#CoffeeAndKlon 2: Before We Had Klones

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

Good morning! I thought I’d do another #CoffeeAndKlon today This week, complete with authentic rat’s nest wiring!

But first – coffee 🙂 Nothing happens here on a morning until there’s coffee.

Quickly, what’s with the terrible wiring in that first photo?

Turns out the Pedaltrain Nano+ is just too long to fit on a standard-size 19” rack shelf. And I need the extra depth of a rack shelf to fit the power supply and patch bay I’m using.

So, right now, I’ve got nowhere to route the power cables – hence the rat’s nest of wiring. Wiring like this will probably make my rig noisy. That’s why it’s terrible.

Any ideas on what might fit into this space and give me elevation to route the power cables, let me know.

So, this week … there’s no Klon on my practice / gear test setup. It might seem incredible today, but it wasn’t all that long ago when there were no klones, and we had to use other pedals in that clean boost / colour role. I want to talk about that today.

We’ve had the Klon KTR (I love it, many do not) and klones for what – 6 years or so now? Before that, there were Klon Centaurs and some klones that utter amateurs like me didn’t know about. And boost pedals. We’ve had boost pedals for decades.

Remind me, and I’ll feature some popular boost pedals in the future.

What does a boost actually do? There’s three key aspects, for me:

  1. a volume boost
  2. an EQ change
  3. without adding dirt

Any pedal that does all three can be used as a boost.

There’s no written rule that says you can only use pedals that are made and marketed as boost pedals. Look at the Tubescreamer. It’s a drive pedal. But someone figured out that you can put it in front of a JCM800 to boost that amp into 80s rock heaven.

Before the Klon KTR, my boost pedal of choice wasn’t a boost pedal at all. It was a compressor. Mad Professor’s Forest Green Overdrive. And that’s what’s on the shelf this morning, on the far right of this photo.


I honestly couldn’t tell you what colour it’s adding, just that (to my ears) it does add something. Some of that will be down to using it to boost the volume. As sounds get louder, we hear them differently.

A Klon can make pretty much any pedal sound better. Some pedals – like this Bluebird Overdrive – sound better when boosted with the Forest Green instead, imho.

As Klon inventor Bill Finnegan himself says, the hype around the Klon is ridiculous. Klons (and many klones) are great. Other pedals can be great boost pedals too. Inc ones that aren’t sold as boost pedals.

I hope I’m encouraging you to experiment.

What non-boost pedals do you use for boosting your main dirt pedal or your amp? I’d love to learn more about what you’re using 🙂


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