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The Klon Centaur is a pedal with a serious reputation, and a status sounding every bit as mythical as its name.
Not only was the circuitry wildly innovative for its time, but its subsequent sonic integrity shook the music world and was particularly coveted by blues and rock virtuosos. Jeff Beck, Joe Perry, John Mayer, Joe Bonamassa, Phillip Sayce and Warren Haynes were all spotted with this chimerical stomp box.
So much of the Centaur's unconventionality came from its unmatched overdrive transparency, the likes of which had never been seen before in the pedal world. This function was so innovative that maker William Finnegan, knowing how coveted the design would be, used a process called "gooping" to effectively protect what would be his legacy, meaning that he dipped his components in a black epoxy resin to prevent any cloning (while also protecting the circuitry.)
That same circuitry that would come to be world renowned boasts some notable innovation - the pedal has an internal voltage converter, which would effectively double the voltage and runs off of an 18v power supply as opposed to the standard 9V, which increased the headroom significantly and offered way more harmonic integrity.
While most pedals at the time used LED or silicon diodes, Finnegan opted for NOS germanium clipping diodes, along with a dual-ganged gain pot, which means the EQ of the signal shifts when the gain is increased. This cuts down on bass frequencies and enhances the midrange beautifully. The Klon also uses a high quality signal buffer, so when it's disengaged, the signal loss is minute.
William Finnegan created the Centaur in 1994, and was unquestionably a pioneer in boutique pedal design. After all, just over 8,000 of these were handmade by the craftsman himself, effectively making its novelty as profound as its quality.
A little piece of history galloped into Five Star Guitars.