owned a Vox previously, but then!
I walked into a second hand store and saw the Pathfinder 15R with a foot switch for $55 and thought i would try it out in the store with the nastiest, cheap guitar. I was able to get a warm sound by simply rolling off the treble on the amp and Voila!
No spikey treble, no ice pick and great clean sound with slight breakup as you increase the gain (and even more clean with the diode removal mod which I have done to my other Pathfinder). I play jazz and it is all about clean warm tones and having all of the outputs sockets for an ext spkr, a line out, headphones and a footswitch made it for me a very versatile small to carry, loud enough to gig with (for me). And with spring reverb and a great tremolo, well that's just a bonus.
So, to me the Pathfinder 15R sounded nothing like the AC30 (only in a good way) not having the horrible sounds I got out if the AC30, and if there is a sound that can be dialed in an amp (maybe that was a bad example of a valve AC30, I don't know) after 40 years of playing, gigging, owning many Valve and SS amps playing rock, blues and jazz, I can always dial in a decent tone except for that AC30.
Yes you can do it, just some basic soldering (or solder removal) skills.
The diode removal doesn't necessarily need any de-soldering skills as you can simply just snip both of the diodes out. I de-soldered mine just in case I wanted to put them back in if I didn't like the sound, but I won't be doing that as I like one of the Pathfinders to have more clean headroom and a much more smoother overdrive sound which is great for blues or jazz. My other Pathfinder is staying stock standard as I love the sound of that as well, they are just different.
I too was nervous of modding and I personally wouldn't ever mod or repair a valve amp due to the scary widow maker voltages associated with valve amps, but a small SS amp, yes, and the mods done don't require a pro tech that charge you many many $$$.
Do some practice soldering to get basic skills taking some components in and out of a scrap curcuit board. Its harder thinking about modding than actually doing it. Go slow, watch some Youtube vids, carefully read the "how to" on TDPRI or other websites, think it out before you start then just have a go.
Have a look at the list of mods on one of my earlier posts that i did to this Pathy, and to use your words, "done by a rank amature"
Warning! When you have done your first successful mod, it will have you wanting to do more amps, pedals etc you will be taking on the equivalent of GAS, which we all know, only death can stop lol .
Oh, forgot to mention, it takes pedals really well, sometime I use a vintage 80's Rat, a vintage 79 TS, SD-1, DS-1, DM-2W all sound killer ! coming from a someone who used to gig for decades using heavy old valve Marshall heads and fender combos.
That was the thing that I didn't like about Pathfinders. The stock speaker didn't make it sound that good to me. I am glad that it sings better with 12" speaker and cab.
This is my pre-reverb Pathfinder 15 with a Weber Silver Ten alnico. Sounds awesome! Minor alteration of the baffle mounting battens and of course enlarging the speaker hole were required. The speaker cutout was moved a bit downward for clearance, and a small segment of the upper part of the speaker is masked by the baffle so I could retain the stock appearance of the grille and the gold trim wasn't affected. The bell of the speaker can't be used.
Get a Frontman 25 and you will not regret it. They are cheap used and blows away the 15 especially if you change the stock 10" speaker.
I like the Fender SS tones as well. Another similar model is the slightly older, Champion 30. I just want the cheap Fender cleans -- lol. I want the Pathfinder15 so I can re-house it into my favorite speaker cabinet.
Below are a set of pics of a re-housed Frontman 10 or 15 (err, I forget) from a few years ago..
I don't use it much anymore. I had a good enclosure and wanted to use it. What's interesting to me about all this, is that the same audio amp IC (TDA2030) is used in BOTH the Pathfinder15 and the Frontman below.
This thread caused me to look for a vox pf15r and I found one locally. Paid $150 for it. Sounds huge with a 12” Jbl cabinet.
It really adds a deep bass and seems a more even eq using the 12". Maybe its the wide range speaker I am using?
Infact, it sounds so good not only through my Pathy but also as an ext cab for both my Henriksen and Polytone amps that I just picked up two more identical 12", 8 Ohm speakers in mint cond for almost no money. They are all wide range PA designed speakers that sound fantastic for guitar ( the tweeter disconnected).
The best sounding and lowest cost cabs adapted for guitar that I have owned in 40 years of gigging all named cabs and speakers like Celestion and Eminence.
Well done, they are not easy to find. You have a little gem there, keep a hold of it and enjoy!
Look awesome, bet it sounds killer!
Great work! I bought a Squier SP10 for $20, I removed the clipping diodes so it wouldn't distort on the clean chanel as I use it as my amp for my TV that blew its tiny internal tv speaker, the TV through the Squier sounds great.
I had ideas of putting it into mini head?
They are great amps that were very cheap and part of Squier guitar/amp package
I bought a Pathfinder 15 years ago, back when they were first released. I plugged it into a 12" cab the first week I got it and it's been that way ever since. I'd guess that the original speaker has no more than 5 or 6 hours of use on it.
I wish I had plugged mine into a 12" cab earlier on, so much low end for a 15 watter!
I bought a chassis from a TDPRI member and made a small head. I play it through a Carvin G12 cab which is loaded with the Carvin Celestian Vintage 30 knock-off. Sounds HUUUUUUGE!
That's always been a pet peeve of mine for a long time. Many of the smaller SS combo 'practice' type amps actually don't sound all that bad.. but the manufacturers almost always stick a tiny cheap tinny speaker in them so users never really know the true potential within them! Argh!!! An amp can be 'small' (modestly-powered) but still sound pretty good and big, when.. the output is directed to a decent sized quality speaker.
Small amp+big speaker = GOOD.
I like this thread.
..Still looking for that Pathfinder 15R.