[review] Klon KTR (by LordRiffenstein)

LordRiffenstein, all-around tone freak and purveyor of great tone.


Klon is not a name from some science fiction novel. Klon is the brainchild of Bill Finnegan. He basically changed the pedal-world and maybe made the 1st real bouteek pedal ever.


The KTR is the successor of the much-respected Centaur pedal. The Centaur was being built by hand, Bill wanted to outsource the production so he wanted to get the same tone in an easier to manufacture pedal. The Centaur, as I’m sure you know, is one of the most sought-after pedals. An original is fetching prices that can buy you a great high-end guitar. Klones have come and gone but the real one has kept its foot in the door.

The pedal has volume, gain and treble control. Unlike the original Centaur, it has a switchable buffer. You can switch it on/off with a little slider on the side of the pedal. I agree that the buffer on is almost always better, so I leave it on.

Klon KTRThe pedal in use

Many years ago, I played an original gold Centaur. All I know was that it sounded REALLY good. The vintage Marshall that it was plugged into, probably also attributed to the tones.

When the KTR finally became available, I was lucky enough to snatch one from the 1st batch. I just wanted to know if this was indeed as good as everybody said. A lot has been said about the looks etc but I don’t care about that, I only care at what is coming out of the pedal.

I got the pedal mid-January 2013, it went straight onto my pedalboard for an upcoming gig and it hasn’t left the board since. It’s one of those pedals that you have to hear for yourself, preferably in a band context. Using it at home, I can play loud, it sounds great but I really love what it does in a band, it just works.

The KTR is the last od/boost pedal in my signal chain. I have used it in front of other ODs as well but I find it works best for me after other gain pedals. I have it dialed in so there is just a touch of gain happening and a bit of boost. The treble control is usually just below noon. Volume control for a small boost is around 12:00 so there is plenty more boost to be had.

I run this board in front of my old Marshalls or Matchless amp most of the time. There are other ODs on the board. The KTR works for me in different combinations as well as standalone. I often leave it on for several songs and work the guitar controls to get different tones going. My amps are not running super clean, but dialing back the volume on the guitar, with the KTR on, I get a nice chime in the cleans. I like it equally well to hit the amp harder with a pedal before the KTR running some good crunch. Still plenty of dynamics and the KTR boosts the amp just enough to make a solo or lead line pop up from the band mix. I also have a clean boost in front of the KTR and use that to get more KTR going, works equally well!

The Klon pedals are still hard to get. After a first production run, they were again unavailable for a year or so. A new batch has just been released (mid-2014) and hopefully they will be easier to get now because the KTR is just a stellar pedal. If you see the list of Klon-users throughout the years, it had a lot to live up to. The hype on many forums is through the roof. Personally, I think it totally lives up to all the hyperbole, I LOVE IT!

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