J. Rockett Archer Select Review
Seven different diodes generate subtly different shades of Klon-style sounds. Does that justify an extra 130 bucks?
Delicious Klon-style voices at most diode settings. Top quality.
Slight differences among diode settings may not justify cost.
J. Rockett Archer Select
Most Klon or klone players use the circuit’s just-barely-gritty tones, primarily. I’m among those guilty of underutilizing my klone in this way. Still, I love to explore its filthier side when recording or seeking reference sounds for a review. If you dabble in that facet of a Klon’s performance envelope, the J. Rockett Archer Select’s seven selectable clipping diodes merit investigation.
J. Rockett themselves say the differences between these diode positions are subtle at high gain settings, and pretty much indiscernible in clean boost situations. That was borne out in my experiments. The default OA10 diode, standard in regular Archers, is predictably sweet and dishes the lowest output. Among the other five germanium diodes, which include the 1N34A used in the original Klon, the differences are apparent in slight shifts in output and compression profile. The 1N270 and 1N34A sound the most open and attractively compressed. The 1N695, D9B, and D9A are less flatteringly compressed, and very similar in the case of the last two. The single red LED diode setting is considerably louder and less compressed. In this setting you can use the clipping switch to move between default OA10 and LED modes, using the latter as a volume boost. Whether these subtle differences in diode type, and a DI output with speaker simulation, justify the extra 130 bucks you’ll pay to upgrade from a regular Archer to a Select will be very subjective. But you can be certain there are delectable Klon-style voices here if you pony up the cash.