Red Dog Music | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
Vox Pathfinder 15R: hands-on review
I’ll start with the conclusion: the Vox Pathfinder 15R is a great little amp. There. Said it. It just sounds good. And I don’t mean that it sounds good for the price (which, of course, it does), but I mean it just plain old sounds good. Don’t discount this wee solid state beauty as something for just beginners, or for corner of the bedroom practice.
If you’re looking for your first amp, or for something for the corner of the bedroom, you definitely need to give the Vox Pathfinder 15R a try. However, if you already have your perfect valve combo and are on the lookout for something to give you some more tones, don’t be fooled by the price of this little thing. It rocks. And countrys. And jazzes.
Yes, it’s solid state, so the overdrive can get a bit grainy at points, but you’d be surprised by how good it is. With gain and volume controls, as well as a gain boost button, you can get the amount of dirt you want at the volume you want. Treble and bass EQ controls let you dial in the tone you want and, on a wee amp like this, you don’t really miss a ‘mid’ control.
The Vox Pathfinder 15R is also surprisingly loud and, if you find the low-end extension of the 8″ speaker limiting, the amp has an output for an extension speaker cabinet if you need, as well as line and headphone outputs.
The real plus points for this amp though are the built in reverb and tremolo. The reverb is nice enough, more functional than studio quality or classic Fender spring, but having the tremolo onboard an amp in this price range is fantastic. You can go from very subtle to provide that hint of movement or shimmer, or go to something really a lot more obvious. There is also a jack socket for connecting a footswtich to remotely control the gain boost and tremolo functions.
Playing this with a Fender Baja Tele, all the sounds I wanted were there, from twang to Blues Explosion crunch and beyond, and I spent far too long playing about with it. And all of this for under £90. You really can’t go far wrong.
To wrap up then: fantastic wee amp. If you buy a Vox pathfinder 15R, will you still lust after that tweed-wrapped boutique combo? Yes, you will, but you might find yourself thinking about it less often than you might think once you hit that first string…
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