When someone mentions Vox, the first thing that pops into minds of many is their AC30. After all, that is the amp that marked the sound of rock and roll for generations. However, Vox is known for more than just that one model. Their line of affordable solid state amps has earned them a lot of fans in the budget sector of the market. One of the best representatives of this lineup is their Vox Pathfinder 10. If you are looking for a great practice amp that brings a good tone, this is it.
Going over controls on the Vox Pathfinder 10 reveals what some of the priorities were during the design phase of this project. You get a gain knob, a button to switch from cleans to overdrive, a two-band EQ, and a volume knob. Pretty simple yet very effective. The controls are located on the top portion of the amp, just like we are used to seeing from Vox. Aside from these, you also get a headphone/line out port, which adds to the versatility of the Pathfinder 10. From a perspective of a practice amp, Vox pretty much hit the nail on the head with Pathfinder's control cluster. Easy to use, even for beginners, you are provided with all the essential tools to shape your tone properly.
The first thing you will notice when you look at the Pathfinder 10 is that it looks like a scaled down version of AC30. From a purely aesthetic point of view, this thing is a beauty. However, looks don't sell amps. What does is a great performance. With 10 Watts of power being delivered from a single 6.5-inch speaker, you are guaranteed to get the volume necessary for a solid practice session. Speaking of practicing, Vox Pathfinder 10 is one of the lighter amps in its category. While this little fact doesn't mean much to many, those who have to travel with their rig often will definitely appreciate the reduction in weight. Lastly, that line out port makes this amp a great tool when you need to record guitar tracks directly into a mixer or computer.
Vox is best known for their tube amps. However, their solid state tone is nothing to joke about either. The cleans you get with Pathfinder 10 are pretty much in line with what many expect from Vox. Sure, they are not as crisp and detailed as they are when delivered by a set of decent tubes. With that said, considering the price of the amp and its purpose, the clean channel is more than satisfactory. It is a similar situation with the overdrives. Pressing that channel toggle button introduces a very organic sounding growl. You can shape it for just about any purpose, from light overdrive to full gain distortion. All things considered, Pathfinder's performance is rather impressive.
Being able to get a legitimate Vox amp in this price range is something many guitar players definitely appreciate. Even though it is a solid state model, just the fact that it is made by Vox inspires a lot of confidence. Their quality control and decades long reputation of a top tier brand guarantee a high level of performance. This is only reinforced when you lay your hands on the amp for the first time.