The “V4 The Jack Guitar Amp” is a variant of the amplifying head developed in partnership with the illustrious Guthrie Govan, the famous “V30” whose original name was “The Countess”. Note however that this name has simply been renamed, there is actually no difference between the old and the new name being purely phonetically.
Thus, after introducing a series of tube preamplifiers a few years ago taking into account the audio characteristics of the brand’s original models, Victory is making a strong comeback with a nearly identical format, but with a complete amplifier circuit, in other words, a tube preamp section and transistor power section.
This speaker is naturally a bit bulkier than a simple aluminum frame distortion pedal Dimensions: 258 mm x 174 mm x 105 mm. However, it’s surprisingly light at 1.7kg, which is unusual when you know we’re talking about an amplifier that you can connect to an amplifier to get 180 watts in 4 ohms, 90 watts in 8 ohms and 45 watts in 16 ohms. In that regard, the bulbs used aren’t necessarily the most common with the EC900 and three CV4014 for which Victory offers a two-year warranty and stock usually enough for years to come. For the power department, the British brand uses technology called “Valve Response Circuit Power” which aims to reproduce the gaming sensations of a tubular power amplifier.
The main face of this amplifier has a foot switch to switch from the clean channel to the saturated channel. These two channels have a common 3-band equalization but two independent gains (VOL 1 and VOL 2) and two volumes (MASTER 1 & MASTER 2).
Victory complements these settings with a potentiometer that allows you to adjust the integrated digital frequency, the quality of which you will be able to judge in the audio excerpts of this test. The added value comes from the partnership with the French brand Two Notes that allows “V4 The Jack” to offer a full speaker simulation that includes the ecosystem of various “Torpedo” devices that are almost impossible to ignore in the 2022 existence. Thus, the “SIM PRESETS” potentiometer makes it possible to select amplifier simulation from among six presets, which can be customized using the USB port provided on one side of the pedal board. Finally, the last “SIM LEVEL” potentiometer allows you to adjust the volume of the XLR output intended for speaker simulation.
The side where the connector is located is flawless so there is nothing missing. We find a guitar input, an effects loop, a foot switch input that allows both to control the channels but also activate the built-in reverb, an output dedicated to connecting to an amplifier, an output “LINE OUT” a power-on jack which you can choose to activate the speaker simulation or not with a small switch and finally an output XLR where speaker simulation is permanently activated. The Victory also had the sensitivity to deliver a 9 VDC 500 mA output that could power some modest greedy pedals. There is also a switch to activate a small fan built into the pedal. Victory talks about how a crankshaft can become
Especially hot without it, without compromising its use. It is recommended to turn it off only for studio sessions that require complete silence. During use, this fan was completely discreet, barely audible more than a good computer fan. Of course, the English brand also thought about putting a headphone output in the 3.5 mm format.
Finally, screen printing is great and takes on the visual identity of the “The Jack” series.
The manufacture is of English origin, handcrafted, and everything leads us to believe that the product will not be the delicacy of years past.
Will you lend me your Jack?
Let’s start by listening to some audio samples on the clean channel.
1 – Clean Channel – Gain at 5 – Duchess Win 112 Watts – Rev 40%
- 1 – Clean Channel – Gain at 5 – Duchess Win 112 Watts – Rev 40%00:23
- 2 – Clean Channel – Gain at 7 – Duchess Win 112 Watts – Rev 40%00:23
- 3 – Clean Channel – Gain at 10 – Copper Triumph 412 O – Rev 40%00:22
Having owned a Victory V30 MKII myself for years, I know pretty well its clean, fairly straight channel but it rocks pretty quickly once you push the gain a bit. Here we benefit from exactly the same features and gaming sensations Gaining nearly half of the race, we find this slight crunch to be very reactive with the pick attack. It is pushed to the limit and with fanatics, it is ground generously! We could easily consider adding a clean boost or equivalent pedal to build an additional channel in the distortion bounds. Finally, this clean channel is versatile even if it’s hard to master for those looking for crystal-clear sound with plenty of headroom. However, Victory offers other speakers for this type of use.
Here are some examples of overclocking channel:
4 – Trailing Channel – Gain at 1 – Copper Triumph 412 O – Rev 40%
- 4 – Trailing Channel – Gain at 1 – Copper Triumph 412 O – Rev 40%00:23
- 5 – Trailing Channel – Gain at 4 – Copper Triumph 412 O – Rev 40%00:14
- 6 – Channel Overdrive – Gain at 6 – Victory Kraken 212V – Rev 15%00:31
- 7 – Channel Overdrive – Earn at 8 – Victory Sheriff 412 O – Rev 60%00:35
- 8 – Trailing Channel – Gain at 10 – Victory Kraken 212 V – Rev 15%00:24
Again, I find the character of the original amplifier head with a little less space, which is explained, among other things, by the power section with transistors for this V4 version. Gain is non-existent and can cover a very wide range of styles. The dynamics are there and the nuances with the choice are perfectly written. The gaming sensations are that of a tube woofer, undeniable. We also note that with maximum gain, the pedal pad remains relatively silent, in proportion to the available saturation rate. It would be a perfect fit for guitarists looking for a metal-working amplifier with a rounder character and a warmer Kraken character. For soloists, this amplifier, in this format or another, is a must.
The built-in echo has proven to be effective and fun to play. A custom pedal can easily be replaced for those who simply want to add surround echo to give a natural sound. For more advanced needs, you will have to make room on your pedal board.
We’ve seen it in the first part of this test and you can hear it on the various audio snippets: This amplifier is completely standalone and can be connected directly to a console or sound card while providing a very realistic speaker simulation. Thus, Victory has integrated the entire ecosystem that French teams of Two Notes are accustomed to and their DynIR technology. Users of Torpedo systems will find their tags automatically and can also upload speakers from their collection. It is of course possible to load external IRs. Thus, once you plug in the USB cable and install the “Torpedo Remote” app, you get access to a cool interface that lets you choose the speaker you want to use (including ten from the Victory range) and place two microphones, from the list in front or behind the speaker and at a distance of their choice. Several options have been added to it such as having an equalizer, gate, power amplifier simulation, enhancer and reverb. It is possible then Save and recall the preset in real time directly on the pedal board with the “SIM PRESETS” potentiometer. Of course, Two Notes offers a huge selection of speakers from various brands and it is impossible not to find what you are looking for. Note that the original presets were developed by a great guitarist like Gutherie Govan: Jack Gardiner. Therefore, these presets are likely to be enough in the end for a large number of guitarists or may serve as strong starting points for building custom presets.
The Victory brand has a habit of doing things well and the least we can say is that this is the case again. This version of “The Jack” is very faithful to the archetype. We find their character well on either the clean channel or the saturated channel. Connecting to the high-end amplifier, there is absolutely nothing missing. The Two Notes ecosystem integration is excellent and provides a very realistic speaker simulation that is easy to customize. In fact there is absolutely nothing to scold this amplifier in the form of a pedal board which will find its place in many configurations. Approximately 900 euros required for this amplifier (as for the various models in the series), fully justified for equipment of this quality, made in the UK.
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