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The legendary Klon Centaur that we all know and love can be described by some as the perfect overdrive pedal.
But unless you have a few thousand dollars to spend on a guitar pedal (Klon Centaurs are selling on Reverb.com for an average of $7,000 right now), your dreams of owning the elusive Klon Centaur may never come true.
But not all hope is lost.
With the massive demand behind this pedal, many pedal companies have utilized their expertise to design clones of the Klon Centaur, adding their own take on this classic, coveted pedal design.
We’ve decided to compile a list of some of our favorite Klon Centaur clones available today.
Here are the Best Klon Centaur Clones
Wampler Pedals – Tumnus
The Tumnus from Wampler Pedals is often named one of the most faithful recreations of the Klon Centaur. Brian and the Wampler team have worked hard to bring all of that glorious Klon tone into their Tumnus pedal – while housing it all in a small, pedalboard-friendly enclosure.
TC Electronic – Zeus
Perhaps one of the newest pedals on the list, as of today. The Zeus from TC Electronic is the company’s take on the iconic Klon Centaur-style circuit. With a unique “Fat” switch to help beef up your low end and a nice price tag – the Zeus is definitely a pedal to check out.
J Rockett – Archer
If you’ve ever mindlessly scrolled through pedalboard posts on Instagram, chances are you’ve seen an Archer from J Rockett Audio Designs. And for good reason – it rocks. JRAD’s Archer is a modern take on the Centaur but still holds true to the original Klon sound.
Mosky – Golden Horse
The Golden Horse from Mosky is maybe one of the cheapest Klon clones available today. But don’t let the price fool you, the Golden Horse definitely does a good job at nailing the Klon sound, in a small footprint.
Mythos Pedals – Mjolnir
The Mjolnir from Mythos Pedals should absolutely be on your radar if you’re shopping around for Klon clones. The Mjolnir holds true to the original Klon sound, but Mythos Pedals have made a few adjustments to the circuit to make it a bit more modern for today’s world.
NUX – Horseman
The Horseman overdrive from NUX is another worthy contender in the affordable Klon clone world. With both “Gold” and “Silver” modes, the Horseman contains a ton of Klon-inspired tones, in a small enclosure.
RYRA – The Klone
The Klone pedal from RYRA is an exact, part-for-part replica of the iconic Klon Centaur. RYRA has worked hard to recreate the Centaur using quality components and housing it all in a unique-looking enclosure.
Electro Harmonix – Soul Food
The Soul Food from Electro Harmonix is essentially a Klon clone, with a few tweaks from the great minds over at EHX. This transparent overdrive is wildly popular today, and can definitely feed your hunger for the Klon sound.
Ceriatone – Centura
The Centura is another part-for-part, exact replica of the Centaur. Ceriatone’s Centura even has the iconic Klon look to its enclosure. Aside from being a great Klon clone, the folks over at Ceriatone also offer a few nice customization options on their website.
MXR – Sugar Drive
MXR is known for making great pedals. And The Sugar Drive is no exception. This pedal definitely does the job if you’re looking for that Klon sound, but does have silicon diodes rather than the germanium diodes that were used in the original Klon. That said, it still sounds great.
Anasounds – Savage
Perhaps one of my favorite looking clones, the Savage by Anasounds. It should be noted that the Savage is inspired by the legendary Klon Centaur, but the Anasounds team has tweaked the circuit to give it their own style. Definitely, something to check out!
Do you have G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)? Check out our other guitar pedal shopping guides for more top guitar pedal picks!
The History of the Klon Centaur
The Klon Centaur is an overdrive pedal that was designed back in the early 1990s by Bill Finnegan. Legend has it that Finnegan was looking to create an overdrive pedal that added gain to the guitar’s signal without changing the actual tone of the guitar. Thus, the highly-coveted transparent overdrive pedal was born.
Depending on how the settings of the Centaur are set, the pedal is capable of producing sounds ranging from a clean boost all the way to a fairly dirty overdrive/distortion sound – all while preserving the original tone of your guitar.
After the circuit was perfected, Bill Finnegan went on to hand-build around 8,000 Centaurs between 1994 and 2009 – many of which can be found on some legendary guitar players’ pedalboards – including Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Nels Cline, and more.
After the Centaur was discontinued in 2009, these pedals have become increasingly rare as time marches on. And that rarity has caused the price of a Klon Centaur to skyrocket (as of today, they can be found online anywhere between $6,000-$8,000!).
In 2014, Bill Finnegan began making the same pedals again under the name “KTR”. The KTR offered the same circuit as the original Centaur but used a more modern circuit design in order to make the pedals easier to mass-produce. The KTR also had the words, “kindly remember that the ridiculous hype that offends so many is not of my making” etched on the front of the enclosure. However, it seems that KTRs have not been made for a while – as many dealers and shops have had the KTR out of stock for quite some time. No one is sure if there are plans for more KTRs to be made, and rumor has it that Finnegan has discontinued the KTR due to being displeased with the quality control of the company he asked to build them. At this time, nothing is certain about the fate of the KTR, but hopefully, we see some more become available in the future. You can still find some used KTRs floating around in the used gear world, but like the original Centaur, their price tags are climbing too.
Featured Image courtesy of Wikipedia