This is the pedal that intrigued me and enabled me to begin the search about preamps. The Victory V4 the Kraken is the implementation of a great innovative idea that addresses the needs of those having a good (or great) clean amp who have sailed for the never-ending search of the perfect overdrive/distortion pedal to match that amp. The Kraken is a tube preamp that can be used as a pedal in front of the amp. There have been numerous tube overdrive pedals and numerous tube preamps, as well over the decades so what’s so different about the The Kraken and the Victory V4 pedals in general?
That’s the 4-cable method that The Kraken utilizes in order to satisfy the needs that were mentioned above. How is that possible? A video on the internet will give you step by step instructions about the connections so I’m only going to explain practically what happens. When you bypass the pedal, you are using the clean (or dirty) channel of your amp (that’s the preamp of your amp), while when engaging it, your amp’s clean channel (once again that’s the preamp, either clean or dirty) is bypassed and pedal is going straight to the power amp of your amp.
The Kraken is a 2 channel preamp, and the 2 channels are not identical at all. The 1st channel has a modern British approach with many rumors suggesting that it’s inspired from the legendary JCM 900. It is a low gain to medium gain drive which is as good at crunch as it is in overdrive. Moreover it can be boosted really well, making it more aggressive.
The second channel is rumored to be inspired from the 5150. It is a hi-gain channel capable of delivering enough drive either for Rock or Metal. Be aware that this is not a hi-gain pedal and does not behave as such. This is a hi-gain preamp that has the headroom, aggressiveness and feel of a tube amp. A hi-gain pedal will always sound fizzy and compressed no matter how good a clean channel of an amp is. With a good preamp though, and The Kraken is one of them, you will never have this “problem” again.
The Kraken also has a BRIGHT switch which is mainly used to make a good match with a bright or very bright power amp (or when used in front of the amp). It cuts many frequencies though, so the BRIGHT switch remained at 0 for the tone capture.
The tone captures for the Victory V4 The Kraken include:
WARNING: Because the tone capture occurred while the device was still on version 1.4 there is a volume rise when importing the presets using the software, that goes away after 1 second or less. Be advised that if that volume rise continues sometimes, this is easily fixed by restarting your device (just turn off and turn on again). What causes this remains unknown but it will not give you trouble when playing or switching between presets.
SPECS TAKEN FROM THE INTERNET (Usually from the manufacturer’s page):
Format: Two-mode all-valve pedal preamp
Power: 12V DC / 800mA minimum. DC adapter supplied
Valves: 1 x EC900, 3 x CV4014
Size: 225(w) x 140(h) x 79mm(d) inc. feet & knobs
Weight: 1.65kg / 3.6lbs