Pedals

Josh goes centaur hunting.

2

I'm not a Centaur expert, but just from watching this and TPS, it certainly seems like there are several options that appear to get the same results at regular-old-pedal prices. If I was hunting for a Klon, I would just get a Wampler Tumnus Deluxe and buy a yacht with the money I saved . (I say all this having not played any of these pedals.)

3

I'm interested to hear your take, Tim - as well as which one or ones you favor nowadays.

I like that they used these in the context of a band mix.

Those Human Gear clones are are insane !! I wonder how much they are - but I would bet north of $500. Maybe a lot more.

4

Mythical Overdive gets the Klon tone as good as the two Klons I had here at my house, a silver and a gold.

5

Bwhahaha "I just have to have this pedal, am I gonna survive?"

6

I appreciate Josh's channel. No blues wanking, demos in band environment, his kindly Jerry Mathers-esque persona and his passion for gear of all price points.

What other manufacturers of products would gush about their competitors goods like Josh?

Can you imagine the CEO of Ford going on for 20 minutes about how good the new Nissan is? Yet on the JHS channel he will rave about everything from a $20 danelectro pedal or a boutique $500 offering.

I don't own a JHS pedal (I only have 4 pedals) but I want to buy one to support them. But which one?

7

Yeah, I like that about Josh. I don't have any JHS pedals yet, but at one time I was hankering for the Mufaletta. Their Legends of Fuzz pedals look pretty good. I may get the Bender eventually. Their 9-in-1 Tube Screamer looks interesting.

And of course, the Morning Glory is their flagship OD pedal.

8

I have a JHS Spring Tank on one of my boards, it's not a crazy surf pedal, but it's a decent reverb with two mix settings that are footswitchable.

10

Mythical Overdive gets the Klon tone as good as the two Klons I had here at my house, a silver and a gold.

– Daniel Weldon

You are not wrong sir. As a self proclaimed golden ear of gear, I say these guys do, do the do! I love my candy apple green Mythical Overdrive. I know the Soul Food drive is affordable but it general construct even if you swap in germanium diode lore, isnt really a great comparison to a Klon Centaur.

11

I'm interested to hear your take, Tim - as well as which one or ones you favor nowadays.


ATTN: TL,DR:

Bottom line, brought to the top for the impatient: I don't deny that the Centaur circuit is special, with its own semi-magical thing; I think Josh clearly shows it can be had without spending remotely original-Klon money - and I don't seem to badly need what a Centaur does.


WARREN PEAS, unabridged

Well, I think I've determined I don't have a manbeast in this race. What the Centaur does differently from other "overdrives" is, in some ways, awfully subtle. But I get that it's profound for those players who find it so - that it can be both foundational to their tone, and/or the finishing touch that brings it all home.

I'm a little gratified that Josh (Scott, not Bradshaw) specified that when the pedal is used with high output but low gain levels, it's operating strictly to push an amp into breakup (with some tonal coloring) - and that he prefers it with the gain up high enough to get the diode clipping, which he uses as a crunch tone, rather than a pushed amp.

That's the way it seemed most useful to me. It's admittedly a great crunch tone - but I don't think a Centaur circuit is the only way to get that.


I think a combination of factors - along with its utilitarian functionality - is responsible for the Klon Centaur's mythic status and cwaaaazy market value. I think when it was introduced, early in the boutique era, it was functionally unique - that combination of amp-pushing, the crucial EQ profile, and the quality of the clipping. I think the fact that it was expensive from the gitgo, wasn't produced by a mass-market manufacturer (when that was something of a novelty), and wore circuit goop all combined to recommend it to professional and especially well-informed hobbyist guitarists (who could be hip to a secret weapon).

Then I think the spreading circle of early adopters, especially in the professional ranks of credible taste-makers who genuinely found it a missing ingredient in their tone - along with perpetually short new supply - quickly established the pedal as something magical. The minimalist artwork in the timeless case (is it old-timey? is it modern? doesn't it look like an ancient alien artifact on Star Trek?) played a role: not only was it unique, it was easy to identify by shape alone when seen on stages and in pedalboards.

The internet was young, and helped spread the word to the otherwise uninitiated. The rep grew. Finnegan quit making them, guaranteeing permanently short supply. It took the underbelly of the growing hobby-builder/boutique community awhile to scrape the goop off and document the circuit. By then there were proud early adopters and their circles of influence with a vested interest in denying the clones sounded like the real thing - and an equally motivated group of those who couldn't find (or afford) an original whose interest ran toward defending the clones.

Then there was Finnegan's Magic Russian Diode, which gave the Cenaurists just enough of a credible "scientific" hook on which to hang their claims of Klon Siberia superiority over clones - and gave the clone warriors something to be secretly anxious about. In any case, a rising tide of clones - which had to tout their identity with the actual thing in order to attract customers - only served to focus more attention on the original, burnishing its mythic status. If a far-flung but internet-enabled market's attention is engaged in debating how close the imitations are to the real thing, surely the reputation of the real thing is further elevated.

And there's where the truly limited (but hardly vanishingly rare) production kicks in again: even if Finnegan set the KTR loose, even if he occasionally made original Centaurs for friends during the break in production - and even if he's making them again (at prices comparable to the current values of originals) - there can still, ever, only be so many original first-run Centaurs. Doesn't matter how close - even identical - clones, copies, and derivatives have now come in performance, an original is still an original.

It's all been a fabulous hype machine. As long as enough of us buy into the mystique - and/or find that tone essential to our rigs - the originals will remain desirable collector items. Eventually, assuming technological civilization survives, museum pieces. (Who can doubt that a Josh Scott Pedal Museum will eventually open to the public?)

As Josh established in the video, the Centaur is now - along with Treble Boosters, Screamers, and Transparent Tims - another class of overdrives. It's not lower-case, yet, like kleenex, but it is standardized and on its way to commodification. (It's already there, I guess, if you can buy a purdurn-close Asian knockoff for 35.00.) Which, again, supports the eye-poppin' prices at which originals trade hands. (And, contrary to the attempts at reality therapy in the "Just a Tube Screamer" thread, pristine early first-run examples of those pedals do sell for cultural-artifact money.)


As for my own Centaurism...I'm agnostic. I had never considered it more than " just another" overdrive voice (probably over-hyped, I sour-grapsily figured) prior to the Nashville Roundup where Jody Porter drove a midsize Fender combo with one for several hours, producing a compelling and even majestic tone that no one could deny. (Though I suspect sheer volume and Jody's force of personality had something to do with the impact.)

That, I think, was my first knowing exposure to the pedal in its ideal environment - pushing the hell out of a Fender tube amp, working some subtle magic to fill in midrange focus, and enhancing the amp's own grit with its diode clipping. I think that's exactly the context in which the pedal made its reputation: live stages, with at least accomplished (if not gifted) players, at live-show and concert volume.

So I heard the magic. It wasn't giant magic: it didn't polish a turd of an amp into Excalibur. But it was enough magic to push a good sound into greatness - and that's more than enough to sell pedals. In fact, at that point - that threshold where a mere pedal becomes an instrument of inspiration - "selling" seems like a word out of its element. When you're wielding a blazing sword and carving out sound sculpture, mere commerce seems trival.

The question of whether I had any business with that sword - or would even have occasion to use it properly - didn't occur to me.

So I had Josh B build my Klone. I asked for it in a smaller case; he tried it and said it just didn't sound the same. One reason I'd wanted it in a smaller case (besides being board-friendlier) was that I wanted to appear neither as convinced Klon fanboy, nor as a pretender. But while I was never a True Believer, and don't find the case a holy totem, I like the looks of it and didn't mind that he built mine in it.

The pedal came, I played with it. I liked it. At the volumes and in the settings in which I play, I never had - and don't imagine I will have - the opportunity to drive the front end of an amp hard with it. (Though maybe an amp with master volume...but doesn't using it that way kinda make a mockery of the magic anyway?) So, like Josh S, I found my favorite settings essentially deployed the pedal as a mid-level distortion: crunchy, and somewhere just beyond mere front-end breakup.

In that setting, it still sounds good - but it doesn't sound objectively better than other ways of getting similar tones. Nonetheless, I thought "this is a useful driven tone; I'd like to have this on my board." But by then my boards were getting out of control, and I got pretty jealous of the beast's kingly footprint. Also, I was curious to do my own mini Centaur-shoot. So I ordered a Wampler Tumnus (when there was only the mini version).

When it came, I spent hours shooting it out against the JBKlone. I tried (very briefly) front-end pushin' amp-crankin' settings, with low gain and high output; I spent longer testing the two as plain-ol' dirt boxes, as they'd be used with a pedal platform amp. In both scenarios, their behaviors to my ear were fundamentally identical, given the disparities Josh S pointed out among potentiometers and components. That is, combinations of pretty much the same places on the dials yielded pretty much the same results. The high-end character in particular was, I thought, indistinguishable.

And yet: I think I heard a difference in the lows, and maybe low mids. It was subtle, but - considering you only mount the Centaur in a quest for Ultimate Tone - significant. The bigbox JBKlone felt beefier and more substantial, with (I thought) just enough more texture and dimension to matter.

That is, to matter to me, when playing unaccompanied. But I don't think a Centaur is designed for a solo guitarist, or that Finnegan or most of the pedal's most avid user base even thought about it being used except in a band context - a rock & roll band context, at pretty volume, in noisy venues.

I'm not sure the marginal extra low-end girth would even be audible in the heat of battle. I recognize that - if that extra beef is there (and not my subliminal mind riffing on the disparity in physical size between the full Centaur box and the mini Tumnus), it might push the amp differently, giving just enough different response that a guy might play a little differently. But I think you could probably dial that girth back in at the amp. (You can't do it while riding the Centaur, because there's no bass knob, just treble.)

I can speculate on why the bigbox Klone sounds a little different than the miniTum. In this case - comparing these two - it can't be exactly the same circuit. The board from the big'un wouldn't even fit in the little'un. Pots, jacks, and switch are differently located. I don't know if the Tumnus uses a charge pump like the Klone; I didn't do a parts inventory to compare the components and their specs. If I did, I would know nothing about their relative tolearances.

So there are plenty of ways the builds could vary. Would the very layouts of the boards have an impact? Do electric components behave differently when arranged differently? Are there fields and proximity effects? (I would guess there are.) Are they enough to make a tonal difference? Does the micro quantum domain where electrons operate have macro consequences? Well, surely. I'm enough of a believer in science I can't see to recognize that - but not nearly enough to credibly analyze it.

In a theoretical build-off, where the same components could be built into both the original case and a smaller box, would they sound different? I have only embarrassing pseudo-scientific proto-hypotheses to explain how the size of the case might impact the behavior of a circuit. Do the teeny tiny leetle electro-magnetic fields beef up when they have more room to resonate in the case? Is that why early effects pedals were built in silly-big boxes? Is that why early EHX pedals were filled mostly with air?

And so how about the very mass, wall thickness, and internal geography of that cast Centaur case? We know two MIT engineers worked on the pedal: did such considerations ever enter their minds? Do the reinforced curved corners inside the case gently guide the electro-mojotrons in paths which focuses their force to increase the lower midrange, by comparison with the same components in a little oblong Hammond box?

Yeah. I bet that's it.


ANYway, reasoning that no listener could ever discriminate between the tone of the Klone and the Tumnus (nor could I, if I wasn't listening back-to-back in islolation), I thought I'd find the Centaurish tone useful and put the Tumnus on my board.

Which I then never had opportunity to play at volume, and where it proved, over months of play, that its fundamental tone was no more pleasing or essential to me than similar - but differently voiced - tones I was getting from other pedals. And, actually, since I wasn't (and won't be) playing good ol' high-volume rowdy rock & roll at noisy live gigs, I eventually came to prefer most of those other tones to it. At best, a cranked Centaur tone would be one choice among several differently flavored dirt on my board - and not usually in competition for favorite.

My boards kept elaborating, I had plenty of dirts and drives I liked, I went off the fuzz deep end, and I sold the Tumnus. Haven't missed it.

I'm keeping the Klone, because if I ever do get the chance to rawk, in the way the pedal is designed for, I'll appreciate knowing I have as good a version of that behavior as I need (or, likely, can appreciate). Also, it's both a sortaCentaur, and obsessively built to perfection by a guy I know, I appreciate the raw aluminum and the shape of teh box, and it has oxblood knobs.


Before JHS did the Klon Roundup, Dan and Mick did an even longer one on That Pedal Show. I don't think they had as many candidate pedals as Josh showed on his table, but they actually shot out more pedals. I listened to that, intently, with headphones - and heard subtle differences among the pedals, from originals through various Klones and centaur hybrids. As they switched among pedals, I would at first hear something I preferred in the voice of a candidate - then I'd get used to it, or they'd twist some knobs to same the pedals up, and I'd lose track of it in my aural memory. I do think there was one pedal I consistently - just barely - preferred over the others. But I can't remember now what it was. No idea.

And I though Josh (Scott's) A-B-box demo effectively illustrated how little difference there is among all the contenders. I need to re-listen with headphones, as there might be subtleties in the lows and low mids I didn't hear on the first run-through. But based on what I could hear - and what I think I or a hypothetical audience (all my audiences are now hypothetical) would hear at a gig - I couldn't really discern meaningful differences till he got to the 35.00 ones. To me they sounded like a recording of a Klon. Certainly representative of the breed, and possibly superior for truly Klonny purposes to whatever was available before Finnegan introduced the real thing, but not le pur sang.

I guess I was impressed at how close the Boss came, and I wouldn't kick it off stage for eating crackers, but I didn't think it was indistinguishable. (But by the time they got to it, they were running out of time, and I'm not sure it was tweaked as fully as it might have been, or that it got a fair shake.) What all the pedals proved, though, is that lots of players in the industry have a good understanding of the essential Centaur tone and behavior, and it's fully established as a standard.

I do wish they'd had time to play the Soul Food. Dan and Mick gave it its full due, and I didn't find it one of the closest candidates. To me it sounded a bit thinner and less composed.

Based on Tavo's and Dan Weldon's recommendations, if I find myself in need of a centaurian, in a slightly pedalboard-friendlier size, I'll go for the Mythical.

But, for now, bottom line: I don't deny that the Centaur circuit is special, with its own semi-magical thing; I think Josh shows it can clearly be had without spending remotely original-Klon money - and I don't seem to badly need what a Centaur does.

12

I'm interested to hear your take, Tim - as well as which one or ones you favor nowadays.


ATTN: TL,DR:

Bottom line, brought to the top for the impatient: I don't deny that the Centaur circuit is special, with its own semi-magical thing; I think Josh clearly shows it can be had without spending remotely original-Klon money - and I don't seem to badly need what a Centaur does.


WARREN PEAS, unabridged

Well, I think I've determined I don't have a manbeast in this race. What the Centaur does differently from other "overdrives" is, in some ways, awfully subtle. But I get that it's profound for those players who find it so - that it can be both foundational to their tone, and/or the finishing touch that brings it all home.

I'm a little gratified that Josh (Scott, not Bradshaw) specified that when the pedal is used with high output but low gain levels, it's operating strictly to push an amp into breakup (with some tonal coloring) - and that he prefers it with the gain up high enough to get the diode clipping, which he uses as a crunch tone, rather than a pushed amp.

That's the way it seemed most useful to me. It's admittedly a great crunch tone - but I don't think a Centaur circuit is the only way to get that.


I think a combination of factors - along with its utilitarian functionality - is responsible for the Klon Centaur's mythic status and cwaaaazy market value. I think when it was introduced, early in the boutique era, it was functionally unique - that combination of amp-pushing, the crucial EQ profile, and the quality of the clipping. I think the fact that it was expensive from the gitgo, wasn't produced by a mass-market manufacturer (when that was something of a novelty), and wore circuit goop all combined to recommend it to professional and especially well-informed hobbyist guitarists (who could be hip to a secret weapon).

Then I think the spreading circle of early adopters, especially in the professional ranks of credible taste-makers who genuinely found it a missing ingredient in their tone - along with perpetually short new supply - quickly established the pedal as something magical. The minimalist artwork in the timeless case (is it old-timey? is it modern? doesn't it look like an ancient alien artifact on Star Trek?) played a role: not only was it unique, it was easy to identify by shape alone when seen on stages and in pedalboards.

The internet was young, and helped spread the word to the otherwise uninitiated. The rep grew. Finnegan quit making them, guaranteeing permanently short supply. It took the underbelly of the growing hobby-builder/boutique community awhile to scrape the goop off and document the circuit. By then there were proud early adopters and their circles of influence with a vested interest in denying the clones sounded like the real thing - and an equally motivated group of those who couldn't find (or afford) an original whose interest ran toward defending the clones.

Then there was Finnegan's Magic Russian Diode, which gave the Cenaurists just enough of a credible "scientific" hook on which to hang their claims of Klon Siberia superiority over clones - and gave the clone warriors something to be secretly anxious about. In any case, a rising tide of clones - which had to tout their identity with the actual thing in order to attract customers - only served to focus more attention on the original, burnishing its mythic status. If a far-flung but internet-enabled market's attention is engaged in debating how close the imitations are to the real thing, surely the reputation of the real thing is further elevated.

And there's where the truly limited (but hardly vanishingly rare) production kicks in again: even if Finnegan set the KTR loose, even if he occasionally made original Centaurs for friends during the break in production - and even if he's making them again (at prices comparable to the current values of originals) - there can still, ever, only be so many original first-run Centaurs. Doesn't matter how close - even identical - clones, copies, and derivatives have now come in performance, an original is still an original.

It's all been a fabulous hype machine. As long as enough of us buy into the mystique - and/or find that tone essential to our rigs - the originals will remain desirable collector items. Eventually, assuming technological civilization survives, museum pieces. (Who can doubt that a Josh Scott Pedal Museum will eventually open to the public?)

As Josh established in the video, the Centaur is now - along with Treble Boosters, Screamers, and Transparent Tims - another class of overdrives. It's not lower-case, yet, like kleenex, but it is standardized and on its way to commodification. (It's already there, I guess, if you can buy a purdurn-close Asian knockoff for 35.00.) Which, again, supports the eye-poppin' prices at which originals trade hands. (And, contrary to the attempts at reality therapy in the "Just a Tube Screamer" thread, pristine early first-run examples of those pedals do sell for cultural-artifact money.)


As for my own Centaurism...I'm agnostic. I had never considered it more than " just another" overdrive voice (probably over-hyped, I sour-grapsily figured) prior to the Nashville Roundup where Jody Porter drove a midsize Fender combo with one for several hours, producing a compelling and even majestic tone that no one could deny. (Though I suspect sheer volume and Jody's force of personality had something to do with the impact.)

That, I think, was my first knowing exposure to the pedal in its ideal environment - pushing the hell out of a Fender tube amp, working some subtle magic to fill in midrange focus, and enhancing the amp's own grit with its diode clipping. I think that's exactly the context in which the pedal made its reputation: live stages, with at least accomplished (if not gifted) players, at live-show and concert volume.

So I heard the magic. It wasn't giant magic: it didn't polish a turd of an amp into Excalibur. But it was enough magic to push a good sound into greatness - and that's more than enough to sell pedals. In fact, at that point - that threshold where a mere pedal becomes an instrument of inspiration - "selling" seems like a word out of its element. When you're wielding a blazing sword and carving out sound sculpture, mere commerce seems trival.

The question of whether I had any business with that sword - or would even have occasion to use it properly - didn't occur to me.

So I had Josh B build my Klone. I asked for it in a smaller case; he tried it and said it just didn't sound the same. One reason I'd wanted it in a smaller case (besides being board-friendlier) was that I wanted to appear neither as convinced Klon fanboy, nor as a pretender. But while I was never a True Believer, and don't find the case a holy totem, I like the looks of it and didn't mind that he built mine in it.

The pedal came, I played with it. I liked it. At the volumes and in the settings in which I play, I never had - and don't imagine I will have - the opportunity to drive the front end of an amp hard with it. (Though maybe an amp with master volume...but doesn't using it that way kinda make a mockery of the magic anyway?) So, like Josh S, I found my favorite settings essentially deployed the pedal as a mid-level distortion: crunchy, and somewhere just beyond mere front-end breakup.

In that setting, it still sounds good - but it doesn't sound objectively better than other ways of getting similar tones. Nonetheless, I thought "this is a useful driven tone; I'd like to have this on my board." But by then my boards were getting out of control, and I got pretty jealous of the beast's kingly footprint. Also, I was curious to do my own mini Centaur-shoot. So I ordered a Wampler Tumnus (when there was only the mini version).

When it came, I spent hours shooting it out against the JBKlone. I tried (very briefly) front-end pushin' amp-crankin' settings, with low gain and high output; I spent longer testing the two as plain-ol' dirt boxes, as they'd be used with a pedal platform amp. In both scenarios, their behaviors to my ear were fundamentally identical, given the disparities Josh S pointed out among potentiometers and components. That is, combinations of pretty much the same places on the dials yielded pretty much the same results. The high-end character in particular was, I thought, indistinguishable.

And yet: I think I heard a difference in the lows, and maybe low mids. It was subtle, but - considering you only mount the Centaur in a quest for Ultimate Tone - significant. The bigbox JBKlone felt beefier and more substantial, with (I thought) just enough more texture and dimension to matter.

That is, to matter to me, when playing unaccompanied. But I don't think a Centaur is designed for a solo guitarist, or that Finnegan or most of the pedal's most avid user base even thought about it being used except in a band context - a rock & roll band context, at pretty volume, in noisy venues.

I'm not sure the marginal extra low-end girth would even be audible in the heat of battle. I recognize that - if that extra beef is there (and not my subliminal mind riffing on the disparity in physical size between the full Centaur box and the mini Tumnus), it might push the amp differently, giving just enough different response that a guy might play a little differently. But I think you could probably dial that girth back in at the amp. (You can't do it while riding the Centaur, because there's no bass knob, just treble.)

I can speculate on why the bigbox Klone sounds a little different than the miniTum. In this case - comparing these two - it can't be exactly the same circuit. The board from the big'un wouldn't even fit in the little'un. Pots, jacks, and switch are differently located. I don't know if the Tumnus uses a charge pump like the Klone; I didn't do a parts inventory to compare the components and their specs. If I did, I would know nothing about their relative tolearances.

So there are plenty of ways the builds could vary. Would the very layouts of the boards have an impact? Do electric components behave differently when arranged differently? Are there fields and proximity effects? (I would guess there are.) Are they enough to make a tonal difference? Does the micro quantum domain where electrons operate have macro consequences? Well, surely. I'm enough of a believer in science I can't see to recognize that - but not nearly enough to credibly analyze it.

In a theoretical build-off, where the same components could be built into both the original case and a smaller box, would they sound different? I have only embarrassing pseudo-scientific proto-hypotheses to explain how the size of the case might impact the behavior of a circuit. Do the teeny tiny leetle electro-magnetic fields beef up when they have more room to resonate in the case? Is that why early effects pedals were built in silly-big boxes? Is that why early EHX pedals were filled mostly with air?

And so how about the very mass, wall thickness, and internal geography of that cast Centaur case? We know two MIT engineers worked on the pedal: did such considerations ever enter their minds? Do the reinforced curved corners inside the case gently guide the electro-mojotrons in paths which focuses their force to increase the lower midrange, by comparison with the same components in a little oblong Hammond box?

Yeah. I bet that's it.


ANYway, reasoning that no listener could ever discriminate between the tone of the Klone and the Tumnus (nor could I, if I wasn't listening back-to-back in islolation), I thought I'd find the Centaurish tone useful and put the Tumnus on my board.

Which I then never had opportunity to play at volume, and where it proved, over months of play, that its fundamental tone was no more pleasing or essential to me than similar - but differently voiced - tones I was getting from other pedals. And, actually, since I wasn't (and won't be) playing good ol' high-volume rowdy rock & roll at noisy live gigs, I eventually came to prefer most of those other tones to it. At best, a cranked Centaur tone would be one choice among several differently flavored dirt on my board - and not usually in competition for favorite.

My boards kept elaborating, I had plenty of dirts and drives I liked, I went off the fuzz deep end, and I sold the Tumnus. Haven't missed it.

I'm keeping the Klone, because if I ever do get the chance to rawk, in the way the pedal is designed for, I'll appreciate knowing I have as good a version of that behavior as I need (or, likely, can appreciate). Also, it's both a sortaCentaur, and obsessively built to perfection by a guy I know, I appreciate the raw aluminum and the shape of teh box, and it has oxblood knobs.


Before JHS did the Klon Roundup, Dan and Mick did an even longer one on That Pedal Show. I don't think they had as many candidate pedals as Josh showed on his table, but they actually shot out more pedals. I listened to that, intently, with headphones - and heard subtle differences among the pedals, from originals through various Klones and centaur hybrids. As they switched among pedals, I would at first hear something I preferred in the voice of a candidate - then I'd get used to it, or they'd twist some knobs to same the pedals up, and I'd lose track of it in my aural memory. I do think there was one pedal I consistently - just barely - preferred over the others. But I can't remember now what it was. No idea.

And I though Josh (Scott's) A-B-box demo effectively illustrated how little difference there is among all the contenders. I need to re-listen with headphones, as there might be subtleties in the lows and low mids I didn't hear on the first run-through. But based on what I could hear - and what I think I or a hypothetical audience (all my audiences are now hypothetical) would hear at a gig - I couldn't really discern meaningful differences till he got to the 35.00 ones. To me they sounded like a recording of a Klon. Certainly representative of the breed, and possibly superior for truly Klonny purposes to whatever was available before Finnegan introduced the real thing, but not le pur sang.

I guess I was impressed at how close the Boss came, and I wouldn't kick it off stage for eating crackers, but I didn't think it was indistinguishable. (But by the time they got to it, they were running out of time, and I'm not sure it was tweaked as fully as it might have been, or that it got a fair shake.) What all the pedals proved, though, is that lots of players in the industry have a good understanding of the essential Centaur tone and behavior, and it's fully established as a standard.

I do wish they'd had time to play the Soul Food. Dan and Mick gave it its full due, and I didn't find it one of the closest candidates. To me it sounded a bit thinner and less composed.

Based on Tavo's and Dan Weldon's recommendations, if I find myself in need of a centaurian, in a slightly pedalboard-friendlier size, I'll go for the Mythical.

But, for now, bottom line: I don't deny that the Centaur circuit is special, with its own semi-magical thing; I think Josh shows it can clearly be had without spending remotely original-Klon money - and I don't seem to badly need what a Centaur does.

– Proteus

Damn, Tolstoy... do you like it or not though?

13

fistpicker and Jimbo:

Yeah, me too. Josh is probably my favorite pedalbuilder to watch. I love his postivism, his enthusiasm, his historical/collecting obsession, his humor, and his self-deprecating "I'm serious but I don't take myself seriously" persona. (Which I hope - and think - is the real Josh.) I hear a lot of southerner and midwesterner in all of that, which I appreciate. Maybe for those reasons, I find him trustworthy.

He's also probably the builder/demo guy I'd most like to jam with. I like his musical sensibilities and his style. There's always loose feel and groove, and he thinks well on his feet. Plays to the song, not to impress. That impresses!

I just think good guy all the way around.

And I feel bad I don't have any of his pedals! I feel like I should buy at least one, just in appreciation. I've started a couple of emails to him to thank him for his online work, confess the fellow-sufferer extent of my pedal madness, and apologize that in all that mass-o-stomps, I don't have a JHS.

I've trawled over his line several times, looking for something to want, and always end up with a list of dirt boxes which sound great to me, but which I don't really have a use - or room - for on my boards.

I did try a Colour Box from a pedal-of-the-month club, and really liked it. It did that LennonRevolution overload-the-desk-preamp tone perfectly - and I hate that sound. But it was also a great EQ/conditioner/pumper-upper at cleaner settings. Still, it wasn't compelling enough to keep. I have a lot of EQ/conditioning pumper-uppers.

Maybe my appreciation would be better expressed if I gave some money to his Patreon to support his educational mission.

So yay Josh. If the world was filled with people so passionate about something, and pursuing it with such straightforward sincerity and diligence, it would be a better place.

14

Damn, Tolstoy... do you like it or not though?

Sorry man. You didn't have to make it worse by quoting THE WHOLE THING geez.

It's succinctly summed up in the last graph, but to prevent your having to read it, I put a TLDR at the top.

Hope it helps.

Over and out.

15

Damn, Tolstoy... do you like it or not though?

Sorry man. You didn't have to make it worse by quoting THE WHOLE THING geez.

It's succinctly summed up in the last graph, but to prevent your having to read it, I put a TLDR at the top.

Hope it helps.

Over and out.

– Proteus

I'm just giving you a hard time, hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.

16

I'm just giving you a hard time, hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.

I know. TG was perfectly fine, trust yours was too.

17

JHS Addendum:

I've looked over the specs of the Colour Box again; there's now a version 2 I'd forgotten about, with enough new features to make it very compelling. So. Something to buy from Josh!

And here I was worried I'd run out of things to want.

18

i wouldn't buy anytlhing from JHS if you paid me. they used your money to support "Christian" extremists in Africa who believe all gays should be killed, until enough people got hip to it that it was going to affect their bottom line. frankly, if someone advertizes their "Christianity" it makes me not want to patronize them.

19

not to mention that they stole most of their designs from people whose ethics would not let them support gay-bashers.

20

I've tried a fair few Klons and Klones - built one for a friend, built a few to try various things... And still I think it is the most over-rated pedal ever to exist. A good one can sound ok. I get what it is supposed to do. But it's just an ok pedal. There are so many better ODs around these days. It's such a boring, honky sound.

Yet a friend of mine who has an original gold one loves it. He doesn't actually use it a great deal mind you!

21

And guess who just ordered a Wampler Tumnus Deluxe that was on sale at a local store's Black Friday promotion? Moi!

22

My two cents:

I recently got an MXR Sugar Drive, a klone. I use it to make my clean channel sound like it's breaking up and to give the dirty channel a bit more gain and boost. I wanted it to change my two channel amp into a 4 channel amp, if you will.

It works really well in this application. As a stand-alone overdrive effect it falls short. It's not a Distortion + or a Blues Breaker.


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