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“If detuned fashionable rock and metallic is your pronounce, it’s for dawdle one to envision out”: Victory VX The Kraken MKII Lunch Box Head overview

Guitar World Verdict

Aimed at necessary amateurs and mavens, it’s no longer the most price-efficient lunchbox metallic head obtainable, nonetheless it’s made within the UK to an awfully high fashioned and, as with most things, you get what you pay for. If detuned fashionable rock and metallic is your pronounce, it’s for dawdle one to envision out.

Experts

  • +

    High-quality high-manufacture head.

  • +

    Supreme for fashionable rock, metallic and detuned instruments.

  • +

    Fresh points crimson meat up flexibility.

  • +

    Rear-panel Bias Test Points and adjustment invent it more uncomplicated and safer to provider

Cons

  • No longer so refined for soundless overdrive sounds.

  • Dual-footswitch operation is a exiguous advanced.

  • Results loop no longer footswitchable.

  • Single-ended mode has been eradicated.

  • No LEDs on entrance panel for channel mode/build.

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Indubitably one of many most neatly-liked British guitar influencers on YouTube, Rabea Massaad is neatly is named a tasteful and extremely done fashionable rock participant who can out-metallic the most basic of them every time he needs to. 

He’s also an artist and manual for Victory Amplification and Victory’s VX Kraken is Massaad’s exiguous one – the quit result of a longterm, ongoing collaboration that’s inspired a quantity of definitive British metallic amps and pedals, that are a supreme fit for Massaad’s high-manufacture detuned signature tones. 

Proper throughout the final few years, the lunchbox VX Kraken has been remodeled and tweaked, and used to be fair no longer too long ago launched as VX The Kraken MKII Lunch Box Head. Let’s take a look at out the recent, improved model.

The MKII Lunch Box Head uses the same sturdy metallic chassis and perforated metallic lid as Victory’s other lunchbox amps, with a brand recent graphite sparkle paint quit adding a splash of sophistication. The steelwork is precision folded and uses bigger than sensible machine screws to safe the entirety, so it’s easy to dismantle and restore when wanted. 

This isn’t always the case with lunchbox merchandise; to dodge mishaps we replace screws by hand to attend a long way from stripping threads, fit all of them loosely sooner than tightening and use the factual screwdriver with the factual sized tip.

Victory VX The Kraken MKII Lunch Box Head

(Listing credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

At some level of the chassis, the MKII’s electronics take a seat on one gargantuan prime of the vary printed circuit board, at the side of quite lots of the entrance- and rear-panel controls and your total valve bases. The resistors are metallic film to minimise tell, with gorgeous colorful solder joints and neatly bundled wiring.

Esteem its predecessor, the MKII Lunch Box Head is a two-channel head, with separate manufacture and grasp volume controls feeding a shared EQ. Invent I is a British-voiced crunch/rhythm channel, with a foot-switchable attenuated manufacture stage providing a brand recent Sparkling mode, while Invent II is the American-voiced lead channel.

Victory VX The Kraken MKII Lunch Box Head

(Listing credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

These three voices can also moreover be accessed from the entrance-panel three-scheme toggle switch, or by the utilization of the supplied footswitches. The entrance panel now incorporates a Presence management, while on the rear panel the Bass Focus switch has also been joined by a Presence Shift button.

Other recent additions consist of a Invent I Balance knob to regulate the relative ranges of Sparkling and Invent I to style, and Bias Test Points with an adjustment screw. Lastly, there are sockets for the MKII’s assortment effects loop and two two-button footswitches.

The footswitch functionality has modified a exiguous: the effects loop has been sacrificed to accommodate a long way-off switching between Sparkling and Invent I in conjunction with Sparkling/Invent I and Invent II, while the 2nd footswitch selects both grasp volume management and has a bypass to Invent II/Master II as a solo override feature.

Victory VX The Kraken MKII Lunch Box Head

(Listing credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

An Auto Put switch hyperlinks Sparkling/Invent I to Master I and Invent II to Master II when activated; otherwise, the grasp volumes are selected independently from the footswitch. Each and every footswitches are clearly labelled, with helpful LED build indicators to level to what’s difficult – which is factual as there aren’t any on the entrance panel.

The recent gorgeous relate has a factual dose of harmonic state material with a refined compression that flatters the guitar

The MKII Lunch Box Head comes with 6L6 energy valves as fashioned, nonetheless it’ll rob EL34s by flipping a minute Bias Differ switch hidden out of damage’s scheme on the discontinuance of the chassis. One more recessed slider on the aspect of the chassis selects 230 volts or 110 volts wall mains.

The one-ended likelihood on the novel guitar amp has been eradicated, even when the High/Low energy switching is still there on the entrance panel, providing you with a preference of both 50 watts corpulent energy or roughly 9 watts, splendid for studio or house use. General, the MKII Lunch Box Head is built to Victory’s high standards and would possibly well presumably perchance handle something else rock ’n’ roll can throw at it.

Sounds

Victory VX The Kraken MKII Lunch Box Head

(Listing credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

We checked out the MKII Lunch Box Head with our customary Strat and Les Paul, alongside with a 2nd Strat strung with 0.012 to 0.052-gauge strings and detuned a total tone. The recent gorgeous relate is intensely rewarding to make use of and stunning wanted a exiguous tweak to the rear panel Balance management to steadiness the stage with Invent I. 

It’s no longer the hi there-fi gorgeous we’ve heard on some metallic amps, which is ready to frequently sound flat and unrewarding. As a replace, there’s a factual dose of harmonic state material with a refined compression that flatters the guitar, providing very fair correct string-to-string separation and articulation.

The British-voiced Invent I is gargantuan for laying down extremely efficient crunch rhythm tracks, with a blistering rapidly assault that enhances chug-chug ‘djent’ riffing. In the period in-between, the American-voiced Invent II channel has your total manufacture and power you’d quiz, making it easy to pull out harmonic squeals and options at will. 

Tonally, both channels sound gargantuan with single-coils or humbuckers, even when the high-manufacture ranges invent humbuckers the simpler preference for maintaining noise at bay. 

The recent Presence management helps to precisely dial within the flexibility amp’s response, and we really most neatly-liked the vogue the Presence Shift switch opened up the highs with out making things sound shrill or piercing. There’s no shortage of volume right here, both; we had the grasp volumes at around 10 o’clock and at these settings the Kraken can simply occupy a corridor, so the low energy likelihood is simplest suited to house or studio use.

Victory VX The Kraken MKII Lunch Box Head

(Listing credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

Verdict

The MKII Lunch Box Head seems and sounds the enterprise, with wonderful metallic tones that inspire quite lots of detuned riffing. The recent Sparkling mode will enhance flexibility, while the Presence management and Shift functions delay the amp’s already impressive tonal fluctuate. 

As neatly as being a gargantuan preference for metallic genres, it’s also an splendid platform for pedals, helped by the tender extended lows of its 6L6 energy allotment. The amp comes with a padded carry derive that suits in most airplane overhead lockers – supreme for travelling and splendid for of us that most frequently cruise to gigs.

Aimed at necessary amateurs and mavens, it’s no longer the most price-efficient lunchbox metallic head obtainable, nonetheless it’s made within the UK to an awfully high fashioned and, as with most things, you get what you pay for. If detuned fashionable rock and metallic is your pronounce, it’s for dawdle one to envision out.  

Specs

Victory VX The Kraken MKII Lunch Box Head

(Listing credit: Future / Olly Curtis)
  • PRICE: $1,549 / £1,399
  • ORIGIN: UK
  • TYPE: All-valve pre and energy amp
  • VALVES: 4x 12AX7 preamp, 2x 6L6
  • OUTPUT: 50/9W RMS
  • DIMENSIONS: 350 (w) x 190 (d) x 180mm (h) 
  • WEIGHT (kg/lb): 7/16
  • CABINET: Steel
  • CHANNELS: 2, with footswitchable Sparkling mode on Invent I
  • CONTROLS: Sparkling/Invent I stage, Sparkling or Invent I/Invent II selector switch, Invent II stage, bass, heart, treble. Master volume I, grasp volume II, presence, high/low energy switch. Rear panel: Invent I Balance, Presence Shift, Bass Focus, grasp volume auto build
  • FOOTSWITCH: 2x 2-button footswitches (supplied) pick channels and Invent I/Sparkling mode, grasp volume I/II and Invent II grasp volume II (solo override)
  • ADDITIONAL FEATURES: Switchable output energy from 50W to approx. 9W. Series effects loop. Bias take a look at points and total bias adjustment on rear panel
  • OPTIONS: None
  • RANGE OPTIONS: Kraken V4 amp pedal (£849), VX Kraken MKII compact head in wooden sleeve (£1,529), VX Kraken 100 head (£2,199). 1×12 extension cabinets start at £619, 2×12 cabs sell from £899, corpulent-corpulent 4×12 is £1,299
  • CONTACT: Victory Amplification

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Slash Guppy has been a customary contributor to Guitarist journal for over Twenty years, mostly writing opinions on guitar amps and associated merchandise. He built his first valve amplifier at the age of 12 and has since sold, supplied and restored many more, with a explicit interest in Vox, Selmer, Orange and tweed-era Fenders, alongside Riveras and Designate Series Boogies. When wielding a guitar as a replace of soldering iron, he’s loved a various musical occupation taking part in everywhere the UK, at the side of occasional stints with theatre teams, orchestras and mountainous bands as neatly as energy trios and tributes. His favourite musical genres are ‘something else that’s factual’.

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