Stewmac Klon Centaur Clone Kit - Ghost Drive - It's really quite good

rolijen

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Just completed building a Stewmac pedal kit a few hours ago and I must say, it's very good. Well worth the $99.99 sale price I got it for a few weeks ago.

This particular kit is called the "Ghost Drive". Stewmac describes it as, "The Original Unobtainium Overdrive—Based on the Klon Centaur Professional Overdrive".

I would guess that, all in, it took about 4 or 5 hours to build, but this is my first pedal build and I went slow. Even then, I made a couple mistakes along the way that I had to fix (one obvious one is shown in the pics below--sub-board is upside down. Fortunately the pinout is identical regardless of which side is up, so I got lucky on that one and was to leave it).

The instructions are very clear and I ended up with a fully functional Klon clone that sounds really good. This afternoon, I did a bit of A/B testing of the Ghost Drive against my Fulltone Full-Drive 3 (2-function combo clean boost/OD pedal). The Ghost Drive is harmonically richer and a bit more transparent than the Full-Drive. I've been using the Full-Drive for several years with my 50-watt plexi and it has been better than my previous boosts/ODs, but I think the Ghost Drive may replace in on my pedalboard. Need to experiment a bit more to determine for sure.

Here is a link to the Stewmac page (screenshot shown below) as well of some pics of the build:

Stewmac screenshot Ghost Drive.png

Stewmac Ghost Drive Kit - 1.jpeg
Stewmac Ghost Drive Kit - 2.jpeg
Stewmac Ghost Drive Kit - 3.jpeg
Stewmac Ghost Drive Kit - 4.jpeg
Stewmac Ghost Drive Kit - 5.jpeg
Stewmac Ghost Drive Kit - 6.jpeg
Stewmac Ghost Drive Kit - 7.jpeg

All in all, it's a well--designed, high-quality unit with top-quality components and a very nice enclosure. Putting it together was an enjoyable experience and I am impressed with how well it performs/how good it sounds. If you have intermediate soldering/electronics skills I'd say go for it. If you are moderately good with your hands, good at following instructions and can get some soldering practice in first, you'd probably be ok with this kit as well.

Happy Father's Day, all!

Roli
 

Gunner64

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I Love mine. My buds do as well. Building my 3rd right now. Everybody wants one..lol.

Great boost before 12 on the gain, and pretty good od tones after that. Seems to add a little extra harmonic sparkle as well.

Currently it has unseated the ts9 as my prefered boost.

The Kits are well thought out, with almost fool proof instructions.
 

ricksdisconnected

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i would lose interest in building one. no good youtube demos of this pedal.
 

ricksdisconnected

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I will try to get a demo put together and posted to YouTube in the next week or so. Haven’t done one in a long time, so I’ll need to re-learn how to put a video up.
great! im guessing you will also run the pedal through its paces for us to hear too?
what amp will you be using ya think? guitar of choice?
Stew sells good stuff so i bet the pedal will sound damn good.
 

rolijen

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great! im guessing you will also run the pedal through its paces for us to hear too?
what amp will you be using ya think? guitar of choice?
Stew sells good stuff so i bet the pedal will sound damn good.
I’ll demo it with a 1987x and SC20. Strat and Les Paul.
 

ricksdisconnected

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Yeah, ‘66 Super Reverb and ‘65 PRRI.
nice. if you get a chance try that pedal on those too.
might not use them in the video but a mention if you liked the tone of not on them would be cool.
certain overdrives just sound amazing through a fender amp. i think fender amps take
most overdrives better than marshall or any other amp. they arent like that with all pedals
but overdrives and fender amps are just made for oneanother lol.
 

rolijen

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Had a chance to demo the Ghost Drive with my 1987x, SC20 and ‘65 Princeton Reverb reissue. With all three amps, the Tone control sounds great and transparent at noon (straight up).

With the Fender, the Gain knob is really subtle, clean and transparent boost from 0-5. From 6-10 it starts to add od. Adjust Output to keep overall volume balanced wet vs dry.

With the 1987x, even with the Ghost Drive Gain at minimum, it adds a nice, uncolored and very musical OD boost. It gets better as you goose the gain a little. I was running it at about 2 (9 o’clock) and it sounds so sweet and luscious. Exact boosted Trower tone.

On the SC20, with the Ghost Drive at roughly the same settings as the 1987x, (Gain 0-2, Tone 5-6, Output 5), the edge the Ghost Drive creates is way better than a Tube Screamer (no midrange hump) and even better than my beloved SD-1. Even cooler, upping the Gain generates Distortion that sustains forever.

I don’t think I’m blinded. But, after playing with it for an hour or more, this Ghost Drive has won me over. It’s simply a great boost/OD. Maybe the best I’ve ever played.

I’ll keep playing with it and try to make a video for YouTube.
 


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