Victory VX The Kraken Review
Avg Price: 1200$
Links to buy:
Pro#1: Very high-quality sound, pro-level overall quality in every detail.
Pro#2: It can be carried very easily, is lightweight, and can be brought on a plane as luggage. Small and compact.
Pro#3: Works very well with pedals.
Pro#4: Affordable price considering the quality offered.
Cons#1: The super high-quality distorted sound sacrifices a bit of the quality of the clean.
Cons#2: No midi on board like its bigger brother, The Super Kraken.
Small size, big sound!
The Victory VX The Kraken is a portable guitar amp, designed for guitarists that want a high-quality tone for Hard Rock, Metal, Progressive, Djent, and more in general for de-tuned guitars.
It is hosted in a small box that can be easily carried around, it can be connected to a different variety of cabinets (it has two 8 OHM outs and one 16 OHM ), it responds very well to pedals, and it can offer a wide range of sounds for all modern Rock and Metal categories.
As we will say further, the quality of the sound is absolutely mind-blowing despite the compact dimensions.
Two-channel/mode all-valve head
50/15/9/2 watts RMS
4 x 12AX7, 2 x 6L6 as standard
- SIZE (MM):
342(w) x 185(h) x 185(d)
8.2kg / 18lbs
- EXTRA FEATURES:
- Footswitchable gain modes ‘Gain I’ & ‘Gain II’
- Footswitchable master volumes
- ‘Bass focus’ switch
- Series effects loop
- High and low power modes
- Single-ended mode
- Power valves switchable to EL34
- Padded carry bag included
The first characteristic of this amplifier is the presence of two separate channels. Each one of them has got its dedicated volume pot and gain levels, in order to have maximum flexibility concerning the type of sound desired.
Additionally, the two channels can be controlled in high, middle and low frequencies with dedicated on-board pots.
The Channel 1 is a more British-oriented sound, more similar to Marshall Plexi, JCM900 or 800. It is ideal for Crunchy sounds, Classic and Hard Rock distortion, with a range going from Hendrix and Clapton to Whitesnake and Van Halen, passing through many other nuances.
Channel 2 is more oriented to American sounds. Here you can obtain easily sounds that remember more the Mesa Boogie Rectifier or the Mark V, but the tone is also very peculiar, and it has its true and original personality even if it can be easily identified as an American type of distortion.
The obtained sounds can easily go from Dream Theater, Alter Bridge, and Korn to more Djenty sounds, like Animals as Leaders, Periphery and Meshuggah. Absolutely fantastic and brutal!
Channel two is also particularly designed for detuned guitars. If you are 7 strings or 8 (even 9 ) strings guitarist, this amp will keep all frequencies always well-defined. You can be always sure to fit correctly in the mix while playing live with your band, even with the noisiest drummers and other guitarists on stage, your sound will be always organic, recognizable, and absolutely devastating.
For me personally, this amp produces one of the best-distorted sounds I have ever heard.
All the good frequencies are there: enough basses and highs to have aggressive rhythms, and enough middles to make your solos sing. Absolutely mind-blowing.
The dynamics and definition for each note are absolutely on point, and I have had no problems at all in playing even the fastest shred lines while not losing definition or sound quality at every passage.
The only important factor that I would like to mention is that The Kraken does not have a proper clean sound (like her sister V40 for example). This can leave you a little bit frustrated if you want to obtain a true, crystalline sound, full of headroom and punch. Channel 1 is in fact already naturally crunchy, even with a very low gain level.
To obtain a true, clean sound, it will be necessary to reduce the input volume by the volume pot on your guitar. This is a bit of a compromise, but it is also true that this amp has been tailored mostly by targeting Metal players that don’t really need super clean sounds.
The “problem” is however widely solved by its big sister, the Super Kraken.
In addition, if you need more basses, the Kraken offers you the solution. A bass-focused switch is placed right behind the amp. Depending on your needs, it will enhance or reduce the number of bass frequencies for your own purposes, giving you more chug on certain rhythm parts or obbligatos.
Effect Loops and Footswitch
Like all the Victory amplifiers, the Kraken contains an effect loop that can be easily controlled by its footswitch, as well as other parameters like the Gain/Master for both channels 1 and 2.
In addition, we can choose the power amp tubes among both 6L6 and EL34. In fact, the Kraken contains another dedicated switch that allows you to add the type of tubes you prefer for your sounds.
You may think that my opinion is influenced by the fact that I endorse Victory Amps.
This is very far from the truth. This little beast left me completely speechless when I tried it, even if then I decided to use the V40 as my main amp ( I need mostly bluesy tones).
If you are searching for great metal tones on a budget, this amp is way beyond any expectation.
Other than the rhythm (let’s tell the truth: metal guitar sounds are more or less always oriented around the same type of frequencies), the lead sounds that you can obtain with this small head are absolutely incredible. You will have at your disposal a very high, and professional quality for any purpose. This amp can easily serve the professional guitarist that plays in a metal band and tours a lot, as well as the semi-professionals playing in many types of live bands in which punchy rock and metal tones are in need.
Not to mention, the sound is absolutely devastating at high volumes in the studio as well.
Me, I am going to take one with me soon for the next live concerts!