Klon KTR



Bill Finnegan will be at the Rockett Pedals booth at the NAMM Show 2012 with his new overdrive pedal.

Bill Finnegan

Aside from the new switchable buffer/true-bypass feature, the circuit of the new unit is identical to that of the discontinued Centaur with one exception necessitated by the new feature: a 2-megohm resistor was added to prevent switching pop from the discharge part of an existing capacitor's charge/discharge cycle, and the value of the existing resistor that sets the input impedance of the circuit was increased from 1 megohm to 2 megohms. These two resistors, the new one and the existing one, are in parallel, resulting in an input impedance of 1 megohm, the same as that of the Centaur: the incoming signal "sees" exactly the same impedance it saw in the Centaur, and the resulting sound is exactly the same. The switchable buffer/true-bypass design, by the way, was the work of my friend Paul Cochrane of Tim/Timmy fame, who is one of the smartest and coolest people I know, so big thanks and tip-of-the-hat to Paul.

The new unit will have the exact same NOS germanium diodes that I used throughout the fifteen years of Centaur production. I'm aware that a number of people over the years have made snide remarks about what they've tended to refer to as the "magic" diodes, and stated that they can't hear a difference between these and whatever diodes the various would-be cloners use, so here's what I've said on the subject many times and will now say yet again: I have never considered this particular diode (a specific part from a specific manufacturer, back when they were still making it) to be "magic" in any way - I simply consider it, after a ton of listening to every possible substitute, to be the best-sounding diode in my circuit, a circuit that I and my two design partners (successively) worked on for four-and-a-half years and that I understand from the inside-out, in a way that I have a hard time imagining any of the would-be cloners could. This diode may well sound not-so-good in any number of other overdrive or distortion circuits (it's not "magic", remember?), but my long-held and always self-challenged opinion is that thus far it is clearly the best-sounding one, and by a not-inconsiderable margin, in my circuit. For those people who claim not to be able to hear a difference between what it has to offer and what other diodes have to offer in my circuit, my question is a simple one: REALLY?

The above begs an obvious question: does the new unit sound the same as the Centaur did? After a great deal of listening over the course of a long period of time, including lots of blind A/B testing, my opinion is that it does.

On an unrelated note, the circuit board of the new unit will not be covered in the epoxy potting compound I used to cover the boards of the Centaur units.

Lastly, the new unit will not be called the Centaur II or anything even remotely like that; as a production unit the Centaur is dead and gone and has been for more than two years now, so why live in the past? I'm not doing it because I've found it not to be healthy, so take from that what you will. As for the new unit's name, it has an informal one, but not a formal one: nothing has ever suggested itself strongly enough to make a real case for itself as a just-plain-right-and-inevitable name. I refer to it as the KTR, which hints at the informal name; please don't ask me what that is, and please don't drive yourselves crazy trying to guess what it is - I'm sure you'll grant that I can't be held responsible, etc.




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