In its short history, Victory has become one of the UK's leading guitar amplifier brands. Known for its portable lunchbox-style amp heads, the company entered the stompbox market in 2018 with its V4 series of preamp pedals - to much acclaim. Fast-forward a couple of years later, and Victory has bolstered its V4 lineup with 'The Copper' - based on the popular AC-style amplifier of the same name.
The V4 Design
Taking the sounds of its most popular amp head designs, Victory's fully-analogue and valve-driven V4 stompboxes from can convincingly emulate the tones of their full-fledged counterparts. Powered by three CV4014 valves and a single EC900, that genuine tube amp feel and sound is precisely conveyed.
Boasting two channels and multiple controls for flexible tone-shaping, a Victory V4 preamp pedal can become the centrepiece of your guitar rig. Enclosed within compact steel chassis', you can easily mount these potent-sounding powerhouses to your pedalboard so that your core amp tones are quite literally at your feet!
Addictive AC-Style Tones!
Victory's 'The Copper' preamp pedal is just one of the several V4 models available, but this unit is unique for capturing the character of legendary AC-style amps from the past - with some extra hot-rodded flavour! Chiming EL84 cleans, expressive mid-gain sweetness and rich classic rock roar are packed into this pedal - for exceptional all-valve overdrive.
In a first for the V4 series too, the Copper has a treble boost circuit and tone control. These are perfect for tweaking your sound on-the-fly with, especially as the treble boost is footswitchable! The V4 preamp's dedicated gain control has a wide sweep as well, making it easy to dial-in tones that span from skinny British '60s pop jangle through to thick, bullish blues.
Much like the full-sized amp version of 'The Copper', the V4 preamp pedal features a similar control-set for excellent versatility. With a typical 3-band EQ section, the V4 Copper also boasts a 'bass mode' switch that allows you to tailor the low-end reponse. This means that if you're using the pedal in conjunction with a muddy-sounding amplifier, you can tighten your sound via this thoughtful appointment.
Multiple Routing Possibilities
The most noteworthy aspect of the V4's design is its ability to be used in two particular ways. The most simple method is to plug 'The Copper' directly into the front-end of your amp, much like a conventional overdrive unit. Victory refer to this as 'Standalone Mode'.
While you can achieve great results that way, you can take full advantage of the pedal by routing it through your existing amplifiers's effects loop. Bypassing your amp's preamp stage, you can connect the unit straight to the power section via the effects loop return. Routed this way, when the pedal is disengaged you’re basically using your amp as normal, but when you turn the pedal on you bypass its preamp. This will give your amplifier an almost entirely new voice, character and feel - transforming the sound of your rig as a whole. This is referred to as ‘Amp Through Mode’. Here's a more concise explanation of how this works:
- Amp Through Mode utilises the effects loop of a guitar amp.
- When the pedal is ON, you’re bypassing your amp’s front-end.
- When the pedal is OFF, you’re plugged into your amp as normal.
Another feature that is worthy of note is the Remote Switch input at the side of the chassis. This allows you to flick between the V4's standard and treble boost channels with a device like a pedal switcher, via a TRS cable. You can also turn the unit on/off thanks to the Remote Switch functionality, meaning that you can almost fully control the Victory V4 Copper preamp with an external device.
- Treble Boost - Designed to be like a gain boost, this treble boost circuit helps to push the V4’s front-end to create creamy valve overdrive and sustain. Bypass (on/off) is switchable remotely too.
- Bass Mode Switch - Perfect for tightening your sound. There are three positions, designed as a global setting to best match the V4 Pedal Preamp to your amp.
- Two Independent Volumes - Set the output levels of each mode independently to taste.
- 3-Band EQ - Powerful bass, middle and treble controls. These also have a significant effect on the gain character and drive levels – just like in any valve guitar amp.
- Protective Rail - Protection for the knobs when you’re stomping.
- Connection Jacks - Clearly labelled so there is no confusion.
- Power Inlet Jack - 12V DC, 800mA minimum. There are four valves, so they need plenty of current! Adapter supplied.
- Valves: 1 x EC900, 3 x CV4014
- Features: Steel chassis, footswitchable treble boost, remote TRS switching option
- Power: 12V DC / 800mA minimum, DC adapter supplied
- Size: 225(w) x 140(h) x 79mm(d) inc. feet & knobs
- Weight: 1.65kg (3.6lbs)