Everyone knows the legendary Klon Centaur: an overdrive that can be used as a boost, with a generous bump in the midrange and a certain talent for pairing with just about everything! The Tumnus Deluxe from Wampler is... well it's the same! Or almost! It's Brian Wampler's interpretation of the KLON, with even more possibilities!
Externally, we are entitled to a standard chassis with a pretty “gold” finish. THE pedal is equipped with a 3-band EQ, Volume, Gain and a toggle switch which allows you to add an additional gain stage. We're moving away a little from the original design of the KLON, but we're gaining in flexibility and versatility. Inside, good quality PCB and switch.
Connected to a quality clean channel and... strangely inspired by John Mayer (Yes... Klon... Clean... John Mayer...) with a good family Strato, we attack with the Gain at zero and Volume at 9:00. Yes, no more for the volume because it's really pushing!! The Tumnus has a lot of output level. With this setting, you get an excellent clean boost. Indeed, the pedal is very transparent and you can "inflate" your sound by pushing the Gain very slightly. The attack is preserved, the dynamics are excellent, we confirm. By pushing the gain towards 12-13:00 we immediately find a very marked KLON side. The upper mids are very forward, the highs are very soft, slightly behind (to be adjusted with the relevant knob depending on what you like) and the lows are rather tight, with a significant "hollow" in the low mids. It's a small difference with the original, the frequencies are not nested in the same way, but it's still close. The EQ allows you to make very effective corrections and adapt the Tumnus Deluxe to your set-up.
Another difference is the amount of gain available. Indeed, we go much further and denser with the Tumnus Deluxe. The Tumnus v2 already had more gain than a KLON, with the Deluxe we go even further. It's rather nice. Where the original tends to lose its charm (used as an overdrive), the Tumnus Deluxe turns out to be a much better drive machine! You therefore have a very open, slightly hollowed drive, with this sensation of having your clear sound in parallel (this is the original design) and a very clear, very transparent side.
As far as we are concerned, we would prefer it stacked on another low gain overdrive, or on a crunch channel, but it is important to note that the additional gain stages of the pedal make it possible to do without another additional gain source. . Choose microphones with a level that does not touch the ceiling to preserve all the nuances of this drive.
Without being completely similar to a KLON, while having enough in common with it to be extremely close, the Wampler Tumnus Deluxe is an excellent alternative offered at a more affordable price. It even offers the luxury of having a more extensive register! With the Tumnus, you can access the legend without making compromises and without spending several hundred, even thousands of euros.