Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

aNaLoG.MaN King of Tone (review)

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by the guy who invented fire, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. the guy who invented fire

    the guy who invented fire Tele-Holic

    639
    Jun 27, 2004
    The ATL
    well, I said I'd post a review...here goes!

    Well, I finally got my King of Tone pedal a week or so ago after a 2+ year wait. I packed up almost all my other effects and went to town with the KoT!

    I spent most of the time with my #1 Telecaster, my Strat and my 58 reissue Les Paul. The amp I leaned on the most was my 62 brown Fender Deluxe but my Mission Amps Super and my 69 Twin reverb did get some time too.

    First off, this is an amazing looking pedal...I got v4 which is the newest at this time, it's finished in hammer tone purple paint with yellow/gold graphics, it sports 6 external controls and 3 internal controls. The controls on the outside are a pair of volumes, a pair of tones and a pair of drive controls. On the inside there are 2 treble boost (or cut) mini pots and a bank of 4 dip switches. The KoT v4 is more or less 2 OD pedals in one box that share a common power supply but that’s it...they have all their own controls and each side can be set in a number of different ways. There is more to it and if you want more about the specs of the pedal check it out at AM's web site.

    I also have to say this...the KoT is a VERY well made pedal...great parts, high quality and made very well, solid as a tank. Very well thought out design and VERY user friendly.

    There are 3 modes that can be had on either of the 2 channels of this pedal..."clean", "od" and "dist"...I will say this, this pedal is NOT a TS type unit and sounds NOTHING like one to my ears but for comparison purposes Mike uses a TS as a measuring stick if you will, this is from his site and will break down the 3 modes...

    1) Normal Overdrive mode (OD mode): This is the standard King Of Tone sound- a little less drive available than a tube screamer. Factory DIP switch setting has this mode on the right (red) channel. This mode can get about 4 times louder than a tube screamer if desired.

    2) CLEAN mode : This mode has less drive, can be used for clean boosts or clearer, louder sounds. It's like a clean boost with an overdrive knob. CLEAN MODE is even less compressed than the standard OD mode. The factory DIP switch setting uses this mode on the left (yellow) channel. This mode can get twice as loud as the OD mode. You can think of the clean mode as the OD mode with the overdrive removed, allowing louder, clearer tone. But the drive knob still functions and can add some drive to the sound, and volume as it's turned up.

    3) DISTORTION mode : This mode has more drive than the standard OD mode- a touch of hard distortion. The sound is more compressed, yet retains the King Of Tone character. This mode can get about twice as loud as a tube screamer. Think of this mode as a cross between a Boss DS-1 distortion and OD-1 overdrive, with more clarity. We recommend most players use the OD and CLEAN modes. While the DIST mode sounds great, and I like to use it on certain occasions, it does not allow the pedal to get its absolute BEST tones. You can put an aged single malt Scotch whisky on ice, but it would be a shame to dilute it!

    This pedal is simply one of the best (if not THE best) Overdrive pedals I've ever heard! It keeps all the bass in your tone, it doesn't muddy up the mids and the treble never gets harsh or fizzy. The tone control(s) have a very broad range but never get muddy or harsh in either extreme of it's rotation, the drive control(s) are very useable as well, and the volume controls can be used to get less than unity gain (if need be) and way beyond it if you want it...this pedal has LOTS of volume on all 3 settings! If you like the tone you get from your guitar/amp combo as is you'll love the KoT, if you have a crappy tone don't expect the KoT to "fix" it
     

  2. the guy who invented fire

    the guy who invented fire Tele-Holic

    639
    Jun 27, 2004
    The ATL
    This is what I have found so far and what I’m using the pedal for...if I’m at home (I live in an apartment) and can't crank my amps I'll set the red channel for the 3rd mode (distortion) and use that side as a stand alone crunch box...it's not high gain by any means but **** does it have killer tone!!! It's a nice crunchy tone and responds to all your playing changes like a cranked amp does, it's full of very natural sounding harmonics and let’s the tone of the guitar and amp really shine through. I use the yellow channel set to the 2nd mode (od) and use it as a boost for solo's...I keep the volume and gain controls set to get a little more volume but with a very similar tone and I just cascade them together, in other words I don’t switch the red side off then switch the yellow side off...red for crunch and red and yellow for solos, however if I do turn the red side off the yellow side alone gives me a killer mild OD on it's own.

    Now, if I can crank the amp I go back to the factory settings...that is the red set to OD and the yellow to clean...and I use the red side to give the amp that kick that makes for a killer thick crunchy tone for chords and such then I'll kick on the yellow side, again for leads...set to a very similar tone (maybe just a hair more cut to the tone) but with more volume.

    Like I said above this is simply one of the best OD pedals I've ever used, I couldn't be happier with it. Not a high gain crunch box by any means but if you want to hear you amp cranked but can't crank it the KoT is great, if you're looking to take a killer cranked amp and add a little more to it...give it a nice kick in the pants w/o loosing the tone you took so long to create the KoT is for you...in other words, believe the hype...the price is very reasonable IMO, the wait on the other hand is long (I waited just over 2 years) but IMO it is worth it and if my KoT were to get stolen I wouldn't be bothered t all to either have to pay the crazy high ebay prices or wait another 2 years to get another one! It's hard to get a bad sound out of this pedal!
     

  3. Lance

    Lance Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlottesville, VA
    Good review....

    Pretty much what I found. I normally use the normal :) mode as it's the best sounding to my ears. Lately, I've been using the KOT in my Northern VA apartment during the week...and I've been using the distortion mode. The distortion mode is really too thick for any tube amp that's already crunching but is still fun. In front of my Super Champ it's a load of fun...but the distortion mode gets squishy.

    This isn't the stomp box for a crap amp. If you've already got a good sounding tube amp, this is an awesome pedal to put in front. Don't expect magic from a Gorilla or other junk amp. But in front of my '65 BFDR....the tone is maaaaahvelous!

    and there's the Stupid Wait.

    Compared a/b with my Klon, I'd really have to give the nod to my Klon. It's a little better but we're talking about a very slight differences. But....then again, the Klon doesn't have that second channel.

    Maybe think of it as a Klon with an OCD after it?
     

  4. the guy who invented fire

    the guy who invented fire Tele-Holic

    639
    Jun 27, 2004
    The ATL
    I am just not a fan of the Klon pedal top be honest, it sounds great for some guys but for me it just doesn't do it. However the ability to have 2 channels and all the different settings make the KoT a keeper for me for sure...none of my amps have master volumes so the distortion setting really helps with low lever crunch...Im still just lovin it!
     

  5. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Vermont
    I'm another very satisfied KoT owner. Awesome pedal. Just to add to what has already been said, I don't use it for a solo boost the same way I would use a TS9. I use it more as a tone shaping tool for rhythm and sometimes if I want to add a little sustain to a solo. I have it set up for 3 stages of light gain and my TS9 provides a 4th. Awesome little box. Well worth the wait.
     

  6. shakedancer

    shakedancer Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 3, 2004
    north of Boston
    Had mine a few years. Perfect!!
     

  7. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ
    It's the only overdrive I've kept besides the FD2. I wish the FD2 had two seperate channels like the KOT does... I'd set one for comp-cut and one for FM. The KOT is great, I can't imagine getting rid of it. I use it to push an already-pushed tube amp farther into overdrive territory, and it works great for that. As a clean boost, I prefer the FD2 comp-cut, but as an overdrive, both pedals rock incredibly. The seperate channels (with seperate vol, tone, and drive controls) really sets it apart. And it's in a relatively small box...
     

  8. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    67
    Mar 16, 2003
    Midwest
    How does it compare to the boost side (not overdrive) of a Klon? The Klon is still one of the most transparent and best sounding boosts I've heard.

    Tom
     

  9. Lance

    Lance Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlottesville, VA
    Klons

    There's no "Boost" side of a Klon per se. There's only three control: drive, volume and tone. If what you're asking is whether a KoT sounds as good as a Klon being using as a clean boost (meaning drive set to low; volume high)....then, my experience is that it's pretty close. I really haven't heard anything yet that is as transparent as a Klon but again...the differences are very slight once you're in the realm of these boutique pedals.

    The KoT does the clean boost very well. However, I think there are a number of very good clean boost alternatives that will sound almost as good for a lot less $$$. I think what sets the KoT apart really is that the channels act a lot more independently than other dual pedals....that and that the OD seems to mate well with a variety of amps. It also seems to very easy to dial in two sounds that work well together....whether that be clean boost/OD or OD/distortion.
     

  10. sonvolt

    sonvolt TDPRI Member

    46
    Aug 20, 2007
    Hawthorne, NJ
    I love my KOT V4. Very amp like pedal and sounds great w/any guitar. I run the internal treble boost real low and then use the external tone to add some grit to the OD. I run a hoochie mama in front of it for solos and it screams. Big open lead tones w/great harmonics.
     

  11. Lance

    Lance Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlottesville, VA
    Interesting

    Interesting...I always run the distortion stuff after my KoT (or Klon). Boosting a distortion seems to mush it up too much.
     

  12. sonvolt

    sonvolt TDPRI Member

    46
    Aug 20, 2007
    Hawthorne, NJ
    Guess it depends on the amp, etc. I have tried it the other way too.
     

  13. Ray G

    Ray G Tele-Holic

    827
    Mar 17, 2003
    New Jersey
    I have the original version of the KOT, #25 to be exact. Best sounding overdrive pedal I've ever owned or ever tried.
     

  14. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    67
    Mar 16, 2003
    Midwest
    "If what you're asking is whether a KoT sounds as good as a Klon being using as a clean boost (meaning drive set to low; volume high)....then, my experience is that it's pretty close."


    Yeah, Lance, that's it. Was just curious how they compared as clean boosts.

    Tom
     

  15. Niles

    Niles Tele-Meister

    240
    Feb 1, 2007
    North Carolina
    I have an earlier (1st?) version, small enclosure. I like it a lot but it does not retain ALL of the bass. I notice the loss mostly at home not on a gig. My OCD does seem to retain all of the bass but the only setting on the OCD that I really love is with the drive turned all the way down. The OCD does clean up with the guitar's volume control, better than any pedal I've owned. I think my ideal OD pedal would combine the best aspects of both pedals. I'd love to try the GT-500.
     

  16. DavidP

    DavidP Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 16, 2003
    Vancouver, BC
    KOT v4 volume range?

    Well, I just got mine hooked up this weekend but have some questions about the volume range on each channel before I go and bug Mike about it (bear in mind I've been usng a FD2 for a number of years now so that's what I'm used to). At what volume knob setting (with the others at 12 o'clock high) do you get unity volume and how much volume increase range after that? I have attenuation at volumes below 2 o'clock in either channel, and unity between 2-3, running either a battery or adaptor power.
     

  17. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    That's because the KOT is a Marshall Bluesbreaker tweaked clone.

    There are 9 differences in components between a BB and the KOT, plus the dip switch which allows you to turn on or off resistors and diodes, to get the different "modes."

    The FullDrive is a Boss SD-1 tweaked clone, and the OCD is a Voodoo Labs Overdrive tweaked clone.
     

  18. Lance

    Lance Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlottesville, VA
    David,
    Basically, straight up on all controls is unity. I usually run my tones slight higher...maybe 1pm. On the boost side, I have the knob at 1pm and the OD side is around 3pm. Adjust the volume to suit. It's a pretty conservative setting as I also use an OCD for the heavy stuff.

    Inside, DIP switches are stock setting.

    L-
     

  19. 59TweedVibrolux

    59TweedVibrolux Tele-Holic

    695
    Jun 1, 2008
    Australia
    2 Year wait :eek: Fargen Mini Plex or Suhr Badger will give you pure
    Power Tube O/D at Bedroom levels. Don't need any
    pedals pushing the front end.
     

  20. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ

    I've got a KOT v.4. That doesn't sound right. Better call Mike.

    I have had weird phase issues with pedals before, where I have some pedals powered by different sources I think, and this affects the volume of that individual pedal pretty drastically. I almost sent an SIB Echodrive back for repair because I thought it was broken, but it turned out to be a weird phase issue (or maybe a cable issue) that I got sussed out.
     

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