Klone-Trooper (Bare-Bones Klon Centaur & Skreddy Mayo)

So this is the first time I’ve combined two effects into one enclosure. It was an interesting process and the only real difficult part was fitting both circuits into such a small space. The original Klon Centaur circuit can take up quite a bit of real estate (view my other post on the Klon Centaur) and I doubted that I would be able to fit it into the same enclosure as a modified big muff with mids switch. Luckily, I was able to find a vero layout for a Klon Centaur that omits some of the features of the pedal, but greatly reduces the footprint.  The schematic that I used can be found at freestompboxes.org, which is a fantastic educational resource for learning about the why and how of pedals.

So what did I lose by using this bare-bones Klon layout? First of all, you lose the charge pump. I won’t get much into it here, but many say that the charge pump is crucial to the “Klon” sound, while others feel that it is unnecessary and by simply swapping the other op amps in the circuit you can still retain that Klon tone. As well, I used a true bypass system in this build. While the original Klon features a buffered bypass, while considering the amount of space (or lack of) I was working with, I felt that true bypass was a good choice. As well, some pedals are finicky when they are fed by a buffered signal, and I was unsure of how the “Mayo” side of things would sound with a buffered signal pushing it.

Klon Centaur Skreddy Mayo Gutshot

Even though I was using a deeper enclosure it was still somewhat of a challenge to fit both of these pedals into the same space. I think perhaps if I had used solid core wire I would have been able to clean up the wiring a bit, but at the cost of (IMO) reduced durability. I find that while solid core while retains it shape much better stranded wire is a bit more “giving” and can be moved around more.

So anyways, after the usual debugging/cursing it’s all ready to go. The “Mayo” side has quickly become one of my favourite Muff circuits. The addition of the mid switch gives me the option to boost or cut the mids while still giving me the option for the “stock” sound. I’d have to say I prefer this over the usual tone bypass switch that I’ve put on other muff builds. I used standard 2N5088 transistors as I could not find a decent source for NOS 2N5133 transistors that were in the right hfe range for a “reasonable price”. I kind of feel that spending over $10 a transistor is a little bit silly (feel free to disagree) when the clipping diodes are doing most of the work.

The Bare Bones Klon, on the other hand, I’m still impressed with, but it does lack the output of my other Klon Klone. I find the bare bones circuit to be a bit less versatile, and while I’m not the biggest fan of using it with my amp set up clean it sounded amazing boosting it when already overdriven, or boosting another pedal (like the Mayo!)

Klon Centaur & Skreddy Mayo
A note on the LEDs. If you’re planning on using white LEDs make sure that your CLR (current limiting resistor) is a larger value that what you would normally use. While on most builds I’ll use something in the 4-6K range with a blue or red LED, with the whites I find I must use a value of 22K, and even then they still are fairly bright!

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