Home Page           Contact

The Klon Centaur Hoax

Here is a guitar pedal which has been around for about 10 years and stands for total Bull Shit in my opinion. The website, the presentation, the marketing, the hype, the price ($350 - $600 or whatever it is). Everything about it is why I hate the music business and the shockingly stupid guitar consumers.

How do I feel about the Klon? It is not a bad pedal. This statement of course does not mean much because there really are no degrees of pedal sound quality. A pedal is either great or not. After all, if its not great then why use it at all. A good pedal is worthless if one has a Great pedal to use. The good pedal will no longer be used as a permanent integral part of one's sound. Why should it?

Its a mediocre and common pedal. Its your typical mild Tube Screamer- type of effect and sound. It really does not do much and is not very versatile. I found it stuffy and midrange sounding, like many other pedals out there. It puts the typical veil over your guitar tone, even though it claims not to do that. I did not find it that transparent as its claimed, therefore the tone of my guitar was masked. Like putting a mask over your face The problem is that its sold as something exceptional but its not.
I also found it not very touch sensitive. Again, the Klon is an effect you heard and played many times before. Most manufacturers make a similar pedal.

In comparison to the great touch sensitivity, clarity, transparency and the wonderful independent Clean Boost section of the Zachary Pedal, well...there is absolutely no comparison.

I am impressed. It takes skill. I have admiration for the marketing talents of the seller. This is one con job, which was executed very effectively. Well, the seller didn't really con anyone. The purchasers fooled themselves.

The marketing claims the Klon has sold over 5000 units and you can find used ones selling for up to $600. I am not sure why. I think the older ones are claimed to be better, then the new ones. Its the price which makes the Klon look like a Hoax relative to what it offers and what it sounds like.

Myself and two of my close tone-freak associates have checked out an older version of the Klon which someone sent me to try. We ended up really scratching our heads at the Klon pedal but more so at the stupidity of your average guitar consumer. My goodness, its actually comedic. All I can say is kudos to the Klon guy, go for it dude, you did well, keep on whacking them without mercy, they deserve it. If the mention of the Klon here creates further advertising for it, then its perfectly fine with me. Its worth it for the amusement factor alone. I hope it sells another $5000 units.


Here is some of the reaction I got from some who have tried the Klon pedal.

By all means, do not believe anything we say here but do compare the Zach pedal to the Klon any day and create your own opinions.


There are a LOT of expensive pedals I have noticed (and owned a couple, like the mesa V-Twin)...However a lot of that expense is profit...not because the pedals are expensive to make. BIG markup. I wonder how Klon sells it's expensive pedals? Your pedal basically does what that pedal does except:

1) it is MUCH better sounding/transparent AND
2) gets a ton of more usable tones...basically can do the simple stuff that the Klon does in a higher quality way...and then goes WAY beyond it. Did you ever try that pedal in your research...I wish there was a way to get everyone who bought that one to try yours...they would all sell their Klom pedals and get yours. Seriously. How to get the word out.....? Eli

The Z-pedal has it beat. There is no question about that. I'm sure the Klon is useful and does not mess with your tone as much as some, but hardly as hi-fi and versatile as the Zach which goes from everywhere from totally pristine clean boost to touch sensitive mild OD when hit hard to early Van Halen....the Klon cannot do that and does not even claim to. However there are certain similarities in design approach. I 'm sure you could find one somewhere if you absolutely had to prove all this...but I wouldn't sweat it. One Klon just sold on ebay used for $575.

Look at the “general description” of the Klon. It is strikingly similar to the way both you and I have described parts of the Zach pedal. Surprisingly close. Although I have never used this Klon pedal personally I have heard people who do....like I said it is a lower-fi version of the first 10-20% of the functionality of the zach pedal (gain from 10-40% of the zach maybe). Still better than most. The main thing is that it was designed to not sound like a pedal and that it melds with the amp. Unfortunately it lacks in gain and clarity

Try the Klon if you can...just for the info...I am sure it is 90% hype, 10% a good boost pedal. In no way comparable to your Zachary pedal.

I bet that it would be fun to set the Zach pedal very low, just to do what the Klon does and listen to them side by side on a tube amp at 4-5. And only THEN put the gain up to 12 o clock with or without the boost at a low level....and watch somebody’s jaw drop. Apparently the Klon does not work unless the amp is pretty cranked. The Zach pedal does well at pretty much any decent volume. I wonder what happens with a crappy solid state amp? I think cognitive dissonance is at the heart of the whole Zach “thing”, from the guitars to the pedal to the strings. Eli

So...... I snagged the Klon pedal at the post office. Here are the initial impressions with the princeton on about 4.5

Does not have a "bad" sound compared to something like the Barber. Does not impose as much of a "pedal sound" on the guitar like many cheaper distortion pedals. Not a lot of gain at all. Gives a certain mid range emphasis that is sort of like the Barber. Not crazy about that but it could work for certain overdubs. Is missing all the low end of the Zach. Is missing ALL of the "over the top" capabilities of the Zach. Is slightly less transparent in all registers and lacks a certain "amp like springiness" that the zach has.

Ok. I'm playing a bit more now.

There is a certain "dry" quality to the Klon that I do not particularly care for. Not clarity...dryness. Less "high fi" than the Zach can be. Quite a bit less actually. A LOT less finger clarity. You know how the Zach almost makes an electric sound more acoustic....this Klon has the opposite effect. The harmonics which pop out of the overdrive on the Zach like a harp, get muffled and veiled with the Klon. Not that that low fi-ish old school overdrive is never a cool raw sound....but for my taste in transparent tones it is nothing special. It does not expand the acoustic potential of my guitar.

Bit more playing...

Ok. I think this Klon REALLY needs the amp to be contributing more body to the sound to function properly. Whereas the Zach has a much more "complete" sound even if the amp is still basically clean. And obviously the Klon does not have the Boost feature which offers a whole other level of tones. So it is not really fair to compare that...except for the price kind of demands that comparison. And let's just say...i LOVE the boost.

I am really trying to be objective here but....the Klon is really not doing it for me. The Zach is kicking the crap out of it. And it's not like I am getting free Zach gear for saying this. There is just NO comparison. At all. The world of boutique overdrive pedal marketing is a strange place indeed.

What were your impressions? I just got back from the studio where I was doing weird experiments with guitar sounds. I plugged the Zach pedal into the stereo delay and then sent the two outputs to a small Gibson and a small Fender. Fantastic sound. Just beautiful open sounds with Korina at the front end with the single coils in "quack" mode. I also did this rig with the Boost on to get a very saturated/smooth yet articulated front humbucker sound. Nice!

When the Zach amp makes it's appearance....stereo!!

About Mark Miller his playing and comments. Yep, I read em. He can hear how good his Zach guitar is....all I would tell him is....find a friend's place where he can crank things up a bit and futher explore the sounds of the Zach guitar and Zach pedal. It is not like you need to totally crank the tube amp to get the pedal to sound good. Not at all. But you have to have a nice clean sound to start from. Depending on how the amp is calibrated you need a bit higher than quiet practice volume. Just warm the tubes a touch and all is well.

I'm still wondering why people would pay $500 or more for that Klon pedal. On a simple components level it is obvious to my ear that much more expensive parts go into the Zach pedal. Otherwise it could not sound so transparent. And that's forgetting about features and design which are obviously far superior on the Zach pedal (Boost with toe operated level control....) But don't raise the price just yet, although I bet the profit is pretty minimal at this point. Let the poor folks get a whack at it first!   Eli (NYC)

Alex, I picked up the package from the post office.
I already have a verdict on the Klon: You are paying for one very expensive custom-made box. The whole thing is a gimmick, and your own Zach pedal is a-thousand-fold more useful. If I had purchased it for $3 from the flea market, then maybe I could live with it. However, for $550 (or whatever ridiculous price has been set), I would suggest they could deposit the Klon in a dumpster.   RS

I will get the Klon back to the post office quickly. Overrated! Over priced!
The Klon should be at your mail box by Tuesday. Insured for $500. Thanks for letting me check it out. Makes me appreciate my Zpedal more than ever...if that was possible. Keep on!     Eli

That last mp3 from Mark Miller sounds fantastic! By far the best of all his tracks on your site. He is a great player and the tone he is getting from his F1 and Zach pedal is astounding! Sounds like a cranked great amp. Quite traditional but of a very nice flavor. Harmonic pick squeals sound perfect. No other pedal could get that clarity. So there is some meaning in your work right there. Eli

The klon is nothing really. Not even in the same ballpark as the zpedal. I was amazed at how NOT amazing the Klon was. I kept turning up my amp and twisting the knobs around waiting for a really cool tone. It never happened. It lacks clarity (even with the tone cranked), dynamics, touch sensitivity, gain, detail.....it basically just sounds kind of "blah" and covers up the tone of the guitar instead of supercharging it like the Zpedal. I have played tube screamers that I preferred more actually. At least a tube screamer has a bit of gain if you want it.

It is impressive how the starter setting on the Zpedal is really just that...a start. Almost any setting can be useful, even really low gain (if you pump the level knob a bit. A huge range of cool usable tones even on the extreme end of things. I often have the drive at around 10:30 and use that with and without the boost. But really there are lots of other variations. If he cannot hear that as compared to the Klon....his ears are not turned on.   Eli

One Offended Klon User

I am not usually someone who goes out of their way for something like this, but I was stunned to find an entire page on your website bashing the Klon. Then I discover what a hypocrite you are by linking to your own $400 overdrive, without the "expensive custom-made box". Many, many modest players like myself and many great players like Warren Haynes swear by and love our Klons. On top of that, Bill is one of the nicest guys I have ever dealt with in this industry with a unique and extremely well-built product. If you want to tout the virtues of your own product that's admirable, but I can't even begin to understand what must be wrong with you to feel the need to do what you have done. Sincerely,    David Kuhn    david.kuhn@shaw.ca

The Untouchable Klon
Notice how he does not defend the Klon on the basis of what it can do or how good it is. He defends it based on how dare I say anything negative against something he owns and something rock stars own and something which is made by the nicest guy in the world. In comparison I talk about the unit and how bad it is and how much better the Z pedal is. I point out that the Klon is a con job by the seller at any price, especially at that price. Somehow if the item is purchased by him, other ignorant consumers like him and clueless pro players, its beyond questioning. In addition if the seller of the Klon does not offend anyone by putting on a pandering facade, means that the item should be immune from criticism. I am not sure why he calls me a hypocrite either. He is polite enough, however, I don't follow his logic and he seems to have no argument in favor of the actual Klon unit. It seems, more than anything, like I offended him in his choice of a purchase and its really about him, not the Klon.    Alex

You nailed it. I kept waiting for links to clips of him using the klon as proof of it’s greatness and descriptions of exactly why this pedal was so great. From what I can tell the klon is only useful at ALL when your amp is already very very cranked and even then it is not transparent and just adds a bit of girth and sustain. Not really worth the high price tag. This guy has personally bonded with his klon and any attack on IT is an attack on him. His word choice is a bit far from what I THINK he means....hypocrite is really not the right word....i think he maybe means....opportunistic ....i’m not sure. Essentially USING the klon name to attract attention to the Z pedal. Either way....more fodder for the delete folder. Eli

Yes, I am using the Klon name to attract attention to the Z pedaland how great and much better it is. However it does not stop there. I am specifically comparing something great against something shameful in the same price range. It’s an open challenge. I have nothing to hide and it is not simply using the Klon to attract attention, it is using the Klon name to point out the Klon scam and how much of a bogus the Klon and its seller are.

This is to show the unmistakable comparison between the Z pedal in its merits, honesty and efficacy as an actual musical instrument, as compared to the unquestionable hoax and the gimmicky farce of the Klon. The Klon is like putting a live squirrel under a car hood and calling it a motor. However, a fancy car hood does equate to the custom Klon box, which the Klon comes in; a $20 Danellectro pedal in a custom box for $400 or more. You can understand why anyone who fell into the Klon trap would be offended by my message since they cannot sincerely give credence to the Klon itself. They know my statements are true and actually hate themselves for being that stupid.   Alex

Yes...the klon case is very much like a lovely car hood with very little engine underneath.
Here is some psychology for you. Let us say that somebody buys a 3k PRS and a Klon. Two things can happen.....they can either become blindly “sold” on these items regardless of their actual musical use (and thus feel like it a personal attack if someone harshly criticizes their purchased items)...OR they can see them for what they are and move on to better things having learned their lesson. Eli

An email I received September 9, 2012

On 2012-09-09, at 12:16 PM, john c oxman wrote:

The Zachary is no match for the Klon--they do entirely different things, and if you
do not appreciate that, then there is no point for further discussion. They are each
good at what they do.

Envy is an ugly thing, eh?

john c oxman     craig.oxman@mac.com


My response and the Klon-Con explained again.

There is no envy at all. The Con is just a crappy pedal period. Yes they do entirely different things. The Zachary Pedal makes you sound better and the Klon makes you sound worse. If it cost $30 and made in China it would not be Con.
I am not envious of a crappy product. I could release crappy products also but its not within my character to be even second best. If I did sell a crappy product and it sold people would be stupid to pay huge sums of money for it and hype it up themselves, I would stop selling it because it would give me too much distress, emotional turmoil, discomfort and anxiety.

My statements are not even about the Con. They are a statement on the guitar consumer. I think the seller is taken by surprise also at all the stupidity. I don’t blame him for what happened. Its just one crappy piece of shit pedal that the morons have fucked themselves over with, even some pro players, who don’t know any better. I bet they don’t even have a clue as to why they buy it and even use it.

My enemy is never the sellers, dealers or manufacturers. The only people I detest are always the guitar consumers. These are the stupidest most ignorant and most detestable people on earth. I hate them. There is a small percentage of intelligent knowledgeable ones who I deal with. The rest are worthless hacks and who all the companies target. I am sure the Klon seller agrees with me and is laughing as hard as I am. Good for him. I am sure we could chat and laugh about it together and have a great time.

This Klon con is so awful that its more like Joke than anything. Try it yourself. Take out the internals of a cheap pedal, pour epoxy over it and stick it in a funky box you have custom made. Then be nice to the morons and they will all go nuts over it. Its funny as hell. Its like you being able to sell your used piece of chewing gum for $100 and people would be lining up to buy it and all the dumb fucks would be fooling each other how great your used piece of chewing gum is. Its not a statement on you or your gum. Its a statement on them. The Con seller may have started the con job himself at the beginning (a testament to his great marketing skills and that of Vintage Guitar magazine) but its the consumers that have and continue to con themselves. That is the funny part. People like you maybe.

The Tone Lube is out and its phenomenal. Not a Con-job, just the best pedal in the world       Alex



Home Page                                                                    Contact