Price paid: $ 269.99
Purchased from: Motor City Guitar
Sound — 9
I'm running my KTR, just about at the front of my signal path, with only a volume pedal before it, and my Strat Plus into that. I have a sequence of effects pedals after the KTR, and I think that's important to mention in this review, but I notice very little difference tonally with the KTR straight into the amp, or through the pedals. This all has a wonderful effect on the tone of my AC30, which has been made significantly more usable with a pedal as versatile as the Klon. The pedal generates a smooth curve of gain from the controls, really going from a clean boost, using only the output knob, and a tone very similar to an overdriven Marshall with the gain maxed. I am able to reproduce tones between The National, all the way to some of the high gain David Gilmour tones on "Wish You Were Here", and "Dark Side Of The Moon", with a single pedal. The treble knob has a lot to do with the versatility of the pedal, allowing it to access tonal presence that I have never heard before. It is worth saying that the sound is very much Klon. By this I mean that it has a tendency to take over your tone, but never in a way that contradicts the natural sound of your guitar, and certainly not your amp. However, this does mean that I often find myself thinking of the Klon as, 'The Klon' and not as an overdriver.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a variety of music, ranging from synth rock, to folk, and every guitar that I've played, with every amp and every style, has still not produced a negative sound from the pedal, and at nearly a decade of play time, I can say confidently that I have heard a number of great overdrives that can not claim this. If it were stolen, I would probably not replace it with something identical, due solely for the price, and the difficulty of acquiring them - got lucky this time. I would more likely replace it with something slightly less distinct, and more transparent. The point is, if you manage to get yourself a good offer on one, and are in the market for a very distinct sounding pedal, you should invest in one, but otherwise, don't buy into the hype.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I am unable to determine whether or not the pedal is dependable, as it is simply too new. I can say that compared to the other higher quality pedals on my board, it is certainly comparable. The size of the pedal is very noticeable as well, as it takes up very little surface area on my board, leaving me room for things that have never before had the space. The KTR is the first Overdrive I've ever invested in, and I'm finding that it's very much just wetting a pallet for a flavor of tone to use, and I can't say I would recommend this alone to address your Overdrive needs. I have found myself with a large receipt for a pedal with a single style of sound, and I am now looking at other pedals to compliment it, that do the same thing. This all goes to state that this isn't a pedal you could really do without at any point in time, as it's simply a luxury version of any other Overdrive pedal, and it's certainly not a sound that any audience member is going to notice. You should have two overdrives on your board, assuming that one of them is the KTR.
Ease of Use — 9
The Klon KTR is the reissued version of the original Professional Overdrive, the Klon Centaur. The Centaur fetches between 900.00 and 1,700.00 dollars on eBay, so the newest version has had quite a bit of hype. The three knobs on the face of the pedal correspond to Gain, Treble, and Output. The gain control is only unique in the sweep of the pedal. Between 6:00 and 12:00 is lower gain, with a considerable amount of harmonic increase - it is an exceptionally sweet sound pedal; The treble control is subtle, and could be more accurately labeled a presence control. It does it's job well though, and does give your tone a slightly sharper edge, allowing you to cut through the mix a little more; The output is self explanatory, increasing the overall volume of the signal. More so than any other pedal I've had, the KTR produces a massive amount of output increase, really useful for pushing the power section of an amplifier. In addition, you can select a buffered mode ("almost always better"), or a true bypass mode ("almost always worse"). All of these characteristics make for a pedal that really can't be made to sound bad.