Build Reports

Showing 31 build reports for the Refractor project. Submit yours →

Antrekot
Score:
9

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Yet another Klon Centaur

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

I don`t know how the original pedal sounds. So for me it`s just a gentle overdrive and a good booster in one box. The PCB is great as always! There were few hard to find components, but nothing impossible.

Modifications or part substitutions

Changed C14 to 6n8 and used D9K diodes. Also tried D9B, D9E and 1N34A.

ChuckHDTV
Score:
5

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Phoenix Klon

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: Original

Build description

A lot of stuff on a small footprint. I screwed up while ordering the caps and ended up with bigger than usual ones. It didn’t work at first but Everything worked fine when I changed IC1.

Modifications or part substitutions

Installed De9 germaniums and changed C14 to 6n8.

Coltonius
Score:
5

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3-in-1 GFX Console

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: High Gain

Build description

I set out to build a pedal that could serve as a grab & go or a minimalist setup for jamming at home. So here it is, acid etched by Dan at ADD Pedals and in all of its glory!

Here’s the signal flow:
– Klon (Refractor PCB)
[FX LOOP]
– Mimik Delay (Madbean)
– Moodring Reverb (Madbean)

I think I’ve finally managed to incorporate all of my favorite tweaks into the Refractor part of the build, thanks to the helpful hints in the build doc and other industry greats!

Modifications or part substitutions

“High gain” mod (R10), Tone knob shift (R21, R23)

Dave
Score:
4

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Klon KTR Clone

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: KTR

Build description

This build was done before Kevin had the Refractor offboard/bypass board. I would highly recommend buying that bypass board as it is a bit of a pain soldering the resistors and jumpers to the 3PDT. This was my last build using waterslide decals. I started using the UV printing from PPP and won’t be using decals ever again.

Score:
31

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Centaur clone for Wayne Sermon of Imagine Dragons

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

This is one of two pedals on Wayne Sermon’s pedalboard, the other one being my Aion Compressor. One of my friends, Brandon, actually produced their EP before they got signed, and Wayne asked him to consult on a new pedalboard. Brandon put a couple of my pedals on the board, and when Wayne A/B’d my Centaur clone next to his real one, he couldn’t hear a difference. So he asked me to make a second one as a tour backup and he leaves the original on a shelf at home. This pedal was used onstage at the 2014 Grammys as well as on Saturday Night Live a week later.

I attached a grainy pic of Wayne’s pedalboard that the guitar tech sent over. The Centaur is on the bottom row, and you can also see the Aion Compressor on the top.

Marcin Zaleś
Score:
3

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Klon Centaur Clone

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

Awesome board!!! Sounds great!!! Thanks!!! Best regards from Poland!!!!!

scolba
Score:
3

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The Clintaur

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

During rehersal one day, my guitar player had mentioned his desire for a Centaur, but the lack of desire to buy a real one. This board (v2) looked great, and combined with the bypass board, it was basically plug and play! Fantastic quality boards. I goofed a bit on ordering some of the parts….like those hot dog looking resistors, but all should be good. 🙂

As for the name and graphic, the new owners name is Clint, and he has a pretty fantastic beard, so the name and morph of the logo just seemed natural. Another band mate designed that part. I think it turned out great, but sadly the ink smudged a bit.

As a bass player who is generally allergic to pedals, I don’t know if I’ll have an opportunity to build another pedal, but if I do, I’ll be coming back to Aion to check out what else is here.

Modifications or part substitutions

I started with the Russian D9E’s, but am including matched pairs of 1N914, G223, 1N695, and 1SS135 to experiment.

Stevehapner2
Score:
3

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Klon Centaur Clone

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

This is my first real effects pedal build. I used one of those cheap soldering stands that have the 2 alligator clips and a magnifying glass, and ended up damaging the ground trace for the led, but other than that, the build went well. I used all of the parts called for on the build sheet. I did socket the IC’s, the diodes, and the C14 cap. If I would have thought about it sooner, I would have used a 2PDT switch on C1 so I could use it with both guitar and bass. I may add that mod later. D9E with forward voltage drop of .25 installed, with OA126 .65, and OA128 .58 in some extra sockets epoxied to the inside of the bottom cover.

Score:
26

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Classic Klon Clone

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

I just made the closest Klon build as possible, using D9E diodes and the parts indicated on the 2009 Freestompboxes document (except for carbon film resistors).
The PCB is an outstanding conception work, it is really easy to assemble, and fits perfectly a 1590B enclosure!

krisk
Score:
2

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Triple pedal with the Refractor, 1776 Rub-a-Dub Deluxe and Madbean Pork Barrel

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

Since this is technically a build report on the Refractor I’ll stick to it for the most part. The build went fairly easy it’s a pretty tight squeeze in some parts but it all went together nicely. The instructions were easy to follow and well written. The buffered switch being the most difficult part of the build, but I connected it up as if it was the only pedal in the box and it worked perfectly from the first power up (I wish I could have said the same for the other 2 but that is another story). I socketed the ic’s, D1-2, R10 and C14. I had several ic’s and ge diodes I was going to try but the person I made it for loved it as is I didn’t really get to try them out. I ended up using the tl027’s and D9E for the clippers.

Modifications or part substitutions

I substituted a 1k for R10 and an 8n2 for C14

bluesman1911
Score:
2

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Klon Klose

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: Original

Build description

Excellent little PCB. It’s stuffed full but ample room for working the soldering iron. There are one or two things I would go about differently when it came time to soldering the pots, but it was a trouble free build, no real surprises. I caught one solder bridge (between the 1N4001’s) during inspection . Other than that, it was a trouble free build, even for these old eyes.

I have access to a Silver Centaur. The Refractor is as close as it gets. It’s akin to splitting hairs with 1N270’s (which I think were closer than the 1N34A’s that I tried). I’m skeptical of the original diodes all being 1N34’s but that’s a moot point. I have some more Ge’s to play with but I should have built this pedal a long time ago. Just excellent. Thank you for the effort.

Modifications or part substitutions

I found a schematic and report for the original silver. It indicated the locations where carbon film resistors were used. I followed that and used carbon films in those positions. I thought it would be a cool detail. Other than that, I stuck to the script. I used Panasonic and Nichicon lytics. Otherwise, I did not use any fancy passives. Inexpensive box and dipped film caps and no name 1/4 watt resistors. I did meter every component before building. I socketed the GE diode positions. This pedal is quiet, really quiet.

Mrav
Score:
14

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Nano Klonj

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

Here is my first build with fabricated PCB. I am very pleased with Aion PCB’s as well as with the sound of this pedal. For clipping I used D9E diodes. Other components are standard values, except two Schottky diodes in a “voltage doubler”.

Modifications or part substitutions

1N5819 instead of 1N4002 (to get 18 instead of 17,5 volts)

MikeO
Score:
12

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Goldie

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: Stock build (almost)

Build description

Built this mostly stock except I changed the C14 cap value to an 8n2, also a matched pair of “fairy dusted” D9E germaniums.
Out of 15+ different overdrive kits I have built this has become a favorite (always do to change though).

Modifications or part substitutions

8n2 C14 cap change and 2 Russian D9E diodes

Jason
Score:
11

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Colombian Klones

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

These were my first Aion builds, and I was not disappointed. The layouts and PCB construction are among the best I have seen. I made these as gifts for missionaries that I know in Colombia. They are great players, but don’t have much equipment. I initially was going to put the Centaur holding a guitar that I drew on the pedals, but realized that they probably have no idea about the history of the pedal. Instead, I used their national soccer jersey as inspiration for the graphics. Soccer in Colombia is like rolling the NBA, NFL, NHL, and NCAA into one. They went crazy for these!

The enclosures are my first foray into UV printing at PPP. I am ecstatic at how they turned out. I only got to do a basic play through on each pedal due to time constraints before leaving, but they sounded terrific. I kept the color theme going on the inside of the pedal.

Daddy Daughter Pedal Works
Score:
11

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My Little Klony

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

Had something completely different in mind when I started. Found this graphic then made a big change of plans. My 9 year old daughter helps me build pedals. I knew she would freak out when she saw this!
Turned out great and sounds awesome!

Ed
Score:
1

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Attack of the Klone

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

This is my 3rd Aion build. I have to say Kevin does a fantastic job. The instructions are perfect and there’s plenty of information available to help a novice like me. This build is a Christmas gift for my brother. Lucky for me I was going to build one for myself. After a snafu with some diode sockets I had purchased I fubared the pcb and had to start over. I sure hope he likes it.

Jason
Score:
1

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Personal Klon

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

This is from my second set of Refractors. The first ones I made were given away as presents. This one features a Centaur that I drew myself, and he is holding one of my real “axes.” The font is appropriately called, “Narnian” and the knobs were sourced from J.Rockett.

I had this powder coated and printed at Pedal Parts Plus. This resides on my personal board, and I don’t ever see it leaving my collection.

One tip: on the builds with dual gang pots, the 1590B is almost too shallow, especially if you utilize anything with more than a few MM of thickness to insulate the pots. I used black duct tape on this one and had much better clearance than with my first OD-820, where I had to utilize a gasket. I also suggest soldering only the easy to get to pads on the pots, and then taking the soldered assembly back out of the enclosure to solder the remaining connections. A few pads are very close to other components, and it is very easy to “customize” a few caps.

Modifications or part substitutions

Treble Mod
Black Russian Diodes

Ryan C.
Score:
1

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Klon Centaur (Silver) Clone

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

Stock build to the Aion Electronics documentation. Used matched Russian D9E Germaniums. Silver polished case from Tayda Electronics and the oxblood knobs from Small Bear Electronics. The knobs are a little large but they don’t bump into each other when adjusting. I’ll keep looking for smaller knobs. Love the growl out of this thing and the form factor. PCB is top notch!!

Chris
Score:
0

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Refractor Klon Clone

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: Original

Build description

My first Aion project which had its challenges. Usually my builds are in a slightly larger enclosures just so I have some breathing room. Having PCB mounted pots made it a little tougher also with some “micro-surgery” soldering. I highly recommend the 3pdt daughter-board as it just makes life so much easier. I had some problems with a faulty capacitor and some bad wires but through the great help of Kevin and the DIYstompboxes forum I was able to get it going and it sounds AMAZING!

Modifications or part substitutions

I changed C14 from 3.9nf to 8.2nf to help take of some of the high end, almost tinny, sound that people have complained about… This is described in the build reports however.

Vincent N
Score:
0

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Klon clone

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

This is my first build with an Aion pcb. The build quality is outstanding and the project documentation is very precise.
I decided to go the mojo way: 1590BB golden enclosure ordered from Mammoth, 24mm pots, DPDT Carling switch and Oxblood knobs ordered from SmallBear Electronics. Regarding the diodes, I ordered D9E but all were about .220 to .250V forward voltage, so I used 1N34A one with .268 and the other with .375V forward voltage.

I still have to put decals on it.

Modifications or part substitutions

C1 390nF to use it on bass.

Kregg
Score:
0

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Refractor

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: Changed the Output pot, otherwise it's stock.

Build description

Refractor V2 was an easy build and the pedal sounds great.

Modifications or part substitutions

The can caps were a bit too tall to fit into the 1590A, so, I needed to switch the a deeper 1590.
Great layout no fuss, the Refractor Bypass made it very easy to wire up.

will.fowles.1978
Score:
0

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Refractor with CMOS bypass.

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: Added CMOS switching with CD4066

Build description

Fantastic PCB – no issues with soldering despite tightness. I populated the board then wired it up to my breadboard to test switching. Fired up first go once connected up. I’ve been playing with CD4053 and CD4066 switching lately as my (ex)favourite dirt box, a Guv’nor copy I’ve rebuilt several times over the years, had picked up massive switching noise. I semi-succeeded with a 4053 based on RG Keen’s design on GEOFEX, but still had a little pop – much better than the clunk though! Looking at The Tone God’s Wicked Switch I realised I could mod that to match the Centaur/Refractor’s bypass scheme. Works a treat, with barely any switching noise at all and as a bonus I was able to use an illuminated arcade button for the footswitch – no stomping, but none required! Sounds pretty good on it’s own into my headphone rig, but is all kinds of awesome into my 30w Valvetone Tramwreck (Trainwreck inspired hand wired Aussie amp). I don’t run tone/volume controls on my guitar, so have to use a volume pedal to get the amp clean, but this pedal takes the already cranked tone of the amp and adds another dimension to it. Hence the Guv’nor has been relegated to “ex” status and has been replaced on my board.

Modifications or part substitutions

A lot of franken-parts to get close to the values required with what was at hand (there may be 3 resistors in series somewhere there and a couple of paralleled caps also).

I used 8n2 for C14
1N56A Germanium diodes (didn’t test them – it sounded so good I didn’t bother trying any others)
JRC4558D for IC1 (again, didn’t try anything else – it sounds great – why futz with it!)
NE5532 for IC2 (see above)
MAX1044 IC3 with 1N4739 for Z1 and 1N5817 instead of 1N4002
I used the Tone God’s Wicked Switch design to build a DPDT switch then wired it exactly as per the Centaur’s schematic with the 68k and resistors between the buffer, effect and output and 100k from output to ground. No other external parts on the CD4066 and no appreciable switching noise (apart from the obvious jump in gain).
Arcade button for switch and CD4049 as flip-flop and LED driver.

Robert Jackson
Score:
0

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What a Great Centaur Build!

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: Standard Configuration

Build description

I’ve always wondered how these beasties behaved, so I stuck pretty close to the build notes. As always, things went very smoothly and I was delighted with the result. It’s a very nice circuit. Quite pleasant to use and a beautiful PCB to work with.

Lag
Score:
0

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Original schematic Klon Centaur

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: Original schematic Klon Centaur

Build description

I used same original diagram of the Klon Centaur with diodes 1N34 and battery in enclosure type125B.

The enclosure painted by a garage and baked (color Renault French car) because the original paint is too fragile.

Jesse Belanger
Score:
0

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Refractor

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

Love the aion boards there amazing.

Modifications or part substitutions

6n8 for less harsh treble

Big Swifty
Score:
0

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Centaur

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

My first Aion and wow, that PCB is a work of art all on its own!
A tight build but completely manageable, it worked straight up and sounds great.
Gain right down, Output around noonish and the Treble around noon as well, the pedal is completely transparent…and then you can tweak from there. Even works as a straight up treble boost. Never had a drive that could do that.
Anyways, used D9e diodes, and the output pot is log as recommended. Everything else as specified.
Nice work Mr Aion!
Had a go at etching the enclosure, turned out pretty cool i reckon; garish, hideously overstated, all the good things!

CHITO
Score:
0

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KLON CENTAUR PRO OD

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

RESISTORS: All 1% metal film – NO value substitution here

CAPACITORS: A mix of solid polymers, low ESR electros – The 2 MLCCs (C8 & C13) were substituted with CDE dipped silver mica caps. Dipped silver micas, per my experience using ‘em, they do wonders to the sound of pedal circuits. They’re kinda pricey depending on where you buy ‘em but it’s worth including those in your capacitor arsenal. I will also try the C14 mod (for thin treble) in a later time.

IC1 & 2: TL072 – I didn’t test any other OpAmp

DIODES: I didn’t bother to try the D9E either although there’s a lot of ‘em in eBay. I tried 1N270 but didn’t like the result so I used a BAT41 instead. I have previously used this diode & I like the quality of the distortion.

I tried the AION Refractor Bypass PCB but I screwed up the 3PDT during soldering so I ended up using a used Carling 2PDT. Luckily, those 3 resistors did fit snugly in the switch’s “crevice” like it was designed to cradle the resistors as you can see in the posted picture. The DPDT works okay but I will still re-install a Refractor Bypass PCB soon.

Lastly, I installed Small Bear’s light plate. Doesn’t the picture look cool?

EQUIPMENTS: Marshall JVM 205H head / Marshall 1960A cab / IBANEZ S5470Q guitar. Jackson Japan-made Warrior guitar with genuine SD Invader humbuckers. Only Refractor OD is connected.

TEST RESULTS: IMHO, the Refractor OD will beat the TS9 Tube Screamer hands down. This baby has a very distinct sound quality! Don’t just listen to it…..build & play it yourself!

Kudos to Kevin & the AION tech staff for a superb re-design of the Klon Centaur Pro OD.

Have you been on the back of a Centaur lately-:)? Please share your thoughts with us. Thanks for reading.

lwatford
Score:
0

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Refractor

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

Stuck to the stock build docs, with a handful of exceptions. I used a 6.8 for the tone, and I had a pair of D9E’s that sound great in the pedal. I’ve built a few other klones, and this one might have been this easiest, and with the Switch board it’s even easier! and it sounds great.

Modifications or part substitutions

C14 6n8

Skydiver8
Score:
-6

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Klone Centaur

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: Klon Klone

Build description

I had a nice gold enclosure but cracked it while drilling the holes lol. So i had to use a white enclosure I had laying around.

Pat
Score:
-1

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The Killer Klon(e)

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

Probably not the best project for the beginner due to the high part count and funky foot switch wiring. A great build as long as you have the patience and double check your work, though. Sounds SWEET! Also, use smaller film caps if you can. A few of the larger mylar caps I used barely fit.

Modifications or part substitutions

No mods.

digi2t
Score:
-1

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Aion Refractor build.

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)

Build description

My first Klon klone. No dramatic part subs. Great layout, and fired right up. Using Russian D9E diodes matched at 0.31vF. The buffer is using a vintage JRC 4558DV, and a JRC 455DD for the overdrive. I salvaged them from a scrapped Korg SDD2000, so they’re not some Chinese copy crap. I tried a bunch of different IC’s, but these are special. Very smooth highs, not harsh at all, and the overdrive is velvety smooth. I don’t know if any of the modern versions are like these ones, but they really make my ears go “WOW!!”

Modifications or part substitutions

R10 = 47R
R17 = 10K
R18 = 4K7
C13 = 680pF
C14 = 6n8
IC 1 = JRC 4558DV
IC 2 = JRC 4558DD