The Klon Centaur. It’s one of the most elusive overdrive pedals in the history of effects, and though there are already countless copies on the market, it continues to be the subject of replica stompboxes seeking to harness Bill Finnegan’s iconic transparent overdrive tone.
One of the best examples money can buy is the Wampler Tumnus – and recently the effects specialist decided to reboot its Klon clone as part of an ultra-limited run.
There was a twist, though: the improved Germanium Tumnus was crafted using a small batch of the same germanium diodes that were used in the original template, making it quite possibly the most faithful tonal recreation of Finnegan’s five-figure foot pedal to ever make it to market.
As the brand itself explains, fans had been requesting a Tumnus “using the exact vintage diode from the original,” despite the seemingly nonexistent supply. Nevertheless, “after a massive hunt,” Wampler founder Brian “found a small stash of these elusive diodes” which were used to update the humble stompbox.
The souped-up circuit was partnered with a new Alien Silver chassis that paid closer homage to the silver enclosure of the original Klon, with the mini pedal retaining its simple Gain, Treble, and Volume control layout.
Because of its components and relative affordability – it was only $180, as compared to the $5,000+ price tags of the original unit – the Germanium Tumnus has unfortunately already sold out, and owing to the nature of the supply of diodes, Wampler conceded, “Once they’re gone, they’re gone.” We can’t say we’re surprised.
Indeed, as Wampler explained, “This edition is steeped in a level of exclusivity with a tone that’s set to become legendary. This stash of 'secret diodes' is limited, giving you a rare opportunity to own a piece of tone shaping history.”
These elusive diodes certainly would’ve helped Wampler score marks for authenticity – and there’s no doubt those who were quick enough to snap one up have purchased a top notch pedal – but it doesn’t mean hope is lost for those hunting the Centaur sound.
After all (as mentioned above), there are plenty of Klon clones that do a bang up job of channeling Finnegan’s original pedal. Recent notable releases include JHS Pedals' $99 Notaklön – a solderless DIY pedal that players can assemble themselves.
Heck, you don't even need a Klon clone to do the job: earlier this year the DigiTech Bad Monkey broke the internet with a flawless impersonation of the prized pedal.
Head over to Wampler's website to view the rest of its catalog.