Klon vs. Klone: a good comparison

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by RadioFM74, Apr 18, 2020.

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  1. ieatlions

    ieatlions Tele-Afflicted

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    Klon style pedals polarise opinions. Similarly, this is true of tube screamer style pedals, but there seems to be less prejudice involved in that debate. Maybe price is a factor, I’m not sure.

    I love klon style pedals. I’ve tried an original and I’ve tried almost all the clones. Without doubt, my favourite is the Arc effects Klone V2.
     
  2. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    There are some guitar gear circuits that are actually unique, and can therefore be protected by patents (here are 53 examples), but the reality is that the KC, and the vast majority of electronic circuit-related guitar gear, simply cannot be.

    ...And even then, the onus is on the holder of the patent, to take legal action against whoever is ripping them off. Even for big companies, this can really be costly and time-consuming, and usually has very diminishing returns.

    Bottom line IMO is that if someone really wants to be both compensated for their designs, and have them be properly protected, they probably shouldn't get involved with making guitar gear.
     
  3. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    A friend has an original Klon Centaur he bought many years ago when they were first sold before the exorbitant pricing.
    I bought a Soul Food and it was OK but not the same, the best description I can come up with is it sounds Low-Fi and weak.
    After reading up on the history unlike some others I did not gain respect for Bill and I believe he did much to inflate the pricing. The disclaimer printed on the KTR kinda puts me off since the whole "it's not my fault" thing is in my opinion pretty much BS and I couldn't stand to look at that on my pedal board. I have a J Rockett Archer Ikon (the gold one) because I like it and I figure that since J Rockett made the first production run (1500 I think) of the KTR before they were outsourced cheaper that they knew the circuit better than other clones.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
  4. 0utputXfmr

    0utputXfmr Tele-Meister

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    EHX has a picture of a tattoo of the Big Muff Pi logo. I'm not getting a tattoo, but whoever got one has become my spirit animal.
     
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  5. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Friend of Leo's

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    I have no way to prove or disprove what you're saying about the hype and Bill with the Klon, but if you compare it to the Timmy and Paul C, I'm inclined to believe you.

    Theres no fairy dust or bound souls of deceased bluesmen crammed into a Klon, for sure, but they are priced as such. Conversely, Paul C has continued to make his pedals and set a very high standard in customer service, without the insane money hype.

    But musicians are fickle consumers.... old Devi Ever stuff is "collectable" now even though she later said it was embarrassing looking at the bad solder joints in the older pedals.
    I know, apples to oranges to coconuts, but a pedal is a pedal, and without a circuit calling for ritualistic sacrifices and fist sized emeralds, Klons are quite expensive...
     
  6. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    Out of shear boredom with the extended lockdown in Illinois, I bought a K-clone kit from Aion Electronics and just finished it on Wednesday. I tried the JR Silver Archer shortly after they came out and didn’t really care for it. After, spending a couple hours with my new build, the Aion Refractor, I have to say that I really like it. I can dial back the volume knob for clean, roll it up a bit for crunch, and dime it for lead riffs/solos. It is very responsive to small adjustments with the volume knob. I have never played through an original Klon so I can’t really compare it to that, but I really the Refractor. Here’s pictures on the final build.

    9052E878-188F-4266-9016-F974398D01DC.jpeg F69D381D-5002-4329-84F6-A79E2A459137.jpeg
     
  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Nice looking build - congrats. I've built 3 diff. Aion projects in the last couple of months.

    Question - where do you get your resistors from? Those look similar to what my old green Russian Big Muff had, so I'd like to get my hands on some.
     
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  8. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks @11 Gauge This was my fourth Aion build (Cerulean, Stratus, & Andromeda were my first three) The resistors came with the kit. I’m not sure where Kevin gets them but they sure speed up the build process. I’ve built several BYOC kits and you either need to decipher the resistor color codes, or check the values with a DMM before you can get started.
     
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  9. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    My pleasure. I'll have to email Kevin and hope he shares his source. He's a nice guy, so I'm sure he will!

    Regarding deciphering the color codes - I feel your pain. I have all mine separated in parts bins and bags, but I still have some metal films with slightly different codings to them. So when I just plop down about a dozen resistors on the bench, I'll typically have to go back and measure some of them.

    ...I have some resistors made by Dale, I think, that have the values printed on them, but they don't have the little 'end bulges' like those in your Aion build do, or like the ones in my old green Russian Big Muff did. I just think there's something really cool about them.
     
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  10. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    I've been very happy with my Caline Pegasus ($42). Having it in the effects loop of my modeler where i can mix the dry signal (30% dry) adds to the "transparency" that's usually applied to these pedals. I think using it in this way, in the same way a Whitey Tighty comp mixes a dry signal, gets it close enough that i can't tell the difference. Not sure if some of the newer modelers have something that mimics the Klon but i couldn't recreate it in mine.
     
  11. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I just received a "like" for this post – but as of today I'd say that that video is actually proof that YT videos do not reliably represent the sound in the room. As a YT watcher the differences were "subtle". In real-life situations, the difference between the Soul Food and a more faithful Klon(e) are everything but!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  12. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    I concur. I would call the Soul Food a Klon-type but not a Klone, and many Klones would probably also be better off referred to as such.

    Many makers have taken the idea but tweaked the components. This results in pedals like the Soul Food and Tumnus/Tumnus Deluxe. Others shoot to mimic the sound more accurately a la J Rockett Archer etc.
     
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  13. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Besides, a big part of the magic of Klon(e)s resides in how they interact with other pedals, and here the differences between the SF and what I have now are dramatic. To put it simply: I could not get a good sound putting another "dirt" pedal into the SF, whereas the Klon(e) is pretty magic both with an OD or with a fuzz upstream.
     
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  14. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I bought a Soul Food Meat-n-3 without knowing anything about the mythology of the Klon, I was just looking for a light distortion pedal. It's great really, and it is finnicky when I'm dialing it in through the same amp, same location, different day. But it's got some really nice and useable sounds out of it. I have no idea how close it is to a Klon because I've never actually heard a Klon in real life. I've never even seen one.

    In any case, I don't play loud enough to make the geranium clipping matter, so a Klon would be wasted on me. I'd love to own a RYRA clone just because I think they are interesting, but I wouldn't pay a ton for it. I wouldn't want to own a Klon either, it sounds like a big expensive hassle. And I really don't turn to pedals for headaches, they're supposed to be fun. To my not so sophisticated ears, my Morning Glory is a great always-on distortion pedal that doesn't have a bad sound in it. And I got it used for a great price. I'd much rather be content with the pedals I have then endlessly searching for the holy grail.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  15. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

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    :lol::lol::lol:

    That, I'm gonna steal.
     
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  16. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not emotionally invested in it in any way and so the thing I don't get is the whole angst-ridden set-up of the Klon story.

    So you hand-built a pedal, you selected who would be allowed to buy it, and then you quit making them. They become hugely popular, are unobtanium to most and so two things happen: People crave them, other people spend stupid amounts of money to obtain them. (Of course, the obvious third thing that happens is that the mythology also grows.)

    Your initial response is to condemn anyone building them (it's not a patented circuit, it's just a distortion pedal, despite his thoughts on the matter) and you castigate those willing to buy them for crazy prices.

    Later, you decide that you aren't a mystic high priest of electronic circuits and you are hungry enough to want in on the action. You wisely decide to mass produce them again, satisfying the customer demand. The whole point of making pedals is so that people can play them, right?

    Even in that interview he says the mass-produced KTRs are as good as the original hand-build pedals. So what was all the grief about earlier? It seems a bit self-involved to me. But hey, probably half of the allure to pedals is the marketing. Whatever works.
     
  17. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

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    I tried a Soul Food when they first came out and were around $50 - I didn't care for it. I used it more as a "drive" than a "boost" and I think that was my misstep at the time. Probably sounded more "mid-y" than I liked...

    Fast-forward about 5 years and I'm out in Vegas (running from a hurricane plowing through Florida) and I find a Piedmont Custom Effects Aluminum Falcon and try it out. It sounded good, but I ended up needing the money and unloaded it.

    Another year later, I run across this in a GC and take it home - has not left the board since. It is "supposed" to be a part-for-part re-creation of the Klon (except for the case), including the unobtanium diodes. I don't know, but it sounds awesome, better than any other version I have had/heard, including the JRAD Archer Ikon.

    7D27990B-DB3D-4A47-9C8C-270323A3FF86_1_201_a.jpeg 2798ADDB-BC72-4C5A-8517-1D0B2BFC5203_1_201_a.jpeg
     
  18. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    Never played an original Klon. Back in 2009 I bought a secondhand JHS Klone before they ceased production. I paid under $200 for it and they shot up to $400 once production stopped so I sold it as there were so many other pedals coming out during that period I wanted to try. I recall liking the Klone more so as a boost than an OD, but I’m not really a huge boost guy. I lived years without it just fine and never bought into the various Klones since. A few months ago I was gifted a Hiesenherg Boost which is a Klone design by Marsh. I like it but not enough for it to take up real estate on my board. At least not with my current band.

    Question, are you guys who have a Klon/Klone on your board running them before or after your drive? I found after the drive the boost was mostly only volume as it has too much headroom. Could be my rig too.
     
  19. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just finished watching this and thought it was a real fair and dispassionate take on this pedal. Enjoy.



    JHS also did a great history of the Klon on their channel (Everything Klon Centaur), but it's over an hour long.
     
  20. grandstick

    grandstick Tele-Holic

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    Howard Dumble famously epoxied the circuitry of his amps to prevent others from duplicating his sound.
     
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