BYOC Silver Pony (Klon Clone)

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Tinman46, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,345
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    South Lousiana
    Watched a little bit of the video OP posted. I really don't get what the big fuss is about the KC. Can somebody explain in layman's terms? Also what famous recordings feature that pedal?
     
  2. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,635
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Have you ever gotten to crank a Twin? The best description to me is it sounds and feels very convincingly like a cranked Twin, when you're playing a smaller SF/BF type Fender, that is "breathing" a bit. Tight, responsive, beautiful sound. Responds to the Tele volume pot very much like a cranked Twin. I think it's in the feel that the KC is unique as much as the sound. This is at the "magic settings" by the way Gain off to about 10 o'clock, level a bit over unity. I haven't found another pedal that does this sound and feel quite as convincingly. YMMV, etc.
     
  3. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,532
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Silver City, NM
    Mark, I'm not dissing your satisfaction with the Silver Pony. Glad you like it and, more importantly to us on this Forum, glad you can intelligently express why you do like it. Your posts are always well considered.

    Maybe the Bad Monkey cannot duplicate every tone from a Klon, but other pedals can. And, I could argue, from direct, personal experience, that the Klon has a fairly narrow spectrum of useable knob settings - most players keep the gain setting well below Noon.

    FYI, a little context here. I owned an original, mid-90's, low serial number, gold horsie Klon Centaur and played through it for several years. At one of our band's rehearsals, my other guitar player and I a/b'd my Klon against his early-80's TS9. He was able to duplicate pretty much everything I tried on the Klon. I was there. First-hand. 2 sets of musician's ears, not to mention my bass player and drummer watching and listening to the comparison.
     
  4. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,345
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    South Lousiana
    Ok. I get it. Thanks for explaining this. I have a Twin, as a matter of fact, but I had it tubed so that it stays clean all the way. But I get what you're describing.
     
  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,635
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    I didn't take it as criticism Joe. And I do agree with much of what you say in this post. I probably use "unique" differently than most when talking about stomps. I'm in that camp that thinks most of the decent ones, especially from the same broad family tree, mostly sound and feel the same. That viewpoint itself draws vigorous debate and disagreement from some. Which is fine. And maybe my view is informed by generally using drive boxes as a sweetener rather than a main course (drive low, level and tone basically at unity).

    So when I say the Klon is unique, I'm probably talking pretty specifically about a few distinguishing characteristics. The difference between roasted chicken vs. roasted turkey maybe? For the Klon it's the feel, the tightness and presence, while retaining dynamics. I feel that a a TS is far less dynamic under my hand. But yes, into a raging amp (the way, incidentally, both circuits and just about any other old-school drive box were intended to be used), especially with gain up, the sounds coming out of both will likely be remarkably similar. Another distinction to me is that a Klon sounds most "TS like" with its drive up above noon, where to my ear the TS imposes the TS sound on the signal through the entire drive range, or even with the drive knob fully CCW for that matter.

    Wasn't trying to discount your experience or even disagree with it. Just point out that to me the BM video was both instructive and a bit limited (as I believe Burgs himself noted later). Hope I didn't make you think I was put-out or anything. I enjoy discussing/debating, even, GASP, disagreeing with you in TDPRI-land.
     
  6. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,601
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver BC, Canada
  7. Devillian

    Devillian Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    254
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    What's your other klone if you don't mind me asking?
     
  8. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,062
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    This really just highlights what I was trying to say - this A/B'ing business is really more of IMO a diversion away from using any specific tool to its full depth, and more just trying to reduce them all to settings where they sound the same.

    ...What is the point in that?

    And no - I didn't mean that many/most pedals will have some sort of sweet spot, either. If one considers the sort of general purpose/"wide range" aspect of their designs, and then realizes that many designs are piggybacked from others, the sweet spot isn't going to be...really sweet. :lol:

    That's why I highlighted what you said, Mark. I know you've been thru the wringer on your pedal quest, and really are trying to wind things down. And that makes sense. At the same time, you've come to realize that a TS and a Klon are not equal, even if they have one setting that is equal, and that even given your preference for simplicity and "performance with value," you will still pay more, or explore more - for something that "must seem like it hits a very sweet spot."

    ...Is that not what you were saying? Because maybe I'm enhancing your statement to my own end, which I don't intend to do.

    And I guess I should mention - the Klon isn't something that provides me with a sweet spot, so this is all very subjective. And - all the more reason to not try and A/B pedals to get settings where they sound similar (unless that is important for some reason - I don't mean to discount it as being the case for some).

    But "the sweet spot thing" - there isn't a ton of gear that I've used that absolutely provides it, and I can't replicate it with just anything (despite trying). I really like the DiMarzio HS-1 in the neck position - great blend of punch, pop, and softness. The problem is that it was discontinued a long time ago. It has an 'outdated' hum canceling design, and the output is very low. But that's why it provides the sweet spot.

    ...There's bridge saddles, other pickups, speakers, and of course pedals that I will choose over anything else that I might be able to dial in to sound similar - because they all hit the fine line.

    Oftentimes, the sweet spot gear for me is not unobtanium or outrageously priced. But if someone finds something great about the Klon, or Tone Tubby speakers, or 'something that only a Victoria amp will do' - I know what they mean.

    Having said all of this - and keeping it on-topic with this thread - I think there may be a great many purchasers of the Silver Pony who will finally get something that hits the sweet spot for them - something that wasn't quite there with other Klones or the Soul Food.

    ...Or - something that they just couldn't find in a Bad Monkey...despite witnessing the YouTube video A/B'ing it with a Klon. I think some really wanted to be able to match it. Or that Zoom pedal that was claimed to be a Klone. I can't imagine that being the case - it would outsell every other product Zoom made, wouldn't it? :confused:

    So again - it's something that makes me feel good for other guitarists, even if it does nothing for me personally. I haven't really heard anyone out and out say that the Silver Pony is "way off from sounding like a Klon." Until BF gets his s___ together and figures out how to make the real deal at real production #'s (which is really now silly, considering that the KTR was/is SMT construction, and the Silver Pony isn't :eek:), it's a great time for those who seek a specific sort of sweet spot. And I'm not balking about a price for this thing at any point on the spectrum.

    IMO, some gear just deserves more merit/kudos, as subjective as it might be, or in spite of the fact that much of it is crude/basic tools.

    ...It's just the other side of the coin. And I'm fine with coins having two sides. :lol:
     
  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,635
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    . Pm'd
     
  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,635
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Well, we both know a Rat tweaked for low gain throughout its drive pot yields a nice big sweet spot!
     
  11. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,532
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Silver City, NM
    We all a/b pedals all the time in the normal course and evolution of deciding which pedals to use and when. And a part of this exercise is to determine if the same or similar tones can be generated from different pedals. Such as, "Should I use my SD-1 or my TS9 for the gig tonight?" or "Will my Rat give me more of what I need right now than my DS-1?" We just don't always make a video of our decision-making process and put it up on YouTube. But we're making comparisons all the time.

    The legendary Klon hype just made that pedal an easy target for tone comparisons with other, cheaper pedals. The video comparison of the Silver Pony vs. a silver Klon is just that - comparing a Klon to a cheaper pedal. if the SP had a $250 price tag, this thread wouldn't have been started.

    Regarding the Zoom PD-01, it was already out of production by the time the Klon hype peaked. And, it was just a good, light-overdrive pedal, just like the Klon. The Maxon 820 was similarly compared to the Klon. It was cheaper but not cheap enough.

    Regarding my Klon/TS9 comparison in my post above, we did it for fun, not to make a point or to further an agenda. And we were surprised by the results. At most, not one but most, settings on the Klon, we could produce the same tones on the TS9, using the same guitar and amp for each comparison.
     
  12. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,062
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    That's what I'm getting at. The Rat is another example - I've played too many dirt boxes to remember them all, but that is one that I can almost hear its signature sound in my head.

    ...And again - it's subjective, for sure. But for me - you take something like a guitar with a P90 at the bridge, a Super Reverb opened up to about 5, and a Rat with the dist dialed up just a bit higher than this low gain setting we talk about...

    ....That is a sound I just can't replicate with a DS-1 or any of the other standard fare. A Guv'nor won't touch it, and neither will a Shredmaster, or dialed-down HM-2, or whatever else you want to throw at it.

    The Russian-era Big Muffs - another fitting example. They have a sweet spot I can't hit with other Muffs by EHX. In retrospect, it looks to be entirely accidental by EHX just given the situation, but hey - whatever it takes. My point is that if I never would have tried a green Russian back in the mid-90's, I possibly may still not know.

    Maybe it would be better to frame it like this -

    Take a RoG Peppermill, and have it put in a DOD box for a 2 knobber, and maybe call it "the OD 110" or something. Now take a OD 250. I can tell you that there is no way I can use the 250 to substitute what the Peppermill does - no way.

    ...Some may call the above "cheating," or some kind of anomaly. I don't care - the PM is available - you just need to either build it or have it built. I just can't quit the thing for IDK how many years now. The whole gain knob is a sweet spot AFAIC.:p
     
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,635
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Wish I'd heard of the Klon pre-hype so I could have gotten a big box unit from BF for a "reasonable" price and run that same test. Very interesting point about the Pony being a cheaper pedal, just like the TS. But with expectations built in because we are told it is a "Klone".
     
  14. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,532
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Silver City, NM
    At the time (early 2000's), the stock vintage (1983?) TS was probably worth more than my Klon! :eek::eek::eek:

    :lol:
     
  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,635
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Yes please!:D

    Kinda makes one wonder if a lower value drive pot could be dropped in the 250 and what would that sound like? :p
     
  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,635
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    I just looked up listings for vintage 808s on the Bay. The BINs START at $649 and top out at $1200!:eek: I have no idea if people actually get that price. But it kinda makes one wonder about the derision the Klon gets for its crazy prices. Don't Silver's go in that range? And I'd just guess there were orders of magnitudes more of the 808s produced. Wonder why those prices don't earn the 808 the same bitterness and scorn as the Klon (which was at least in a unique, expensive enclosure and until recently hand-made in small numbers - heck, it's still machine-made in small numbers:roll eyes:)?

    Either way, I really don't doubt your experience. But I also don't doubt mine! When I plugged my Klone in (which was cheap, so no pricey baggage, and by then I'd been "taken in" by some expensive boxes that sounded blah, so I knew better) it felt and sounded different than my TS. At the margins to be sure. I had happily gigged an 808RI for quite a while at that point. The Klon just worked better for me with riding the volume knob. It was a little clearer and had more of a low mids voice that could be dialed up or down with the drive knob. Where the 808 had more of a fixed, higher mid voice. And then the mighty Klone was ultimately superseded for me by the Rat and then the humble 250.

    To bring it back around, the Pony is slightly different (and better) to my ear than my original Klone. But it's at the margins for sure. And this discussion (which has been FUN) caused me to plug in my Pony for 2 hours last night and just play. Loves my Capistan and I came up with a bunch of new riffs and a chord progression for a new song (complete with terrible placeholder lyrics). So maybe ears just get tired and need a refresher from time to time.

    I did plug into my bandmate's 808 (Silver mod - is that Analogman?) at rehearsal recently and confirmed the TS just isn't for me. But he sounds bloody brilliant through the thing! Clear as day, full lows (he's playing a Twin RI), not honky at all. Maybe it's nearly impossible to generalize about circuits. But it's fun to try!
     
  17. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,532
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Silver City, NM
    Because for the past 10+ years there have been less expensive 808 and TS based pedals widely available - no waiting lists, accurate or modded circuits, etc. Until relatively recently, we (the so-called pedal community) have drunk the kool-aid marketing crap that the Klon couldn't be cloned, and if it was, it sounded different. So if you want a Klon, you have to buy a Klon. Hopefully, the Silver Pony will put an end to the bs.

    And, again, thanks for your well-expressed insights into your new #1 pedal!
     
  18. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,062
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    The way a stock 250 works, you'd actually need a bigger drive pot. :eek:

    And the stock value is 500K - that means you'd have to jump it up to 1 meg. The other interesting thing is that the pot used in that pedal is "old school weird" - it's a "reverse audio" taper.

    The 250 has a fixed resistor in its negative feedback loop, and that sucker is 1 meg. If you made it smaller, you'd reduce the gain. But there's no free lunch - you may not like the sweep thru the pot's range with such a reduction.

    ...That's why I suggest that someone who's building more than one 250 by scratch may want to try putting a jumper where the stock drive pot goes, and use a 1 meg (regular audio taper) pot in place of the resistor in the negative feedback loop. This basically gives you "the TS/Rat/SD-1/etc." way of applying gain.

    ...It's also probably the singlemost major change IMO from the Voodoo Lab OD and the Fulltone OCD.

    And if you flip those two around, a lot of the same stuff that applies to a TS will apply to the 250. So a 1 meg drive pot will be 2X what the TS has. So for "really low gain," you'll want lower than 500K...

    Anyway - if you're hoping that a low gain-specific 250 might sound like a Peppermill, I wish that were the case. The two are really night and day. For low gain chores, I haven't found a single thing that will match the PM (for my needs). But it has neither an op amp nor clipping diodes, so that's not surprising.

    ...And - the PM is a bona-fide example of "low gain only, OD only." So there's no flexibility there for those who want a bit more grind, and (IMO) you can't "fake it as a clean boost" like some users will frequently try to do with what are actually dirt boxes. I guess that's the part that's relevant to this discussion - Klon is supposed to be "double duty" - boost or OD. There seems to be this great fascination with a stomp being able to do both equally well. IDK why anyone would want the equivalent of a spork for a stompbox, but who knows? :confused::twisted::lol:
     
  19. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,635
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Ha!
     
  20. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    7,478
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta/Rome, Georgia, US
    I've had several conversations with Bill, including the first one in 1996 when we talked about whether his pedal might be a good fit for me. At the time I was playing mostly blackface and brownface Fenders, and this was just before I started geting into Voxes. He asked me if I gigged much and I said yes. So he sold me a pedal for $225.00. Still have it.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.