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Klon Centaur - Godsend or Overrated? Contact info?

8/22/2000 1:23 AM
Klon Centaur - Godsend or Overrated? Contact info?
Looking for input from Klon users and is there a website or does anyone have a phone number? Thanks as always.
8/22/2000 7:52 PM
Jim S.

Personally, I think they're decent pedals, but way overrated. They're certainly not magical, in the way some people might have you believe.  
At minimum gain setting, it does have a very nice, pristing clean boost feature, however. I suspect that most of the players who rave about the Centaur either use it as a complete clean boost (gain on zero w/no distortion added, just a louder signal to the amp) or with the gain set very low, no more than 9:00 or 10:00 (still basically clean, but with a touch of compression and very light clipping on signal peaks). These settings work well with an amp that is already cranked well into overdrive territory, but are useless for getting any real crunch or sustain out of an amp that is running clean or is only barely beginning to distort.  
When the gain is turned up further, the Centaur, to my ears, sounds similar to a very well-executed TS-9/808 clone. The tone is a bit more refined (still not very "tube-like", however), but, like a TS-9, suffers from excessive compression and an unnatural sounding mid-hump in its EQ. At these higher gain settings, touch-sensitivity and "feel" start to go out the window.  
The Centaur is not a bad pedal, and its construction and cosmetics are certainly wonderful. But I think there are better choices for those who need to get reasonably realistic, punchy sounding overdrive tones out of amps that are not turned up very loud.  
For clean boost duties, a Z Vex SHO or a good compressor pedal might be as equally effective and cheaper.
8/23/2000 3:28 AM
Daniel R. Haney

"Looking for input from Klon users and is there a website or does anyone have a phone number?"
Can't find the phone but you can contact Bill Finnegan via .  
As for the Klon or any other pedal being overrated, you'll have to decide.  
Some pedals are designed for gigging volume and some  
are designed for quiet noodling.  
8/27/2000 2:58 PM
T Crow

In response to the question concerningthe Klon Centaur, I have had my Klon for many years. I bought it direct from Bill at a vintage guitar show in Dallas. I heard it and knew that it did exactly what I wanted it to do. I use mine for a good cleanish boost with a little bit of "hair" on it. It pushes my amp into overdrive very, very nicely. It does have a fair amount of gain and certainly does retain that mid hump that a previous poster noted. I sometimes use the pedal for that purpose when recording, but find that its true beauty lies in its ability to boost the amp naturally. In the clean boost mode it doesn't really have that mid hump. It is fat and rich sounding...nothing like a TS-9/808 which seems to have the mid hump at low or high gain settings. Also it doesn't seem to rob your bass like a TS-9 does. I use both a Klon and a TS-9 in my board as well as an original (I read the posts concerning this debate and can understand both sides' concerns) Z Vex Super Hard On and an SIB Echodrive. I LOVE the Z Vex SHO and believe it to be in a different league than the Klon. It has a very Hi Fi type of sound to it. Very 3-D sounding. It just makes any amp sound better. I use it for a nice clean, shimmery sound on my clean tone OR to fatten up solos on top of the Klon. Man, they are both wonderful pedals, but also pretty different as well. It would be very dificult for me to choose between them. I like them both very much. I am in the process of removing the TS-9 from my board in order to replace it with a Crowther Hotcake, which is a huge sounding overdrive/distortion/fuzz (?) whose sonic territory lies somewhere bewtween a Tube Screamer/Tube Driver/Big Muff. Anyway, you may want to check out that pedal too. It has a switch on it that allows you to select the "Mid Boost" mode...basically giving it that mid hump we were talking about earlier. I use mine in the "Normal" mode. Actually the newer models have a knob instead of a switch allowing you to select a sound somewhere in between...Very Cool indeed. Well, I hopt this rant helps you in you search for TONAL NIRVANA. Good Luck!
8/28/2000 7:45 AM
Jim S.

So it sounds like you usually use the Centaur the way most people do -- with the gain control set very low.  
I have to wonder if a good compressor pedal, such as an MXR Dynacomp or a Maxon CP101 (I just bought one of these -- I love it already) would do pretty much the same thing as the Centaur. The overdrive harmonics are really happening inside your amp, not inside the pedal, so what you're really looking for is:  
1) a boosted, "hotter" signal going out of the box than what is going into it  
2) a slight bit of compression  
3) a subtle sonic/EQ enhancement, such as maybe a "thickening" effect  
The Centaur is probably providing these qualities in just the right balance to satisfy you. But compressors also can give these qualities, as well.  
Anyway, if something works for you, then keep using it!
9/2/2000 1:39 AM
Ian Anderson

"Some pedals are designed for gigging volume and some are designed for quiet noodling"
I can testify to that one. My EH Hot Tubes sounds awfull at bedroom volumes, but comes alive at gig/rehersal levels - obviously the amp plays a *big* part here.  
On the other hand, I'm always liked the sound of most fuzzes at low volumes as they mush out and loose definition on stage for my needs - better for bedroom noodling and studio overdubs IMO.  
... Ian
8/30/2000 3:26 AM

Bill Finnegan @ Klon. 1-617-666-1551
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