I Confess: I Bought a Klon....

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by PCollen, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,557
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    I haven't tried using two of my Klones at once, but I do use a Rowin Bluesbreaker at the end of my drive pedal chain, with the Klon (or any other drive pedal) as the primary dirt and tone shaper, and the Rowin as a clean boost after the others, to give them a little more "oomph", without altering their tone or dirt level.
    vio0hocbc53ywnjjzhva.jpg
     
  2. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,557
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    I just assumed it was this one, since it has the same case, but I could be wrong. Is this what it looks like inside? s-l1000 (1).jpg Klon_4.JPG.95cd6b5f483261bfdd333b749c084759.jpg
     
  3. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,557
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    I would never buy from Wish. Looking on Wish, they have these two pedals ranging from $30-160, depending on the seller, and in many different configurations, with different case colors, graphics, and knobs, and one listing shows pics of these two, although the listing is ACTUALLY for the mini Mosky one! I wonder how many buyers paid $30-40, thinking they were getting one of these two $50 ones, and ended up with the $20 Mosky
    s-l1000 (1).jpg s-l1600klon.jpg mosky gold.jpg
     
  4. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,774
    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    This is an inside pic of the Klon clone I bought/received......

    20211022_085023.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  5. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,774
    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    If you don't get what you ordered, you can return it for the correct one or a refund. All you loose is time. I got exactly what I ordered and it arrived a few days earlier than projected. But I have to agree that you need to be careful what you click on, and read the details . Often they are offering the large and small versions at two different prices, or they will have a "good, better, best quality" selection each priced differently. Fortunately, the one I purchased only had a "choice of knobs" option . Also, something I didn't understand at the time, is that you can save a few bucks on shipping if there is a "ship to store " option , the "store" being an E-commerce or other carrier in your area that acts as a receiver for WISH shipments. You just have to go there with your receipt to pick it up. Mine shipped by DHL > USPS and arrived in my mailbox, but I found later that there is a "ship to store" receiver about two miles away from my house.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  6. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,774
    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    From what I've seen, the board layouts appear to be the same in all of them. But component choices like caps, jacks, LED style, etc. can differ, as well as the box exterior. I think building Klon clones has become a cottage industry in China. Maybe Chinese EE students have a week or two where they learn certain skills like board stuffing , soldering, etc., and the instructor comes in on a Monday and announces "For the next two weeks, we will be building these kits of VERY famous guitar pedal." I might add that they all seem to say that their product is True Bypass. But the original Klon had a buffered bypass and my clone is buffered bypass as well...and I'm OK with that. But not OK with them claiming True Bypass when its not.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
    telemnemonics likes this.
  7. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,774
    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Florida

    I also bought a Demon TS09/TS808 (switchable) OD from Aliexpress...the China bug may have bitten me. It was $15 and I got a $3 off "first time customer" coupon, so with tax and shipping its about $24. It demo'd pretty good on YT, but if in the end it sucks I'll give it to my nephew as a stocking stuffer at Chrismas.
     
  8. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,774
    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Florida

    Bingo....YouTube has plenty of audio demos. I watched several, and THIS is the video that finally got me to buy it. I figured that these to guys we giving the honest, no hype opinion of THIS particular pedal (the one shown in-hand and in the video with the Chinese characters by the Centaur name ) and they had tried several and recommended THIS pedal as the best of the lot......read the comments . Note: at the time I ordered, the oxblood knobs were not available so I chose the black MXR style knobs.

     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  9. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,774
    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    Never even seen a real Klon "live". The pedal I bought "behaves" as real Klons are described to behave, and sounds very good . For the money, I'm happy.
     
  10. Jon C

    Jon C Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    373
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic USA
    that’s most important… I ask because few klones do Klon Centaur just right ime, though they do very pleasing things for many players (I’m not trying to make anyone defensive about klone v Centaur)..

    Im looking deeper into, e.g., touch sensitivity, etc., that set the Centaurs I played and heard apart. So it narrows things but numerous flavors there to try in klones whether or not dead-on Centaur copies. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
    PCollen likes this.
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    30,542
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Klon made a few different circuits, seems to have sourced a few different diodes that provide clipping, and was for a while contracting with JRAD to build Klon pedals.
    JRAD seems to offer three Klon cuircuits under their own name and I bought two of them, used.
    Internet chatter suggests that like batches of Klon built Klons, the JRAD built Klons and Archers also vary depending on diodes and maybe also on fairy dust.
    I find "touch sensitivity" varies by pot settings and since all pots have slightly different sweeps it's likely that even if Mr Klon solders the parts the pots still sweep as they please.

    Interesting circuit where bass and treble get different treatment allowing clearer bass with treble sizzle added, plus the two semi different circuits for clean boost and dirt that get blended on the dual gang pot.

    I think the circuit design is more critical than the guy soldering but certainly clipping diodes do vary in how they clip.
    Chips? Not made by Mr Klon.
    Caps & resistors?
    Also not made the the maestro.
    PCB's?
    Think those are outsourced too?
    Pots jacks and switches?
    Same thing, Klon dude only designed the circuit and sometimes soldered and gooped it.
    Gooping kind of confirms that anybody can make the exact same tool if they know the circuit.

    Then it comes down to vintage NOS OOP diodes!
     
  12. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,557
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    It's as I expected, the same basic board, layout and parts as this one, except with the power input and in/out jacks mounted directly to the board. You can see that by comparing them here
    Klon_4.JPG.95cd6b5f483261bfdd333b749c084759.jpg 20211022_085023.jpg
     
  13. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,557
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    Of all the Klones I've had, that is the only one that is buffered, but that makes little difference to me. IMO, the most important part of the Klon sound is the rest of the circuit, with 2 op-amps, the charge pump, the dual gang gain pot that blends the clean signal in with the dirt at a fixed ratio of dirt to clean, no matter where the gain pot is set, and the hard clipping, with the clipping diodes on the output of the first op-amp, instead of in the feedback loop of the op-amp, as on TS style pedals, which is soft clipping. To my ears, hard clipping feels and sounds more amp like when done well.
    Here's a simplified breakdown of the first half of the circuit, showing how the dual gang gain pot has one section going through the clipping stage and the 2nd section bypassing it, with the clipping diodes on the output of the op-amp. This omits the 1st half of the 1st op-amp, which is an input buffer, and the 2nd op-amp, which is the tone stage and output buffer, for simplicity, to easily understand the basics of the gain stage. It also omits the charge pump, and the rest of the powersupply section. klon-centaur-op-amp-gain-stage-circuit.png
     
  14. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,557
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    The only thing that's really unique about the clipping diodes is that they are germanium, which have a different forward voltage than most silicon diodes, and that will affect the level of clipping at different settings of the gain pot. Josh at JHS laughs at those who wax poetically about the magic tone of the diodes on the original, yet he points out that many, if not most of them, use their Klons with the gain set where the diodes haven't even begun to clip yet, which, according to him, is around 1-2 o'clock on the gain pot, which is exactly where I hear the dirt really kick in on all my Klones. Any dirt you hear before that is coming from the op-amp, not the diodes
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  15. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,774
    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Florida

    Yes, it's all right here: https://www.electrosmash.com/klon-centaur-analysis
     
    DougM likes this.
  16. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,557
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    PCollen likes this.
  17. Jon C

    Jon C Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    373
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic USA
    I
    I don’t necessarily disagree, yet so very very few klones I’ve seen, heard, or played, capture the tone (in that range you describe w variables) or, more important, the touch sensitivity of the Centaurs I have experience with.

    so variability (as experienced by the player) is still a factor and something remains to be attained in the construction (eg my early plain box ALum. Falcon nails it but no other later one I’ve tried has it). Couple of other prominent klones just have not had the right touch sensitivity ime…. Accumulation of tolerances, magic touch, etc.:cool:
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    30,542
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Well we see that Josh at JHS disagrees with a bunch of musicians about the subtle differences between pedals and their dirt, while we also see that a bunch of musicians disagree with a bunch of musicians about the subtle differences between pedals and their dirt.

    Meanwhile nobody can hear the really subtle differences that most are arguing over, while playing to an audience you could EASILY make them just as happy with the awesome DOD250 circuit that provides a similar range of clean boost to screaming snarl without changing the EQ much.

    As far as touch sensitivity goes, to me that has to be perfectly identical output level settings into the same amp.
    Certainly not recalling last weeks or yesterdays pedal, and probably not very valid if playing for touch while attempting to match exact level settings by ear, when what the ear hears is based on the touch sensitive pick attack, which for the sake of comparing touch sensitivity, we are subtly varying our pick attack as opposed to picking in a robotic identical stokes manner.

    I note fairly often how much dedicated practice I had to put into developing my ability to make every pick stroke sound exactly the same, with critical attention to upstroke sound vs downstroke sound.
    Then once I mastered making exact same pick attack sounds at all pick attack amplitudes and all picking muting variations, I proceeded to focus on making each note sound different by varied pick attack and RH muting.

    So for me the touch sensitivity of the pedal is lesser and greater depending on MY FEELINGS at the moment, and of course changes if the pedal output level is a tiny bit higher or lower which changes the input sensitivity of the amp, which when being pushed by an OD, is a large part of touch sensitivity, clipping onset, and clipping character.

    Knowing which pedal I'm running through, oddly enough, changes how I'm feeling about my sound.

    How I'm feeling makes yesterdays great sounding settings sound bad today, and makes an exciting new pedal sound better during the early romance to honeymoon phase.
    Because (as a nuance player) my hands vary the sound of my gear so much, I need to judge a (nearly perfect) pedal circuit based on perhaps weeks if not months of use. Pedals that don't come close to suiting me are of course easily dismissed.

    But I think it's a well enough established fact that subtle differences between very similar circuits are greatly dependent on player input, which at that level of subtlety is far more varied than the differences between two seemingly identical yet subtly different pedals.

    After months of romancing some Klon circuits I started comparing them to my numerous OD250 based circuits as well as once again trying to choose my favorite of my OD250 family which includes old yellow, gray spec, two VLOD, OCD, and Oddfellow Cave Man.
    What I keep being forced to return to when listening to recordings, is that I sound so much more like me than like each circuit set for light breakup, that there is just no way to call any of the circuits better or best, aside from sometimes calling my setting too bright.

    As for diodes value and whether players are wrong to notice the difference as Josh claims, while pointing out that the position of the gain knob is right at the edge or onset of diode clipping?
    If any subtle factor can be scientifically legitimized, it would be where exactly the onset of clipping happens!
    Some diodes really hang on longer before clipping.
    So in some ways, Josh is suggesting that the one big variable is the least valid?
    Maybe he just means guitar players are too obsessed with pedals?
    Or more specifically too obsessed with the most similar of the preferred NOS Klon diodes?
    He might look at all the hours he spends making videos of himself, telling us what subtle details in pedals are worth getting excited about!

    Like many of us here, I've been pushing tube amps with SS clipping pedal preamps for decades.
    Funny thing, the Klon circuit does have some new ideas, but the minuscule degree to which the music is changed by the newer circuit really hardly matters.

    For me, attention to pedals is a nit pick worth spending time on.
    But attention to music is like the ocean, compared to pedals which are closer to drops of water.
    Only see this clearly though when comparing recordings.
     
    Mad Kiwi likes this.
  19. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,557
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    The DOD 250 is one of the original hard clipping circuits.
    I've found that with any guitar, pedal, or amp, after I dial in the sound I like, and record with them, if I don't write down what guitar, amp, and pedal I used, they all sound so alike that I can't even tell what guitar, pedal, or amp was used, since I use the neck pickup 90% of the time on any guitar. So, I can't even tell a Strat from a Tele from my Mustang, with the only exception being my Tele with Gretsch style pickups and my Dumble style pedal, 'cause they're both a bit beefier sounding. I don't have a LP or other Gibson style guitar with HBs or P90s, and my Squier Tele with HBs is still very Fendery sounding, and the HBs on it are very bright and clear sounding, so I can't even really tell that guitar from the other Teles and Strats.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
    telemnemonics likes this.
  20. Jon C

    Jon C Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    373
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic USA
    My point was fairly simple… if I take the actual pedals I have on hand so I can A/B/C etc. them, (minimizing the significant limitations of aural memory noted above) there are clearly differences ime that aren’t only the valid points you mention … they sound different and some sound do have more touch sensitivity (which is hard to convey in a clip) *for me*. :cool: It is a very fine distinction in some cases.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.