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Microphone Month 4

Vox Pathfinder 15R Reviews

5.0 stars based on 20 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Yuval Fuchs

    DO NOT underestimate the size and price of this amp. I have found much of "my sound" through this little wonder no matter which guitar I plug into it or which style I am playing. This amp can even power an external cabinet and in doing so is able to shake your walls. Make no mistake, this little guy gives a lesson in humility for high-quality amps costing 10 times the price.

  • from Atlanta, GA December 6, 2012Music Background:
    Songwriter

    Liked it so much I got 3

    I use two of the 15Rs as Left and Right output from a Tonelab SE Big Blue pedal and a third 15 (non-reverb) amp gets the feed from the headphone jack. These amps have an amazingly full tone on their own, but I set them as flat as possible and get my "sounds" from the Tonelab. These faithfully reproduce the sound whether it's Vox, Marshall, Fender Mesa or something else. They keep up with most any full band situation and always amaze anyone with their volume. 15 watts never sounded this loud before.

    If you like Vox you have to find one (or more) of these. If you have no opinion of Vox and just want a really good sounding amp... do the same.

  • from Fresno December 4, 2012Music Background:
    25 years of arena bedroom Rock

    Good Value

    This is THE sound I've been searching for for well over 2 1/2 decades. I have mostly budget amps, Class A, A/B and Trannies. I play at home. I've been on a quest for quality very low volume tone so as not to upset the neighbors. The OD setting on this amp is fabulous. It is dirty, noisey and pushes my pickups into madness coupled with Boss ME50 muliti-effect OD\distortions. In ohter words, I get arena sounding quality tones at bedroom noise levels. My 1W and 5W class A amps don't really do this. Their nice, but they don't get dirty and nasty the way the Vox Pathfinder does. I'm looking for another to match stereo. I have 10W version fed through headphones into 4X12 Cab with Warehouse speakers. I have 2 Marshalls, one 12W tranny and the other 50W valvestate. Niether of those sounds as good as the Vox IMO. And I didn't think I could find this quality sound outside of a Marshall. It's cheap. It's dirty and does what it sets out to do.

  • from Greenwood, Missouri July 18, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist / Band

    A Practice Amp for Tone Junkies

    This little amp is incredible. I was looking for something to use for practice and rehearsal as my tube amps are just way too loud and heavy to cart around for those purposes. However, I did not want a digital or modeling amp. I have nothing against them and have heard a lot of great players using digital amps, they are just not my forte and I can never seem to dial in the kind of tone others are capable of. After reading and watching some great reviews of the Pathfinder 15r I contacted my sales rep Andy and purchased a “Demo” model which saved me an additional 10% over the already ridiculously low price. Seriously, I’ve spent more on dinner and a movie with my wife.

    Let me get to the point, this amp is everything positive you may have read or heard. It plays and responds very tube-like and the sound quality is fantastic. There are a plethora of different tones you can dial in by adjusting the volume, gain, treble and bass which are so typically Vox. It is very dynamic and responds well to changes in the volume on your guitar. The only dislike I have is the Boost feature. To my ears it is not very pleasing and sounds fuzzy with the gain set high. However, keep the gain between 10-11 o’clock and you’ve got a great facsimile of the coveted Vox “Top Boost” channel. The tremolo and reverb sound very good, much like my AC15C1 and it also plays very well with my Fulldrive II in front of it.

    I have read some concerns with the volume not being enough for rehearsal situations and the 8” speaker not having enough range. All I can say is the individuals with those concerns must have vast practice spaces which allow them to rehearse at gig volumes. I can tell you this little amp cranks and puts out a great bottom end. I cannot imagine having any volume or low end issues while rehearsing at reasonable levels with your band mates; unless you’re playing in the style of Amon Amarth, in which case you would not be interested in this amp in the first place. This is not a Metal amp. If your style runs to the heavy hot humbucker pinch harmonics flying arpeggios dive bombs and squeals, you need to look at a quality digital / modeling amp.

    However, if like me you are a tube/tone junky and are in the market for a great little amp for practice or rehearsals that will take your favorite pedals, plays and responds like your favorite valve amp and is easy to cart around, the Pathfinder 15r will not disappoint.

  • from blk mtn. nc June 14, 2012

    vox pathfinder

    You need to get this amp if you want 1960s sound. This amp can reproduce 60s Beatles, Byrds, or any 1960s sounds. Best 1960s CLEAN spring sound reverb I've ever heard. You had better get this amp while it is still available to buy. Like it so good I bought 3 for my recording studio.

  • from Browning, IL USA March 29, 2012Music Background:
    Classic Rock and Country player of 23 years

    little amp BIG SOUND AND FEATURES

    Have you ever had an amp that you didn't realize was your favorite amp until after you traded it off because it didn't have a big enough speaker, enough power or enough features. I had a Peavey Backstage 30 amp and kicked myself every day for getting rid of it til now and it had a 10" speaker. This little baby may only have an 8" speaker but the sound and volume this thing puts out is ubelievable until you try one out and hear it for yourself. I'm with the Sweetwater Advice guy, don't be fooled by it's size! No, it doesn't have an effects loop, but its LQQKS and SOUND and FEATURES sells itself. I went in to a local music store and BAM! This thing looked so good that I had to try it out. I didn't have my check book with me or I would have walked out of the music store with it that day. I went back the very next day and it was still there. After playing through it for about 10 minutes with my own guitar, I was hooked. The cosmetics just blew me away and the clean channel is just awesome. Crisp and sustain, unlike digital modeling amps that when you hit a note it rings for a couple seconds and then falls off the face of the earth. The distortion, to me, sounds like a tube amp, I kid you not. Very good build quality. A true spring reverb unit inside the amp chassis. The music store owner didn't even know that it had all the features in the back of it. Line out for recording or hooking up to a slave amp or PA. Speaker out which shuts off the internal speaker and a headphone jack plus a footswitch jack for the boost and oh yeah, tremolo functions. I can't say enough about this little jewel. I don't think I have to LQQK any further for a replacement for the ole' Backstage 30 that I had years ago. Go try it out and see for yourself and you'll end up buying the VOX PATHFINDER 15R. LOVE IT!

  • from Booneville, MS September 15, 2011

    Amazing Lead Tones!

    I've been using this little amp for years now and WOW is all I can say! It's just an amazing piece of gear. I've got a Vox AC30 with Celestion Greenbacks and I still prefer this amp over that one for its lead tones. Turn the gain all the way up and close mic it with a Beta 57 and ENJOY! Think Brian May's solo tone on "We Will Rock You." I've also used it to record distorted vocals, Rhodes Stage Piano MK II, Wurlitzer 200A, bass, and anything else I can think of. It simply shines on everything.

  • from North Dakota, USA July 16, 2011Music Background:
    playing guitar for 22 years

    One Fine lil' Amp

    This is my first Vox purchase. This amp offers an outstanding value. You get all the classic Vox vibe for a price that seems too low to be true. I use this amp with all my guitars: Fenders, Gibsons and Ibanez. I dont think you can do any better with this amp in this price point . . .in fact I know you cant.

    Sweetwater offered super fast shipping and a two year warranty. If your looking for a small practice amp that thinks he's not this is the one to get.

  • from Dallas, TX January 25, 2011Music Background:
    hobbyist/hack

    Inexpensive and sounds great

    II wanted a simple, non-modeling amp that sounded good and was inexpensive. That's exactly what I got. The spring reverb and tremolo are useful additions and it's very well built. The boost muddies things up a little, but since I never use that feature, it's not an issue. This is an excellent amp for not a lot of scratch.

  • from Corpus Christi, TX USA November 16, 2010Music Background:
    Performing professional

    An interesting and capable box

    I ordered this '15R from Sweetwater to replace the '15 (no reverb) I sold. This solid-state amp sounds "Voxy". I read all over the web guys are stuffing ten-inch speakers into them. Why bother? The amp itself is so small and light it can be treated as a head if one is so inclined. The unbalanced line out is just fine. The treb and bass controls can give mids by rolling both back a bit and goosing the volume. The reverb is not full-on surf. Use a Nanoverb for that. The trem is decent, too. The amp's sound is just great. This amp is a bit too much for a bedroom practice rig, which makes it a tweener. In my opinion, the eight-inch speaker is perfectly matched to the amp and the physical cabinet. Records well; silent; well-mannered dynamics. It's great by itself, and tolerates a tube mic preamp with careful adjustment of the gain control. Overall, a very nice little package. It blows the doors off ANY of the current cheapie single-ended tube combos regardless of which tube. This thing rocks. The eight-inch speaker is particularly well-voiced, and gets along with other instruments in the mix live. Plenty of the low end that counts, and almost zero mud. Keep in mind that SWR makes a high-end bass cabinet that uses eight eight-inch speakers. This little box packs a lot of utility and great sound. Y'all might want to try it.

  • from Corpus Christi October 24, 2010Music Background:
    Pro bassist 40+ years except when I was a design engineer.

    I play with deF FEET

    For $120, you cannot do better, unless you have a weird uncle and are willing to go there. For under $500 bucks, this thing rocks, and I highly recommend it.

  • from Lafayette NJ October 18, 2010Music Background:
    Part time pro musician and recording engineer.

    Best amp dollar for dollar I have ever had.

    I bought a Vox Pathfinder about four years ago. I planned on using it at home for recording and at practice. Within a few weeks I was using it on gigs on a regular basis patching the "Line Out" through a direct box so I can send a signal to the PA for a little additional balance. I just played a job this weekend in a large catering hall/banquet room for about two hundred people with my band. Even after four years of constant week end use this thing sounds great and does an excellent job. I usually play an Epiphone Sheraton or a Fender Strat but I just bought an Ibanez Artcore AF75 big body electric hollow body for a deeper more jazz oriented sound and the Pathfinder did a good job giving me a nice mellow tone.
    The only complaints I have are that the power cord is too short. If you have the amp on top of another cabinet the power cord won't even reach the floor to get into a power strip and you will need an extension cord. The other complaint is that the amp does not have (but needs) corner covers. The corners easily damage on this amp. After a few months of using it live the corners were getting damaged so I bought some corner covers at Home Depot that look good and do the job. Vox should include them. Otherwise this amp is the best dollar for dollar amp I have ever owned in my 35 plus years of playing professionally. The sound is very smooth and deep and most of all reliable.

  • from Austin, TX July 31, 2009Music Background:
    Worship Leader, Live Sound Engineer

    Great little amp. Really opens up with ext cab!

    I love this little amp. On it's own it's a great apartment/practice amp that can sound really sweet at those levels.

    Take it to band practice, plug into an extension cab (I'm currently using a 1x12) and it really opens up. Through a bigger and more efficient speaker it retains the sweetness, but gains a lot of tonal depth and projection, and is plenty loud in my usual rehearsal space.

    The reverb could be a little richer/deeper...but given the value Vox packs into this little amp, I'm not going to complain one bit!

  • from Elizabethton,TN. January 18, 2009Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Vox pathfinder R

    Best amp ever!I am not a good player,but this amp is killer!!I'll keep this puppy forever!!

  • from altina September 20, 2008Music Background:
    rocker

    awesome little amp

    I have ben playing for about 1 year. It is realy loud and you can pick weather the sound is clean or dirty.If you can play Iron Man on it.

    p.s.YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • from College Park, MD April 7, 2008Music Background:
    Former club player, have played guitar and bass for over 40 years

    VOX Pathfinder 15R

    This amp will change the way you think of solid-state amps. Sounds real good in just about all modes. Make sure you get the optional footswitch. I've never owned any guitar amp that didn't have tubes. The snob appeal has ended. It's very easy to carry, the reverb is nice. I taught a History of the Blues class at BCC High School in Bethesda MD. with it and used a lap steel and a Tele and it filled the large classroom with sound just fine. Don't think it would work over a drummer but that's what they make mics for. It's made in Viet Nam. They made it well.

  • from fairport, new york August 24, 2012Music Background:
    hobbyist

    great little amp

    just got my amp today,best sound better than my fender mustang 1, and as good as my marshall 15 watt with revb. great service from sw,and fex exi.seem more like a 30 watt amp then 15 watts. good job vox.

  • from Gulf Coast August 17, 2012Music Background:
    Weekend Warrior

    Gig Saver

    My Fender Deville had been acting funny so I brought my Pathfinder along just in case. One song into the gig and the Deville fries! Put the Pathfinder on the amp stand with an SM57 in front of it and press on with the gig. Got more comments on how good my guitar sounded than ever before...whodda thunk it! Lacks a bit in the low end cause of the small speaker but overall sound quality is superb for what it is. Honestly, I am considering buying another and running them in stereo.

  • from March 23, 2012

    Outstanding!

    Buy one. that's all i have to say is buy one. unreal tone for a 15 watt solid state amp. much louder than one would expect. iv been playing guitar for 20 years and have never heard a solid state amp sound like this. very handy to have around if you dont want to haul around your big amp to practice or whatever.

  • from Seattle, Wa. October 3, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist/Sometimes Teacher

    Huge bang for the buck!

    I had read numerous great reviews about this amp and was in need of a smaller low watt combo, so I decided to give the Pathfinder a try. I was impressed right away with the classic Vox styling/looks of this amp, nothing cheap looking or feeling about it at all. Soundwise, I was also impressed right away- to me, this amp sounds like a mini AC30 despite it being solid state. It has a very tubelike feel/response and is very dynamic/touch sensitive. All the controls are very interactive, many different sounds to be had. Sweet Voxey cleans and the overdrive provides great crunch. The only things I didn't care for so much are the reverb (which gets very tinny sounding anywhere past 9 'o clock), and the boost button which adds loads of gain and sounds like typical solid state distortion. Without the boost engaged though, the overdrive is very good/AC30 sounding. Oh, and the onboard tremolo is excellent and it takes pedals really well. I run it in tandem sometimes with my 70's Vibro Champ, very sweet sounding duo. Despite its few flaws, this is a terrific little amp and an absolute no brainer for the price- I imagine it would be quite sought after if it was ever discontinued, so go grab one now!

  • from Springfield, IL December 1, 2004

    Best -Kept Secret !!

    This little jewel is the best-kept secret out there. For a very reasonable price, you get an amp that sounds wonderful, has great features, is so lightweight and portable , and, with the use of an external cabinet, is very sufficient for playing small-to-moderate-venue gigs. That's exactly what I'm doing with mine, and the guys in my band can hardly believe it! I simply remind them, "Sure, it's only 15 watts, but remember, these are VOX watts..." Awesome amp!!

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