The Best Klon Centaur Pedals Clones
The Klon Centaur is perhaps the most over-hyped guitar transparent overdrive pedal of all time. The thing is though, they sound fantastic! The original Klon Centaur pedal sells for thousands of dollars on the used market. The Centaur hasn’t been in production for years and the only re-release in recent times was the Klon KTR.
If you’re lucky enough to own either a Gold or Silver Klon Centaur, you’re one of the lucky few on Earth. Most people can’t justify spending over $2000 on a used overdrive pedal so if you fit into this category, this list is for you.
With the exception of the Klon KTR listed below, the rest are in order of least expensive to most expensive.
If you plan on buying a pedal made by the creator of the Klon then get the Klon KTR. I used this pedal stacked with my Maxon OD-820 for many years and it works extremely well. One of the features of the Klon KTR is that on the side of the pedal there is a selectable true-bypass switch.
With the switch in buffered mode, you’ll be allowing a more accurate top-end tone to come through. This is especially evident with long cable lengths. If you already have a buffer in another pedal on your board then you can leave the switch in true-bypass mode.
No matter which way you use it, it sounds great and is built well. The main difference between the Klon Centaur and the Klon KTR is this is a PCB version of the original.
Moskey Golden Horse
The Moskey Golden Horse is a mini-Klon-style pedal in gold. It features the three regular controls including gain, treble, and volume (which is labeled as output). If you are on a budget and enjoy the mini-pedal experience on your pedalboard then give it a shot. Since this is a very small effects pedal, it does not work on battery. It requires a regular 9V DC power supply for operation.
If I had to pick the best Klon clone pedal on a budget it would be the Caline Pegasus. Caline has proven itself to be an affordable, reliable, and well-made budget effects pedal brand.
The Pegasus does all the Klon-type things you would expect. The Caline Pegasus enclosure is slightly larger than a regular pedal and is about the same size as the Klon KTR. The range of pedals that the Pegasus is a part of are all this larger size. I much prefer having a regular or slightly oversized pedal on my board, but that is just me.
TTONE KLONE Overdrive Golden Horse
This interestingly named pedal is the TTone Golden Horse Overdrive. This is a really well-made pedal for the price and compares very favorably to the “Clone Centaur” which is no longer in production. Much like the Clone Centaur, the top end has been slightly attenuated giving you a slightly warmer/darker sound than the original. There is still plenty of top-end available in this pedal so no need to worry about that. Build quality wise the Golden Horse has a well-constructed case and potentiometers. There’s nothing to complain about with the TTone Golden Horse. For the price, it will be considered by many the best value for money Klone out there.
The Joyo Tauren R-01
It’s great to see that Joyo has updated its pedal range recently. One of the inclusions into their lineup is the Joyo Tauren overdrive pedal. This pedal features the tones of the Klon with just a little bit of extra gain added to the mix.
One of the standout features of the Tauren is the LED light on the front and top edge. I love the way these light up and how great they look in a gig situation. For epic lead tones, pair this with the Joyo Aquarius delay pedal. You’ll have the brand snobs wondering where they went wrong spending the extra money!
- A Klon overdrive pedal with a wide range of High-Gain tonal range.
- The Joyo Tauren function as a clean boost or as a lead overdrive pedal.
Buy it from Chellee
This is the best affordable USA Made pedal. If I had to recommend one boutique Klon on this list it would be the Chellee Ponyboy. This takes the Klon effect in a slightly different direction.
What makes the Ponyboy special, is the fact it can do the Klon “thing” but it can also be EQ’d differently thanks to its two-band EQ.
Another factor that makes the Chellee Ponyboy is it is built like a tank. The designers at Chellee actually drop test their pedals from drones onto a road to make sure they are robust enough to handle long-term regular use. If you drop the EHX Soul Food off your table, odds are it will break. The Chellee Ponyboy is a beast and it’s worth checking out.
Electro-Harmonix Soul Food
The EHX Soul Food has somehow doubled in price since its original release but it does nail the tones of the Klon. One of the sad things about EHX pedals is their build quality. They use cheaply made potentiometers (pots) that can break easily if the pedal is dropped.
Mine broke very easily and EHX has crap customer service. You’re unable to get or order parts from them without sending the pedal back and forth at your own expense. This pedal is worth about $60 not what they are asking for it in 2019 and beyond.
Tone-wise though, the Soul Food nails it. For me personally, I would buy the Caline Pegasus over this if I had to do it all over again. In terms of value for money and build quality the Chellee Ponyboy kills the Soul Food. I don’t see any reason to buy this one over the Chellee.
I also put together a detailed post regarding my 10 Best EHX pedals here. The Soul Food, even with the build quality issues still made the list.
Electro-Harmonix JHS Mod
While I didn’t give the EHX Soul Food a perfect review here’s the JHS modified EHX Soul Food pedal. While there are some obvious upgrades in terms of tonal variety thanks to the toggle switch on the side and the “Meat” knob on the right.
This pedal will allow you to get the Klon-type tones while also being able to customize it more tonally than the original. I am not a big fan of potentiometers on the side of pedals but maybe that’s just me?
- 3-way clipping toggle gives you stock EHX clipping, open clipping, and true Klon-style germanium clipping added bass contour “Meat” knobVolume, Treble and Drive controls
- JHS adds a 3-way clipping toggle that gives you stock EHX clipping, open clipping, and added true Klon style germanium clipping, which isn’t present in the stock Soul Food pedal
- Lastly, they also added a bass contour “Meat” knob to really make this pedal a tone shaping tool
- These modifications retain the integrity of the original Klon tones, while giving you a few extra tone shaping abilities
The Wampler Tumnus is perhaps the best-made mini-Klon on the planet. Wampler pedals are sometimes hit or miss in my opinion. In this case, Wampler pedals made a great little pedal featuring the beloved tones you’ve come to expect from a Klon.
The Wampler Tumnus features a gold mini-enclosure which will save room on your pedalboard. In terms of how the Tumnus works with other pedals, it works great!
You would choose the Wampler Tumnus pedal over some of the others if you need a small Klon that’s also really well made.
- Designed to be a versatile addition to any setup, any style
- Use with other pedals to shape the total gain, as a stand-alone overdrive, or as a slightly dirty boost to push the front end of your amp
- Can even be used as a buffer because this pedal is not true bypass
- This pedal contains a buffered bypass tone legendary in its own right
- The streamlined 3 control knobs (Volume, Gain, and Tone) allow you to quickly dial in your tones no matter what the gig calls for
- Slim, compact design ensures that this pedal will fit anywhere on your board setup
J. Rockett Audio Design Archer Ikon Overdrive
If you locked your keys in the car and can’t find a brick to break the window, then the Archer Ikon is for you! The J. Rockett Archer Ikon is built like an absolute brick! It weighs way more than you might realize thanks to its amazing build quality and design.
What I really like about this pedal is visually it pays tribute to the Klon but also has enough of its own thing going on to stand out.
While this is sound-wise no different to many of the others on the list, the build quality is what makes this pedal stand out. Much like the Chellee Ponyboy, the Archer Icon gets it right. You are also paying a much more premium price for this unit so weigh up whether or not it is within your budget.
What do I Personally Recommend?
In terms of Klon Clones these all nail the tone. It really comes down to your budget and what you can personally justify. If you have your heart set on the Soul Food then maybe consider the Caline Pegasus. Value for money wise, the Caline kills the Soul Food and it’s also a better-made pedal than the EHX.
Another strong addition is the Wampler Tumnus Klon clone. I would highly suggest this pedal if the size is of concern. In terms of a well made USA produced pedal, the Chellee is hard to beat. It nails the tones of the Klon and also adds a little bit extra in there.
Is the Klon KTR still being produced?
Being that Bill Finnegan is no longer producing the Klon Centaur or Klon KTR it is not hard to rationalize finding a quality Klon Clone replacement.
Many guitarists might not be able to also justify how expensive the original Klon Centaur is on the used market and I totally agree. Spending more money on a pedal than a guitar or amplifier makes no sense.
I hope this list has been helpful I put a lot of time and effort into this post so please share it on Twitter or Facebook if you found it valuable.