Original Klon Centaur Silver "Non-Horsie" - USA 1999
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Often referred to as the Holy Grail of overdrive pedals, this is the fifth Klon Centaur we have seen or listed here at PREMIER GUITARS.
Needless to say these are rare as hen's teeth, but here it is in our Sydney showroom, already turning heads with our clients even before we listed it.
The legend of the Klon Centaur, which debuted in the mid-'90s, has taken on a life of its own as one of the most collectable effects pedals of all time. Its ground-breaking transparent overdrive circuit, its use by such players as John Mayer, Joe Perry, Joe Bonamassa, Warren Haynes and Nels Cline (to name just a few) and its relative scarcity on the used market have propelled prices in recent times.
Builder Bill Finnegan has made Klons with both gold and silver casings as well as with and without the Centaur logo (commonly referred to as Horsie or Non-Horsie models).
Why is the Klon Centaur so good?
Bill Finnegan claimed that the hard-clipping 1N34A germanium diodes are the signature component of the Centaur's sound.
There's quite a bit of gain on tap, and that, combined with the hard-clipping diodes means the Centaur can hit distortion territory if required. At the maximum settings on the gain control, it's an almost square-wave distortion, caused by clipping inside the op-amp. Most players, however, value its touch-sensitivity and run it at much lower-gain settings.
Key to the circuit are two filter networks that amount to a clean blend. The first is controlled by the dual-gang gain control. As gain is increased, a filtered clean signal that runs in parallel is reduced in amplitude, and vice-versa. This is another reason why players running it at lower gain settings find it to be the 'cleanest' boost or drive that they've played.
The second network is more simple, adding a bit of 'thickness' back into the tone. This applies a low-pass filter to the clean tone, which is then blended back into the distortion sound. Each of these waveforms - the two filtered and the distorted - are radically different to one another. It's their sum that makes the Centaur so interesting.
This one is housed in its original unblemished silver coloured case, and as you can see by the internal pics, the internal circuit board hides its workings under a translucent cloud of goop, factory applied so no-one could accurately copy the original circuit.
The serial number and pot codes in this one indicate it dates to 1999.
Model: Centaur Professional Overdrive
Colour: Silver with No 'Horsie' Graphic
Serial # S572
Condition: Overall in excellent condition with little signs of use
Modifications: No modifications.
Comments: Clean, rare and desirable Silver "Non-Horsie" Klon Centaur in excellent condition.
There are plenty of Centaur copies (Klones) out there, some better than others. But nothing quite compares to the real deal – and this is it.
Comes in cardboard packaging box.