CoffeeAndKlon #22: Who Needs Pedals When You’ve Got A Great Amp?

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

Good afternoon! I’m a bit late with this week’s #CoffeeAndKlon. There’s a couple of reasons why. And one of them does involve the Klon.

I’ve been a bit flat for most of this past week. Delivered a couple of workshops and a talk on the Saturday and Wednesday, and didn’t have much left in the tank after that.

So Thursday and Friday, I’ve mostly been finishing off the home studio revamp. A bit of upgraded gear, and mainly about getting the gear I already have back into use.

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New Arrivals For May 2019

At a recent post-gig band rehearsal, we decided that I needed to start adding effects to my acoustic rig. The plan this month was to build out a full acoustic board – one that’ll run into the amp for shows, and also directly into a PA for open-mic spots.

Sadly, my timing’s off, and the pedals I’m targeting for the acoustic board have been out-of-stock every time I’ve gone shopping for them. In the meantime, there’s been a few unexpectedly good bargains crop up on eBay, so I grabbed those instead.

Here’s a list of all the new gear that arrived in May, along with my first impressions of each item. I’ll do a detailed writeup about each piece of gear when I’ve had a bit of time with it.

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New Arrivals For April

Last month, I made a very unplanned purchase – the Custom Shop Les Paul Special. I got it for less than a brand-new Gibson USA Standard costs (not the first time that’s happened), but still … The next few months are going to be about exceptional bargains or rare items only – or things I need for gigging.

Not that it really matters. The 2nd hand gear market seems to have dried up quite badly this month. Even eBay “sell for £1” weekends haven’t had their normal impact. Will things pick up in May?

Here’s a list of all the new gear that arrived in April, along with my first impressions of each item. I’ll post a separate, detailed post about each item when I’ve had a bit of time to get to know it better.

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New Arrivals For February

February has been a very strange month for gear.

The Winter NAMM announcements are over, and now we wait for actual stock to appear in the shops. Some items – like Marshall’s new Studio line of heads, combos and cabs – have arrived quickly (and largely sold out just as quickly). Other pieces – not so much.

eBay started slow, but in the middle of the month, there was a lot of great gear up for grabs at surprising prices. I was expecting most people to be waiting for the “free for private sellers” changes coming at the start of March. I was wrong.

Here’s a list of everything I’ve picked up in February, along with my initial impressions. I’ll write up a full article on each of them once I’ve had a bit of time with them.

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Attack Of The Klons!

Chappers and The Captain have done a shootout between ten Klon-like pedals.

If you’re not sure what all the hype around the Klon is all about, let me explain …

The Klon is low-gain pedal that (in its day) did something unique. Set as a clean boost, it lifts the guitar in the mix (or in a live setting) thanks to the way it increases the upper mids. And yet – it also does something to the bass response that makes clean tones sound fuller, without making drive tones muddy or boomy.

The hype is partly because, for many years, the only way to get this tone was to get a Klon Centaur. They were hand-built by Bill Finnigain, and due to limited availability they started changing hands in the second hand market for eye-watering amounts of money.

Eventually, klones (with a ‘k’) started appearing. Bill himself created the Klon KTR as a mass-production version of the Centaur, did a deal with JRAD to make them, before JRAD went on to create their own klones.

The most important klone is the Soul Food. It wasn’t the first klone, and I’d argue it is amongst the worst, but it did bring awareness and availability to the mass market. Since then, there’s been an explosion of interest in klones and the Klon thing. Today, there’s plenty of choice to suit all tastes and budgets.

I’ve got three of these on my boards, including the (for me) unmatched Klon KTR. It’s the only one that I’ve tried that doesn’t add a huge bass bump to overdrive tones. That’s something that doesn’t come across in this demo, to be honest.

Watch the video to choose your favourite, and then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment..