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PROS: Great price, excellent sound, versatile EQ.
CONS: Requires power suppl.
There’s a gaggle of small pedal companies out there, and amazingly enough so many pedals derived from or inspired by the Klon Centaur. It’s hard to navigate through them all, but Chellee’s Ponyboy Overdrive (now in version 2.0) is worth the trip.
Control wise, it stars with the usual Gain, Tone and Output knobs, but a voicing mini toggle throws a new twist. It runs the tone knob in two2 ways; normally the tone knob is a treble control, but selecting to the +mids side fattens things up, by not going too far into the treble range, and enhancing the mids. Cutting the tone control in this mode, drops out mids.
We didn’t have an actual Klon on-hand to do some serious A/B comparisons, but having some experience with a few other “inspired by Klon” pedals, we can confidently say this one certainly delivers. It can be used with an already driven amp as a boost and push things a bit harder — in this sense it acts as a “more” pedal. Dialing in more gain, it can get gritty and has plenty of sustain and clarity, but still maintains a lot of drive that isn’t buzzy or unmusical. It stays in the “overdrive” range, but with the right amp, this can be the “go to” pedal in any player’s arsenal.
With single coils, it’s quite expressive and articulate, and with humbuckers things don’t get muddy or sludgy. Just switching the toggle back and forth does change the color, but not a lot. To really get the full effect will require the tweaking of the tone control; it’s one of those pedals that doesn’t feel like you’re fighting your way through it, more riding it, and letting it do the work.
It’s the Rogue One of pedals, just as good as the classic, but does a bit of its own thing. The downsides are minimal; it’ll need a 9V power supply, because the casing is so packed, there’s no room for a battery. On maximum gain settings, it got a bit hissy. Not a lot, but backing it off slightly caused it to go away, still leaving plenty of grit to work with.
The switch is interesting too, it’s a silent buffered bypass switch, so no noisy clicks, and it can also be set to have the pedal ON when power is connected, without having to press the switch. It’s a great feature for pedalboards that use external switching systems.
With a street price of $119, it definitely gets our recommendation for the Klon clone hunters out there on a budget.