The legendary Klon Centaur Overdrive pedal is THE boutique overdrive. Since it went out of production, every pedal builder out there has ‘kloned’ it. Now the original pedal is back, hand built one at a time by Mr Bill Finnegan!
Klon Centaur #3888
The new Klon Overdrive pedals are being sold via eBay, one at a time. The listing opens as follows:
I’m Bill Finnegan, designer of the original Klon overdrive circuit, designer of the Klon Centaur Professional Overdrive unit incorporating that original circuit, and also the hand-builder of every single Centaur unit from the beginning of Centaur production in late 1994 until the end of that initial production a few years ago.
Since Bill gave up building the pedals a few years back, prices have sky-rocketed.
I’ll admit that I have owned more than one Klon in my lifetime and the last one I sold privately went for over £2ooo on Reverb. That was four years ago (you can see the finished listing here). These pedals go for insane amounts of money.
Bill also made the KTR, a surface-mounted version of the Klon, which he has always stated sounds exactly the same. But it doesn’t sell for anywhere near as much as originals will. I haven’t tried one, as I still have a Klon kicking about and so don’t need another one, but I hear they are very good. I have added a video demo below of the two versions being A/B’d so you can check out the two circuits.
The original Klon form 1994 was ‘glooped’, meaning that the circuit was covered in a black epoxy resin to stop people from reverse engineering it. What eventually happened was that someone figured out how to remove the gloop without damaging the circuit. They then drew the circuit diagram and put it up on the internet for everyone to see.
After the release of the circuit diagram and component values online, pedal builders went crazy and started making their own versions of the Klon. We saw everyone from Electro Harmonix and its Soul Food to boutique offerings like the Rockett Pedals Archer and Wampler Tumnus. They were all variations on Bill’s original Klon Siberia design, some claiming mystical unobtainium properties, other just saying they were improved versions of this legendary circuit.
Whatever your thoughts on the Klon, you cannot deny its place in pedal history and I would go as far as stating that it kind of started the whole boutique pedal market off back in 1994.