Author Topic: Vox Pathfinder 15/15R  (Read 5092 times)

NewYorkDave

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« on: August 07, 2004, 05:42:09 PM »
This is a solid-state practice amp that was getting rave reviews from many quarters a couple of years ago. I'd be interested to see what's inside. Anyone got a schematic? I'm not interested in building a clone--why try to clone an amp you can buy for about $100? But I'm curious to see what might set this amp apart from similar mini-combos.


Bear

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2004, 10:04:53 AM »
Better than the Peavey Rage I started on as a kid.  At low settings, the reverb isn't bad, but it shows off cheap-spring sound at high settings.  The trem doesn't go deep/intense enough for a real trem nut (me).  It's setup as a one channel with gain, master, treb and bass, and a boost switch.  It is not a clean or scream amp, and that seems to be its principle appeal.  Without the boost, theres a pretty smooth transition into dirtier sounds.  It doesn't sound very tubey or anything, but the way it acts is a bit more like a tube amp than most solid state amps.

It isn't particularly worthy of raves, IMO, but it's a good little starter amp with some useful sounds ready to go.  Don't regret buying it, but when I have a cooler DIY chasis available, it'll probably get thrown into this cabinet, as it is pretty smooth on the cosmetics.

Bear

Gus

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2004, 12:59:29 PM »
Maybe it is the stock speaker.  Years ago a friend bought a bandmaster cab without speakers I installed a good set of speakers (I forget the brand and model)  For fun we used a small peavey SS amp maybe ten watts.  It did not sound that bad.  I have tried small SS amps with a marshall 77 1960 cab they almost always sound better.

I think tubes are better than SS most of the time for guitar but I think alot of the SS "sound" could be due to the stock speakers.

Sleeper

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2004, 02:08:08 PM »
I think its the speaker too.

A friend who is a bit of a guitar amp fetishist has one and bought it for the bulldog speaker...  claims it is a big part of getting that VOX sound and I've heard his results driving that speaker with a fender champ and a marshall head... really good sounding guitar speaker.

He rarely if ever uses the amp.

Sleeper

Bear

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2004, 04:37:56 PM »
Vox is brilliant to label it as a "Bulldog".  It is not the classic alnico magnet formulation or vintage type construction.  It might well be a good sounding example of a ceramic mag speaker (haven't done a/b-ing), but it most probably doesn't live up to the name fully.

Bear

Arrigotti

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2004, 05:04:16 PM »
I built an 18watt Voxish (Old Cambridge Reverb) type of amp last year.  After a little tweaking (i.e. adding large cathode bypass caps for a meatier sound) I really like the tones I am getting from it.

And yes, a big part of the sound is the Weber Blue Dog Alnico I use with it.  It did; however, take a bit of "breaking in" to really sweeten it up and get the classic Vox "chime".

Me likes it a lot.  I am going to add reverb to it coming up here.  I think I will make it into my main gigging amp though.  It also sounds awesome cranked up and when you goose the front end with hot pickups for a pedal.

 :thumb:

mig27

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2004, 04:55:57 AM »
just checked the new vox "valvetronix" bottom feeder amp at a shop.
I think it was the 15 watt version, costs 225 euros here in gemany.

great little amp, and the various on board-FX were pretty tasty, too.

I also had a go at the earlier pathfinder amps mentioned in this thread and they really couldn't hold a candle.
they're still good one trick ponies and have an astonishingly creamy tone for a solid state amp.

my 2 cents.


michael

NewYorkDave

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2004, 09:35:35 AM »
Um, OK.

I take this to mean that nobody here has a schematic.

Thanks, anyway  :wink:

BradAvenson

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2004, 12:58:05 PM »
I think it uses one of those "power amp in a TO-220" things.  A friend of mine had one that I took apart just out of curiosity.  A few opamps, some cheap pots, plastic jacks and an integrated power amp.  Not a bad amp for the price I'd say.

Tekay

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2004, 02:01:04 PM »
I'll check over at the musicstore tomorrow! Repaired a couple of them but I can't remember if I needed a scheamtics! TO-220 "car amp" IC and a under-rated speaker! Changed a couple of them!
Thomas "TK" Kristiansson
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"The Sound Is In The Iron"
www.vintagedesign.se  www.tkaudio.se


CJ

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2004, 06:15:35 PM »
The schematic is in Pitmans book?
Or was it Webers.
I think Weber is all tube stuff.
Maybe Sams. I will take a pic tonite.
cj
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Tekay

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2004, 03:24:03 AM »
Dave!
Do you still need the schematics? It was layin' on my bench when I arrived to the musicstore last friday! Think a customer have ordered it!
It don't say VOX on the schematics but it shure looks like a  VOX cabinet.
Output device is a LM?2030 TO-220.
Thomas "TK" Kristiansson
----------------------------------
"The Sound Is In The Iron"
www.vintagedesign.se  www.tkaudio.se

Gus

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2004, 10:34:48 AM »
If you get a chance sould you check if the Amp uses current feedback?  The speaker is used as a feedback element with current feedback.  

  Basicly the speaker is connected from the output to the inverting input and a low value resistor is connected from ground to the inverting input.  The gain is the speaker (MESS) Z divided by the resistor to ground.

  This can be a cool sound for SS because when you look at the speaker Z vs freg the gain changes EQ the overall reponse.

Tekay

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2004, 12:34:36 PM »
Here's the schematics I found at work!
http://www.vintagedesign.halmstad.net/schematics/Pathfinder15.pdf

Not the best copy but I hope it helps!
Thomas "TK" Kristiansson
----------------------------------
"The Sound Is In The Iron"
www.vintagedesign.se  www.tkaudio.se

leigh

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2005, 02:36:48 PM »
Quote from: "Tekay"
Here's the schematics I found at work!
http://www.vintagedesign.halmstad.net/schematics/Pathfinder15.pdf

Not the best copy but I hope it helps!


Awesome, thanks for this!

I've got a Pathfinder 15R that is really stupid noisy. With the gain knob all the way down, when you turn the output knob up it's got quite a 120 Hz hum. Would be nice to clean that up a bit.

Also, I agree with Bear that the trem doesn't go deep enough, so that'd be a good mod to make while I have it cracked open.

Cheers,
Leigh

12afael

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Vox Pathfinder 15/15R
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2005, 08:14:52 PM »
a long time ago we discute on ampage why a small practice amp sound so bad. the speaker on practice amps are bad and cheap probably this is the main cause of bad sound . the power supply have a poor regulation, less filter, more cheap the amp.

I canĀ“t remmember how many times I open a cheap 15w amp to see if I can make something to get a better sound. finally I sold it  .

 the design is similar on epiphone , fender , peavy , etc . a couple of op amps on the pre and a chip power amp.

the best practice small amp that I have listened is the epiphone.
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