In search of a new and fresh tone for my guitar, which I do every 5 years or so, I landed on the Kraken series from Victory. To try the tone I decided to purchase a second hand Victory V4 Kraken preamp pedal. This was a very good start to see if the more modern would fit my playing
This pedal had to be connected to the return of my amp head. And what a nice and great sound this produced. The only downside was that it did not have a clean channel. So, I sold this for the price I bought it for and decided to order the VX-100 Super Kraken, including a clean channel. And much more.
Victory’s VX100 The Super Kraken is evolved from the award winning Compact Series VX The Kraken, developed with Rabea Massaad. This is a very nice amp, however, also not with a clean channel.
Like Victory states it: “The Kraken has morphed into an even more powerful beast via 100 massive watts of 6L6 power. You still get the Brit-inspired Gain I channel. You still get the colossal smack of Gain II’s US grind… but now there’s a whole new footswitchable clean mode, plus a footswitchable Preamp Focus function to add a little juice and cut to any and all modes. There’s also a preset Bass Focus option in the power section, footswitchable FX loop, assignable/ footswitchable dual master volumes… plus a useful 30-watt low-power mode for when you don’t need to blow the roof off. And, of course, MIDI switching capability.”
So, here are my criteria for an amp head: the size should not be too big or too heavy. Operating it should be easy. It needs a clean channel and a distorted channel and preferably reverb. Midi switching is essential. And the sound should be modern. So the EVH 5150 III 50 watt stealth or the VX-100 were the candidates. The EVH was difficult to obtain in January 2021 and I was able to obtain a Super Kraken with pre Brexit pricing.
The flexibility of the Super Kraken is Mega. Also terms of Tone. Victory’s Chief Designer Martin Kidd posted in the Victory Amp Owners club on Facebook the following explanation (11 May 2021):
“Hi all out there in Victory Land. I just thought I would write a quick post re the Preamp Focus on the VX100, as people have been asking me how it works and whether it’s a copy of a TS9 circuit etc.
It’s a high voltage MOSFET circuit that behaves much like and extra valve stage at the amp’s input. There’s a lot of bass and treble rolled off in this circuit, giving very similar results to those achieved when using your favourite green overdrive pedal; however, the resulting sound is a combination of the MOSFET circuit pushing the preamp in the VX100, as opposed to the sound being generated entirely in the MOSFET circuit itself.
The VX100 has a low power mode, as many of you know, and this was added for those who like to push the amp’s output stage harder and who like a more compressed sound that might suit other styles of rock and metal other than the “djent” style of playing, with a very sharp attack and tight low end. The Preamp Focus, depending on various things like your pickup output, technique and string gauges etc., can push the first valve stage harder when using the Low Power mode; sometimes giving a slightly softer feel. If you need the faster attack and headroom of the High Power mode; stick with High Power mode and use your master volume controls for lower volumes. If you want the added compression or your pickups have a more modest output, perhaps; Low Power may well work for you, in conjunction with the Preamp Focus. These modes, however (Preamp Focus and Low Power), are features that enable the end user to elicit a different tone and feel; rather than purely reduced volume. I hope this clarifies things and answers any questions you might have.”
Now, I am still discovering the VX100, but so far, after a couple of months, it’s a very versatile and reliable amp.