Pathfinder 15R review by Vox

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  • Sound: 2
  • Overall Impression: 3
  • Reliability & Durability: 2
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 3.3 Poor
  • Users' score: 8 (79 votes)
Vox: Pathfinder 15R

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 2
These had a level of self-noise that made them unusable for me at low volumes, so the rest was irrelevant. High noise in a new unit is the sign of a lousy amp, but because of the other actual defects in the amp circuits in these individual units, I never even bothered to trying to experiemnt with the sounds and volume levels.

Overall Impression — 3
These amps are wholly consistent with the rest of the cheap Vox Chinese imports: Lovely looking, interesting circuits, cheap components and totally awful quality control. I have had the same type of problems with other Vox models (these problems are typical of cheaper Asian import amps of other brands as well). Many people love these amps, but either they are luckier than I've been in their selections, and getting a good amp should certainly not be a matter of luck! Or they have low expectations and experience with amps. I've used, bought, sold and serviced guitar amplifiers for almost forty years, so my perspective is a bit broader.

Reliability & Durability — 2
I went through three (3) sealed units in two days and all three were bad straight out of the box. The first one had almost zero tremolo depth. The second one had a very bad pot that dropped out and the third had a problem that I've forgotten. All went back and I gave up on the amp. Aside from the actual gross defects, all three were hideously noisy, even through a filtered, noise-free studio AC outlet. The problem was mainly hiss rather than hum/EMI, and there's nothing a user can do to cure that in a solid-state amp. It's just a matter of noisy, cheap components or poor circuit design. This may not be an issue to people Who play louder or don't know any better. The relative simplicity of the analog circuit suggests that actual failure of the amp is unlikely, assuming one is good to begin with, which none of these were.

Features — 6
The main appeal this amp had for me was that it had reverb and analog tremolo in a small amp. This is very appealing for low-volume playing in the home studio with noise constraints. The amp, like most of the Vox amps with the exception of the chrome-grilled modeling line, is very attractive.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I used to play on Pathfinder 15R but the sound was awful, now i have bought crate G15R and i am much more satisfied, it has better sound and clearer than pathfinder. Patfinder15R is just thrown money out of the window