The Best Pedals In The World Today – J Rockett Audio Designs Archer Ikon

Posted: March 15, 2017 in Guitar Pedals

J Rockett Audio Designs Archer Ikon

If you want a versatile drive pedal that ranges from transparent boost to medium-gain loveliness, you need to audition the Ikon.

The gold Klon Centaur, created by US effects guru Bill Finnegan and released in 1994, is a pioneering low-gain overdrive/boost that’s become one of the most desirable pedals on the planet. The uninitiated may well wonder, reasonably enough, what the fuss is about – after all, a clean boost or low-gain overdrive sound is a bread-and-butter addition to the sonic arsenal of guitarists in any genre, and as a consequence, the market is flooded with stompboxes that will provide a perfectly usable take on these staple effects.

Yet what makes the Klon Centaur so different, so special and – some maintain, so ridiculously hyped – is that unlike many overdrive and distortion circuits, the Centaur doesn’t obtrusively ‘colour’ the sound of the guitar as it adds gain; it also provides a clear-sounding volume boost with subtle midrange and compression, which many players find interacts with their amplifier in an exceptionally musical way. This is why it has become one of the few ‘always on’ effects on the pedal boards of the pros and a go-to drive for the likes of Jeff Beck, John Mayer and many a player who relies on expression and subtlety.

So that’s the Klon Centaur – discontinued in 2009 after 5,400 units were made according to the official site, and consequently, as rare and prized as unicorn horn. Of the many klones out there, J Rockett’s Ikon is one of the closest approximations there is, and was created by Chris Van Tassel and Jay Rockett, who worked with Finnegan on his later Klon KTR pedal brand.

When G&B tested it alongside the ThorpyFX Peacekeeper and the Wampler Tumnus, Editor Chris Vinnicombe wrote: “The best clean boost of the bunch, with a lovely high-end sheen you won’t want to switch off. 95 per cent of the Klon experience for 10 per cent of the price.”

Key features
PRICE £165
DESCRIPTION Buffered-bypass boost/overdrive pedal powered by 9v centre-negative power supply or battery, made in USA


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