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One of these is not like the other. Klon/Centura content...

Ben Randolph

Power User
A friend of mine just upgraded to a genuine Klon Centaur, so I took possession of his Ceriatone Centura.

Both pedals are amazing. The best I can describe is that they make your amp sound bigger. Through my '71 Princeton Reverb it makes it sound BIG like a Super Reverb.

A Klon is not a pedal that’ll take you to super saturation, but it’s a GREAT foundation for other pedals. It’s almost like a clean boost on steroids.

With a Strat or Tele into a vintage Fender amp, this is totally a "leave on all the time" pedal. It adds sparkle, "bigness" and a huge soundstage to a small amp. It also sustains beautifully, like a good compressor. David Gilmour tones are totally achievable on this....to the point where I'm surprised he's not using a Klon himself.

For me, this is a "how did I live without this?" pedal. For high gain setups, the Centura won't be as useful I don't think. Into a cranked Mesa or JCM you're already getting that pushed tone. But, for adding sparkle and richness to a clean or lightly overdriven tone, the Centura is just fantastic. Robben Ford tones are totally achievable though a vintage Fender amp.

With a Gibson SG or Les Paul, I'd use it as a solo boost, not necessarily an "always on" pedal.

From what I gather, Nik from Ceriatone got a de-gooped Klon board for $4000 and set about to reverse-engineering it. Obviously some components are different, but after hearing and playing the Centura and the real Klon side by side, I'd say the Centura is 85-90% there. The real Klon has this beautiful high end sparkle that's missing on the Centura, but otherwise they're remarkably close.

 

pima1234

Fractal Fanatic
So you're saying the hype is real? I agree, having played the real thing (actually, a Klon Centaur Gold). Loads of amazing pedals out there, and yet a real Klon does have something unique going on.
 
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Ben Randolph

Power User
The hype is real. Big, big tone you'll get. I think it's a Dumble-ish sounding pedal through a clean Fender amp. A vintage Marshall JTM or JMP will sound huge-er, too.

It's a very unforgiving pedal, though. You can't "hide" behind this one. If you have technique, the Klon/Centura will magnify it. People who say they don't like the Klon...at the risk of sounding elitist...the Klon is not a tool for hacks.
 

2112

Fractal Fanatic
My experience with that circuit is that it gives you more of what you like from a given amp. I have a clone that I use as a pre boost into my old Recto and it turns it into a savage, tight riff machine.
 

Muad'zin

Power User
We have to keep in mind that the original Klons were made by one guy by hand, and that there were some small revisions along the way. So hand built + revisions + 5 to 10% deviations in specs in electronic components that always exist = not all Klons will sound the same regardless. Even if you did have two original gold Klons from the same production run. That's one of the advantages of SMD electronic components, much less deviation.

The circuit however has been traced twice at least, by freestompboxes.org and buildyourownclone and only a couple of component differences were found. FSB traced a gold version, BYOC a silver version. BYOC even measured the mysterious germanium diodes that the builder claimed supplied the real mojo, that were unique and key to the sound, and to which he cornered the world's remaining supply too. Most people just use 1N34A's, the standard available germanium diode and the general consensus is that the builder used those as well, but from a different supplier. BYOC determined that the Russian D9E germanium diode will get you in the measured ballpark. Not that it matters much anyway because when you use the Klon as a clean boost the clipping diodes will not influence the circuit.

Believe what you will, but I believe that the hype stems mostly from the emotional investment that people have in their gear. If you paid $4000 for an overdrive pedal chances are you will think that it sounds better then a cheap clone. After all, expensive is always better, right? Just look your average Axe FX vs. Line 6 Helix threads.
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
I’m the opposite typically. More expensive an item is, more I want to find a lower cost alternative and pocket all that cash.

If I had a real Klon and I could swap it out for a Centura, plus like $1200* in cash, I’d do that in a heartbeat.

As much as I like my Centura even, if I could duplicate the sound in the Axe III drive block, I’d put the Centura straight to Reverb, because again, it would be like $250+ cash in my wallet and I’d still have those tones. Win win!

But, to date, can’t quite match the sound, the “this makes every amp sound better on than off” tone sweetening, so I’m keeping it.

I have expensive gear, but I’m really cheap, and only like to spend as much as I need to. I do agree some people will want to justify higher prices with perceived improvements in tone. Some people think the same glass of wine taste better in a fancy restaurant at $20 a glass than poured from the $9 bottle at home, know what I mean?

Likewise the Centura has a good bit of added cost in the housing. It looks cool, but it doesn’t change the tone. Could probably be much cheaper in a standard $5 square enclosure, but we do play with our eyes as much as our ears. That shape, the knobs, heavy feel in hand, surely makes it sound “better” lol

Very cool pedal. Only perhaps not so good for those trying to drive prices up on the originals, or for all the other klones that don’t come quite as close. I don’t know if everyone need a Klon or Klone, but if you do want one, I think the Centura is the no brainer choice to buy. Why buy an Arc et al, for nearly the same price when you can get a Centura and have the look, the sound, the exact knobs etc right?
 

Muad'zin

Power User
There have been cases of boutique builders taking an existing pedal, rehousing its content, gooping it and selling it for even more. The Vertex Axis Wah was a BBE wah sold as their own? And the Freakish Blues Alpha Drive was just a Joyo clone of the OCD. And despite that there are still some people who maintain that those expensive pedals still sound better and different.

If you want a cheap clone the EHX Soul Food is an even cheaper alternative. And I'm sure that our Chinese friends have also Kloned and are selling it for even less.

And if you want to go really cheap (and DIY) http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.nl/2014/05/klon-centaur-with-optional-bass-control.html
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Soul Food didn’t sound the same to me. Bought one when they came out and then a used one few months ago. Didn’t try running it at higher volume, but wasn’t impressed at all with it, flipped it a few days later.

For certain rigs might sound better, and I’m not saying it sounded bad, but it didn’t have any wow factor for me, like where I want to keep it turned on all the time.

Perhaps a good starting point for folks who want to give a Klon style pedal a try though as they are quite cheap used. The original Tumnus also can be had at real low used prices
 

pima1234

Fractal Fanatic
Right. I can get so much of what I want out of the available choices in the Axe FX (II or AX8). That being said, I have never used a good drive pedal in front of my AX8, so I would only be comparing with a real amp.

As of now, my only analog gear is an ADA Rocket A10 and an early Ethos pedal ("Handy Drive"). I would really only play that at small gigs, of course. I'm very happy with both, and my AX8 of course. That drive pedal has so many options, it's unbelievable the range of tones available, and the amp is no slouch.

As much as I like my Centura even, if I could duplicate the sound in the Axe III drive block, I’d put the Centura straight to Reverb, because again, it would be like $250+ cash in my wallet and I’d still have those tones. Win win!

But, to date, can’t quite match the sound, the “this makes every amp sound better on than off” tone sweetening, so I’m keeping it.
 

luke

Fractal Fanatic
Can anyone verify one of these pedals being used on an iconic song release where tone became legend, say like the original Van Halen album?

When you are done builiding a house no one asks what type of hammer you used, they look at the final product and either it is pleasing to them or not.

I blame the hysteria on the internet and the entire "tone chaser" mentality.
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Can anyone verify one of these pedals being used on an iconic song release where tone became legend, say like the original Van Halen album?

When you are done builiding a house no one asks what type of hammer you used, they look at the final product and either it is pleasing to them or not.

I blame the hysteria on the internet and the entire "tone chaser" mentality.
Your post kind of contradicts itself... ?

With the exception of certain wacky fuzz pedals, a very distinct phased or flanger etc, I don’t think there are many pedals, especially boost/OD style that are totally unique.

Can anyone listen to an album and say “oh I hear a Timmy?” Or a Klon, or an AC or RC booster, or a Zen Drive etc ? No

Do al those pedals sound good though and add a subjective improvement to the tone ? You bet

It’s just an issue of what does a pedal add and how does it differs from what other pedals add? Lots of ways to do essentially the same thing but what does it “best”? What improved the tone without adding anything you don’t want ?

tube screamers are popular with some folks, others don’t like them because while they add some boost the mids are too changed and some don’t feel it’s for the better. Just comes down to opinion at the end of the day.

Just trust your ears and see if you a like a pedal better on or off. If you don’t want to turn it off it’s probably a pretty good pedal. Klon is doing that for me, and seemingly lots of other folks. No it’s not totally unique or original but most things aren’t.

100 watt plexi sounds good. Bacon taste good. Klon sounds good. Salma Hayek in “dust to dawn” was good lol. This things are so commonly agreed upon one could say they are cliche but who cares ?

Buy one, try one, if it doesn’t float your boat use something else, blame it on hype etc. I got one and it was like “oh yeah, I see why these are so popular”.

It’s the bacon of OD pedals
 

luke

Fractal Fanatic
It’s the bacon of OD pedals
Bacon is bad for you so I'll stick with the Axe Fx. o_O

I've played Klons, four real Dumbles and four real 1959 Les Pauls, to me it seems to be more about bragging rights than enhanced performance. I can afford all of the above, I just can't justify the costs, so I pass.
 

paulasbell

Inspired
...and an early Ethos pedal ("Handy Drive"). I would really only play that at small gigs, of course. I'm very happy with both, and my AX8 of course. That drive pedal has so many options, it's unbelievable the range of tones available...
Glad that the Handy Drive is continuing to find a good home with you, sir!
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Bacon is bad for you so I'll stick with the Axe Fx. o_O

I've played Klons, four real Dumbles and four real 1959 Les Pauls, to me it seems to be more about bragging rights than enhanced performance. I can afford all of the above, I just can't justify the costs, so I pass.

No doubt for some folks those things are bragging rights. How many guys who own an exotic sports car ever take it on the track? It’s about looking cool when you valet lol

That said, everyone has difference taste and preferences in life and even when you can tell a difference it doesn’t make the difference meaningful.

I can tell the difference in a $5 and $50 bottle of wine, but I don’t like either, so if I had to drink some wine I’d obviously go for the $5 bottle.

My racing bicycle is like $6000 custom built carbon fiber. My wife’s bike was $100 from Walmart. We both enjoy what we are riding. She wouldn’t appreciate mine and I would sure miss my wireless electronic shifting trying to use her “obsolete” index shifter.

as long as someone has something that works for them and it makes them happy, then more power to them. That’s true of pedals and anything else in life.

It’s “just as good”, “close enough”, a “better value” and all the rest of subjective comparison phrases we see constantly on gear forums are just that, subjective opinions and they are only true for the unique perspective of the person saying it.

A $5 bottle of wine is good enough for me, a $100 Walmart bike is not. Find someone else and they’ll take a $500 bottle of wine and maybe have zero interest in any mode of transportation that doesn’t have 4 wheels.

Too much “this works for me so it must work for everyone else” thinking on gear forums
 

pima1234

Fractal Fanatic
Can I have your bike?

LOL (damn I need to start riding again...)

And yeah, I'm inclined to agree with your post.

Sure, there was something really unique about the Klon I played. Then again, it was though an awesome Twin, with a fantastic ES335. So, that certainly had something to do with it!

No doubt for some folks those things are bragging rights. How many guys who own an exotic sports car ever take it on the track? It’s about looking cool when you valet lol

That said, everyone has difference taste and preferences in life and even when you can tell a difference it doesn’t make the difference meaningful.

I can tell the difference in a $5 and $50 bottle of wine, but I don’t like either, so if I had to drink some wine I’d obviously go for the $5 bottle.

My racing bicycle is like $6000 custom built carbon fiber. My wife’s bike was $100 from Walmart. We both enjoy what we are riding. She wouldn’t appreciate mine and I would sure miss my wireless electronic shifting trying to use her “obsolete” index shifter.

as long as someone has something that works for them and it makes them happy, then more power to them. That’s true of pedals and anything else in life.

It’s “just as good”, “close enough”, a “better value” and all the rest of subjective comparison phrases we see constantly on gear forums are just that, subjective opinions and they are only true for the unique perspective of the person saying it.

A $5 bottle of wine is good enough for me, a $100 Walmart bike is not. Find someone else and they’ll take a $500 bottle of wine and maybe have zero interest in any mode of transportation that doesn’t have 4 wheels.

Too much “this works for me so it must work for everyone else” thinking on gear forums
 
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