I’ve always wanted a Klon. I played the first Centaur in the late 90’s at a friend’s studio in San Francisco and by then they were already over $600. Somehow I missed the second model. I must have given up on being able to afford one by then. But a few months ago I caught wind of the new Klon 3 (aka the KTR) by way of an email list. The timing was right, as was the price. I jumped on it, and luckily so because in the blink of an eye there were waiting lists for it everywhere. There still are, and at three times the price.
I plugged it into my trusty AC15; its modesty printed on its metal frame with the quotes “Kindly remember: the ridiculous hype that offends so many is not of my making.” I love a little manufacturer humor, but at the end of the day how the pedal sounds is most important, not the reputation.
The controls consist of 3 knobs (gain, treble, output) and a metal footswitch. On the front side is a mode switch to alternate between buffered and true bypass. Printed there it states “almost always better” and “almost always worse.” I went straight into the amp to be sure I had the purest sound. As with the Centaur, the clean boost perfectly enhanced the highs and the lows of my amp’s tone. I swept through the tone frequencies, and it never broke up, colored or deprecated my sound. Everything was there, just more of it. Then I drove up the gain and damn if I didn’t even need to overdrive my amp. Though that sounded great too, and I will surely need to do so in a live setting as I do today. And it succeeded in one other crucial goal every good piece of gear should strive for ‑ inspiring me to come up with lots of new ideas in minutes. I’m no shredder but this sounds great however I play it. What else can I ask for?
There’s more than one clone out there, but if you can find and afford an original, do it. Hopefully prices will come back down when there’s more on the market. Here’s a great video with Klon creator Bill Finnegan showing all 3 pedals. – Adam Lippman