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So I Tried a Real Klon Centaur Today

scmavl

Enjoyer
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,560
I compared an early gold Centaur and the KTR extensively, as well as many of the usual Klones. I kept the OG gold. The KTR is very close, but it's a bit different. Maybe it's the fact that the Centaur is 20+ years old or just the variance in the tolerances of the individual components in that particular pedal. Whatever it is, it's the BEST Klon or Klon-type I've had (between 2 silver, 2 gold, and many Klones). It just adds a small amount of foundation to the bottom of my tone that I love.
 

rjtwangs

Me
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
179
If you have patience, watch ALL of this, bear in mind that the owner of the real Klon is the fellow with the Les Paul....

You can fast forward to approx 1:04:20 and see what the fellow with the Les Paul has to say....

RJ
 
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rawkguitarist

Member
Messages
10,929
Not that its needed... but another vote for the Mythical Overdrive.

I know I've said this several times but here goes again... I only bought the MO on a whim to see what the Klon fuss was about. Didn't expect it to be one of my favorite pedals and at home I almost always have it on boosting my Barber Direct Drive.

Those two pedals into my Carol Ann Custom-67 (JTM50) is my main tone these days. And I have an amazing Carol Ann Tucana 3 that can put out all the gain needs without pedals... Honestly digging the pedals through the clean amp more these days.
 

High Pedality

Member
Messages
612
I've played a few original Centaurs in the past and currently own a first run KTR, stock Soul Food and Centura.

Without having an original to compare it to recently, the main take away for me is that the Centura maintains a round, bouncy, low end even as you advance the Treble knob that my KTR and Soul Food just don't have. I can get them all super close but there's something audibly fatter with the Centura than the other two and if we're splitting hairs, then the Centura gets my vote. I went ahead and ordered a Chinese Centaur replica enclosure and damnit and if that's what I need to feel like I own a real Klon, so be it.

It's very interesting to read about early runs of the KTR sounding not great but current runs sounding better. I'll have to explore that more. My KTR without a doubt has a bit more of a brittle top end to it that's always bummed me out a bit.
 

hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,577
Check this shoot out. Modded, and available through JHS. It will get you VERY close...
I am pretty sure they sound close enough for me. After all, I am liking the MXR Sugar Drive. And I can side by side it with a KTR and a 90s Centaur. Main point is as always, demos that put the Centaur in front are subjecting the downstream pedal to the Centaur buffer all the time. That tends to affect the sound of the downstream pedal however slightly. For the true tone mavens, these comparisons should always use a loop or other means to take the Centaur out of the circuit.

If it is voiced to sound like a Centaur? Close your eyes, turn those knobs and listen. It is likely all in there. The versions that are not voiced to sound like a Centaur, and some definitely are inspired-by revisions, then it will sound a little different. And you may like it better...or not.

hunter
 

Andres6and8

Member
Messages
297
OP, I encourage you to try a Ceriatone Centura at some point, even if you settle on a KTR. Here's what I posted on another thread some time ago about a double-blind experiment my friend and I did to compare klones:

The test was to see which we could differentiate from the Klon. Here's how the double blind test worked:

We set up a pedal switch and hooked the Klon Centaur and all 6 "klones" (KTR, Soul Food, Centura, JHS Klone, Archer, and Tumnus) to the pedal board by having the subject connect the marked cables to the pedals, and then covering the pedals with a thin poster board to mask their identity. This went into a '73 Fender Twin Reverb that we both agreed was "neutral" enough at the setting we put on. This way, we didn't know which was the control (i.e., the Klon) and which was the klone. We used an alder bodied, American standard Fender Stratocaster.

The subject left the room, and the other person, not knowing the jumbled cables other than their partners and which were input/output, connected them to the board. The subject would then come into the room and spend no less than 120 seconds trying to get acquainted with the Fender Twin Reverb sound.

From there, the subject would test 21 different pairs- for example, Pedal A and Pedal B, Pedal A & pedal C,..., Pedal F & Pedal G. We'd seek out the pairs that sounded very, very similar. Playing 45-60 seconds through each combination, taking 30 second rests in between, this took about 35-40 minutes for each subject.

We were able to differentiate most pedals in each combination. Some combinations were similar at first, but after resting, the similarities became pronounced. Two pairs gave us particular trouble- combinations B&D and B&F. It was the weirdest thing. The common denominator was pedal B, of course, but we were unsure if that was the Klon or if one particular klone sounded like another. We actually turned put the amp on high bass setting and minimized the treble. The difference between B&D became obvious- D was slightly brighter. B&F, though, were dead locked together. We couldn't find a setting where they didn't mimic each other.

"B" turned out to be the Klon Centaur, "D" turned out to be the KTR, and "F" turned out to be the Ceriatone Centura.

When I was finished, the roles were reversed- we randomly assigned a different configuration for the switch board, took a lunch break, and once again, three pedals sounded like each other- and it took us exaggerating the amp setting to find which one was the KTR and which was the Centura.

The only preconceived bias we had going into the experiment was that we expected several klones to sound exactly the same, since we understand that the circuit is more likely than not similar in all klones. The differences proved us wrong. Since then, we've lost all desire to buy a Klon- or a KTR, for what it's worth.

Edited to add: note that this experiment did not address the following questions: (1) which is the most "transparent" overdrive (this would take a little more setting up) and (2) which sounds "the best" (which is highly dependent on user tastes and intentions). So no disrespect is meant toward other pedals. We just found that there were no sonic differences between the Centaur and the Centura; with regards to timbre, Ceriatone made the ultimate klone.
 

SkydogFan81

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,959
Went into a local guitar shop today they had a Klon Centaur on consignment - for the low price of $3000 CDN - and I figured I had to check it out after reading so much about it hear on TGP. Played a strat-Klon-Tone King Imperial MKII (never heard of this amp before, but it sounded great). I have to say it sounded really awesome; great mild overdriven sound, which is exactly what I'm looking for. It is bright but not piercing, and the tone was exactly what I hear in my head, but have had trouble finding.

Now there is no way I'm dropping 3K on a pedal - it cost more than the guitar I was playing - but I'm certainly looking for a klone of some type! I have a Kingsley Minstrel that I recently purchased, and I think I'll pair it with a klone, just need to figure out which one. On the the search function!

Get a Centura or a KTR - then you'll be there. I sold my Klon after I A/B'd it with a couple KTR's
 

mikendzel

Member
Messages
916
Went into a local guitar shop today they had a Klon Centaur on consignment - for the low price of $3000 CDN - and I figured I had to check it out after reading so much about it hear on TGP. Played a strat-Klon-Tone King Imperial MKII (never heard of this amp before, but it sounded great). I have to say it sounded really awesome; great mild overdriven sound, which is exactly what I'm looking for. It is bright but not piercing, and the tone was exactly what I hear in my head, but have had trouble finding.

Now there is no way I'm dropping 3K on a pedal - it cost more than the guitar I was playing - but I'm certainly looking for a klone of some type! I have a Kingsley Minstrel that I recently purchased, and I think I'll pair it with a klone, just need to figure out which one. On the the search function!
You may want to investigate the amp instead, and/or Mark Bartel who founded Tone King, designed all of the Tone King amps, and now has a new company Bartel Amplifiers. His new design is on the "revolutionary" side of the amp spectrum! He's a KILLER dude as well!!!
 

Jon C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,222
The MO and KTR are, to my ears and feel, as close to Klons I've heard/played as can be hoped for.
 

LPMojoGL

Music Room Superstar
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,049
I've had plenty of Klones, including Archer Ikon, Stud, PCE AF, Centura, KTR...
Settled with the KTR and see no reason to revisit Klone territory again.
 

jbd3

Please Don't Sell Me Any More Gear
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,528
IMO the buffer option adds a good chunk of usefulness, because you can switch it on or off depending on pedal placement and cable length. I use the switch a lot.
Totally true. I know Finnegan thinks they sound like crap with the buffer off, but I think that's only true if you have a pretty small pedalboard, also depends on where you place it... I used to not know what buffers were, then I was afraid of them, now I've gotten them figured out (mostly), and I've learned they're real tone savers if they're good, and in the right spot. But the KTR buffer is great and you'll definitely notice a difference when you switch it off.
 

Miroslav L

Member
Messages
1,536
why can't we just accept that this "klon vs klone vs another klone" argument is just a matter of taste?

Not mentioned yet, JHS Mod Soul Food has more tonal options than most other klones with the extra clipping setting on 3-way toggle switch, also the "bass contour" knob

set the switch to up position, contour knob to max, you have the "stock" klon sound.

It sounds exactly like the Centaur to me, but i'm more than open to the opinions of others on this. (start it at 1min 39sec)

Well...you posting this video pretty much convinced me.
I just picked up a JSH/Soul Food "Meat & 3" for $85! :cool:

The tonal options with that modified pedal cover a lot of ground, and the "stock" Klon position sounds to me just like the Klon in the video.
Not really sure what spending another $2915 could add to that...
...other than maybe some ego. ;)
 

gtr777

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,770
Happy Centura user here. I A/B'd it with my friends Centaur and it was remarkably close.
 

Joe Tone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
531
I have an Aluminum Falcon Overdrive which seems to be close to the Centaur I had, close enough for me nonetheless.
This one:
 




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