#1
Hey all

I own a MiM Strat (all original parts) and a Vox Pathfinder 15R which I both love to death. The only bad thing is that I mostly play alternative rock and a little metal and the amp on its own doesn't really cover that. I have a Behringer OD 100 pedal which I use for distortion a lot and overdrive when I need it but I think the sound is way too digital and usually not good. I got the pedal for free with the amp and guitar so no harm there.

Well yesterday I saw an ad online that a guy is selling Vox Valvetronix Ad30VT (the old model that has 11 built in amps, the new one has 22) for about 150$ and I offered him my Pathfinder 15R + 50$ for it.
So here's the deal, should I get that Valvetronix and use the classic amps when I need classic or bluesy sound (thinking John Mayer, Hendrix, etc) and the heavy amps for alternative rock and metal or should I keep my Pathfinder and get some decent distortion pedal for heavier sound? The cleans on my pathfinder are amazing and it doesn't sound all bad with the Behringer pedal it's just that the distortion gets little too digital...

I've read tons of great reviews on the Valvetronix and heard it sounds much better than most modeling amps because of the pre-amp tube that it contains.

Sorry for a super long post on a simple matter but please give me your thoughts
#2
I'm confused as to how analog equipment is supposed to sound digital.

Also, a single lone preamp tube is not an indicator of quality - more often that not, it seems like just a gimmick.


Okay, on to the useful advice. I wouldn't pay 150 bucks for a used AD30VT, but 50 plus a Pathfinder seems like fair deal. The Valvetronix is a better amp in every regard, so it's definitely an upgrade. It's best suited for low and medium gain tones - it covers high-gain as well, but it gets mushy pretty quickly, so you have to be careful what you dial in.
Forget about dirt pedals, ultimately the Pathfinder will set the limit as to how good your rig will sound, and it's not an amp that works well for metal. The Valvetronix is the better option by quite a big margin.
#3
For the record I am absolutely in love with my VT20+ Valvetronix, I realise it's the most current model but it also has the tube 'gimmick' but I really believe it does impart on the tone really well and the amp models are awesome.

I tend not to try and emulate an actual amp with them.. I just get in a ballpark and tweak to my liking.
Sparrow Twangmaster Telecaster
G&L Legacy Stratocaster

Korg Pitchblack > Fuzz Face > Tubescreamer -> Crybaby -> Modded SD-1 -> Big Muff -> Phaser -> El Capistan -> TS-1 Tremolo/Stereo-Pan

Vox VT20+
#4
Quote by TheQuailman
I'm confused as to how analog equipment is supposed to sound digital.

Also, a single lone preamp tube is not an indicator of quality - more often that not, it seems like just a gimmick.


Okay, on to the useful advice. I wouldn't pay 150 bucks for a used AD30VT, but 50 plus a Pathfinder seems like fair deal. The Valvetronix is a better amp in every regard, so it's definitely an upgrade. It's best suited for low and medium gain tones - it covers high-gain as well, but it gets mushy pretty quickly, so you have to be careful what you dial in.
Forget about dirt pedals, ultimately the Pathfinder will set the limit as to how good your rig will sound, and it's not an amp that works well for metal. The Valvetronix is the better option by quite a big margin.


I bought the pathfinder + the strat for about 580$ (I live in Iceland so a new MiM strat is about 900$ and the pathfinder is about 180$). The previous owner wanted about 80$ for the pathfinder which is a pretty fair price here in Iceland I think so that's what I'm calculating the amp+cash from. The new version (Valvetronix VT30) costs new about 300$ so I'm thinking it's a pretty fair deal if the guy accepts it.

I still really like the tone from my Pathfinder, clean it's awesome but distorted not too good... Are the cleans of the Valvetronix simular or even better?

The single tube is kind of a gimmick I know but some people say it makes a difference :p
#5
Quote by WhoDooVooDoo
For the record I am absolutely in love with my VT20+ Valvetronix, I realise it's the most current model but it also has the tube 'gimmick' but I really believe it does impart on the tone really well and the amp models are awesome.

I tend not to try and emulate an actual amp with them.. I just get in a ballpark and tweak to my liking.


Are the cleans any good? How well does it take pedals? What guitar are you using?
#6
yeah the pathfinder is pretty nice for lower gain solid state tones, but i agree with quail, for what you want the valvetronix is probably better, and if you can do a more or less straight swap ($50 isn't that much), probably worth it.

FWIW I don't really like how my pathfinder sounds with pedals.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
Well... it makes a difference in the sense that the amp wouldn't work without it. That is "the difference that it makes". Sorry to sound grumpy, but there is no basis for any comparisons - you could compare a modeller without tubes with the AD30VT, but then you'd be looking at two entirely different circuits. Apples and Oranges really, any comparison is moot. Concentrate on whether the amp sounds good or not, don't worry too much about the spec sheet.

The Valvetronix has nice cleans, and quite a few different flavours of clean, too.
#8
yeah... i mean this might sound hypocritical from someone who constantly complains when companies use deliberately vague marketing to imply something is one thing when it's another, but I agree with quail. For all the difference that tube is making you can probably ignore it.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#9
Quote by jonthorsigmunds
Are the cleans any good? How well does it take pedals? What guitar are you using?


The cleans for me are fantastic and I like John Mayer/Hendrix/SRV type stuff as well as some ambient/shoegaze stuff. It's taken any pedal I've thrown at it well - it's only downside in that department is that the VT20+ doesnt have an Effects Loop but I don't run my amp dirty that often so deley/echo infront of the amp isn't bad.

I use a Stratocaster primarily but I also use a Telecaster and a Les Paul now and then with typical Humbuckers.
Sparrow Twangmaster Telecaster
G&L Legacy Stratocaster

Korg Pitchblack > Fuzz Face > Tubescreamer -> Crybaby -> Modded SD-1 -> Big Muff -> Phaser -> El Capistan -> TS-1 Tremolo/Stereo-Pan

Vox VT20+
#10
Quote by WhoDooVooDoo
The cleans for me are fantastic and I like John Mayer/Hendrix/SRV type stuff as well as some ambient/shoegaze stuff. It's taken any pedal I've thrown at it well - it's only downside in that department is that the VT20+ doesnt have an Effects Loop but I don't run my amp dirty that often so deley/echo infront of the amp isn't bad.

I use a Stratocaster primarily but I also use a Telecaster and a Les Paul now and then with typical Humbuckers.


Great, I think I might do the swap
#11
Quote by TheQuailman
Well... it makes a difference in the sense that the amp wouldn't work without it. That is "the difference that it makes". Sorry to sound grumpy, but there is no basis for any comparisons - you could compare a modeller without tubes with the AD30VT, but then you'd be looking at two entirely different circuits. Apples and Oranges really, any comparison is moot. Concentrate on whether the amp sounds good or not, don't worry too much about the spec sheet.

The Valvetronix has nice cleans, and quite a few different flavours of clean, too.


Yeah from the video reviews I've seen the cleans sound damn good
#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah the pathfinder is pretty nice for lower gain solid state tones, but i agree with quail, for what you want the valvetronix is probably better, and if you can do a more or less straight swap ($50 isn't that much), probably worth it.

FWIW I don't really like how my pathfinder sounds with pedals.


Yeah I atleast don't really like the pedal sound I've gotten out of it, I mean I get decent distortion sounds, it's something I can work with but being able to get a variety of cleans + some nice distortion tones from the Valvetronix would be nice I think
#13
But aside from the Valvetronix vs Pathfinder, is the Valvetronix any good on it's own? I mean it's far from being a pure tube amp which is what I really want but I'm low on budget and just need a practice amp as of now... I've only been playing acoustic for years and am just getting into electric right now, I mean I'm no beginner to guitar but kind of a noob to electrics and therefore amps and such
#14
yeah.

i know i'd personally probably rather use a modelling amp with amp models and no pedals than a solid state amp with pedals. from my limited trying of modelling amps, lol.

I mean I guess you could always use a kickass boutique pedal and it might sound ok... but that'd strike me as sort of a false economy.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#15
As far as beginner-oriented modellers go, the Valvetronix-line has always been my favourite. They do the edge-of-breakup and crunch tones better than any comparable stuff I've tried. Solid amps, no doubt about it. And the 30 is also loud if need be, so whatever's coming your way musically, you should be set.
#16
sounds pretty good... Also about the boutique pedals... the reason I'm considering this swap is that it'll cost me almost nothing to upgrade since I just spent the 580$ ish on the guitar+amp and am low on cash right now
#17
oh yeah i mean i was saying spending a ton on pedals when you have a cheap amp is a bad idea I certainly wasn't recommending it.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#20
I have a Valvetronix 20+ and I think it's awesome. The high gain tones are passable ( I don't play metal much, though), but the cleans are nice and full and it just sounds great with light distortion. It's played everything I've thrown at it well enough, so I would definitely recommend it to someone for its price point. I got mine for exactly 169.99 USD (not even tax or shipping), but it seems prices are way different where you are.

I haven't tried it with pedals, because I don't have any, so I can't help you there, but if the Pathfinder is really as bad of an amp as Mr. TheQuailman said, then I would recommend upgrading to it.
#21
I've used my AD30VT for practice for ages. It's been "gigged" a couple of times, too - back yard of a ocal pub (far more willing to let others usse that then my AC30 or Orange). It's perfectly loud enough (the landlord asked me to turn it down, in fact and he was in the kitchen, the other side of the bar). Pretty versatile and from what I can hear it will give you a decent idea of what to look for in terms of a "proper" valve amp when you are ready to make that transition.
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
#22
i wouldn't say the pathfinder is bad... if anything it's quite good for a beginners' practice amp. the thing is it's definitely more aimed at vintage-voiced stuff. so if you need a range of tones, there are better options.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#23
Quote by Dave_Mc
i wouldn't say the pathfinder is bad... if anything it's quite good for a beginners' practice amp. the thing is it's definitely more aimed at vintage-voiced stuff. so if you need a range of tones, there are better options.


Yeah I agree, it's a great small practice amp for Vintage styled playing and I manage to get great clean sound, specially for John Mayer-ish sound
#24
I had a VT100 for a long time and I loved it. Very versatile but most of the high gain tones kinda sucked (The UK Modern sounded best by far), and everything else sounded great for what it was.

Definitely take the Valvetronix, it is a step up.
#25
Quote by Kyle<3
I had a VT100 for a long time and I loved it. Very versatile but most of the high gain tones kinda sucked (The UK Modern sounded best by far), and everything else sounded great for what it was.

Definitely take the Valvetronix, it is a step up.


Yeah you guys are totally pushing me towards the Valvetronix :P
As long as the guy accepts my offer I'm buying it, we're gonna meet up soon and give the amps a test i think
#26
I got a Valvetronix but ended up trading it in for a Mustang because it had this 'hiss' that appeared with each note, and decayed as each note decayed. I felt it was too annoying.

Furthermore, the Pathfinder contains the same LED clipping style of circucit that the Boss DS-1 pedal has. You can unsolder the two red LEDs on the board and remove them to affect the gain and the boosted channels for the better (IMO, YMMV.) I just did it not too long ago and I enjoy it. Then again, I don't use a lot of heavy distortion so it may not be what you are looking for.
Ibanez AS93
Fender Marauder
Vox Pathfinder 15R
Last edited by derekgray at Jun 14, 2011,
#27
Quote by jonthorsigmunds
Yeah I agree, it's a great small practice amp for Vintage styled playing and I manage to get great clean sound, specially for John Mayer-ish sound


I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#28
Quote by derekgray
I got a Valvetronix but ended up trading it in for a Mustang because it had this 'hiss' that appeared with each note, and decayed as each note decayed. I felt it was too annoying.

Furthermore, the Pathfinder contains the same LED clipping style of circucit that the Boss DS-1 pedal has. You can unsolder the two red LEDs on the board and remove them to affect the gain and the boosted channels for the better (IMO, YMMV.) I just did it not too long ago and I enjoy it. Then again, I don't use a lot of heavy distortion so it may not be what you are looking for.

I don't think I know enough about these electric circuits to mod anything :S
#29
Well i own a vox vt50 and even though i use my better amp these days, as a practice amp a valvetronix is pretty worthwhile. You've got a good choice of clean tones that are actually really good and theres some good distortion sounds in there if you mess around with it too.

Some of the settings are abit difficult to dial in, and there was an unusual volume jumping thing when i changed the gain knob, but i think that was something to do with the modelling options, either way it's pretty good and the built in effects sound nice (really good sounding reverb actually)
#30
Quote by TheQuailman
I'm confused as to how analog equipment is supposed to sound digital.

Also, a single lone preamp tube is not an indicator of quality - more often that not, it seems like just a gimmick.


Okay, on to the useful advice. I wouldn't pay 150 bucks for a used AD30VT, but 50 plus a Pathfinder seems like fair deal. The Valvetronix is a better amp in every regard, so it's definitely an upgrade. It's best suited for low and medium gain tones - it covers high-gain as well, but it gets mushy pretty quickly, so you have to be careful what you dial in.
Forget about dirt pedals, ultimately the Pathfinder will set the limit as to how good your rig will sound, and it's not an amp that works well for metal. The Valvetronix is the better option by quite a big margin.


Quote by TheQuailman
Well... it makes a difference in the sense that the amp wouldn't work without it. That is "the difference that it makes". Sorry to sound grumpy, but there is no basis for any comparisons - you could compare a modeller without tubes with the AD30VT, but then you'd be looking at two entirely different circuits. Apples and Oranges really, any comparison is moot. Concentrate on whether the amp sounds good or not, don't worry too much about the spec sheet.

The Valvetronix has nice cleans, and quite a few different flavours of clean, too.


Whats the difference between a VT20+ and a AD30VT, aside from the wattage?

Quote by derekgray
I got a Valvetronix but ended up trading it in for a Mustang because it had this 'hiss' that appeared with each note, and decayed as each note decayed. I felt it was too annoying.

Furthermore, the Pathfinder contains the same LED clipping style of circucit that the Boss DS-1 pedal has. You can unsolder the two red LEDs on the board and remove them to affect the gain and the boosted channels for the better (IMO, YMMV.) I just did it not too long ago and I enjoy it. Then again, I don't use a lot of heavy distortion so it may not be what you are looking for.


LED clipping? It glows when you dime the gain?
Last edited by GS LEAD 5 at Jun 14, 2011,
#31
The Valvetronix would definatly be a step up from your Pathfinder, and the deal is a good one. I would do it.
2012 Gibson Les Paul Custom Classic
2001 Schecter C-1 Classic
2007 Yamaha APX500
Vox AC15CC1 w/ Eminence Tonkerlite
Assorted Pedals!

All for sale!

Call me Matt!
#32
Quote by GS LEAD 5
Whats the difference between a VT20+ and a AD30VT, aside from the wattage?


There are a couple generations of Valvetronix amps, and the first ones are AD__VT. There may or may not be another generation between the VT+ amps and those.
The main difference is that there are more amp presets and effects on the VT+ series amps than in the originals.
#33
The seller now wants my pathfinder + about 80-90$, I'm not liking that offer, hope he will lover it a bit :/
#34
Quote by GS LEAD 5
LED clipping? It glows when you dime the gain?
Overdrive/distortion comes from signal clipping. This usually comes from overdriven power amps (tubes or circuitry) but can also come from diodes. The way diodes clip the signal is more 'square', so it's more 'fizzy/fuzzy' than a tube overdrive. By removing the two LEDs (the clipping circuit) from the Pathfinder, the 'square' quality is reduced. This same mod may be done on a Boss DS-1 with excellent results.
Ibanez AS93
Fender Marauder
Vox Pathfinder 15R