#CoffeeAndKlon 4: Before There Was Klon

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

For #CoffeeAndKlon this week, I’m continuing the these of ‘before there was Klon’, with inspiration from my local guitar shop and the mighty demo god that is Pete Thorn.

Although I promise a klone will make an appearance before I’m done 🙂

So what have I got on the board this morning? The .45 Cal is JRAD’s JTM45 amp-in-box pedal. I think it’s a nice crunchy rhythm pedal that sounds great with a Les Paul.

Next to it – a treble booster. I picked this up on eBay for a lot less than other treble boosters go for. I’m using this one today because it’s mains-powered, rather than battery powered.

In this recent video, @petethorn did a great job of showing how classic rock sounds relied on treble boosters to deliver those iconic tones.

And it got me wondering … what would happen if I ran a treble booster into an overdrive pedal?

This is probably going to be a terrible idea …

Pedals (generally) aren’t a recreation of an amp’s preamp circuit. They’re trying to produce a compatible tone. That doesn’t mean they’ll behave the same way to various input signals.

One area where pedals can differ greatly from amps is their input headroom. Some pedals will happily accommodate being slammed with a hotter signal. Others will fart out or turn into fuzz pedals instead.

Fortunately, the .45 Cal takes hot signals well. I didn’t know that before I started this morning 🙂

I’ve tried to set the .45 Cal up to mimic the base tone that Pete Thorn dialled in for part of his video. The .45 Cal can sound a lot better than that 🙂

Engage the treble boost, and I’m very quickly into Ride The Lightning territory. Here are the settings that I’m using to relive my childhood between tweets 🙂



Might be hard to see from that photo: the .45 Cal has plenty of gain dialled in. That treble booster needs something to work with. Dial the gain back, and this is a pairing that IMHO doesn’t do anything interesting at all.

Tell you what I am interested in though: what does a klone sound like, on the receiving end of a treble booster? I’m sure there’s a very good reason no-one has ever asked this …

I’m going to try the original Wampler Tumnus. I’ve picked it because this pedal has a bit of a following as a primary overdrive in its own right.

The first challenge is trying to make it sound dull and lifeless without overdoing it. This is the first time I’ve tried this as an overdrive. It sounds really good.

Add in the treble booster, and I’m not convinced that I’ve made the tone any better. There’s some kind of phasing issue in the end result, at least to my ears.

I do like the idea (for fun!) of trying other boost pedals with klones in the future. I’ll come back to this topic another time.

If you’ve had a play with treble boosters and pedals – or klones with boosters – I’d love to hear how you got on.

Have a great day 🙂

Seymour Duncan Silver Lake Reverb Demo

Pete Thorn has posted a demo of Seymour Duncan’s Silver Lake Reverb pedal.

When you think of Seymour Duncan, you probably associate them with decades of pickups. In recent years, they’ve been branching out into effects pedals. The Silver Lake Reverb is the latest to hit the streets.

I like how this is a true stereo pedal. Mono reverbs have their place – mainly for amps that don’t have a built-in reverb of their own. Beyond that one use case, I think mono reverbs just fall flat as a feature effect. Reverb needs to be in stereo if you want it front and centre in a soundscape.

Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment if you enjoyed Pete’s video.

Mercuriall Spark Demo

Pete Thorn has posted a demo of Mercuriall’s Spark Marshall amp-sim plug-in. Check out these tones!

The Spark plugin models 4 classic Marshall amps: a Super Bass, Super Lead, JCM 800, and the AFD. The JCM 800 and Super Lead heads are still in production. Looks like the Super Bass isn’t made any more. The AFD was (if memory serves) a limited run – Captain Anderton did a video about his.

Amp plugins are well worth looking at if you can’t afford a real amp, don’t want the hassle, or don’t have the physical space for a collection of big and heavy vintage amps. They run inside your DAW software (I always recommend Reaper – it’s great) and all you need is an interface (like the Focusrite Scarlett) to plug your guitar into.

And, as you can hear on Pete’s demo, they offer very usable tones these days.

Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment if you enjoyed Pete’s video.

Fender 2018 Pedal Range Demo

Pete Thorn has posted his demo of Fender’s 2018 Pedal range. If you want to hear what they sound like together in a mix, this is the demo for you.

Rather than go through every single tone the pedals offer, he breaks down a complete song, showing what he used for each part – and letting us hear them soloed out.

I love the tones Pete gets from the Santa Ana Overdrive in this video. I’ve already got the Pugilist, and it sounds great with a Tele. The Santa Ana with humbuckers … that’s a sound that I do have a need for. Not too long until pay day 🙂

Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment if you enjoyed Pete’s video.

Amps In The Zone: Vintage Marshalls

Pete Thorn – pedal demo maestro extraordinaire – has started a new series of videos: Amps In The Zone. In this series, he’s showing us how he likes to dial in classic amps, along with great explanations of why.

We’re going to learn a lot from these videos.

In the first video in the series, Pete takes a look at vintage Marshall amps, along with the Suhr SL68:

I’m scouring it for any tips I can use to get the most out of my Synergy Metro Plex module 🙂

Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment if you enjoyed Pete’s video.