Victory VX100 - The Super Kraken

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Meeotch, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    I got the Invective back up and running so I did a little a/b between that and the the SK.

    Clean:
    Both have excellent cleans, but they’re significantly different. I tested using both my Strandberg Fusion and my Fender John Mayer Strat. The Invective is darker and has more low end while the SK is a bit more percussive, stringy, and sparkly. I’d say the SK is a bit more toward a Fender style clean but not quite. I could see myself preferring one or the other depending on the day. At home the extra low end is nice but I suspect it would have to be managed for live use.

    Crunch:
    My ideal crunch channel is in Marshall territory. Here, the Invective comes up short while the SK excels. The Invective has more gain, even with the gain dialed back to around 9:30 and doesn’t clean up quite enough for me. Additionally the gain is a bit coarser sounding to my ear. Conversely, the SK has a smoother texture to the distortion and definitely makes me think JCM or hot rodded Marshall. It cleans up very well. While the cleans were close, I very much prefer the SK crunch. As a huge Tool fan, I think this channel is awesome for that (@t00lgasm) Adam Jones style stuff. I’m also a huge instrumental prog guy (think Plini, Sithu Aye, Widek, etc.) and I think the crunch would also be great for that. Lastly, the low end in the SK is alive and well in the crunch channel.

    Lead:
    Again, both are great. With high post gain settings, the Invective sounds just like my old 5150. The gain is coarse and grainy and awesomely brutal. The SK, while based on the 5150, seems a little smoother than the Invective. With that said, it too is awesomely brutal. I could hear that the 5150 is where it started and I can hear that they made some tweaks to that sound. They changed the character a bit, but the overall effect is intact: crushing high gain tone. Like the crunch channel there’s no lack of low end.

    Volume:
    The Invective is seriously easy to control when it comes to volume. Turn its master boost off and it’s easy to dial in bedroom levels. This is not the case with the SK—it has me seriously considering an attenuator. The SK is more like the old 5150 in this way. Once you turn up the pre gain where you want it (I’ve been keeping it between 10:00 and 2:00) the master becomes pretty touchy. And just as it gets to around 7:30ish (so right around 2/10) the amp really opens up. Of course that’s pretty loud. Not overly so, but it sure ain’t bedroom level.

    MIDI:
    Both are midi controllable, however the SK has just the barest of midi implementation. It accepts PC messages but doesn’t seem to use CC messages. This means you can bring up presets which sets the amp’s channel, focus on/off, loop on/off, and master 1/2. What you can’t do via midi is directly control a single thing such as turning off the loop. The inability to use CCs isn’t a problem for me but I could see that being an issue for some users.

    Build quality:
    I had both amps opened up. The SK looks to be super high quality; the Invective looks good but not on the same level.

    All in all, both amps are outstanding. If I absolutely had to get rid of one, I’d have to give up the Invective and keep the SK. Both have great cleans and leads, but the SK crunch is just far better for what I need. It’s possible swapping a 12AU7 into the Invective would help. I’ve tried that but it was a long time ago so I don’t remember too well lol. Which one is better for a certain person will probably come down to pure personal preference. Great amps.
     
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  2. Tisca

    Tisca Big-tube snob

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    @Deadpool_25
    Anything that warrants the 200€ higher price on the made in China Peavey over the made in UK Victory?
     
  3. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    To be honest, I think that's so subjective as to be an unanswerable question. It's up to each person to decide the answer to that. Everyone will have different priorities and tastes. However, if I was debating this, I could VERY easily argue that the Invective warrants at least that much price difference (especially in the European market).

    To be clear, I'm not saying the Invective is worth more (or less) to me. I'm saying I could easily argue it should be priced higher (again, especially in the European market).
     
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  4. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    Which is brighter on the high gain channels? The SK or the TC100?
     
  5. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Good question. I’ll check and report back.
     
  6. Backsnack

    Backsnack Many strings

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    Apparently, Thomann can't ship Victory amps to the United States anymore, which is a huge bummer. When you add the SK to your shopping cart and you're on the Thomann US site, you get this message:

    "We are quite disappointed with Victory Amplifiers for preventing us from shipping to your country of choice. Please consider products of a different manufacturer or switch to another delivery country. Remove this item"
     
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  7. Backsnack

    Backsnack Many strings

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    This could be the first real deal valve amp I end up purchasing. Many thanks to @Deadpool_25 for the great write-up.

    What did you think of the sound of the onboard Preamp Focus (OD)? I read a user review somewhere that said he sold his Horizon Precision Drive because it was that good. Rabea said it's based on a Tubescreamer, but it could be something rather custom and unique? If you were going to pair an OD pedal with the amp, what might be a good choice that would give a noticeably different flavor than the onboard Focus?
     
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  8. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    The preamp focus is excellent, though it has basically no tonal control. It is definitely tube screamer-based, as it provides a mid boost and tightens up the low end. It’s definitely unique though too since it does so in a different way.

    I also have a PD and have no desire at all to use it with the SK. I haven’t really tried any OD pedals with it since it’s so versatile on its own. The pedal board I just built does have a Sunset on it and I have a few other OD pedals I could try. What style of OD do you gravitate towards?
     
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  9. Backsnack

    Backsnack Many strings

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    The first kind I like to use a nice mild overdrive on the clean channel, along with adding an analogue delay (BBD or tape.)

    My other preferred OD is the kind you described: mid boost for high gain riffs with my ERGs.

    So it sounds like a Greer Lightspeed drive might work well paired up with this amp. :)
     
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  10. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    If you mean bright the way I mean it, the TC-100 is way brighter. It can get too bright as you turn up the treble and/or presence. The SK got fairly bright but never out of control even with the treble dimed. I suspect some people will like the TC’s ability to go too far and then they can back it off. If someone likes a super bright amp, the SK might need an EQ in the loop or something (which I’d have regardless, but that’s me).

    Both have excellent string clarity. I hadn’t played through the TC in quite a while and I’m reminded that I’m lucky enough to have some really nice amps. Time to quit tone chasing and just start playing! :)
     
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  11. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    Thanks for confirming that. Makes the choice between getting a Mark III and a TC that much harder. Lol
     
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  12. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    While I’ve never tried one, the Greer seems like it should be a great fit. The Sunset’s mild OD tones work with it quite well and I’d think the Lightspeed should be at least as good.
     
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  13. Backsnack

    Backsnack Many strings

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    @Deadpool_25

    I have a theory regarding what you said about the SK’s limited MIDI implementation. I think that most folks who opt to use the midi function will probably be using a midi looper/switcher like a Boss ES-8 or an HX Effects: something that can utilize a 4 cable method for modulation effects or a volume/preamp loop. With those setups, it likely won’t be a problem that the FX loop couldn’t be turned off on the amp itself because the effects units or loopers will take care of it.
     
  14. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    I’m sure that’s the case. The presets work just fine and would be plenty for most users. I can see cases where you just want to switch the preamp focus on or off or change which master you’re using without changing anything else. You would need 12 PCs to accomplish this. If you could just turn those things off individually you could use 5 functions (3 PCs and 2 CCs—edit: oops...7 functions...need 4 CCs).

    Anyway, it’s definitely not a big deal and there are some pretty simple workarounds (quite easy to accomplish using my MC6 mkii).
     
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  15. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    The ultimate effect of this thread has been that now I really want....a 5150/6505 and a JVM.
     
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  16. Voron

    Voron SS.org Regular

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    I finally got the chance to try out The Super Kraken!!! It's just killer!!!
     
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  17. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    That was awesome. Great demo and great song. I wish I understood French lol. I do know what tres bien means though! :)
     
  18. Voron

    Voron SS.org Regular

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    Thanks! I have demoed nearly all Victory Amps and each time it's a bomb! Martin Kidd is a genius! :)
     
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  19. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    I played the V30 the other day and that thing is awesome.
     
  20. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    I put my Super Kraken in a V130 headshell. Damn amp is so sexy.
     

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