Klon Centaur pedal

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Archer | Centaur | Centura | Centavo | KTR | Tumnus

In the ’90s, I spent most of my days going from one music shop to the next, trying everything they had.

One particular street back then in Stockholm was like our version of London’s Denmark Street. It’s still there (obviously) but with many fewer shops. If you ever get the chance to visit, find Götgatsbacken.

Around the corner from it, another shop had no 2nd-hand stuff, and here I first saw it: the Klon Centaur.

It was expensive even back then, and I didn’t get it. When the shop assistant exclaimed how transparent it was, I thought, and probably said, “Why do you need it then, if it’s transparent?”

Fast forward a few years, and my tone obsession had begun as I started to buy and sell amps, guitars, and pedals in a seemingly never-ending fashion. I’m sure you would hear me trying to convince someone how this pedal was so great because it was transparent.

Three decades later, we have YouTube channels doing much of this legwork for us. When it comes to the Klon Centaur, in particular, there is an endless stream of comparison videos. I’ve gathered a bunch in a playlist for you at the top of the page.

What has happened is that many brands have made clones of the Klon. This is so common that they’re called Klones. There is even a YouTube channel dedicated to comparing Klones called TheKlonWars!

I think most guitar players who are still playing real amps and pedals agree that you should probably have a Klon or at least a Klone. So this leads us down the rabbit hole of finding out: Which Klon clone is the best Klone? (Try saying that quickly three times).

Three Klon pedals to consider

The original Klon Centaur

If you have plenty of cash and don’t gig (it will get stolen), you should just buy it. Considering the hype, this is a great investment, and obviously, you can’t improve on the original that all others are compared to.

I have several high-earning students/members who are doctors, and oil millionaires. I even have a brain surgeon (that’s not his official title, I’m sure). I’m still waiting for the rocket science dude.

All you guys should buy the original Klon and play it with your expensive Two-Rock amps and vintage Strats. Just do it.

Ceriatone Centura

I love what Malaysian Nik does with his amps (I own a Dumble clone that he built for me). The most popular product is his version of the Klon; The Centura.

Ceriatone’s version looks the same, you can get it in crazy colors, and you’ll support a great guy who builds amps to a high standard at a fantastic price. You can even buy the kit and solder it together yourself.

But before you do, consider his Horse Breaker as well. This is a Klon and a Marshall Blues Breaker dual pedal.

Many people use the Klon when gain staging, and the Blues Breaker is one of the best for this purpose, so that’s a great concept, you should buy it.

Wampler Tumnus

The reasons you should buy the Tumnus are twofold: It’s at a great price point and sounds the closest to the original. There’s a mini version which makes complete sense, but then there’s also the deluxe version

It’s extremely difficult to form an argument against you buying either of these pedals right now. I can’t do it, just buy it/them, it’ll make you happy.

You could buy all I’ve mentioned so far and have your own Klonwar, just don’t make any videos about it, there are enough!

Three Klones to ignore

Warm Audio Centavo

The Centavo is similar to the Ceriatone as it looks the same, but I don’t think it’s as good, and I prefer Nik’s vibe in general.

J Rocket Archer

One of my mates (hi Steve) has the J Rocket Archer, and he doesn’t like it. I don’t like it either; it doesn’t feel like it has that transparency thing going, which took me years to fine-tune my ears to detect.

Now that I’ve got it, I have to point out how valuable this skill is, or else it’ll feel like I wasted all those years. I’d realize I should have practiced more, joined more bands, and gone to fewer music shops, and then I’d get sad.

Klon KTR

The guy who built the original (Bill Finnegan) eventually put it into mass production with the Klon KTR. He says it sounds the same, but do we believe him – obviously not!

If we did, all this gear testing, comparing, buying, and selling would be pointless, and this is the core, the heart of the matter, the whole bloody point.

If it didn’t matter, what would we do with our time instead? Go to the garden centre with the wife, or, and I know this is at the bottom of all gear fanatics’ to-do list – practice? No chance, let’s research power supplies instead!

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