NUX says that its new Horseman overdrive pedal contains two classic versions of the boutique Klon Siberia pedal. That is a huge claim, as original versions of the overdrive pedal change hands for thousands each. Can a pedal costing way under EUR 100 get anywhere near a tone by one of the most sought-after boutique pedals around?
The original Klon Siberia Overdrive pedal was designed and built by Bill Finnegan. It was one of the first boutique pedals on the market, although production has pretty much ceased production. I have owned many original Klon pedals so I have fairly decent knowledge of how they work and sound.
Nowadays, original Klon pedals trade hands for thousands each on the used market. So if NUX’s new Horseman mini pedal comes anywhere close to either the Silver or Gold Klon circuit, it could be a bargain.
This pedal has three controls labelled Treble, Output and Gain, just like the original Klon. It also uses an internal 18V design, just like the one the original circuit uses. There’s also an optional true/buffered bypass option.
The Horseman has two modes, Gold and Silver. The Gold mode is the default. To access Silver, hold down the footswitch. That increases the voltage up to 18V, with more gain and headroom (the original Klon pedals were all 18V).
NUX says it used an OP-AMP to give its version the extra headroom/boost on the “Silver” side of the Horseman. I’ve added the link below to NUX’s blog about how they developed the Horseman, so you can read all the technical details in full there.
You can hear it in action below. Does the NUX Horseman get close to the Klon? It’s impossible to say based on the audio demos alone, as the original Klon pedal has a characteristic feel and how it works with your set up plays a big role. But if you like the sounds, it might be worth a flutter, given the low price tag. There are plenty of alternatives out there in this category, like the Way Huge Conspiracy Theory, Joyo Tauren, and the Wampler Tumnus pedals, to name but a few. One thing the Horseman has in its favour is that it contains two takes on the Klon circuit in one pedal, so it might be slightly more versatile.
RRP – USD 69