An Unhappy Klon Buyer

Thanks, Bear, for sharing this:

30 comments to An Unhappy Klon Buyer

  • Everyone who doesn’t post on TGP get the hell out!!!! LMFAO

  • Oinkus

    Rolls around! This is just so wrong I think it becomes right somewhere along the way ? Very cool and thanks Bear.

  • Thomas

    Oh, this is perfect.

  • Sus

    “The goop makes it sound better”

  • NicPic

    Need more goop!…Love it!

  • smgear

    yeah, that’s great! I always wondered how everyone could be so obsessed with a circuit that could be directly pronounced “clone” if you only took a second to think it over. I always assumed it was intended as a joke… given the fact that it was essentially a cloned circuit. Apparently not many others saw that though.

    • smgear

      sheesh, Only $3500 …. that’s a lot of stolen nazi gold….

    • smgear, what do you mean by “if you only took a second to think it over”? No one knew what the circuit was in the Centaur for a long time. It’s actually quite interesting, in that it’s a clean boost and over drive, and as you change the gain you pan between the two of them. The original is not a clone of anything in particular. It was encapsulated to stop people from copying it.

      I have a clone I made, and it’s not exactly the same as the real thing, but it’s pretty close. Is the real thing that great? No. But it’s as good as any other pedal. it’s all about what you like.

      Im also not sure why you think “klon” is pronounced as “clone”. Klon has a short o vowel sound, as in “Klondyke”.

      • joe

        I’m trying to bite my tongue here, ’cause I don’t want to say much while the contest is running.

        But yes, while I am poking fun at the absurdities of the marketplace, I love the Klon and have the utmost respect for its creator, Bill Finnegan. The Klon is undeniably derived from the Screamer, but it’s packed with innovative design details. It’s played a role in my music-making for a long time. IMHO it’s the most visually attractive guitar effect ever made, and you won’t find many others that feel so much like a frickin’ instrument. And of course, Finnegan is in no way responsible for the silly stuff people have said and written pro and con the pedal. And he’s definitely not responsible for EBay stupidity.

        If you’re out there, Bill: Thanks for your passion and commitment to quality. :beer:

        • Joe, with all due respect, the two circuits are nothing alike. The screamer has the clipping diodes in the feedback loop of the first op amp after the buffer, so the gain stage clips. Then it has a shaping stage which has the tone control where it rolls off top end.

          The Centaur starts off with an input buffer/splitter and then goes to a gain stage (with no clipping), and also past the gain stage. it has a dual ganged gain control. As you change the gain it mixes the amount of signal that either goes through the gain and then clipping parts, or past that as a clean signal from the input buffer. Clipping is by parallel diodes between the signal and ground, and not in the feedback loop as in the TS. Then it’s to another op amp to mix the signals and roll off some top end.

          After the gain clipping/mixer, it goes to a treble booster circuit built around yet another op amp, and then to the output.

          Just looking at the two schematics shows that it is in no way derived from a Tube Screamer!

          But all over drive circuits are amazingly similar. Look at a Distortion +, or a Rat, Big Muff, or what ever, and you see similarities in the gain and clipping stages. So it’s not hard to get different pedals to sound alike on certain settings.

          I know you know this because you build them. 🙂

          • joe

            You are 100% correct, David. But to my mind, there mere combination of op amp gain and diode distortion is enough to reveal a TS lineage, hence my claim that the Screamer inspired the Klon. On the other hand, I tried to emphasize some of the major differences between the circuits in the video text.

            But perhaps I’m overly eager to group together all op amp + diode distortion circuits, because I seem to admire and abhor similar things about all all of them. Sorry if I oversimplified!


          • Bebah Palulah

            “The screamer has the clipping diodes in the feedback loop of the first op amp after the buffer, so the gain stage clips.”

            Actually, it’s even more interesting than that.

            It’s a non inverting stage, so when the voltage across the diodes is not enough for them to conduct, the gain is very high and set by the feedback and shunt networks.

            Once the diodes start to conduct (which is pretty quickly), they provide 100% feedback and it turns into a voltage follower (gain = 1)!

            The effect on your waveform is as if someone wedged it apart at the zero crossings and shoved a square wave in the middle. But all the detail of your signal’s peaks is retained.

          • Vami

            David, thanks for the nice explanation. People see a joke video full of incorrect info and take it for granted. I remember in the 90’s when discussion on Dumble started all over the Internet that some “experts” claimed that the secret of the sound was a hidden tube screamer inside the amp! Even back in those days the Dumbles were very expensive and the argument was that you could buy a Tween and a TS and get the same product for a portion of the cost.

      • smgear

        David, for those of us that are younger and newer to the market, your very excellent comments and conclusions about things like the Klon are the starting point for how we see these designs. When I first encountered references to the Klon a couple years ago, I had a fairly comprehensive and accurate description of what the circuit was, what it wasn’t, and how it sounded within 10 minutes of online reading and listening. There was no time for mystification, awe, or worship. I think it sounds great, even spectacular, but so does a TS when you use it properly. Joe just gave us a good example of the fact that there is a detectable difference. However, if he gave us the wrong “right answers” next week, I doubt anyone would call BS.Not to mention the fact that they are similar enough to substitute for the vast majority of practical musical settings. So, if you place this in context, given what we now know, and using our ears to verify, then it falls somewhere between TS clone and TS mod.

        As for the pronunciation, that’s just lateral thinking connecting to the fact that most of the latin-reading globe would pronounce those characters with ‘an hard o’. But seriously, no one else ever thought that? Am I the only person that smiles when I play?

        • joe

          Any more cracks about our age, and I’ll tell your paperboy to stop delivering our mimeographed newsletter!


          • smgear

            Doh! Sorry man, I meant no disrespect :(. I guess I’ve technically been a ‘musician’ for over 30 years… but that’s just because I started violin when I was 3. I’ve only been playing guitar for a few years. I was just trying to respectfully point out how newbies and tech veterans perceive things differently – mostly because of our own ignorance, lack of experience, and the fact that we weren’t privy to the original wonderment of a particular technology. So we are probably at a disadvantage of properly respecting certain innovations, but perhaps our post facto classifications are a little less biased.

            I guess I’m also straddled with a probably errant philosophy that if a musician is making enough from the art to afford a $2k overdrive, then he’s also good enough to make do with a much cheaper ‘clone’ or the original core circuit. Or conversely, if you think that a $2k OD is going to make you a rockstar, then you need to stop dreaming and practice more.

            Of course, I’m lusting after a couple modern pieces that seem wonderfully mysterious to me, so I should probably focus on my own hypocrisies….

        • smgear, as I wrote above, it’s not similar at all to a TS, but of course you can make them both sound good “when you use it properly”. I would say there is no proper way to use a pedal. If you like the sounds you are getting, it’s being used the right way. So sure, you can get similar tones out of it, as well as from other over drive pedals.

          In the English language, words that have a vowel, without a modifier at the end like an e, it’s a short vowel. This is why you say “cane” and “can” differently. The “e” makes it long. I’m not sure what you mean by “latin-reading”, but in some languages, like Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Swedish, and Norwegian, the word does indeed mean “clone”. Latin derived languages would be the romance languages. The ones directly from Latin are Italian, French, English, and Spanish. Italian is probably the closest. “Clone” in Italiano is “clonare”. 🙂

          Also, “Klon” was the company, and the pedal was a “Centaur.” 😉

          So that’s why I never thought it meant “clone”.

          • Oh and I have shoes older than you! lol (they don’t fit anymore, but I have still have them…)

          • smgear

            hey David, just saw the replies. Well, because I’m a giant, I have clothes almost as old as me too…. just because I can’t find any replacements..

            As for the circuit. I guess it devolves into a rather subjective evaluation of what makes two circuits similar or dissimilar. There are a thousand ways to modify and control a signal but terminate it with technically similar characteristics. Are any two of those therefore similar due to outcome or different due to process? Or is that fractional percentage difference the true ‘essence of the mojo’? Maybe that’s all that matters, All I know is that my time is probably better spent practicing the instrument than trying to add those tonal fractions that will mean little to my playing. Yet, I’m still reading and trying to understand those subtleties, so maybe I’m a philosophical hypocrite. Joe pointed out that perhaps the artistry of the klon was the extreme precision of the resistance tolerances that don’t allow for any bad settings. Perhaps if he had given the same treatment to a more faithful TS circuit, the results would have been equally spectacular and perhaps very similar.

            So, in my mind, it’s in the TS family, but it isn’t, and I need one, but I don’t really….

  • Funny.

    The unit selling on eBay is special – it’s got extra bass.
    So it hertz more in your bottom…

  • soggybag

    This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. It’s the nail on it’s organic head with a transparent mojo hammer.

    • joe

      Yeah, we should string up everyone who uses language like that. Starting with me, who went to that well far too many times during my Guitar Player years.


      • Yes! I hate when people say something sounds “organic”… And generally that means without too much harsh treble. Like “passive basses are more organic than active basses.” :oogle:

        • Elliot

          above you mentioned “long” and “short” vowels… well what does that mean? do we say “can” and “caaaaane”? no. so should we string up every school teacher that uses these terms?
          what about “grainy” photos? are there specks of wheat or barley in the photo?

          i honestly dont understand the hatred for guitarist doing what humans have done for centuries, take a word with a known meaning and use it to describe something difficult to put to words.
          i mean no disrespect to anyone, but it just seems like splitting hairs to me.
          shall we hang users of the words spitty, wooly, crunchy.. even “dark” and “bright” are just arbitrary words assigned to perceived tone.
          how would you describe the difference between a Big Muff and a Blues Breaker using only words with no visual, textural, or other physical connotations?

          when i stomp a morning glory i hear exactly what i had to begin with but with distortion. its like adding a gain channel to my amp, i get my clean tone distorted. this i say is transparent.
          when i stomp a tube screamer, i hear a decrease in bass and an increase in mids. my sound no longer has the same tonal balance i had before, so it is not as transparent.
          notice i didnt say “not transparent”, just not as much as a morning glory yet more so than a DS1.

          i guess i’ll end my rant by saying if your hatred for these terms is so strong that you simply cannot accept them, then why not at least suggest some alternatives instead of just condescending to people who need to explain to young students (and the mrs.) the difference between the many dirt pedals out there.

  • Shizmab Abaye

    I finally figured it out, with the help of Wikipedia. Hitler is portrayed here by Bruno Ganz, who was the angel “Damiel” in Wim Wenders film “Wings of Desire”. That’s one of my favorite films. Also features Peter Falk as himself and Nick Cave as himself.

  • el reclusa

    This made my afternoon. Thanks!

  • Elliot

    by the time he said “the stupid thing doesnt accept a Boss power supply” i couldnt see through the tears in my eyes. honestly one of the funniest things ive seen in awhile.
    glad i was introduced to this meme like this

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