I picked up a little Vox Pathfinder 15R a while back, and I’ve just gotten around to playing it seriously. I’ve got to say, this has to be the absolute best value for an inexpensive solid state amp in existence. For less than $100 you can have an amp that doesn’t insist on crappy amp modeling, or a ton of non-useful cheesy effects. It has very decent tube amp quality foot-switchable reverb and tremolo built in, and it sounds great.
You could certainly gig with this thing, and although it only has a 1×8″ Vox Bulldog speaker in it, you can plug in an external cabinet if you want, with STELLAR results. For 15 watts, this thing gets plenty loud. It’s overdrive/boost is the best I’ve ever had in a solid state amp.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive first amp, or a small practice amp, don’t waste your money on a Peavey or a Crate or any of that garbage. Get the Vox Pathfinder 15R. You won’t regret it, and you won’t grow out of it fast. (Unless you’re a metal dude, in which case you’re on your own, because this certainly isn’t a metal amp.)
I thought I’d take a moment to discuss the merits of Pink Floyd’s two guitarists Syd Barret and David Gilmour, my two favorites, bar none.
How many bands can you say have had two of the most genius guitarists ever in their respective styles? Sure, the Yardbirds had Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, but they weren’t doing anything spectacular when they were in that band. Fleetwood Mac had Peter Green, who like Syd went nuts on LSD and left the band, but they didn’t replace him with anyone fabulous. I suppose that Metallica had Dave Mustaine in it for a while, but that’s REALLY stretching the point.
With Pink Floyd, you start with Syd Barret. There is none better than Syd at just pure guitar-as-noise-box psychedelia. (A close second would be his friend and replacement David Gilmour, not coincidentally.) Sure, Hendrix did some crazy stuff, but that’s not what he built his reputation on. Just listen to this recording of Interstellar Overdrive from 1966 or 1967, released as music for a short film in 1968. This was pre-Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and it’s a real gem.
In 1968, Syd was totally out of it mentally, having fried his noggin’ on too much LSD, so the band hired his friend David Gilmour to be in the band to be the “second” guitarist, covering Syd’s detuning-strings-till-they-fall-off-while-staring-at-the-audience style of “guitar”. It’s really quite interesting, as he basically had to mimic Syd for over a year, using the exact same guitars, amps, effects and style that Syd had been using.
It took a while for Gilmour to really release himself from being Syd II, but when he did, he did it awesome. You want guitar noise? The song Echoes is as good as anything that Barret ever did, but in a totally different bluesy style. Fast forward to 1972/73, and you have David Gilmour playing slow, bluesy, soaring lead guitar. Gone was most of the psychedelic noise making, replaced instead with what is considered some of the best solo guitar playing in the history of rock.
If you have any doubts as to that claim, listen to this version of Time from a February 20, 1972, concert just before they recorded of Dark Side of the Moon:
I think I just peed a little!
Listen to that chainsaw fuzz! That exact solo might just make me go out and get a silicon transistor Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face and a Colorsound Booster, it’s so intense and awe inspiring.
Anyway, this post was mainly to share these two Floyd vids that I found. I have the complete bootleg of the ’72 DSOTM Rainbow concert if anyone is interested.