US-based Pirate Effects have launched a new pedal based on the ever-popular Klon Centaur overdrive and the EP3 preamp. Named The Plank, it combines two effects that have accrued near cult status with many players. This might be a very useful combination of two highly regarded tones.
First appearing in 1994, the Klon Centaur is possibly the first and most famous boutique overdrive pedal. Used by many famous players and practically a legend now, having reached almost mythical status due to it being discontinued some years ago. It is a very nice transparent drive pedal which works well with a good valve amp.
Even the original designer Bill Finnegan is trying to re-jig the original design, as it is obviously very popular still.
The EP3 was actually an Echo Plex unit from the 1970s, but soon all the guitarists worked out that the preamp was the best part of the whole effect. So they all bypassed the echo part and just used it as purely a preamp/boost pedal.
Rum and Jolly Rogers
Combined, the two effects conceivably would allow you a lot of boost/drive options in one pedal. Both are actually best used sparingly, just like the original pedals. They were never really best when piled on full over your original guitar’s signal. But a dash of boost here will complement a good guitar tone and make it something far more than the sum of its parts. You will, though, need a decent valve amp to really appreciate them.
Is it any good?
Honestly, I don’t know. Yes, I have owned a few Klon pedals myself, but I have never tried an EP3 out, and this new pedal is based on those originals. It doesn’t actually mean it will be just an exact copy of them. However, like most pedals the maker will bold claims that their emulation is as exact as possible.
I would recommend watching the video below and checking out the company site for their full specification. I will say it seems keenly priced for a hand-made overdrive/boost.
RRP USD $199
Pirate Effects The Plank specs: site