Victory RK50 Ritchie Kotzen Signature Amp Head review

Described as “straight-up rock with reverb and tremolo,” is there more under the hood of this venerable shredder’s signature head?

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The defining feature of the RK50 is its ability to traverse the great distance between chimy clean tones and ferocious distortion, without ever sacrificing dynamics, definition or sonic quality. Victory’s lead designer, Martin Kidd, has revealed that his amps, like some others, are built according to a design that simultaneously adjusts both tube stages. In practice, this means tweaking to the Gain knob will saturate (or clarify) the signal in both circuits at once, giving a wider sonic range that can be traversed with a single control.

At the clean end of the spectrum (gain at nine o’clock-ish and under), the amp has a balanced sonic character that tends a little towards the darker side of the tone. The top-end there is pronounced, but it's more silk and air than jangle. There’s also a pronounced midrange that adds depth and body to the sound. And it’s not just harmonic richness – the amp seems to pop and spank most in the low-mids when set clean, lending a satisfying heft to dynamic playing.

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