Those in need of a helluva portable, two-channel tube preamp for heavy tones might have found what they were looking for in the Victory Amplification The Kraken V4, a device developed in collaboration with UK’s one and only Rabea Massaad and created with heavy, progressive and extended-range overdrive tones in mind
The cool thing about The Kraken, besides its Ola-Englund-approved “chug,” is that the two channels are slightly different, with 1 bringing to the table a more vintage British-inspired gain sound, and 2 delivering a tighter bass with a more cutting midrange.
A bright switch helps you tailor the pedal to the input, while the three-band EQ helps with sculpting tasks.
The routing in this device is also interesting, opening several options through a series of extras in and out that allow you to use it as a standalone device or in “amp-through” mode, which by utilizing the effect loop of your guitar amp lets you add two new channel to your amps on top of its front end.
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All-valve signal path
1 x EC900 and 3 x CV4014 valves running at high plate voltage. These are the first pedal-format guitar preamps to feature four valves and an all-valve signal path. This is no ‘ordinary’ overdrive pedal!
Just like its namesake amp, Gain 1 is a slightly looser more ‘vintage’ British-inspired gain sound. Gain 2 is tighter in the bass with a more cutting midrange character and, of course, more drive.
The TRS jack gives you option of switching the pedal remotely. You can control on/off and also channel 1/2 with either a separate two-button latching footswitch or via a modern programmable switching unit. This means you can have the V4 Series Pedal Preamp off the floor and out of harm’s way.
Bright is a global tone control that optimises the V4 Pedal Preamp for what you’re plugging into. Amp effects loops, inputs, recording devices and so on all differ greatly, so just choose the setting that sounds best to your ears. Don’t worry if other settings sound ‘bad’. It all depends what you’re playing through!
If you’re going to be standing on it and it contains hot glass, it needs to be tough. The folded steel chassis and kick bar for the knobs means that this thing is ready for the road.
Two ways to connect
We recommend ‘Amp Through Mode’ for full functionality where you can choose to use your amp’s own front end, or the V4 Preamp via the amp effects loop. To use it as a ‘normal’ pedal or if you don’t have an effects loop, use ‘Standalone’ mode.
Live, home & studio
Put it on your pedalboard, on top of your amp or on your desktop. It’s particularly good for fly dates, or other situations when you’re not using your own amp. Just hit the FX loop return of whatever you’re using and feel right at home in no time.
Victory V4 The Kraken Pedal Preamp Three-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.