In its short history, Victory has become one of the UK's leading amplifier brands. Known for its portable lunchbox-style amp heads, the forward-thinking company has made its first step into the pedal world, with its V4 series of preamp pedals.
The V4 Design
Taking the core sounds of its most popular amp head designs, these fully-analogue, valve-driven stompboxes from Victory can convincingly emulate their full-fledged counterparts. Powered by three CV4014 valves and a single EC900, that genuine tube amp feel and sound is captured.
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 sounds are literally at your feet!
Release the Kraken!
The V4 Kraken Preamp pedal is just one of the V4 models on offer from Victory, but is no doubt the most gnarly-sounding. Delivering the crushing high-gain tone of its bigger brother, you can turn your existing amp into a fire-breathing, modern metal machine.
With a tight low-end response, the V4 Kraken pedal will accentuate your picking attack to ensure a dynamic and immediate feel. Developed with Rabea Massaad (guitarist of Toska and Dorje), the heavy, percussive tones synonymous with his distinctive playing style can be attained easily, thanks to this incredible pedal.
Much like the amp version of the Kraken, the V4 Preamp pedal features a similar control set for excellent versatility. With a typical 3-band EQ section, the V4 Kraken also boasts a bright switch to tailor the top end frequencies. This means that if you're using the pedal in conjunction with a dark-sounding amplifier, you can compensate with this thoughtful addition.
With the ability to switch between two channels via a dedicated footswitch, you can set the amount of gain for each of these modes with the Vol 1 and 2 knobs. Giving you two separate voices, when running into a clean amplifier you can essentially create a 3-channel amp, with clean, rhythm and lead sounds. You can also control the volumes of these modes via the Master 1 and 2 controls, meaning that you can set one of them louder than the other for a solo boost.
Speaking of amplifiers, the most noteworthy aspect of the V4's design is its ability to be used in two particular manners. The most simple way to setup the V4 Kraken Preamp pedal is to plug it 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 effect loop section. Bypassing you amp's preamp section, 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 your amp’s 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 as ‘Amp Through Mode’.
The jacks at the rear of the enclosure are clearly marked, to make it easy for you to set up the unit in 'Standalone' or 'Amp Through' modes.
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 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 V4 Kraken Preamp with an external device.
Here's what Victory says about the V4 Kraken Preamp Pedal:
Two Gain Modes
Vol 1 and Vol 2 are lower and higher gain modes. They can be switched from the top panel or via the ‘remote’ TRS jack on the side of the pedal. Bypass (on/off) is switchable remotely too.
Three positions, designed as a global setting to best match the V4 Pedal Preamp to your amp, because effects loops and amp front ends differ dramatically. Choose the one that sounds best.
Two Master Volumes
Set the output levels of each mode independently, to taste. Set to zero before turning on!
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.
Protection for the knobs when you’re stomping.
Clearly labelled so there is no confusion.
Power Inlet Jack
12V DC, 800mA minimum. There are four valves, so we need plenty of current! Adapter supplied.
Amp Through Mode
- 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.
You are adding two new ‘channels’ to your amp that are independent from your amp’s own front end. Imagine if you could feed the power section of a Fender Twin, for example, with the front end of a Countess, Sheriff or Kraken. Your single-channel workhorse becomes a three-channel monster. No FX loop? Use Standalone Mode and go straight in the front.
- Valves: 1 x EC900, 3 x CV4014
- Features: Steel chassis, 2 switchable gain modes, 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)