Finding a decent practice bass amp is not as easy as it sounds. There are many models to choose from, but most of them are mediocre at best. Because of this, it is worth turning to brands such as Vox for help. Vox Pathfinder is among the best bass amps in its category. Packed in that recognizable Vox design, you simply know that you are dealing with a true performer.
In that standard Vox manner, the control cluster on this amplifier is pretty simple. Vox folks generally don’t like to complicate things, especially with smaller amps such as this one. Going left to right, we first see a drive knob that highlights the overall nature of the Pathfinder. It’s a small amp, but one that packs a mean punch. Up next comes a bright button followed by a two-band EQ section and finally a volume knob. At this point, you are probably wondering just how much you can really do with limited controls like the ones found on this amp. Truth is that this basic layout is more than enough to dial in a pretty wicked tone. Finesse may not be something Pathfinder does best, however it compensates with tone quality.
The core of Vox Pathfinder is its set of two 5-inch Vox Bulldog speakers. With the overall power output of some 10 Watts, these speakers are geared towards a pretty powerful bass tone. Vox has managed to squeeze out a pretty decent lower range out of a 5-inch speaker, and that is definitely not an easy thing to do. Overall, the biggest advantage of this amp is its compact size combined with a decent performance and an affordable price. There are no bells and whistles, no complex features. Vox aimed for a raw bass experience and that is exactly what the Pathfinder offers. Unless you expect to gig with this amp, chances are you will love its simple nature.
Practice amps are usually delivering bare bones performance. Especially if they are affordable. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Vox Pathfinder we are looking at here. On the contrary, this small box packs a pretty decent punch. So much so that you many like to use it for recording, both at home and in the studio. Unfortunately, that is pretty much the extent of its application. You can maybe use it as a studio rig for practice, but that is more or less it. However, considering the price tag this thing comes with, you can’t really expect much more. The most important thing is that the range Pathfinder offers gives you a lot of options, even though it features a rather limiting two-band EQ.
Practice bass amps are numerous, to say the least. However, it takes an experienced touch by a brand such as Vox to really push this class of amps to a whole new level. Simple and effective, Vox Pathfinder represents a great solution for those who need a capable practice rig as well as a recording platform. For such a basic amp, Pathfinder works great with all kinds of bass guitars.