#CoffeeAndKlon is my (irregular!) Sunday morning magazine series, where I talk about whatever’s on my mind right now. There’s always coffee, and there’s normally chat about the Klon and its many competitors.
Today, I want to talk klones, and specifically the most important klone pedal ever released: Electro-Harmonix’s Soul Food. Make yourself your favourite morning drink first. This one is going to be a #longread … with audio demos.
Late 2020, Wampler Pedals launched the Wampler Belle, which comes in a fetching green. They also did a limited run of these in the Claymore finish, as a tribute to the late Alex Abernathy Clay. Same circuit, just a different finish.
Here are my (long overdue) first impressions of this delightful overdrive pedal.
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..