Price paid: $ 550
Purchased from: eBay
Ease of Use — 9
There is a "manual" floating around the internet somewhere. It's quite hard to find i think. I would wish Bill Finnegan would just post the explanation about the unit, that came with the original package on his website as a pdf so the people could actually know, how this whole booster vs overdrive thing on the gain knob works. I do know but I sense that there is sometimes a bit of confusion regarding this topic on the internet. That being said, you have to work with the pedal to get the sound you want out of it, since there are a lot of possibilities even with a simple layout as the Klon offers. But that is simply a matter of taste.
Sound — 10
The sound is "chimey." I think its best described as a sort of pushed overdrive but not quite as harsh as an old TS808. It is really hard to "mud up" the sound even when you get a humbucker-equipped guitar and go out in full overdrive mode with loads of gain. Even at this point you can clearly hear the string-separation, which I guess is one of the biggest selling points of this unit: being a very transparent overdrive pedal. It DOES change your sound. Not in a way that really colours it and makes it sound like it comes from a different guitar. It rather cuts some frequencies therefore making the sound more focused.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It is probably the one of the sturdiest pedals I owned. It is built out of thick die-cast aluminum. I think if you would shoot it with a gun (that would be a costly experiment) it would probably take the hit and still work. It also probably wouldn't "blend." Inside there is a sort of die-cast "pouch" to put the 9V-battery inside that holds it in place quite nicely. The knobs are fine and the switch is just your normal military-type switch but since I run my unit through a true-bypass looper, I hardly ever step on it.
Overall Impression — 10
The Klon is a rather unique unit! It serves as a normal overdrive/booster a lot like the pedals you can find everywhere, yet still there is something to it's sound that gets people to spend nowadays over a thousand dollars for it. Let me say that I am a really down-to-earth and just-the-facts kind of person. I think it's important to witness YOURSELF in order to judge something properly.
Quite the same for the Klon. I do understand that someone, who does not own a unit themselves will go and "bash" and "troll" over people who apparently are silly to spend a lot of money on it, and they are probably "imagining" the difference. But then think again: John Mayer, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Perry and so on couldn't care less if their overdive pedal costs 1500$ or 150$ as long as they like it's sound for what it is. It is literally as big a difference to them as it is for us to spend 1$ for a pick instead of 0,75$ for a slightly cheaper one. So there has to be something more than just "magic" to convince a Joe Perry that there is "something wrong" with his sound when his effects-guy disables the looper on a gig (watch his rig rundown on YouTube for that quote).