Victory Amplification's V1 series of pedals packs the power of their full-size tube amps into a pedalboard-friendly package! While V1 The Sheriff may not have any tubes, legendary British stompbox guru Adrian Thorpe was tapped to fine-tune the entire V1 series to perfectly capture their valve-powered siblings' voice, feel, and vibe. Sam Bell tells us more.
UK amp designer Martin Kidd has collaborated with UK Pedal designer Adrian Thorpe with a brilliant range of Amp Drive Pedals. Martin Kidd is the genius behind Victory amps, sporting a huge range of top players in their artist roster such as Guthrie Govan. Adrian Thorpe (MBE!) is the genius behind Thorpy FX, an off-the-wall, in-your-face, pedal company that make superb guitar pedals.
Victory has a range of amps; they have The Dutchess, The Jack, The Kraken and The Sheriff. Each of these amps has a unique voice, some of them meet in certain places, but generally these are the 4 'sounds' of Victory. They all hark back to classic sounds to modern sounds with a British voice. Over the years they've released lunchbox heads, pre-amp pedals with speaker IR's and full-fat 100watt heads as well. However, in this recent collaboration with Thorpy FX, we can now get these four awesome amps in pedal format.
I get to take a look at the Sheriff V1 amp drive pedal. Why do I keep calling it Amp Drive, surely drive pedals, drive amps. Ah ha! Well… some drive pedals are designed to work 'with' the amp, either pushing a crunch tone into distortion, or adding sustain to sound. An amp drive is like an amp in a box. Now a lot of companies advertise their 'amp in a box' pedals as if it's like adding an extra channel to your amp. Maybe you have a Fender Twin Reverb and you want a JCM800 in your rig, but don't fancy the back ache and financial woes. However, the problem with some of these 'amp drives' is they can sound narrow, boxy and compressed (in a flat way rather than a breathing life into a sound kinda way) THIS series of pedals from Victory/Thorpy aims to really bring an amp like tone to your board, with no compromise. Of course, it's not going to be the same as playing the actual amp in a room, but it's damn close. So let's take a look at the Sheriff V1.
The Sherriff is a classic 'gold' amp style drive, it can go from 60's blues to 80s hair metal in the sweep of a gain knob. This pedal has simple controls, Volume and Gain. Gain giving us everything from a pushed crunch to a cheese-melting hot saturated distortion. The 3-band EQ, Bass, Mids and Treble is super responsive. Meaning you can really dial in this drive pedal to what I'd imagine would be lots of different amp types. If you turn up to the gig and you're given a Blues Junior 1x10 combo, but you want to play Iron Maiden, well, the Sherriff V1 might cover your back, you can dial in the EQ to add as much size and depth as you can with the limitations of the amp itself. Or as part of your pedalboard rig, maybe you already own The Dutchess (clean classic amp) or a Kraken (super metal!) but you want that classic gold sound, then this pedal is going to work fantastically at transforming your clean channel into a fire breathing golden dragon.
I had a lot of fun with this pedal in the studio (as I hope the video demonstrates, I never watch back) which I think is testament to how fun it was to play through. That's my barometer with most gear these days, does it make me inspired, does it fill me with joy and make me want to play things I wouldn't otherwise play. And it ticked all those boxes. I own a Victory amp (the Jack), and I love it; it's so great to be able to get the characters of these brilliant amps in pedal format. They look super cool as well, the footprint is just right, not too wide, not too tall, but sturdy and proud! Victory and Thorpy are two brilliant UK companies well worth supporting, run by people who really care about tone, authenticity and quality. Check out the Sherriff V1 now!
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