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.
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..
Riff City Guitar and Keeley Electronics have teamed up to launch a new Plexi-voiced pedal. Rabea has one of the handwired versions, and has posted a demo to show us what it sounds like.
If, like me, you’re not in the States, this is going to be a pedal to watch for when it hits the 2nd hand market. It’s exclusive to Riff City Guitar, and the run of hand-wired pedals has already sold out. There’s going to be a run of non-hand-wired pedals too, and these also seem to be exclusive to Riff City Guitar.
Watch the video to hear how good this sounds – and how well it responds to pick dynamics. And then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.