Most pedal enthusiasts consider a vintage Klon Centaur the pinnacle of overdrive boxes. With originals now approaching $10,000, it makes sense that Warm Audio has created a cost-effective reproduction with its Centavo.
At first glance, the Centavo looks similar to a Klon, with its gold box, three knobs, and graphic borrowing from Greek mythology. The obvious difference is the addition of a Mod switch along the top edge.
Pushing the pedal with a ’63 Strat and ’59-reissue Les Paul through a vintage Marshall 50-watt amp produced a variety of excellent tones, all transparent and organic – less like a stompbox and more like an overdriven amp. The Centavo is easy to use, with controls for Gain, Treble and Output. As we increased distortion with Gain, both guitars retained their full body without thinning out – a very useful feature that differentiates the Centavo from other overdrives. Treble provides high-end sparkle that was particularly useful with humbuckers. Conversely, the Mod switch added welcome low-end with the Strat. Overall volume is controlled by the Output knob, and in the 12:00 position, the pedal didn’t alter overall volume. Beyond distorted tones, the Centavo offers a functional clean boost with the Gain dialed in at 9:00 with Output at 2:00.
The Centavo is a versatile and great-sounding pedal that will be especially at home on the pedalboards of blues and rock players.
This article originally appeared in VG’s February 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.