Pedal Preamps for exceptional all-valve overdrive
Two extra channels for your existing guitar amp, pedalboard or recording rig
Clean and overdrive modes based on V30 The Countess developed with Guthrie Govan
Classic rock and modded 'plexi' tones based on our Sheriff 22
and Sheriff 44 amplifiers
Heavy, progressive and extended range tones from VX The Kraken, developed with Rabea Massaad
V4 Series Pedal Preamps Overview with Martin Kidd and Rabea Massaad
The Story Of The New (Old) Valves In
The V4 Series Pedal Preamps
The Victory V4 Series Pedal Preamps are to the best of our knowledge, the first pedal-format overdrive devices to use an all-valve signal path with four valves.
It was the valves themselves that first inspired us to begin work on the V4 Series. Friends and customers had consistently asked for the ‘Victory sound’ in a pedal, but we felt the market was already completely saturated – pun intended – with every kind of OD pedal imaginable… until we discovered the CV4014.
The V4 Series Pedal Preamps began life with a quartet of NOS (new old stock) CV4014 valves. It is a small-signal pentode valve with seven pins, physically just a little smaller than the more common, nine-pin 12AX7/ECC83 dual-triode. We discovered a quantity large enough to ensure sustainable production and spares supply over the long term, we really liked how they were sounding, and so we began testing.
Again to the best of our knowledge the CV4014 hasn’t been used widely – if at all – in music audio applications to date. It was produced from 1953 to 1981 by legendary UK manufacturer Mullard for the British MOD to NATO 5960 military spec. It was designed to give long life in various military applications including mobile communications.
The hype potential here is significant because of Mullard’s stellar reputation in the world of guitar amps. Let’s say for the record than in some cases ‘NOS’ can sometimes simply equate to rubbish old valves! In this case, however, following a year’s worth of testing we believe the CV4014 to be an extremely high quality, consistent, reliable and great sounding valve – not one single failure during the V4 Series R&D process. We are so confident of its quality that we are extending our standard three-month warranty on these valves to two years, for absolute piece of mind. These valves will last, and we have plenty of spares.
One of the physical characteristics of the CV4014 is that it has a relatively long form. We discovered that this can make them susceptible to microphonics when used in high-gain audio situations, so after much testing, we changed V1 to a shorter EC900 triode, making the final valve complement 1 x EC900 triode and 3 x CV4014 pentodes. We’ve kicked these pedals on stages, sent them half-way across Europe in semi-adequate packaging and generally mistreated them for months on end. No microphonics, no switching noise. Who said you couldn’t put four valves in a pedal?
If there is a ‘downside’ to having so much glowing glass in a pedal, it’s that they are necessarily current-hungry. It’s at this point we ask you to remember that they are preamps and not ‘normal’ pedals. You wouldn’t dream of running your amp off a wall-wart but you can run your V4 Series Pedal Preamp off one rated at 12 volts DC and minimum of 800mA. We include a 2A 12V DC adapter with every pedal (and include reasonably priced replacements via our online store) to make sure they get the juice they need. Please DO NOT expect them to run off your standard 9V daisy chain. Please don’t even try it.
The Victory V4 Series Pedal Preamps are not ‘normal’ pedals. The market is awash with incredible overdrive and distortion boxes that do a certain job in front of a great guitar amp. That’s one thing. An all-valve preamp is quite another and we are immensely proud of the sound potential within each of them.
We wish you happy tones!
Which pedal to choose...
V4 The Countess
Clean and overdrive modes based on the V30 The Countess amp, developed with Guthrie Govan
V4 The Sheriff
Classic rock and modded 'plexi' tones based on our Sheriff 22 and Sheriff 44 amplifiers
V4 The Kraken
Heavy, progressive and extended-range tones from VX The Kraken, developed with Rabea Massaad