You may remember that Klon designer Bill Finnegan attempted to host a live stream on YouTube on Friday 3 September 2021, a big deal for fans of the legendary Klon pedal. Technical issues delayed his live stream, which finally happened last night instead. The big announcement? A fundamental change to the Klon design…
Klon NOS diodes supply dwindles
During the live stream event on Tuesday 7 September, Bill Finnegan announced to that his original supply of NOS vintage diodes was almost depleted. These ‘unobtanium’ diodes have been the heart and soul of the Klon-mystique ever since the first pedals arrived in the 1990s.
Bill says he has found a workaround for his Klon KTR pedal, using another diode that can take the place of the original component. The design change means that Bill has made some alterations to the pedal’s circuit design to compensate for this diode substitution.
“I’ve tried for [years and years] to find more of those damn things. I’ve really seemingly exhausted every possibility; I just don’t think there are any more of them out there.” Bill Finnegan
Bill stated that when he does build his old-style Klon Centaur pedals, which he infrequently offers for sale via his eBay page, that he will carry on using the original NOS diodes so that the circuit will remain unchanged.
Do they sound the same?
To prove the point, he used two red Klon KTR pedals and a Klon Centaur during the live stream, and asked viewers if they could tell the difference. One of the KTR pedals used the new design with the new diodes. “If you weren’t able to hear any difference, that’s a good thing,” he said. “That means I’ve done my work. I had to modify the circuit, so there are some modified values, so that the overall result ends up sounding the same.”
Bill has used the same NOS diodes in Klon Centaur and KTR pedals for about 27 years, so eventually his stockpile had to run out. What effect is that going to have on the Klon looking forward? I can see the original Klon-hype being pushed even further into the stratosphere, as many players will want units with the original NOS diodes – even though they will all sound practically the same at volume anyway.
Take a listen to the live stream video below and let me know what you think. Let me just add that all my original Klon Centaur pedals sounded different to me when I had them side by side, so we should factor in that the pedals bring with them slight variations in tone, anyway.
More Information on the Klon
- Klon Siberia
- Bill Finnegan’s new YouTube channel
- Bill Finnegan Instagram
- More Klon news and related stories here