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Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Tinman46, Jul 25, 2014.
That's where a peek at the manual comes in really handy.
WHE is really good about giving some suggested settings that you can use as a base to develop your own sounds.
I must admit, though, that I'm one of those people who immediately puts all the knobs at 12 o'clock to see if they like the sound. I find that's a good litmus test for any effect.
You sir, have again hit the nail SQUARELY on the head.
I talk ALL THE TIME about something being intentionally designed to hardwire the characteristics in - your choice of 'baked in' as a phrase is basically the same thing to me.
...And you're RIGHT - it's what separates a clever design with some 'smart concessions towards crudeness' that make it a much more INTUITIVE tool than something with lots of knobs/switches/modes/tweakability/etc. IMO.
Because something like the Pork Loin is really only the better choice if you can harness those sounds, right? And even with a manual for suggestions on settings, that won't ensure that you can dial it in at the gig. And it CERTAINLY doesn't ensure that you can switch up those settings if/when you change guitars and/or amps...it all goes out the window.
This is honestly an apples-to-oranges comparison of two products, though. IMO, there's no way Tripps' design could be simplified to function like the Klon or Klones, or even variations of the Klon. No way. There's literally two separate boost (or actual PREAMP) and OD circuits, with neither one being derived from anything I've witnessed in other pedals. It's even rather incorrect to call the OD circuit in the PL TS-based, IMO. Yes - it's op amp and clipping diodes, but so are the vast majority of ODs.
I guess the semi-relevant part of comparing the KC and PL is that both are supposed to be 'completely re-thought' implementations of drive boxes, and both include the ability to mix in a non-clipped signal path. IOW, both are evidence of actual audio engineers putting ideas into physical manifestations. Bill hired some folks to do that with the KC, which is why you witness the 'absolute need to keep it to 3 controls.' Even though he couldn't design the circuitry himself, he knew what he wanted (word is it nearly drove Mark Hammer nuts dealing with Bill's requests ). Tripps didn't have to 'answer to anyone,' which is most likely why you have all that 'superuser adjustability.'
I just really wanted to elaborate on this, because I ALWAYS try to highlight the POWER of 'good baked-in design.' And - I didn't want anything taken away from the brilliance of Tripps. It's really hitting two VERY important (IMO) topics WRT pedal design.
Speaking of all this, I think I JUST realized that the G2D Cream Tone was based off the Voodoo Lab OD, which was also based off the 250. Unlike the OCD, the Cream Tone IMO is absolutely freaking brilliant, despite having 4 knobs and a switch. IMO, it's a rare instance where the "extra two controls" should be MUCH MORE than just "tacked on additions." Much more.
So while the Cream Tone isn't anything like the KC or Pork Loin in that they both allow mixing of two signals, it takes the "250 ancestor" down a very nice path with all of its changes and implementations. And the "additional controls" could probably just be "set and forget," which essentially leaves you with a 3-knob drive box.
I put the 'clever factor' with the Cream Tone on par with the Barber Direct Drive. Both are kind of similar in how their overall circuits are shaped (as far as what the intention seems to be, IMO). I've also referred to the DD as "a better mousetrap" than the OCD.
BTW - this isn't meant to detract from what is clearly very popular with the OCD. It's just that from a design standpoint, I cannot see how it would be a better performer (e.g. real world, ON GIGS) than the Cream Tone or Direct Drive.
On that note, let's swing this conversation back to the Silver Pony...somehow...
i know one way. looks like the silver pony is back in stock.
Unfortunately I don't have the time to put it together this weekend. I'll post my thoughts when I get it done.
Finally built. First impression...great low gain dirt/boost! Drives my MHP 72 wonderfully. Plays nice with humbuckers, p90s and single coils. Likes my Blues Jr and Orange.
Does it live up to its hype? Maybe leaning towards yes.
Is a Klon worth the prices on ebay? Nope.
Is the Silver Pony worth $100 and a few hours of my time? Hell yes!
So as you raise the gain the bass definitely drops out making the treble seem more pronounced. Great for feedback BTW. This matches my experience with the pedal.
Here's a question, are the resistors causing this phenomenon?
I'm thinking if the KC kept some of the bass intact as the gain increased it would become a more useable gain pedal.
Slightly OT, I'll pose again to those in this thread a Q that I posed in another:
Is there are an easily-explainable way that having an OD that mixes a clean and a clipped signal differs in sound or dynamics from simply turning down the drive knob correspondingly on an OD that lacks this mix feature? I have the same question re: compressors with a clean blend feature vs. those with just Sustain and Attack knobs, FWIW. I sort of get that "these go to eleven" feeling when thinking about it.
GTRGURU - I can't answer the technical question. But I think it's the loss of bass that makes the Klon (and the Rat, and the 250, etc.) usable as gain pedals. Otherwise my amp flubs out at volume or gets hidden with the bassist, no matter how much I push my level. But maybe that's rig-dependent for me/my band mixes.
The big differences being that any frequencies attenuated by the circuit not being bypassed would be "normal" in the bypass side of the blend. Look at the klon circuit or for something more familiar the od 820 which in a dumbed down comparison is a tubescreamer with a blend. In the case of the od820 the clean side skips the lowpass and highpass tubescreamer filters but still goes thru the tone stack
Can someone with EE knowledge explain what the Klon circuit actually is in signal processing terms? As was done to the TS-9 in the article posted by 11gauge earlier:
I played with my soul food a bit today and it sounds similar to my Boss SD-1 in terms of overall sound, but there also are obvious differences in the tonality, you can't make them sound the same. The lows grab much more distortion in the soul food, which in my opinion is not a nice sound at all. SD-1 has more mids (around 1K). The soul food is MUCH better quality in terms of output and noise (Boss, wtf, this is 2014!).
It would be awesome if someone modded this "Klon" type circuit with low shelfs before/after the clipping. Cut before the distortion and then boost afterwards. You can of course use 2 EQs to do pretty much the same thing, but it's a hassle.
Meh, I suppose everyone uses it as an EQ and not drive anyway. But I like the clipping personally.
I was playing around w/ my T-Rex crunchy frog last night w/ your original Q in mind. background - crunchy frog is a TS-like pedal with a clean blend and an independent boost on the front end of that. Don't know if it is TS soft clipping or hard clipping instead.
I noticed similar sounds between low gain no-blend and high-gain with blend.
But the blended one had a nice crunchy rhythm sound to it, but when boosted, the clean blend allows the volume to still jump up for a lead boost.
Boost the same thing without blend, and the volume doesn't increase, only the clipping.
So it is kind of possible to set up a crunchy, middy rhythm sound that still has the full clean bass, and have a louder, almost cleaner boosted sound for leads.
Set up the gain kinda high without blend and you have mids that jump out relative to the bass, so bass-cut. Increase the blend and you bring back the bass, but it is clean bass.
Tis a great pedal
Thanks. That backs up ITCRock's conceptual explanation with experiential data.
Maybe it's the same with comps? Whatever slight EQ'ing the comp does is not present in the clean blend signal?
In any event, to try to bring it back around, I tried a Sparkle Drive once upon a time. Seemed like a really nice 808 actually. Really nice. But I could never get the Blend to work well. It was like the two signals were fighting each other somehow. The sum was less than the parts. Very different from when I've run two small amps (one clean, one dirty) - where the sum is greater than the parts. And I never get that "fighting each other" phenomenon with my Pony (or my other Klones). Maybe that's part of the magic of how Bill and his engineers did the blend function.
i have a question. what is the difference between the red clons, vrs the silver? i see one being offered for 500.00 for a few weeks now. a red one.. and a silver one being sold for 1500.00 for the same time. what makes a silver one worth 1k more than a red one.
i figure this will be my first pedal project. im curious of this pedal.
1st version - Gold with centaur graphic, sometimes called the "Gold Horsie" Klon
2nd version - Gold with no graphics
3rd version - Silver with no graphics
4th version - KTR in red
I don't know what, if any, differences there are among and between the 4 versions. I don't think anything significant. Prices reflect supply and demand, particularly demand from collectors.
thanks, sounds like the red one would be a hell of a deal for the collector.
According to Bill Finnegan, there are no discernible differences between the four.
That said, the construction differences between V1-3 vs. V4 is that the first three were hand built, or at least hand assembled, depending on how you want to look at it. Some might say that it matters little, but the KC circuit is busy enough and unorthodox enough that there's the possibility for incorrect components. I'm not saying such is the case, because apparently B.F. is or was so insistent on consistency between units that he wouldn't have allowed anything like that to get past his 'screening ear.' It's important to note that B.F. didn't actually design the KC (not to say that he didn't tell the designers he hired what to do, what he agreed to, what he made them change, etc.), so I'm not sure how involved in the building part he was.
...Anyway - V4 is NOT made by hand, other than maybe the pair of clipping diodes being soldered into place. Other than the footswitch, everything is mounted right to the PCB. Even the footswitch has a ribbon cable with a 'quick disconnect' so that it can be replaced by anyone who can operate a 14mm wrench. All of the components are SMT, which just basically means that a machine populates the PCB. B.F. also insisted on ceramic capacitors being used for the big values instead of the typical electrolytic type. His claim is greater consistency since electros vary by 10% or more in value.
While electrolytic caps having a "shelf life" might be a problem with other electronics (like with the high voltage filter caps in a tube amp), they don't usually cause many problems with age in your typical pedal. There are exceptions, but there are a lot of really old pedals with the original caps in them that work and sound the same as proof to the contrary.
And whether or not someone thinks that it constitutes a sonic difference, the V4 has a switch for buffer/no buffer. Paul Cochrane (maker of the Tim(my) pedal) designed the switch for B.F. I guess it's possible to have a 'bad sound' where it wasn't the case in the past, if the buffer is turned off. Or one may claim the inverse - always wanted a KC w/no buffer because of some 'sonic issue' with their pedal chain. It's just a possibility that might exist.
...So - all of that said, I am NOT claiming any differences JUST based on construction methods or component materials. I just think it would be foolish to rule them out altogether.
Keith at BYOC traced his own V3, and it seems to be different from the V1 that Martin Chittum traced. So Keith is now tracing either a V1 or V2 to see how it differs.
...As a result of all of this, it has now been posited that B.F. made changes as he might have deemed were necessary. I don't see how Martin could have come up with some of the component values during his trace in any other situation. While some of the component values are unusual, they aren't things that aren't available. A good example of this is all of the goofy component values in the Nobels ODR-1 - you find a similar situation with the KC. And a big company like Boss will also use some more unorthodox-valued components - the BD-2 has a .15uF cap in it - there's a few of those in the KC IIRC.
I don't think we will ever know the extent of the variation among Klon versions, because V1-3 were all gooped, and AFAIK there are only three that have (or will have) been degooped - the V1 gold by Martin, and the V1 or 2 that Keith is working on now, and the V3 that Keith already degooped in order to make the Silver Pony 1:1 with the unit he owns.
I think you are probably effectively right, but BF did say he made one small sonic change:
“The fact is, under the hood they’re all basically the same. In 1995 I made three small changes: I added a resistor to give the circuit some protection against a static charge delivered to its input—a change that has no sonic effect. I also had the circuit board redesigned with a ground plane for better grounding—again, no sonic effect except the potential for a little less hum. And I added a resistor to give the circuit a very small amount of additional low-mid response—I wanted it to have a little more roundness when used with, say, a Strat into a Super Reverb. I made no other changes.”
Interesting that you often read people refer to the Gold Horse one as "warmer" when it sounds like if anything is discernible, subsequent would be warmer.
thanks for the info. i look forward my first peal build. being new to pedals no clue if i need a klon. but hey, i guess the pedal gods thing everyone should have a klon!
by the way what do they use for goop, first time iv heard of goop was on the tube amp that goes for crazy money. now this pedal too..
Got my Silver Pony together and at first it was acting wonky. Turns out I put the foot switch in sideways and soldered all the wrong posts.
Desoldered and resoldered and it works perfectly now.
Some day I might paint and decal my other BYOC pedals...
I'm very happy with it. I've never played a Klon so I don't have any reference that way. For $100 I'd buy it again. My impression is very similar to gtrguru. There is a definite spot on the gain where it grows some hair. Depending where the output and treble are it's a moving target. But it's a narrow window of where I like it. But like it I do indeed. Off to play around with it some more.