Top 5 Best Klon Clones 2023:
- J. Rockett Audio Designs Tour Series Archer Overdrive and Boost Guitar Effects Pedal
- TC Electronic MojoMojo Overdrive Pedal
- Electro-Harmonix SoulFood Distortion/Fuzz/Overdrive Pedal
- Wampler Tumnus V2 Overdrive & Boost Guitar Effects Pedal
- Overdrive Effect Pedal, MOSKY Golden Horse Guitar Full Metal Shell True Bypass
The epoch of technological advantages is there, and the manufacturers are putting more and more competitive offers on the market.
But the classic and legendary Klon Centaur, patented by Bill Finnegan in 1994, has always remained the synonym for quality overdrive, and it is one of the most wanted accessories of many musicians.
It has taught generations of musicians that overdrive isn’t just distortion.
Seeing that its versions (it’s no longer being produced) cost thousands of dollars, it’s easy to see why there have been many Klon clones on the market.
When it comes to the design, they come pretty close to achieving the Klon Centaur standard looks. But as for their performance, well… Sorry to break it up for you – but not many of them rise to the challenge.
That’s why we acted as sort of a private eye for you to find the best Klon clone out there.
Based on the factors we will discuss later, we’ve performed in-depth testing and singled out the 5 best Klon clones.
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5 Best Klon Clones In 2023: Detailed Reviews
1. J. Rockett Audio Designs Tour Series Archer Overdrive and Boost Guitar Effects Pedal – Best Overall
Our first guitar pedal for today is a real testament to the fact that it doesn’t take a fortune to obtain a Klon clone overdrive pedal that sounds almost the same as the original.
There is even a beautiful archer logo and illustration on the front of the pedal that reminds of the Centaur.
This Klon recreation matches all the qualities that you value in the Klon, providing even greater customization.
It manages to transfer all the iconic circuit characteristics, and can also be used only as a clean boost. To achieve that effect, just turn the gain down.
Then again, if you introduce a little bit of gain, you’ll find precisely what you need, as this guitar pedal is a piece of cake to use – even more so for the seasoned musicians.
And from the same line of products, there is the Archer Clean Boost, a recreation of the clean boost side of the Klon pedal. We were quite satisfied with both of them. If you want a well-rounded setup, why not try them both?
We can say nothing else about the controls but praise them; the dial for the volume control is very sensitive and precise. Also, the mixer control for settings between the clean boost and the gain works perfectly. We decided that the sweet spot was somewhere in the middle.
It also allows you to control the treble anywhere from dark to chimey and bright tones. Although you’ll have to experiment a bit with it, it’ll be easy to find that perfect midrange.
More importantly, the J. Rockett pedals are built to last. The solderless foot switch conveniently nicknamed the “Speed Switch System”, the sturdy side screws, and the top I/O and DC jacks all account for this.
Finally, we want to mention that it operates on a 9V battery (that isn’t included in the purchase).
- Excellent overdrive effect
- Completely adjustable
- A lot of boosts
- The closest recreation of the Klon
- No cons here!
2. TC Electronic MojoMojo Overdrive Pedal – Best Adjustable
Our second pick, the TC Electronic MojoMojo overdrive pedal, has everything we demand of a good Klon clone: top-notch performance, beautiful design, and functionality.
It is an analog pedal that simulates a tube amp overdrive.
Armed with completely adjustable drive, level, bass, and treble controls, the input for the true bypass that enables a zero loss of the tone, and the voicing switch for the best mid-shift, this pedal is something that you don’t want to miss out on.
By the way, the voicing switch worked the best when we used it to back off the bass a bit with deep tones.
It employs a circuit similar to that of the OG Klon that ramps up the voltage up to 4 times the amount of regular drive pedals.
Such an increase results in a lively overdrive that is pleasant to hear.
While MojoMojo is easy to use, it still requires a lot of your direction in order to play the effects exactly how you want them to, and this can be a bit tricky.
Don’t worry, even if you’re a beginner, though – you’ll get the hang of it very soon, all it takes is a bit of patience.
The gold ratio that we set with this pedal was the drive setting at 2 pm, treble, 9 pm, bass 10 am, level 11 am. Try it out!
If you need a pedal for a clean boost, search elsewhere. This one is for adding the effect to the sound. And it indeed sounds great!
- Powerful battery
- Reasonably priced
- A lot of space for customization
- High-quality sound
- Overdrive does not compress the signal
- The blend might cause confusion at first
3. Electro-Harmonix SoulFood Distortion/Fuzz/Overdrive Pedal – Budget-Friendly
If we had to describe our third contender in one word, we would say – groove.
It’s a pretty good copy of the Klon, for all of you that can be called aficionados of funky and jazz rhythm.
While it lacks a couple of features that would link it to the Klon in the physical department, it is better than the most out there in terms of performance.
When you see its price, you might think something like: “This is too good to be true”.
But contrary to the popular perception that budget options come with no extra features, this overdrive pedal allows you to fully customize it and achieve pretty much any effect that you want.
And it manages to pack two features into one pedal – the transparent overdrive mixed with extended headroom and definition with boosted power rails. You can control the volume, the drive, and the treble via the handy dials.
You can switch between the true bypass and the buffered bypass mode. It is a standard center-negative pedal (just like most of them), and you need a mono ¼ cable to use it.
It came with a 200mA 9V power supply, which was also very high-quality.
When you add the drive, it overdrives your amp, and you achieve the type of distortion that is the same one characteristic to the Klon.
The manufacturers have summed up this Klon clone nicely in a slogan that is written on a front part – it is the real Soul Food.
- Excellent response
- The cheapest on our list
- Many different modes
- Has a subtle soul effect to the tone
- Performance very similar to the Klon
- Compared to some other models, it feels a bit less durable
4. Wampler Tumnus V2 Overdrive & Boost Guitar Effects Pedal – Best Compact-Size
Yet another shiny gem of the Klon clones on this carefully curated list is the Wampler Tumnus V2.
It is a real bargain in the sphere of the boost guitar effects pedals, with the overdrive circuit that was created so as to resemble the authentic Klon.
It is almost like the minuscule version of the original, and its slender and sleek design was what we first noticed about this guitar pedal.
Of course, what follows is the performance. And we were pleased to learn that this magical, USA-made guitar pedal manages to produce the tone that you want of a Klon clone.
You can use it as a standard overdrive, or as a boost that pushes the front-end of your amp.
Another area in which the Wampler Tumnus V2 successfully imitates the original is the fact that it can be used as a buffer because it is not a true bypass, but a buffered one.
We do wish that it came with double mode, like most of the picks, so that you can choose, but this is what you initially want of a Klon clone.
The controls and knobs are intuitive and easy to use, and there are three (for adjusting the volume, gain, and tone).
When you add gain, the grit that fattens your tone is really attractive, whereas the volume needs to be set much lower than with other overdrive pedals, because it has a headroom. Finally, the treble adds the top finish to your tone.
- Sleek design
- You get the power supply with the purchase
- High-quality effects
- Easy to set up
- It is not so versatile
5. Overdrive Effect Pedal, MOSKY Golden Horse Guitar Full Metal Shell True Bypass – Premium Pick
Out of all Klon clones on our list today, this one is perhaps the closest to be called a clone, appearance-wise.
No matter which variety (i.e., the color of the metal shell) you opt for – the “Gold Horse” or the “Silver Horse” – it will look as if you own the legendary Centaur pedal.
It even has an illustration on the front that resembles the one on the Klon.
We were nothing less impressed with its performance, as well.
It has three functionalities (treble, output, and gain) that are controlled via knobs. Out of all controls, these knobs have the best grip and are the easiest ones to turn.
As usual, we did a bit of experimenting to ensure that you have the most pleasurable experience. We suggest that you use it as a clean boost before the overdrive until you find the right blend for “your tone”. Overall, just enjoy it – and you will eventually find your jam.
There is also a handy true bypass footswitch that allows you to go from the overdrive to the bypass status. And once you enter the latter, the LED light will indicate so! That’s a nice little touch.
At this price, we wish it came with the power supply, as most of the other pedals do. So, be prepared to obtain a DC 9V AC adapter for the center minus plug, if you want to own this incredible Klon clone.
- The design is very Klon-like
- Sounds excellent
- Entirely adjustable
- Great for fattening up the tone
- The power supply isn’t included
Factors To Consider Before Buying A Klon Clone
An average musician does not pick the pedal every day, so the list of factors that you should have in mind in order to get the best Klon clone you will surely come in handy.
The main purpose of obtaining a Klon clone is, of course, attaining the overdrive – that grit, that cranked amplifier that sounds as it will break, but it doesn’t. Also, there is the clean boost, that stretches the tone so that it sounds even better.
From time to time, you can also adjust overdrives to achieve a distortion sound – some of our picks can do that.
For the largest part, you want to find the middle tone, where the perfect sound falls.
All of these are achieved by a special circuit that has been modified to be a foundation for the altered sounds, and these Klon clones feature almost the same circuit as that of the Centaur.
The OG Klon Centaur has the recognizable centaur logo, accompanied by the silver or gold design and three knobs for adjusting the effects.
It is normal that you want to get the one Klon clone that pays the best tribute to the Klon Centaur – and all of our picks did a pretty good job there, to a bigger or lesser extent.
3. Sound Quality
Everyone buys a Klon clone because we want to achieve our ideal tone – something a little bit altered from what our guitar offers, and yet not too weird or disharmonic.
But the true key to satisfaction is experimenting endlessly until you reach the level that you’re satisfied with.
How you will dial your tone with the three-knob features varies according to the setting in which you play (whether there are some other instruments involved, or you’re playing solo, what are the acoustics like, etc.).
The presence of other instruments can significantly influence your own tone, so you have to find more than one tone settings for various accounts. The art of emphasizing the right frequencies isn’t easy to master – but all of the Klon clones on our list will potentiate your abilities to the maximum.
Occasionally, a Klon clone will have an additional dial that controls other frequencies. Although it is then, in theory, less similar to the Centaur, this is done so that it is even more convenient for you, and we like it.
One of the flaws of the Klon Centaur is that they are a bit robust, and they take up much space. Yeah, sure, they are beautiful – but was it really necessary that they be so wide?
That’s why most of the recreations are more compact, as they are narrower and slimmer.
In practice, this means that you will get more room to enhance your pedalboard and produce more effects.
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The Encore – Three Best Klon Clones
As a musician, it’s a real relief learning that you don’t have to spend big to get the authentic Klon Centaur quality.
While we’re all singing praises to the high-quality Klon clones, here are the top three that we can recommend.
The Best Klon clone overall is the J.Rockett Audio Designs pedal. Its performance is top-notch, it has an attractive design, and the best – it does not skimp on the quality of the sound.
The runner-up, TC Electronic MojoMojo overdrive pedal, is not far behind. For its price and performance, it gets close to the best Klon clone we’ve seen.
Finally, we’ve decided to pass the crown for the best budget Klon clone to the Electro-Harmonix Soul overdrive pedal.
No matter which one is your final choice, we’re sure that a Klon clone is going to open up a whole new playing experience to you, and that’s the main goal!