Klon / booster pedal circuit

Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by Tele-friend, Oct 26, 2021.

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  1. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Holic

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    Hey guys and gals. I recently saw a thread here about KTR and klon pedals. And some (maybe even most) apparently use this pedals as clean boosters with no or just a slight gain.
    My question is does it make sense having or buying klon type of pedals or just get a 50$ simple booster pedal? More importantly, with low gain what is the difference between a klon circuit and simple booster pedals (if there is any).
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  2. Skyhook

    Skyhook Tele-Holic

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    $50 for a clean boost?
    Well, you can get Klones for cheaper than that... Get a Mosky Golden Horse, for instance.

    [​IMG]

    You can usually get two of these things for $50. :lol:

    So... what do you need?
    I mean the Centaur circuit functions very well as a clean boost but it works even better when using it as a little bit hairy boost.
    Oh, and also, wild idea here, you can use it as an overdrive. It's pretty good at that. ;)

    It comes down to what you want to do really, but get the Golden Horse as it's cheaper than most boosts who do only boost.
    This one does the whole Klon Centaur bit as well.
     
  3. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Holic

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    Yeah I have heard good stuff about Golden horse.
    But maybe to be more clear I will try with another question... In which situation would you prefer a klon type of pedal over a booster pedal (or vice versa)? Is klon circuit more versatile because it can be a booster and a gain pedal?
    Full disclosure, I have recently bought a TC Spark booster (based on good reviews here on TDPRI) and it does the job as a booster really well. But at the same time it is also a really good low gain OD.
    So is it worth getting a klon type of pedal if I already have a TC Spark?
     
  4. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Friend of Leo's

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    Tumnus.



     
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  5. Skyhook

    Skyhook Tele-Holic

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    A Klone is an actual overdrive pedal and a very special hairy flavor of overdrive to boot.
    You could put this thing in front of an unbreakably clean amp with infinite headroom and it would still be an overdrive.
    Your Spark wouldn't function as an OD in that scenario it would just be a volume boost.
    If that's not a scenario you ever find yourself in then fine, keep using your Spark. Nothing wrong with that.
    However, if you're the least bit curious as I suspect you are from these posts, get a Golden Horse and derp with it for a bit.
    You'll find it's more than a boost. As I said... it's a special flavor of hairy overdrive. Don't expect a Tube Screamer because it isn't one.
    If you then find out that you wish to dig deeper you can start hunting for the boutique versions which still would sound very similar in a blind test.
    There are some excellent Klone blind tests available on EwwTube. Especially those with an actual Klon Centaur thrown in among the Klones. ;)

    CAVEAT EMPTOR: I've heard that due to the internal 18V charge pump of the circuit, Klones will not play nice with Strymon pedals.
    Those who are more knowledgeable than me may refute or confirm this.
     
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  6. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    The only way to answer that question is for you to try one, but I would suggest spending a little more for a better Chinese one than the Mosky Golden Horse, which is good for the price ($20-25), but is smoked by the Caline Medusa or Pegasus, the Tone City Bad Horse, either of the two Chinese Centaur ones, the Joyo Tauren, and even the Movall Minotaur, IMO, which are all under $50
    cal-medusa.jpg s-l1600klon2.jpg 1387.jpg rcguvi6ksp7zbnfdqyog.jpg 010089087xl.jpg CP-43_2_large.jpg s-l1600 (2).jpg
     
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  7. Skyhook

    Skyhook Tele-Holic

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    I'll have to take your word for that as I haven't tried them... except for the Tone City Bad Horse which I also own.
    Funny thing is that the Bad Horse sounds very different from the Golden Horse which probably means at least one of them fails to emulate the Centaur. :)
     
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  8. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    A Klon does clean boost excellently but if it’s all you do with it yeah, don’t even bother.
    But it does a lot more, e.g.
    - just a little gain will boost the mids in the right way to make your strat sound that much sweeter in your clean BF amp
    - a Klon with gain around 2 on the dial is a big OD sound, very nice in itself and a huge lead tone if goosed by an od distortion or (my fave) a fuzz pedal. Again a favourite in a bf amp for me.

    NB: it’s not an OD for all amps like others may be e.g. the bluesbreaker. It bumps the mids up so sounds best in rather scooped amps imho.
    NNB: not all Klon clones do these things, so choose wisely. I had a Soul Food that was good as boost and “sweetener” but failed big time in the OD-with-fuzz application. My current handmade Polish Klone - a Little Big Tone “Arch Drive” bought used on Reverb for a marginally higher price - is in a different class. Suggestion: make a search over at TGP and there is one member, whose name I forget, who is a world-class authority on Klones sharing his knowledge at no cost...
     
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  9. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have tried at least a dozen or more Klones, and the most expensive ones I've tried are the MXR Sugar Drive, the Tone Bakery Creme Brulee, and the third most expensive is the Soul Food, and it was the very WORST of them all, with even the Mosky Gold and Silver Horse being WAY better than the Soul Food as an overdrive.
    Of the higher priced ones, the Ceriatone, the Mythical Overdrive, the RYRA, the two J Rockett ones, the Archer and higher gain Archer Ikon, and the two Tumnus ones from Wampler all have very good reputations, as did the KTR at $250, but not at over $500!
    I use them as a bluesy dirt box into a clean SS or modeling amp, with the gain high and the level a little above unity, and, when used that way, they do a VERY good job simulating a cranked BF Fender with a Strat or Tele, IMO
     
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  10. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    My understanding of the circuit is that you have to get past a certain point on the gain knob to engage the “special” diodes. Which I believe is higher up on the gain than I see most folks using it, myself included typically.

    I’ve had quite a few Klones. I tend to like it as a slight overdrive, with the gain around 9:00. That adds some fatness and warm grit, and there is something unique about the tone versus other overdrives. I’ll call it “syrupy” and 3-D.

    For just a clean boost, I’d say I like an MXR Micro Amp just as much.
     
  11. kbold

    kbold Friend of Leo's

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    One of the main principals behind the Klon is the gain circuit. The gain pot is actually a ganged pot (i.e. 2 pots operating simultaneously).
    One pot controls the clean while the other controls the overdrive/saturation. When the gain is at minimum, clean is fully on; when the gain is at maximum, overdrive is at maximum. The gain pot has little or no effect on the output volume.

    So it acts as either a boost or an overdrive .... or a bit of both, depending where you dial the gain. You could think of it as a clean/overdrive blend pot.
     
  12. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    They play nice if you have an isolated power supply. If you daisy chain them, you'll hear it.
     
  13. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    Also, keep in mind they all sound slightly different. And each Klone is likely based off a different example. The originals varied a bit in sound from pedal to pedal.

    I’m sure the cheap Chinese ones are just some general schematic found on the internet and I’m sure they sound pretty close. But at least some/most of the pricier ones were based off actual examples.

    I’d say the gain structure and characteristics have been largely the same, but the EQ has been pretty different.

    The silver Archer to me sounds the most accurate in what I picture as “the Klon sound.” That’s the Goldilocks one, in my opinion. But for example, the Conspiracy Theory to me had as much mids as a TS, honky. And I had a Pedal Projects one (hard to find, wish I hadn’t gotten rid of it) that was extremely transparent.
     
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  14. Wooly Fox

    Wooly Fox Tele-Meister

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    Sorry if repeating others but it's down to EQ for the Klon that makes it a good boost. It's EQ peak is in the 1K range compared to a Tube Screamer's 650-800K range so punches through a mix pretty well. It also has the headroom to push your preamp with level alone (like a Colorsound Booster). An EQ pedal can do it too as well as being an EQ pedal for other sounds.
     
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  15. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Just get the Golden Horse. $25.




    .
     
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  16. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    I have both Spark Booster (full size) and Chinese Klon clone. I like both...they are different. The Spark is more versatile, having the 2-band EQ and Fat/Clean/Mids switch, but the Klon can give you more distortion . You can stack them either way . I got the Klon for $50 tax and shipping included from WISH. There are many avail from many Sellers and at wildly variable prices . This is the one I bought, sold by CNklone-Guitars on the Wish site. Delivery takes about 3 weeks:
     

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  17. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten TDPRI Member

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    “Clean” can mean different things. It can mean, “doesn’t add any distortion (but colors the sound)” or it can mean “doesn’t change the sound and just adds gain without distorting the signal”.

    The Spark just adds gain. It barely changes the sound and the only coloration it adds is a bit of top end.

    The Klon circuit changes the sound notably and adds it’s own color, which is generally a warm midrange with smooth top end and rolled off lows. It will add some sweetness and compression when used as a clean boost.

    I have both on my board and use them for different things. It’s completely personal preference if you’re looking to choose just one for your boost sound.
     
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  18. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Of course you need a Klon or a pricey Klone to get a transparent overdrive with haunting mids that will interact properly with the crystal lattice in your vintage Fender tube amp.

    Or, you could just get an EQ pedal..
     
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  19. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Friend of Leo's

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    I dont know that a KTR is any better than a $150-$200 boutique klone in function or construction, and sub $50 klones get it done anyway. Some have more flavor than others. Soulfood gets alot of hate, but it's got more dirt of it's own it can add than most klones under $70. The joyo in the cool enclosure looks way better than the $30 horsies, but they are smaller and "do it". The Han-Taun is the most expensive I ever considered worth it, fwiw. There are more luxurious Klones, but that's like calling the Cat King a rat or a Sarcophagus a muff. Yes, but its multiple pedals worth of flavor X more than just a slight variation.

    Klones are getting about like TS variants and DAWs on the internet; they all do the exact same thing with tiny differences and diverse paintjobs, but we all swear ours is the best and everyone else is wrong.
     
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  20. aFewGoodTaters

    aFewGoodTaters Tele-Meister

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    Another option that won't cost you anything is to set up your current rig so you're primary rhythm tone is with your guitar volume on 7, and your lead tone is 10. You get a transparent boost with no additional money spent.

    There is no way in hell I would pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a boost. The hype around Klons has gotten absurd really.
     
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