Victory V40

Name: Victory V40

Website: https://www.victoryamps.com/v40-the-duchess

Price: 999£ incl VAT

Owners: https://www.victoryamps.com

Overall Rank: 4,5 out of 5

Victory V40 is a single channel head. It’s a portable and lightweight amplifier with an incredible huge and warm clean sound. It is responsive to touch and full of dynamics.

Features and Specifications

  1. Format: Single channel head
  2. Power: 42 Watts,
  3. Low Power: 7 Watts,
  4. High Power Single-Ended: 1.5 Watts,
  5. Low Power Single-Ended: 0.5 Watts
  6. Valves: 3 x 12AX7, 2 x EL34 as standardSize (mm): 342(w) x 185(h) x 185(d) including handle, feet & controls
  7. Weight: 8.2kg / 18.1lbs
  8. Extra features: Two-position Voice switch
  • Mid Kick switch
  • Footswitchable digital reverb with hard bypass option
  • Series effects loop with hard bypass
  • Power valves switchable to 6L6Single-ended mode
  • Skeletonised metal case with rubber handle
  • Padded carry bag included
  • Single-button foot switch for reverb on/off included

The good and the bad

 

The Good:

PRO #1: Lightweight, easy to carry, simple to use.

PRO #2 : Incredible clean sounds, it works very well with the pedal, incredible headroom and natural compression. It sounds very transparent and it will naturally exalt the tone of your guitar and your pedals while adding rich character to your sound.

PRO #3: Possibility to switch the power, digital reverb included.

The Bad:

CON #1 It doesn’t forgive sloppy playing.

CON #2 You have no overdrive, nor distortion. Just beautiful clean tone.

Small beast, huge sound

 

I started to use this amp in 2018. I must admit it before starting this review: I’m in love with it.

I’ll try to be as sharp as possible, also because I officially endorse Victory Amps ( and I couldn’t be happier about it), but being very honest, you’ve to make a huge effort to find something bad in this little amp. It just sounds great.

As you can see in the specifics, it’s a single channel amp with volume and master, treble, middle and bass controls.

You also have two interesting footswitch I’ll talk about in a while.

As told already, the sound is huge and full of headroom, considering the dimensions of this small beast.

Easy to use

The thing I really love about this amp is its spartan approach: everything is made in function of the low weight and the portability while having an incredible and rich tone at the same time.

In fact, I’ve tried many small/portable amps back in the days. Despite the big advantage given by the fact that carrying around a small amp is very practical ( and healthy for your back), the tone was all the time sacrificed in function of the lightweight.

The good thing about this amp is that you’ve the advantage of the lightweight but you don’t sacrifice your tone at all. On the contrary, you’ve a perfect working machine that will always respond very well to your playing nuances and the character of your guitars and pedals.

As extra features, you’ve a two-position voice switch, which changes the V40’s character and tone.

Voice 1 is centered more on the early 60s ‘blackface’ tone; Voice 2 is more aggressive, evoking the warm sounds of the 1950s.

A small switch called ‘mid kick’ adds extra gain in the mid range, to give more punch and tone to your solos.

There’s also a digital reverb with a front-panel level control and on/off switch.

This is what you have on the back panel: a series effects loop, switchable bias to take EL34 and 6L6 valves, a single-ended mode with a switch to even out the wear on both valves, and a couple of defeat switches that remove the reverb and the effects loop if needed. You also have the speaker outputs to plug to your favorite cabs.

You can play anything from Blues roots to Rock’n’Roll, passing by Jazz, Funk/Soul/R’N’B and more!

Plus: it is very transparent with all pedals

The range of tones you can cover is  wide. You can go from bluesy, rich warm clean tones ’till some nice over driven R’N’R vibe if you turn on the volume.

About this last point I however have some reserve: it is rare to have possibility to squeeze and amp like that nowadays, so you’ll be most probably forced to have good pedals to obtain your overdrives and distortions… But, who cares? It honestly sounds very good, this amp is a true pedal swallowing machine and practically EVERY guitar player still uses pedals, so you can sleep tight. The good news is that this amp will accept and exalt the tone of any (good) pedal out there and this is not something you can always take for granted.

I tried this amp in many situations already: Jazz gigs, with a Blues trio, even with my Metal band.

The sound is all the time incredibly huge and rich.

A very good idea I’ll try during the next months is using Victory preamp pedals into the V40to expand my tonal range. By that moment, it’s like you have many amps and tone combinations in an all-in-one solution and I’ve to admit that this possibility intrigues me a lot.

Who is this amp made for ?

 

I would advise this amp to touring and gigging musicians who want a reasonable priced, solid and portable working machine.

Rarely this amp will leave you upset during live gigs, and despite there are many other little portable heads out there, its competitors are quite behind, due the fact that rarely you will have that huge sound concentrated in such a small amp.

It’s also true that the versatility of the amp itself it’s quite limited. It is not your amp if you’re searching for a machine with different sounds in it. The V40 is an amp made to have zero compromises. Just a great warm basic tone that you can enrich with your favorite pedals. Usually, when you’ve the overdrive section in these kinds of little heads, you’re forced to sacrifice the clean sound a bit in favor of the distortion. You can’t have everything, but you can find the right strategies to sort it out. It’s however true that in most cases, even if you have an amp with an overdrive channel, you most probably will use pedals anyway, so why bother?

If I still didn’t repeat that much already, the very good thing about the V40 is its incredible tone. I strongly invite you to give it a try: you won’t be upset.

 

Conclusion

 

As you can see I can’t be neutral when I talk about this amp; the reason is that it just sounds great.

So if you’re a maniac of the old warm pure clean 50′ and 60′ fenderish tones, this amp will do its dirty job in the best possible way.

Just to resume:

  • The V40 is the amp for you if you’re searching for a high quality small amp at a very reasonable price and you’ve good pedals to work with.
  • It’s not your amp if you’re searching for an amp with multiple sounds directly incorporated in a single head.

That’s all for now folks!!

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Ignazio

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