BYOC Silver Pony (Klon Clone)

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

  1. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is the famous Klon vs. Bad Monkey battle from a live performance video or is it from some controlled enironment basement benchtesting A/B session?

    No big whoop to get a sound out of one pedal to sound a whole lot like a sound in another pedal. That's about like getting a G chord to sound like a G chord through a Telecaster, a Gretsch Duo Jet, and a Les Paul Recording. The basic sound is of course part of it. Other considerations are feel, headroom, travel across the instrument's volume pot, interaction/effect of entire signal chain w/ buffer A vs. buffer B, etc.

    Even if a TS9 or Bad Monkey can 'sound' like a Klon (and to me they just don't, sorry), I don't play the same way through either of those as I do through a Klon. Klon is just more refined. But maybe it's just my imagination.
     
  2. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Here ya go, Tim. FWIW :lol:

     
  3. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for that Joe!

    Yep.
     
  4. TwangToInfinity

    TwangToInfinity Tele-Holic

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    wow that kon sounds great even thru that badmonkeys buffer
     
  5. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    That is a big part of the problem IMO with what I oftentimes take to think is an exercise in only matching the basic EQ and amount of clipping with any two given pedals.

    I know a lot of users don't know or don't care to know the technical points, and why circuit A with discrete transistors will never really actually feel and respond like circuit B with op amps and clipping diodes, just to try and really over-simplify things (and not saying that's been the case w/any two pedals mentioned in this thread).

    ...But the point with that is depending on how things are with feel/headroom/tight/loose/etc., wiring up the same EQ characteristics (either hardwired or adjustable) is typically pointless, IME.

    ...Even though the guitar covers what is a rather limited part of the frequency spectrum, there's enough range for drive boxes to be deliberately tuned a certain way WRT their EQ's. And to be clear - I'm not just talking about something like the Timmy, w/a mostly flat response and the ability to subtract bass or treble from it. Depending on the clipping and such, it really kind of precludes to shape things a certain way. And it requires thinking about which amps might be used.

    And - a bit of it might be the tastes of the designer - things like fuzzes tend to be more bass heavy, while things like ODs will tend to have a mid peak at some broadly appealing frequency.

    I also think there are instances when some of this might get lost on some players based on what they play, and how they play it. Angus Young only uses the bridge pickup. Lots of blues guys might hardly ever use the bridge pickup, OTOH. This isn't even taking into account the guitar or pickups. Lots of things with PAFs IMO are probably going to have more attenuated trebles, and the scale length w/a Gibson is kind of known for having a more muted sound on the lower frets...compared to the longer scale of a Fender, which will typically have things sounding more open and distinct between strings, even with a "non trad"/non-Fender type of pickup.

    ...And we haven't even gotten into talking amps yet! :lol:

    Then if someone like Danny Gatton would have used pedals, I'd wager that he probably would have maxed the tone control on almost any one that he might have used, in spite of the design.

    But I still insist that oftentimes this can amount to "not using the optimal tool optimally." :lol: And when that happens, we might miss out on something that has a sweet spot for certain things. In spite of the cost or time spent experimenting, I think lots of guitarists who are serious about their craft won't have to chalk that up to being wasted time/money.

    ...There's also the deliberate 'reverse engineering of a rig,' or simply not using something per its intended purpose - and even then, some tools are going to be better for that than others.

    That's what I mean when I try (personally) to steer clear of what seem to be like 'exercises in tonal homogeneity convergence.' :lol:

    Oh - and folks frequently boil this down to "I still sound like me, whether I play thru a ____ or a ____ or even a ____." And that's again IMO where the focus should not be. Of course someone is going to sound like themselves.

    Like Joe, for me the important element NOW is that hopefully the Silver Pony will be "a game changer in all the right ways." Supply of the real deal makes it hard for many guitarists to get an opportunity to hear what it might have to offer. And other Klones may not have had the amount of A/B testing from an actual 'blueprinted" KC to know if the playing field has been leveled.

    ...There will always be naysayers, but I think the SP will help to tamp down a lot of the 'previously intangible parts of the arguments,' at least for those with a decent amount of rationale. ;)

    I'm not even a Klon/Klone fan, and this is a great thread, IMO.
     
  6. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Agree, on both points.
     
  7. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

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    their is a klon on ebay, a red one? anyhow what caught me off guard is how bad the pedal has effected he original builder. if the guy is putting a sticker on it reminding people he has no part in the hype of the pedal, or control the hate that comes with it.

    also i see one of the pedal builder is modding the soul food. no mater what, i do not see things changing. to bad for the original designer. must be quite he head ache to havvve to defend your pedal over and over.

    chris.
     
  8. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    there's a local guy on craigslist offering silver pony builds for I think $120
     
  9. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yes both of these phenomena are obnoxious :lol:
     
  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I kind of think this is why many dirt boxes (putting fuzz aside for a minute) can be dialed in to sound so similar. If you are pedal-maker, somehow you have make a box that can sound good played by:

    - a hack who plays with a thick pick, bigger strings and wails on them like a flailing judo champ (guilty) playing into a dimed amp

    - a jazz guy with a thin pick, light strings and incredibly light touch, into a clean Jazz chorus

    - a slide player

    - a rock guy into a clean amp getting all dirt from pedals

    - a fingerstyle electric player with incredible touch dynamics

    - a hybrid-picker with a stiff flat-pick and fingers

    And on and on and on. If you don't design with all those variables and users in mind, I bet you are doomed unless you can somehow find a loyal, viable and saleable niche in just one. And then what, when someone like me finally grows up and learns some touch, the niche "hack box" I bought now sounds like garbage? So you're going to design for the crowd by necessity I'd think and having a dirt box that can handle all that variety of input/technique will have to be "familiar to all" so to speak.
     
  11. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    While the technical discussions often go over my head and I don't have anything of real value to contribute to the discussion, I still pay attention in case there's a pop quiz later. The technical info is both interesting and educational to me, and what I'm able to take away from such often informs my decisions, and my knowledge of what I like and don't like - and why.

    The points you are making here remind me of why I largely skip sound clips, at least as a means of trying to ascertain anything in particular about a circuit. I glean much more value from users' verbal accounts of their experiences with said circuit(s). Sound clips don't mean much to me simply because I'm not the one playing the pedal.

    As an owner of the original pedal in question (and I'm reasonably certain that I'm not alone in this regard), I have generally avoided Klon threads like the bubonic plague over the last ten years or so - but I'd agree that this one has been quite enjoyable.
     
  12. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Tim, we must have bought our Klons about the same time. I sold mine about 6 years later, for a modest profit. Yours has to be worth $2-3K now.

    Just curious, do you gig with it, or is it now a protected investment that never leaves your home?
     
  13. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Some additional thoughts and questions to the circuit gurus, please...

    First, when I had my Klon, I never had the gain knob up very far - just didn't like its higher-gain tones. I also am not a fan of TS-type pedals. What I'm hearing here is that, with the Klon/Silver Pony/Klones, as the gain is increased, more mid-range is added to the EQ. This would explain my own Klon experience.

    Is this correct? More gain = more mid-range? If so, wouldn't this mean that as the gain is increased, so are the Klon's tonal similarities to a Tube Screamer?

    Second, this might be too soon but does anyone know how the Silver Pony compares to the EHX Soul Food, tone-wise? The EHX marketing stuff is careful not to claim that the Soul Food is a 1:1 klone, but the BYOC blurb does make that claim.

    Last, I just found this video demo of the Soul Food that has an interesting commentary/explanation of the gain circuit. I'm wondering if this is true just for the Soul Food, or if it's also true for the Klon. The pertinent section is at 4:30 of the video:



    Thanks.
     
  14. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

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    and a toggle switch, and a potentiometer to the side of the box.. and you get the modded soul food. not sure how the mod helps the soul food. but i guess comes down to the circuit of the soul food.

    chris.
     
  15. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    I almost wish that I wanted a Klon/Klone, just so that I could properly participate in this thread... :lol:
     
  16. gtrguru

    gtrguru Friend of Leo's

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    U just did participate!

    I didn't necessarily want a klon. I've used one at a local store with a 70s Plexi and old Music Man 1x12 and had a blast. Didn't represent my rig but I couldn't talk the shop-keep into letting me try the silver klon at home.

    I wanted to get into diy stompboxes and heard great things bout the BYOC gang. Finally got this waterslide decal crap figured out. Next time I'm going another route.
     
  17. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I agree wholeheartedly.

    This is why sound clips mean nothing to me, personally. What Andy at PGS can make a DS-1 sound like is about as meaningful as a Ringling Bros circus performance - it's entertaining, but that's all that it's worth, for me.


    At the risk of getting in trouble here, I stopped sending stuff out (a few years ago) for the specific purposes of someone getting videos done, for this very reason. I had no doubt that any of these guys or gals couldn't make some nice presentation, but it was just 'an actor cast in a role,' so to speak.

    If some actual purchaser wants to make a video, and some folks seem to find some value in that, I guess it's a little different. Probably not, but at least it gives you "one dead-on facet of the diamond," so to speak. I personally won't be sending stuff to any of the demo guys and gals, though. IMO, it's like looking at the portrait of a painting thru some very strong filter...
     
  18. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's the same basic concept - kill the bass as the clipping is increased. But beyond that, there's no similarity. That said, I can see why it would sound similar.

    From a deliberate design standpoint, no. The TS removes both equal portions of treble and bass. The KC does not. It removes the bass - the treble attenuation is dependent on where the tone control (treble control with the Klon) is set.

    A TS is about as 'caveman simple' from a design standpoint as a Fuzz Face is. This may not mean much to anyone who doesn't know the technical side to it, but I'd submit that it's a little more important than you might realize. If the design differences were absolutely irrelevant, then BF went to a hell of a lot of trouble for nothing, when he could have just served up another $200+ YATS like so many other companies have done...

    I can't make quantified conclusions (yet), but can only assume that the SF bases its circuit off the Martin Chittum trace of the 'low serial number gold horsie.' While Martin may have 'reversed' two of the resistors in the tone circuit, it doesn't appear that such happened. I know a little more about Martin than most folks might know, including that he worked for Weber VST for a few years, and either directly or indirectly was involved with their MASS attenuators. The guy is SMART. So leaving a pedal trace to him is like leaving the analysis of an archeological dig to an actual...renowned archeologist. I have NO DOUBT that Martin would have made careful notes in much greater detail than I personally would have, FWIW...

    So - EHX isn't really in the business of 'sonic R&D,' which is NOT a criticism of ANY sort. They can still sell the one transistor LPB-1 in great numbers, so they are a genius marketing machine, IMO. The SF is possibly what - $20-30 more than that? :eek:

    It's true for the SF, KC, and any (real) Klone. The gain control is actually nothing more than a blender between what is not much more than a unity gain full spectrum 'general purpose' audio circuit, and what amounts to a sort of mixer for a (IMO) gussied up 250 or D+.

    ...For the techie nerds like myself who have analyzed the KC, it's kind of blatantly clear that it looks a LOT MORE like something from the hi-fi audio world than from the 'land of guitar dirt boxes.' Some may see a 'sort of elegance' in the design, but to me, it looks like a lot of standard concepts from non-guitar audio. That isn't a criticism per se, as all of these boxes are just a means to an end. IDK how else to explain it, other than to say that both the gain/drive and treble/tone mechanisms are more like hi-fi audio 'mixers' than 'absolute shaping circuits,' if that makes sense. Both are LINEAR potentiometers, which in themselves are uncommon in all but cheap/mass produced pedals. Even the TS has a log (audio) taper pot for the drive/gain, and both it and the SD-1 have a goofy "W taper" pot for their tone control circuits.

    I really don't want to detract from 'anything clever' from the KC, because BF had 'some of the best and brightest' design the super-technical aspects of it for him. Granted, he was the one driving the direction of the development, probably not unlike a Steve Jobs. That said, S.J. was NO Steve Wozniac. So - you can't have one w/o the other, and the "Klon Woz's" were just trying to fulfill the needs of the "Klon Jobs," so to speak. :p

    So this hits back to what I've said in the past - I think the KC was somewhat a state-of-the-art box back in the 90's, but it isn't so much to get excited about now. That isn't meant to detract from someone trying it, as BF never really created a means for the masses to really try one, whether you consider his methods to be either malign or benign...

    ...The KC (IMO) just has its roots as a sort of quasi-hi-fi design, blending in what IMO amounts to being a D+/OD 250 drive circuit, right down to the antiquated germanium diodes.

    Also IMO - I personally think something like the WHE Pork Loin is a MUCH MORE 'evolved' clean/OD mix design than the KC could ever be, but that doesn't mean that anyone will 'listen to reason from a design standpoint,' or even that more than a percentage of users will find the PL to be a very usable drive box, either.

    So the bigger problem is that stuff like the KC, the TS, and the Pork Loin have so little in common that it makes it hard to even try to do a comparison between them, especially if you consider that the average guitarist will probably just discard any tech information tossed their way, anyway (and again - not saying that such reasons are either invalid or valid - they 'simply exist')...
     
  19. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Joe, I gigged the Klon fairly regularly until the prices/hype/hoopla went off the hook. Anymore it mostly resides here at the shack along with a couple other notables. They'll go to sessions occasionally. Theft at gigs can happen of course. I do a lot of gigs on the same level as patrons (not on a stage), so it'd be easy for a drunk to ruin my day. The stuff I gig is all currently replaceable.

    I've never really been a collector or gear polisher, this stuff is tools to me. The Klon I've gigged countless times. At this point though I guess it's safe to say I'm treating it more as an item of value that I don't want ruined in a bar.
     
  20. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Thank, Keith.
     
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