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Repairing a Vox Pathfinder 15R
Old 15th September 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Repairing a Vox Pathfinder 15R

I love my Vox Pathfinder 15R but something weird happened today.

I was removing some dust round the knobs and suddenly there was a click and the treble-knob turned past the stop; so turning all around.
At this point it didn't affect the sound much yet but soon after that the bass-knob had the same problem; like they both lost the connection with the pots/like the pots came loose or something. Now the sound is gone unless I crank up the gain-knob; then there's still some sound.

I suspect it shouldn't be so hard to fix it; it seems like more of a mechanical defect, but I'm not an experienced electrician. I've been looking for some diy-repair-instructions online but haven't found much.

Can someone here give me some advice on this? I don't want to retire my Pathfinder yet.

Last edited by ErikV; 15th September 2018 at 11:14 PM.. Reason: clarification
Old 16th September 2018
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikV View Post
I love my Vox Pathfinder 15R but something weird happened today.

I was removing some dust round the knobs and suddenly there was a click and the treble-knob turned past the stop; so turning all around.
At this point it didn't affect the sound much yet but soon after that the bass-knob had the same problem; like they both lost the connection with the pots/like the pots came loose or something. Now the sound is gone unless I crank up the gain-knob; then there's still some sound.

I suspect it shouldn't be so hard to fix it; it seems like more of a mechanical defect, but I'm not an experienced electrician. I've been looking for some diy-repair-instructions online but haven't found much.

Can someone here give me some advice on this? I don't want to retire my Pathfinder yet.
Is the knob spinning on the shaft or is the shaft turning all the way around? It the latter, take it to a tech. If the former, tighten the set screw.
Old 16th September 2018
  #3
Gear Nut
 

The shaft is turning all the way around.

So that is not something easily fixed? I have soldered before and did basic repairs. I would just need clear instructions.
Old 16th September 2018
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikV View Post
The shaft is turning all the way around.

So that is not something easily fixed? I have soldered before and did basic repairs. I would just need clear instructions.
Well, basically you need to replace the broken pots. It's a pretty straightforward repair except for the fact that cheap solid state amps are generally a PITA to work on. If you're comfortable with desoldering and soldering on cheap printed circuit boards then go ahead. The big problem with most amps of that type is disassembling the amp to actually get at what needs soldering. I have not worked on that particular model, but I would expect that probably you're going to have to take all the guts out to get at the solder joints, which will probably include removing the power transistors from the chassis, in which case you'll need to be careful not to damage any mica or plastic insulators or lose the little plastic insulating washers separating said transistors from the chassis or heat sink, make sure that there's fresh heat conducting paste, etc. You'll also need to be able to source the correct pots - value, taper, and mounting. It's pretty easy to source pots for the typical Fender and Marshall tube amps - they're really common and used in many amps that people work on , build kits, mod, etc. For a little solid state Vox practice amp that isn't a common modding platform? Not so much. The good news is that the schematic is available on line. The bad news is that, while the values for the pots are given, the tapers are not. You might end up having to order parts from Vox, assuming they'll sell parts to the public. Assuming they even stock parts for that model.

The essential problem is that small solid state practice amps are not really designed to be field repairable; or even to be fixed at all. At about $120 new it was probably never intended to be serviced - if it broke during the warranty period they probably just threw it away and sent out a new one - cheaper that paying a tech to fix it, since it probably cost Vox about $20-$30 to manufacture.

Good luck!

Last edited by John Eppstein; 16th September 2018 at 08:02 PM..
Old 17th September 2018
  #5
Gear Nut
 

OK, I understand. It's a shame because for my purposes it was pretty much the perfect amp and it's not sold new anymore. There is now only a 10 Watt version without the reverb and tremelo.

I'll be checking if I can get it fixed somewhere.

Thanks.
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