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The Bron-yr-Aur Stomps “Clôn” (the Welsh spelling of Clone, pronounced in the same way) is my hand-built and hand finished version of Bill Finnegan’s infamous Klon Centaur pedal, for a lot less money.

Some 8000 Centaurs were built by Bill between 1994 and 2000, retailing for less than $300 at the time. Some were gold in colour, some were silver, some had an image of a centaur on them, some didn’t. Some say that there are tonal differences between the different versions, but most agree that if there are, they are imperceptible. Regardless, they souned like nothing else at the time and now, they all sell for 15 times their original price (sometimes more) on the used market.

One of the reasons for this is the mystery that surrounded the Centaur circuit for years after Klon ended production. It is common practice amongst pedal manufacturers who want to protect their design to cover the circuit board in a super hard opaque resin, making it incredibly difficult for anyone wishing to “clone” their work to do so. This is known as Gooping, and the Centaur was incredibly well Gooped. Removing the goop risks damaging the circuit and its Components, and who in their right mind would do that to a pedal that month by month increases in value?

So, back in about 2007, a Group of DIY pedal builders got together and jointly bought a silver Klon Centaur, serial number S-698. Their only reason for doing this was to butcher it, to see what it was made of and to hopefully allow them, and anyone else, to build their own version of it.

Over the next year or so, the Centaur’s circuit board was de-gooped and traced. Every component was tested, measured and identified, apart from two clipping diodes. They were Germanium with a forward voltage of 0.35v, but it was a while before Bill Finnegan confirmed that they were 1N34A diodes from a specific manufacturer in Russia. Legend has it that he trïed hundeds of different diodes from different manufacturers, even different 1N34A’s, before finding one he liked. The legend goes on to say that he then bought every single last one of them. There are no more.

One of the better atricles about the Centaur circuit can be found here –

The Clôn is a hand built part for part replica of S-698, but in a smaller Hammond 1590BB enclosure. The Capacitors are either Nichicon, Wima, Vishay, Panasonic or TDK – all top quality.

The clipping diodes in all my Clôns are Russian D9E Germaniums, widely accepted as being the ones that perform closest to the original 1N34A’s. These are socket mounted, so you can experiment with different ones, Germanium, Silicon or LED. I have a load of 1N34A’s, but they’re not the same as Bill’s. The pedal will come with the D9E’s installed, but on request, I’ll supply a variety of different ones for you to try.

The potentiometers are from Alpha, the knobs are Oxblood Davies 1470, the 2PDT footswitch is also an Alpha job. The in and out sockets are enclosed Switchcraft ones.

The genuine Hammond 1590BB enclosure is finished in a sparkly Black with hand-formed copper wire decals and protected with a slightly textured 2K lacquer.

Everything is hand-wired, hand-soldered, hand-drilled etc, etc and finally rigorously tested by me, and it all runs on a standard Boss type 9v DC Centre negative power supply (not included). It won’t run on a Battery.

Bron-yr-Aur Clon

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