Durban Guerrilla Part 7: The Mythology Of Tone

Guitarist´s Dave Durban is a musician on a mission. He is searching for a sonic grail: the ultimate guitar tone and he´ll stop at nothing to get it. During his quest he will encounter all manner of wonders and obstacles: gigs in far-flung places, studio sessions, guitar mods, amp tests and sea monsters.

Welcome to the world of a dedicated gearhead, the Durban Guerrilla - and every week he´ll be sharing his candid journal with you. This time Dave gives you the lowdown on his latest acquisition…

I'm discovering the man-beast tone.

Just before the New Year I made an acquisition that got my palms sweaty and ears tingling with excitement. This is, for me at least, what owning a Klon Centaur is all about.

Since its launch by Bill Finnegan in 1995, few pedals have made such an impact on the mysterious ‘boutique‘ pedal market - a place of secrecy, intrigue and holy grail-type quests for a guitar tone that will turn heads.

And I can see why. Such is gold´s beguiling quality that the mighty, and recently reunited,

Spandau Ballet

were enamoured enough to pen a song for it. And what a song it is.

Anyway just look at the aesthetics of this pedal for a moment. Few offer such beautifully engineered and unique enclosures and the rare, gold-anodized finish creates wondrous visual effect. The innards are covered in an epoxy, to scare off those dastardly clone vultures no doubt, but only the finest components are used in the construction of a Centaur.

But it´s not just about the look, the Klon´s reputation is founded on its tonal qualities - and we´re talking

serious tone


Sonically the Klon feels integrated into your amplifier's tube circuit, rather than an outboard overdrive effect, and importantly it´s an overdrive that seems to ‘work´ with almost any amp's input stage be it Fender, Marshall, Vox or in my case, Matchless.

The Klon is intended to drive a quality tube-amp harder so you can create a tube-esque overdrive quicker; in turn offering a bigger transparent amp tone or clean boost, adding lush overdrive harmonics and

low-end spank

. And it makes any guitar you choose more dynamic and vibrant sounding across the range.

It is - quite possibly - the most versatile and natural sounding overdrive money can buy.


These units are hard to get hold of right now and orders come with a hefty waiting list. For more information check out

or for ordering details go to

Next week I´m going to be looking at guitars again with an issue that seems to be stirring up some interesting discussion in the Guitarist office; what really gives a six-string that vintage-vibe that everyone seems to want right now and can it really be recreated with ‘new-wood.´

Until then, sayonara brothers and sisters of the new tone order!