VICTORY AMPS AND their chief designer, Martin Kidd, have enjoyed a sterling reputation for high-quality British-made boutique amplifiers for nearly a decade. From their stunning aesthetics to the careful selection of tubes, transformers, speakers and voicings, there are reasons Victory amplifiers like The Duchess V40, The Sheriff 22 and the VC35 The Copper Deluxe have won over players like Guthrie Govan, Richie Kotzen, Joe Gore and Chris Buck. Built (and generally priced) for pros, Victory’s goods surely belong in the top echelon of modern-day amp makers.
That said, being a notable maker of Class A tube amplifiers in the age of modelers and profilers may not be the most mixed portfolio an amp company could have. It’s perhaps to address this new market that Victory last year added The Duchess V4 Guitar Amplifier to its Duchess line, the company’s ode to the dreamy cleans and light overdrives of classic Fender amps. With essentially the same preamp section you’ll find in the widely admired The Duchess V40 Deluxe full head and the V40H lunchbox head, the V4 follows the same basic design map of Victory’s widely admired unpowered V4 preamp pedals — including the Sheriff, Kraken, Jack and Copper models — if with a slightly bigger form factor, and with its own internal power.
The Duchess V4 Guitar Amp
Bass, middle, treble, volume, master volume, tremolo depth/speed, reverb
180 watts, ICEpower solid-state
Preamp tubes only: 1 x Mullard EC900, 3 x CV4014
low-impedance series loop
Tremolo and Reverb footswitch (optional)
Victory V112 Neo Cabinet with Neo 250 Copper back speaker, $719 street
An elegant and smartly designed portable pedal amp with a superb preamp section. Great for ultra-clean tones or direct-recording applications
A brassy-sounding high-tech solid-state power section that rattles the ears
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