Klon Centaur

The Best Klon Centaur Clones

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The legendary Klon Centaur that we all know and love is described by some as the perfect overdrive pedal.

 

But unless you have a few thousand dollars to spend on a guitar pedal (original Klon Centaurs are selling on Reverb.com for an average of $8,000 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 current pedal companies have taken the challenge to design their own Klon Centaur clones – adding their own take on this classic, coveted pedal design.

 

If you’re looking for a Klon Centaur clone, here is a list of some of the best Klon Centaur clones available today.

 

The Best Klon Centaur Clones

 

Wampler Pedals – Tumnus

wampler tumnusView on Amazon

The Tumnus is a Klon Centaur clone from Wampler Pedals and 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.

Key Features

  • Faithful Klon Centaur clone
  • The mini enclosure fits on virtually any pedalboard
  • Easy-to-use controls for Volume, Treble, and Gain


 

Wampler Pedals – Tumnus Deluxe
tumnus deluxe klon clone pedal wampler pedals

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The Tumnus Deluxe from Wampler Pedals is often regarded as the best Klon Centaur Clones available today. The Tumnus Deluxe is a faithful clone of the original Klon Centaur, but they have added a few extra features (like a three-band EQ) to boost the usability of the pedal.

Key Features

  • Same great sound as the standard Tumnus, with added features
  • Three-band EQ for maximum tone shaping
  • Normal/Hot switch provides two different amounts of gain
  • Top-mounted jacks
  • Can switch between true bypass or buffered bypass


TC Electronic – Zeus

tc electronic zeus

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The next Klon clone pedal on the list is The Zeus Drive from TC Electronic. The Zeus Drive is the company’s take on the iconic Klon Centaur-style circuit. The Zeus Drive features a unique “Fat” switch to help beef up your low end – a nice addition to a great circuit.

Key Features

  • Great sounding Klon Centaur clone
  • Features a “Fat” switch that boosts your low end
  • Independent controls for Drive, Volume, and Treble
  • Top mounted jacks


J Rockett – Archer

j rockett archerView on Amazon

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 clone of the Klon Centaur but still holds true to the original Klon sound.

Key Features

  • Faithful Klon Centaur clone
  • Gain control acts as a mixer between clean boost and overdrive
  • Sturdy design
  • Top mounted jacks


Mosky – Golden Horse

Mosky Golden HorseView on Amazon

The Golden Horse from Mosky is maybe one of the cheapest Klon Centaur clones available today. But don’t let the price fool you, the Golden Horse definitely does a good job at nailing the Klon sound, making it a solid choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly Klon Centaur clone.

Key Features

  • Extremely budget-friendly
  • Mini enclosure fits easily on any pedalboard
  • Independent controls for Treble, Output Volume, and Gain


Mythos Pedals – Mjolnir

mythos 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.

Key Features

  • Tweaked high and mid-range to make it more transparent
  • Top-mounted jacks
  • Independent control over volume, tone, and gain

View the Mjolnir on the Mythos Pedals website

 

NUX – Horseman

nux horseman klon clone

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The Horseman overdrive from NUX is another worthy contender in the affordable Klon Centaur clone world. With both “Gold” and “Silver” modes, the Horseman contains a ton of Klon-inspired tones, in a small enclosure.

Key Features

  • Budget friendly Klon Centaur clone
  • Mini enclosure doesn’t take up much space on your pedalboard
  • Features two different modes (Gold or Silver) modeled after gold and silver Klon Centaurs
  • Switchable between True Bypass or Buffered Bypass


RYRA – The Klone


ryra the klone

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The Klone pedal from RYRA is an exact, part-for-part clone of the iconic Klon Centaur. RYRA has worked hard to recreate this Klon Centaur clone using quality components and housing it all in a unique-looking enclosure.

Key Features

  • Part for part recreation of the Klon Centaur
  • Independent controls for Gain, Treble, and Output Volume
  • Top-mounted jacks


Electro Harmonix – Soul Food

ehx soul food

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The Soul Food from Electro Harmonix is a Klon Centaur 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.

Key Features

  • Boosted power rails for more headroom
  • Can run in true bypass or buffered bypass
  • Sturdy design


Ceriatone – Centura

ceriatone centura

The Centura is another part-for-part, exact clone 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.

Key Features

  • Part-for-part clone of the Klon Centaur
  • Looks like an original Klon Centaur
  • Highly customizable when you order from their website

View the Centura on the Ceriatone website

 

MXR – Sugar Drive

sugar drive mxrView on Amazon

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 a Klon Centaur clone, but does have silicon diodes rather than the germanium diodes that were used in the original Klon. That said, it still sounds great.

Key Features

  • Internal voltage doubler provides higher headroom
  • Small enclosure
  • Silicon clipping
  • Independent control over Volume, Tone, and Drive


Anasounds – Savage

anasounds savageView on Amazon

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!

Key Features

  • A modern take on a Klon Centaur clone
  • Looks awesome
  • Top-mounted jacks



 

 

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

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.

klon ktr

 

 

Featured Image courtesy of Wikipedia