Wednesday, 26 February 2014

KLON....I'm Seeing Them In My Sleep Now....

We were making up a new media server....Bought the cheapest case we could get...£19.99 from Aria....Fitted as many fans as the case would take....6 120mm ones that cost us more than the case did....


It had a nasty looking power supply that we had to upgrade for something more substantial....The cheap supply was ripped apart and harvested for its IEC inlet....cable protector and anything else that seemed like a good idea to keep at the time....


And I thought hold on....whats that....it looks like a....no....it can't be....


It fucking is....it's a Klon....


OK....it's not a Klon....but it does look like a EHX Soul Food....


A substantially better specked EHX Soul Food....but a Soul Food nevertheless....ROFL....I think I've had enough Klon to last me a lifetime....k.j.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Premier Guitar March Download....

OMG....I must be getting old or time really is speeding up....


and PG have got a Klon piece....your too late....I said it all two weeks ago....keep up or give up PG....

Download it HERE....and the back issues HERE....k.j.

Dog Rank #2....and why do Fender bother making amps....the Custom Shop hand wired ones are OK....but the "cheap" ones that they make in Mexico....they seem to go out of their way to make them sound crap just in case they sound better than the mega expensive CS ones...and don't get me started on the Vibrato Circuit that they seem to put in everything that just adds noise....the amps ain't even cheap....why Fender....why....

and just in case you haven't had enough of Klons....here is a photo of the new NEW KLON....

 

....The BLT....k.j. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

February's PG Download....


OK....I'm now bored of doing these PG downloads things now....Question: How many guitar players does it take to cover a Stevie Ray Vaughan tune?


You can Download in from HERE....and get the back copy's....HERE....and to show my impartiality....HERE's the link to the Tone Report from Pro Guitar Shop....

Dog Rant #1....why do none of the new Fender Vintage Amps have a loop on the back....I get that they are Vintage....but why can't we have a loop....it's like going back to having an outside loo....would a loop have killed the amp....some things should be left in the past....kludgie's and amps with no FX Loop....


Answer: All of them, evidently....k.j.



Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Klon....

The whole world has gone Klon mad it seems....everywhere you look Bill Finnegan or some other Klon related stuff....do I need one....do you need one....well I have come to a decision....but it's not the one I honestly thought it was going to be....?




First thing...."what is so great about the Klon"....NOS “new old stock” Germanium Diodes....Bill Finnegan set about making himself a pedal....and for four years he beavered away trying to build himself something that would make his Fender Twin sound as good as it did at 8 on the Volume Knob as it did when it was set at 3....He didn't want something that would add masses of gain....he wanted less master volume....but with power and drive. His design was built around a plain old set of diodes....that to Bill....were the best sounding diodes that he could find.... that would clip his guitar signal in a way that was perfect for driving a tube amp into a loud sounding sweet spot.... he had come up with the Klon Centaur....With no gain the Klon acts as a very clean volume boost....then as gain is added the circuit also adds more clean signal to add body and stop the gain taking over completely....It also has a buffer circuit that is always on....it's a very clever pedal....




Now it would seem that Bill Finnegan never wanted to make pedals as a business....he wanted to play his guitar in his band and become rich and famous the usual way.....but still managed over the next 14 years or so to make over 8000 Klons....making about 700 a year....that's a lot of pedals. If Bill ever did think about producing Klons for the mass market....the idea was quickly forgotten....it's a lot of work....legalities....wages....taxes and then the need to come up with Klon 2....3 and 4 to keep the business in business....You can't blame him for not wanting any part of that....The problem was that  the Klon was becoming huge....the Klon Centaur is to Bill Finnegan as the Telecaster and Stratocaster was to Leo Fender....a pain in the ass....


From the start Bill did his best to protect his circuit and the cleaver use of diodes....that up until that point was his and his alone by covering the Klons circuit board with a epoxy potting compound gloop that hid the electronics from the gaze of thieving eyes. He also says that after he had found just the right Germanium Diodes....he tracked down and bought up the last remaining large quantity of said NOS diodes....Now for a dude who never wanted to run a Boutique Pedal Business....you have to admit that was very Donald Trump of him....But then to stamp on his new Klon KTR Pedal the words...."Kindly remember: the ridiculous hype that offends so many is not of my making." ....err....yes it fucking is....well sort of anyway....




Bill Finnegan makes it clear he does not like Klon clone's....Adamant that if you try to make a copy of his circuit....the clone would not have the right Germanium Diodes as a real Klon...."remember he has the only remaining supply"....and therefore will not sound as good a real Klon....But even I know the electronics world is not like that....several company's will all manufacturer their own version of a component that will do the exact same thing...."look at tubes....everyone makes a 12AX7"....Then you have the usual 5/10% tolerance that means a 500ohm pot can be as low as 420ohm's or as high as 580ohm's....and all that changes things....Wouldn't that mean that some Klon's sound better than others....and if we all agree that for a Klon to be a Klon it has to be one of the 8000 Klons that Bill himself built by hand....where does that leave the new Klon KTR....OK....so it has the right Germanium Diodes....but it ain't hand wired....it's built on a mass produced circuit board with machine picked parts....dipped in solder by a outsourced electronics company....No Way on this earth is the KTR going sound like a hand built Klon Centaur....if it does....then why can't a hand wired clone sound at the very least as good as the mass made KTR....”or am I just trying to convince myself I don't need an original Klon”....




The thing is that these clones that Bill hates so much are filling a void in the market that he himself has made by not wanting to make any more hand wired Klons...."Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"....and that brings us to all the company's like J.Rockett Audio and Electro-Harmonix that have “borrowed....?” his circuit....tweaked it and then given it their own names....”I'd be pissed too”....Where does that leave his mate Paul Cochrane of Timmy fame....here is another dude that seems not to be bothered about making money from his awesome designs....isn't Paul C's very own now discontinued Tim Pedal....just a tweaked up on steroids and reworked turbo Klon pedal....”I guess Imitation is OK if it's from a mate”....






 OK but what does all this have to do with my Klon or Klot Shootout....


The Archer made by Rockett is a Klon....”well....a KTR anyhow”....J.Rockett Audio Designs was the company that Bill Finnegan got to make his red KTR pedal...."who then decided to make their own when Bill wasn't happy with how it was working out"....so I now have a Klon....how do my other pedals stand up against it....As you would guess they all sound the same in a generic sort of way but then again they don't....The Soul Food is just dreadful....it has no bottom end to speak of and as you push the gain it gets fuzzy rather than smooth....this just goes to prove what Bill has said all along....it's not the circuit that is important....it's the component's that makes up the circuit that's important....In a word the Soul Food is just plain WRONG....




The Golden Eagle....as soon as you start playing....jumps out at you and grabs your ears in a way that the Soul Food just doesn’t do....It has less gain than the Archer and as you push the gain you do hear some noise....but nothing compared with the Soul Food....Out of the three pedals the Archer is the better overdrive pedal...But here's the thing....The Klon....like a Tube Screamer are pedals from another age....both pedals were designed for loud amps....You used a TS for control....tighten the lows....focus the mids....A common complaint of TS pedals is the lack of bottom end....With a loud amp your pushing a lot of air and this naturaly will produce plenty of bottom end....so the TS dosn't need a lot of bass....The Klon on the other hand was designed to create the overtones found in a amp being played loud....that are then lost....when the volume is turned down....a Klon is trying to simulate your speaker pushing more air....it's not trying to be an overdrive pedal as such....it's trying to be a loudness kind of pedal if that makes sense....and that's why Klons are more relevant today than they have ever been....




We have gone from playing stupidly loud amps....to playing 30watt amps....to playing at home but still want the tone that sounds like our ears are going to start bleeding at any moment....Tube Screamers sound horrible quiet....but add a Klon....and they get their scream back....and even turned down your amp will regain it's thump....So you would think the Archer would be the best Klon like pedal....sadly no....the Archer just frustrates me....no matter how much I try....I can not find it's sweet spot....The Golden Eagle on the other hand hits the sweet spot every time with no messing about....it's almost as if Fredric Effects knew what they were trying to bring out of their pedal....whereas Rockett were making just another overdrive pedal and missed the whole point of what a Klon does....or maybe to do a what a Klon does....if it's not handmade you lose what the Klon it supposed to sound awesome at doing...."is that why Bill stopped making the KTR"....My opinion is if your going to get a Klon type pedal....get a handmade clone....




now back to the rant”....


Then you also have Xotic's AC and RC Boosters....more Klon type pedals....The Lovepedal AMP Eleven that shares similarities to Paul Cochrane's Tim....He has stopped making the Tim in favour of the smaller Timmy....a pedal that Lovepedal completely ripped off....A clone of a Timmy without the asymmetrical/symmetrical clipping switch and Lovepedal's own COT 50 boost pedal added for good measure....all unashamed Klon type pedals....”your beginning to see why Bill Finnegan gets so pissy”....I bought my Amp Eleven because here in the UK Timmy's are very hard to get hold of....”sorry Paul....I did try and find a Timmy....honest”....




It would seem that you can't patent circuits the same way you can a men's vibrating razor or else people would be being sued left right and center....The thing is....it would be helpful to us pedal geeks if company's were honest about the origins their pedals. If the Klon started the whole clipping diodes thing off...."and to some people....nailed it"....and makers like Xotic were honest and said that their pedals were their own version's a Klon....but with tweaks that in their view makes them better or takes the Klon Tone in another direction....we would all be better informed for our next guitar pedal purchases....basically if you read “transparent and dynamic”about a pedal....8 out of 10 times it's going to be doing something Klon like on the inside....EHX is sort of being honest....”or cashing in on the Klon magic as it ain't no Klon”....



There are so many pedals on the market that owe a hell of a lot to Bill Finnegan....to pick the best one....it comes down to what you want from the pedal....do you want boost....gain or both.....Now that I have a Klon and a Timmy....or....a Golden Eagle and a Amp Eleven....it is very obvious that no one has bettered these two legendary pedals....they sound amazing on their own or working together....Xotic's AC and RC Boosters have tried to expand on the Klon thing ....but their own AC+ in my opinion is the better pedal and that's a Tube Screamer type pedal....So the answer to my shoot out is either a Klon....a Timmy or both....they are simple to use and awesome sounding pedals....Saying all that....if I could only have one guitar....one amp and one pedal would I choose a Klon or a Timmy....NO....I would choose a TC Electronic Vintage Tube Primer or a T-Rex Moller...."they are the same pedal"....again they are TS type pedals....but with a klon thing going on that makes them better than just a Klon or TS pedal....Since I've had my Tube Primer....it's the only pedal that has stayed on every pedalboard I've made up....I love my Golden Eagle....but it's a one trick pony....The Tube Primer/Moller is one hell of an overdrive pedal....and about the best Tube Screamer you can buy....and even better with a Golden Eagle in front of it....

No Video - Link Here
No Video - Link Here








After all I have read in the last week or so to help me write this piece I have been left with a couple of stand out opinions....1. that Paul Cochrane sells the Timmy too cheaply....2. that the new Klon KTR is never going to out shine the Klon Centaur simply because it's not hand wired.....and ….3.both Bill Finnegan and Paul Cochrane in my view have been royally screwed over....both having had their designs stolen by unashamed harpies....
Definition of a Harpy
1. Greek Mythology One of several loathsome, voracious monsters with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail, wings, and talons of a bird.
2. harpy A predatory person.
3. harpy A shrewish woman.
....


Now if Bill Finnegan and Paul Cochrane would join forces and together set up a company making hand wired Klons....Timmys....and dual Klon and Timmy pedals....it was Paul C that Bill got to help him make the buffer/true-bypass switch for the KTR....quite frankly the world would be a better place...."it would sound better anyway"....and it would definitely be a huge Up Yours to everybody that has ever ripped these guys off....I do feel bad that I have had so much from Bill and Paul but never given either of them any of my money....but instead given it to others....that are a little less deserving....




….so to cut a long story short for all those who don’t want to read my ramblings....yes the EHX Soul Food is as good....if not better....than a Klon Centaur....k.j.


Useful Links....


"I have re-done this post....it now incorporates the Klon Klot Shootout Post....I hope this stops any confusion with Tube Screamer/Klon circuits....I have also got rid of a number of things....
The OKKO Diablo vs Xotic's AC+ vs DigiTech Bad Monkey vs T-Rex Michaelangelo Overdrive bit
....on reading....didn't make much sense....rofl....it's not like the post has been up for a couple of years....oops....Thanking You Ms OD....k.j.
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