Since the first VOX amplifier was released back in 1958, countless legends have incorporated the device into their music-making, including legendary rock and pop bands The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
In the 60 years since the amp’s inception, the much-loved amplifier has seen many transformations, developments and fine-tuning.
These changes have only added to the quality structure of the amp that musicians worldwide have fallen in love with.
In fact, VOX amps truly are some of the best in the business.
What makes VOX amps stand out?
So why did The Stones and The Beatles decide to rock VOX amps all of those years ago?
What Dick Denney, the inventor of VOX amplifiers, brought to the scene was something that defied his predecessors. He decided to emphasize the amp’s distortion, or, in other words, alternate the sound of electrical musical instruments.
Because of this idea, there came a sound quite like nothing heard before — a heavy, dirty sound that can be heard in The Beatles’ ‘Revolution’ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.’
Still today, plenty of alternative, rock and even pop bands and singers have incorporated this sound into their musical tracks.
While bands of the 60s only had access to VOX’s AC15 and AC360 amps, musicians of today have plenty more variety, including with the VOX Pathfinder 10.
The introduction of the VOX Pathfinder 10
In 2009, the Vox Pathfinder 10 was released to the music world and has since wowed both newbie musicians and virtuosos alike.
The amp has made its way into many musician’s homes, recording studios and stages since then and is well-loved for plenty of reasons.
Still, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ amp, even with the VOX Pathfinder 10.
The question then arises: Is the Vox Pathfinder 10 as stellar as people say, or should another VOX amplifier be considered for you?
Before getting into the pros and cons of this VOX amp, here are the specific features of it:
- OUTPUT POWER 10 Watts RMS 8 Ohms
- SPEAKER 1 x 6.5″ Vox Bulldog
- INPUTS 1 x Normal Input Jack
- OUTPUTS 1 x Headphone/Line Out Jack
- CONTROLS Volume, Gain, Bass, Treble, Clean/Overdrive Switch
- CIRCUITRY Solid State
- DIMENSION (W X D X H) 380 x 260 x 170 mm / 14.96 x 10.24 x 6.69 inches 4.8 kg / 10.58 lbs
KEY TAKEAWAY: The Pathfinder 10 has smaller dimensions than others from the same brand, though shares similar features.
So what is the VOX Pathfinder 10 exactly?
As previously mentioned, 50 years after the first VOX amplifier was released came the Vox Pathfinder 10 in 2009.
The Pathfinder 10 certainly has its differences from the VOX amps of the 50s and 60s but maintains the same sound and sound levels as the amps that came before it.
Of course, the fact that it has the same sound quality is imperative for those who desire good sound first and foremost.
In fact, there have been plenty of positive notes about this amp, including the following listed below.
What makes this amp good?
So the VOX Pathfinder 10 has its own specific dimensions but maintains the same sound as the oldie VOX amps.
The question is: is this amp worth purchasing?
The GOOD of the Pathfinder 10:
- Lightweight compared to other amps: At 11.88 pounds, this is the perfect amp to carry around to gigs, rehearsal halls or just around the house. Its small frame also makes it easy to fit into any kind of recording room or studio.
- Many different designs: What customers love especially about this amp is the variety of designs it comes in. For instance, customers can purchase a Pathfinder 10 that has a retro vibe reminiscent of its predecessors or even one that has a union jack sign. It comes in plenty of different colors as well.
- Great range of sound: Sound quality is the most important part of any good amp, and the Pathfinder 10 has it. Musicians can toggle between overdrive and clean while avoiding any fuzz or unwanted noise. Even more importantly, the amp includes options for toggling gain, bass and treble.
- Excellent prince compared to the competition: At less than $100, this amp is one of the most affordable amps in the market, especially for its high quality. Other amps in the same market tally well over $100 or even higher up.
- Perfect for beginners: As this amp has just 4 analog controls, it is an ideal amp for beginners. The more complicated toggles of other amps can lead to difficulty finding the right sound and be the cause of frustration for those just starting out.
KEY TAKEAWAY: The amp is lightweight, has a great sound, look and feel. Those are imperatives for anyone opting for their first amp.
The BAD of Pathfinder 10
Honestly, there’s not much that can be seen as negative with the Pathfinder 10.
Customers who have critiqued it are often higher-level musicians who may be looking for something a little more complex.
Regardless, there have been critics posted on various sites about this amp. Here are the cons that have been mentioned:
- Volume can be low: Some customers have stated that the volume of their Pathfinder 10 was too low for their tastes. These customers used the amp both in their home and during gigs. Therefore, those looking for a heavier sound may opt for a bigger amp.
- No reverb: The models before the Pathfinder 10 had a reverb button, which allowed for a more melodic sound to guitar play. This model doesn’t have one, which has been an issue for musicians looking for a specific kind of sound. Fortunately, many other VOX amplifiers of the past and present alike contain this kind of button.
- Not ideal for live shows: Due to its size and sound structure, customers playing large, live gigs found this amp did not have the power to perform loudly. The musicians performing felt their guitar was drowned out by other instruments, where they wanted the focus to remain on the guitar.
- Reports of defunct products: There have been reports from Amazon customers claiming that their Pathfinder 10 was defunct after just 30 days, though the number of instances remains low. Reasons for the amp becoming defunct included low wattage, a blown-out fuse and difficulty with the power adaptor.
- Small size: Though many customers love it for its portable size, others would prefer an amp with a large frame to fit with what they expect out of an amp. It should be noted that some of the best amps come in small sizes!
KEY TAKEAWAY: The negatives surrounding the Pathfinder 10 seem to derive from those who were looking for something else but settled on this amp. Therefore, it’s best to purchase this amp knowing that it is smaller sized, lower volume and with fewer buttons than other amps.
So, IS the VOX Pathfinder 10 worth the cost?
While the Pathfinder 10 certainly has its pros and cons, it remains a product with an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon with over 1,800 reviews, impressive when compared to many other similar amps on the popular site.
And it’s not just Amazon customers that love the amp — plenty of music critics and musicians themselves love the amp as well.
Yes, VOX amps are loved for their imprint on the music world, as well as their consistent quality over the past 60 years.
It can be rare to find that sort of consistency across musical instruments and devices, so it definitely makes VOX a standout.
The VOX Pathfinder 10 is the perfect amp for beginners who want to get into amp usage or experts who would like a small, easy amp to have at home.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Yes, it’s worth a buy! The Pathfinder 10 makes it clear why VOX amplifiers remain a hit to this day.