“The culmination of 4 years of development”: Victory heralds a new age for its Kraken amp family with long-awaited VX MKII heads

Victory's VX Kraken MKII
(Image credit: Victory)

Boutique British amp builder Victory has announced the latest head to join its celebrated family of Kraken guitar amps – the VX Kraken MKII.

Said to be the culmination of four years of development, the new-and-improved VX Kraken is available in both Lunch Box and Compact Amp Head formats, and was designed in collaboration with Victory artist Rabea Massaad.

Aside from the V1 Kraken stompbox, V4 Kraken Preamp pedal and V4 Kraken pedal amp, the VX MKII is the third amp head in this corner of Victory’s catalog, following the path paved by the original VX Kraken and VX100 Super Kraken.

As you’d expect, the upgraded unit pays homage to the amps that have come before it, but introduces a handful of features for additional versatility and flexibility. 

Specifically, whereas the original Kraken had Gain I and Gain II channels, the upgraded unit now offers a Clean mode – similar to the Super Kraken – which has been added to that first channel. 

Engaged via a footswitch or front panel toggle, Clean joins the British-inspired rhythm tones of Gain I and the “tight, aggressive American high-gain grind” sounds of Gain II. All of these voices can be tweaked via universal Bass, Middle, Treble and Presence parameters, as well as channel-specific Master and Gain knobs.

While on the topic of Presence, another new addition to the MKII is the rear-mounted Presence Shift switch – a function that triggers extra “sizzle” and higher frequency sounds. Furthermore, a Gain I Balance control has been added to combat the differences that arise from differing output levels between the Gain I and Clean modes.

Elsewhere, a Bass Focus switch serves to either tighten up or loosen the bottom end, while a bypassable series effects loop allows for some flexible pedalboard connectivity options. Both versions also come loaded with four 12AX7 and a pair of 6L6 tubes.

“The original Kraken, a 50 Watt compact powerhouse, is one of our most popular and highly regarded amplifiers,” writes Victory. “The updated MKII version, designed in collaboration with Victory artist Rabea Massaad, retains all the great features and sounds you love, while adding extra features and versatility.”

Price-wise, the Lunch Box VX Kraken MKII is available for $1549, while its Compact Head companion lists for $1699.

To find out more, visit Victory.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.