Other Equipment

The Klon. Help a greenhorn out, will ya?

1

So yeah, just curious about what y’all can tell me about it. I know pretty much nothing about them but they’re apparently quite a thing, judging by their revered status and KWAZY dolla figyas they bring.

What thinkay voo?

2

An overdrive? produced in limited number. It is supposed to be tonally superior to the little green boxes I have on my board (that work for me just fine). Something something midrange, transparent... I’ve not been able to justify the cost of even a clone.

3

Here's the deal:

It was one of the first "boutique" overdrives way back when. It was hard to get, had a waiting list, and didn't sound like a tubescreamer, so it gained a mythical status.

If the klon were to come out TODAY, it would be just another overdrive. The OD market is super-saturated with great pedals nowadays. There are MANY klones out there now, the best of which, imo, is the Rimrock Effects Mythical Overdrive-Vintage Spec. It's also quite affordable, I think $165?

So the Klon is NOT transparent. It's gain pot is dual-gang, so what that means is, at 1 it's basically a clean boost pedal. As you turn up the gain control, it blends in the gain circuit. at 10 it's all OD circuit.

As a clean blend, the Klon still adds mids. As the gain goes up, it adds ALOT of mids. But it's not the high mids (nasal) of the tubescreamer, it's more low mids, which I prefer.

As an overdrive, I hear it as a "thick" drive pedal- perfect for teles. I sometimes think of it as my "P90" or "humbucker" pedal- turns my tele into a Les Paul Jr. or Les Paul.

I love my Rimrock Mythical, and doubt I will ever sell it.

5

I used to have one, bought from a shop in the early 2000's...loved the sound. I used it always on as a lightly driven sound....can't really understand why anyone would pay today's prices to use it as a clean/transparent boost tho. I used to use it with a '67 Gretsch Viking and it really did what I needed it to...It also stacked really well with a few of my fuzzes...including (strange combination) an Ampeg Scrambler reissue. After a while my gear changed and I found myself getting smaller amps where i could push them and get that sound better. I almost forgot I still had it but after a while of seeing the prices rocket up and it not being used decided to sell it. I don't miss it.

6

don't bother with a Klon/Klone; get a Fairfield Circuitry Barbershop instead. it sounds WAY better than a Klon.

7

Klon sounds very Voxy to me: midrange is pumped beautifully in the mix. No wonder the maker prefers using it with a Twin Reverb-an amp that is not very midrangey to begin with, and push it to a not so clean, clean tone.

I don't understand the hype too, people can buy a Vox, push it with pedal set to low gain and call it a day.

8

I build my own Klons on veroboard and recently developed my own version which uses the Cornish buffer instead of the boring Klon buffer. It sounds good cranked about mid way on the gain knob and I use it for a warm, crunchy OD on my pedalboard.

Into a tube amp, I think it works well as a warm booster. It also seems to stack well with other overdrives. Of course, overdrives are as personal as the guitars we play, so spending some time to see what works for you is always beneficial. After all, SRV just used a basic tube screamer in his rig!

9

What’s the difference between a boring buffer and a (presumably) exciting one?

10

What’s the difference between a boring buffer and a (presumably) exciting one?

– Proteus

The length of the skirt.

11

What’s the difference between a boring buffer and a (presumably) exciting one?

– Proteus

Flats or heels

12

t also stacked really well with a few of my fuzzes...including (strange combination) an Ampeg Scrambler reissue.

Interesting observation. I have both pedals (that is, Klonklone and Scrambler re-issue). In what order did you stack?

13

What’s the difference between a boring buffer and a (presumably) exciting one?

– Proteus

More components.

The Cornish buffer is a transistor buffer with a bit of tone shaping through some R-C filtering, whereas the Klon's is just a standard op amp buffer.

I got this idea somewhat serendipitously. I had made a Cornish ss-2 overdrive circuit without the buffer, and one day decided to try it with the Cornish buffer in front. It made a significant difference - more clarity and upper mid presence. So, I decided to try it on the Klon using my trusty breadboard and low and behold it sounded good! I made some other changes too (bipolar power supply for all ICs etc.) and then whipped up the circuit on vero.

If you want to build your own, here is the layout.

http://guitar-fx-layouts.42...

14

t also stacked really well with a few of my fuzzes...including (strange combination) an Ampeg Scrambler reissue.

Interesting observation. I have both pedals (that is, Klonklone and Scrambler re-issue). In what order did you stack?

– Proteus

Scrambler before Klon sounded great to me. Not sure i tried them the other way round...i think i figured the buffer in the Klon wouldn't sound so good before the Scrambler.

15

If you want to build your own, here is the layout.

I don't want to build anything, but I've proven innumerable times that I'm happy to buy stuff. I'd try one you build, if I can afford it.

16

Scrambler before Klon sounded great to me. Not sure i tried them the other way round...i think i figured the buffer in the Klon wouldn't sound so good before the Scrambler.

Thanks. I'll give it a shot.

17

If you want to build your own, here is the layout.

I don't want to build anything, but I've proven innumerable times that I'm happy to buy stuff. I'd try one you build, if I can afford it.

– Proteus

Hey Proteus, I'm just a simple electronics hobbyist following in my father's footsteps (he was an electronics tech for Northrop and an avid HAM radio operator). I just build and design pedals for fun, and if I come up with a circuit design that seems to work well, I post it to the pedal enthusiast forums. If I ever make a second one, I'll let you know, as I enjoy and respect your detailed guitar and effects reviews here at the Gretsch Pages.

18

Thanks, Frank. There's certainly no hurry. I have enough pedals to play with!

19

I am pretty sure the D9E germanium diodes for the KLON are not a make or break deal. :)

20

I am pretty sure the D9E germanium diodes for the KLON are not a make or break deal. :)

– Rockahippy

This is quite true in my experience. I have used the D9E's before and didn't think they were anything special compared to the more common germanium diodes (I used 1N270s in my recent build).

21

This is quite true in my experience. I have used the D9E's before and didn't think they were anything special compared to the more common germanium diodes (I used 1N270s in my recent build).

– Frank_NH

My klone (Rimrock Effects Mythical OD) has a toggle to switch between 2 different sets of diodes:

1N34 and OA126
Unless the gain control is turned up past noon, there's no difference.

SOME people think the original Klons used DE9s, others think 1N34s; the bottom line is, they are indistinguishable from one another in this circuit... I heard too many tests and read too many testimonials. The theory has always been in the MATCHING of the diodes, so whether Bill was using DE9s or 1N34s, depending on what he could get his hands on at the time, his matching of them was key... which is the same reputation Ken (of Rimrock Effects) has garnered over the years.

At this point, since Bill isn't really making Klons anymore, and there's a hundred clones out there, I'm a little disappointed Bill Finnegan has never come clean with all the details... probably because there's no "magic" in the diodes as he has always claimed. His "ad copy" for the Klon has always been a bit dubious LOL. And the reason it wasn't kloned sooner, he was the first one I believe to goop his pedals, and getting the epoxy off the board destroyed it, so not many were willing to do that... especially with the resale prices being so off-the-charts.... but there's really no mystery anymore.

22

+1 on everything Ruger9 says. I had one of the first ones, so long ago. Remembering the serial number was very low 100s. It was, is, a cool pedal. I used it for years with a super reverb and deluxe reverb. Stopped using it when good clean boost alternatives started coming on the market. The Klon can do clean boost too, but for my tastes, other pedals do it better.

The crazy price thing is really a separate issue. Seems to have little connection with actual function and functional value of the pedal. There are indeed any number of excellent, comparable choices out there now. No need to go with that way inflated price flow.

23

I've tried originals and clones - even built a couple myself. Never could understand what all the fuss was about. Same to an extent with Tubescreamers - although I can actually see why you might use a TS in some cases. But either as your main OD? Oh there are so many better options!

Now the TS as a relatively clean boost - I can see why that is popular. Klon? Does absolutely nothing for me. I had a Maxon OD820 for a while which I used as an over-sized, overpriced booster for two songs in my set. All of these pedals will reduce the lows you hear from your guitar, which in some instances is a good thing but in general for me drives me crazy!

My favourite ODs allow the full range of frequencies that my guitar produces to come through. If I want a slight mid-bump, bass-reducing boost then the One Control Purple Humper works a treat for me. It gets my guitar into the vocal range quite well. If I did have a fave mid-biased boost it would be the Mr Black Boost Tiger. I have never been able to find an original so built my own, and it's perfect - for me. It's quiet, has way more level than I need (I keep it close to zero) and has a lovely vocal midrange to it. It doesn't make my low end frequencies disappear.

24

As you can tell, I've been messing around with the circuit for a while and more recently went through some listening tests with my breadboard version of the Klon(e). Sure enough, as Ruger9 mentions, the circuit likes matched diodes, with forward voltages @ 0.35 - 0.40, but the diodes don't matter too much. I have D9E, 1N34A, 1N270 and they all have a similar response provided the forward voltages are similar. I did notice that reducing the 390pF capacitor in the first op amp feedback loop moved the treble up a little if you like a brighter response. Doing the same in the summing op amp had a similar effect. Other than that, nothing else I've messed around with seemed to improve the circuit appreciably, though I have a few more ideas to try. One experiment I did a while back was to add an active mid-range control at the output stage using an extra op amp. It worked, but then the Klon sounded more like a tube screamer - well, maybe not an improvement after all so I nixed that.

25

Funny thing - after dissing the Klon as I did above and have done for years I think I have finally found a use for it. I recently got a Keeley D+M Drive and really like it. The Mick channel is basically a Klon, but one which has more low end and is a bit punchier than any other Klon I have tried. It's excellent. I think what has really changed my mind is that I recently got a beautiful (and I mean incredible) Les Paul. The Les Paul LOVES the D+M Klon side.

So today i pulled out my old Klone which I built from a Fuzz Dog kit. I had modded it to add some low-end punch and increase the range of the tone pot, and while it sounded good it never really got me terribly excited about it. I put it side by side with the D+M and it's surprisingly close. The D+M Drive is better but the Klone gets pretty close. The Les Paul sounds wonderful though it.

It actually works with the Les Paul as a stand-alone OD. My Rockett Majestic or 45 Cal are still better all-round but the D+M Klon is better than most ODs I have tried with the LP. The Klone actually sounds fab with the LP too. They have a very prominent mid-range bump around where things get vocal sounding with gain. With gain on zero it makes a fantastic booster into my Rockett Majestic. The Majestic supplies the highs and lows and the Klone bumps the mids to make the Les Paul sing.

Frank your info is actually really useful to me. I'm going to make my own version of the D+M Drive. I'll build a Majestic on one side and a modded Klone on the other. My Les Paul will be very happy. I have a bunch of 1N34As I can use. Check out the Fuzz Dog Klone Instruction PDF - That's where I got the ideas for modding the Klone from. https://shop.pedalparts.co....


Register Sign in to join the conversation