This post contains affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may earn a commission. This is at no additional cost to you. Learn more.
Results at a Glance
Sturdy, but 4 stars because my first unit didn’t work
When put in front of a tube amp, does its Klon-style job really well
An incredible bargain at less than $30
Ease of Use
Straightforward controls, easy to dial-in, but purpose of toggle switch is a bit ambiguous
Does everything you’d expect of a Klon-style overdrive, plus a bit more
What I Liked
- Very good Klon-style sound, best when paired with a tube amp or other gear.
- At less than $30, a very low-risk investment for most.
- Extremely small and portable.
What I Didn’t Like
- Sound-wise, gain settings higher than 12 o‘clock aren’t anything special.
- No option to use a 9V battery. Powered by A/C adapter only.
The Mosky Silver Horse is an excellent Klon-style overdrive at a bargain price. If you want a taste of a classic overdrive but don’t want to spend a lot of money, this is the pedal to buy (or at least try).
The Mosky Silver Horse overdrive pedal
The Silver Horse’s Klon Roots
First, a quick primer on the legendary Klon Centaur overdrive pedal on which the Silver Horse is based.
Usually described as a “transparent overdrive,” only around 8000 genuine Klon Centaurs were produced (handmade by the pedal’s creator Bill Finnegan), and then the pedal went out of regular production. They garnered an incredible reputation, and combined with their scarcity the prices skyrocketed on the secondhand market. It also spawned a number of clone pedals (sometimes lovingly referred to as “Klones”).
Other Klon-Clones Available
The Mosky Silver Horse isn’t the only game in town, however. As a reaction to the desirability and inaccessibility of the original Klons, a variety of pedal builders have produced clones of the original Klon pedal, such as:
… amongst many others. All of these are worth checking out, but none can touch the Mosky Silver Horse’s ultra low price point.
Mosky Silver Horse Overdrive
At the bottom of the Klone price range is the Mosky Silver Horse and its predecessor the Golden Horse, available at the time of writing for under $30 on Amazon (and even cheaper on eBay/AliExpress). By most accounts, the Silver Horse and Golden Horse pedals are very similar, except that the Silver Horse has a “Voice” switch that tweaks the gain structure.
I’ve never played a real Klon, and although I briefly owned an EHX Soul Food, I sold it after a few months. I ended up developing some seller’s remorse, so when I saw the Silver Horse’s considerable online buzz, I decided to order one to fill the Klon-shaped hole in my tone. It arrived from China in a few days, and when I plugged it in, it didn’t power on – I sent it back, received a replacement in another week, and proceeded to rock out.
Silver Horse Specifications and Features
The Silver Horse comes in a tiny silver-painted metal enclosure. It doesn’t take batteries, it requires a 9V power supply. It has knobs for gain, treble, and output, plus a vaguely-labeled “Voice” toggle switch that changes the pedal’s gain structure a little – more on that later. The gain knob introduces a little clipping, the output knob acts as a mostly-clean boost, and the treble knob shelves the high frequencies a little bit.
Side view of the Mosky Silver Horse, showing the “Voice” toggle
The Voice toggle switch’s functionality is not very well documented, so I’ll explain how I understand it based on what I’m hearing.
In one position, the Silver Horse will clip with the gain knob set at relatively low settings. Flick it to the other position and it gains a lot of headroom and won’t distort. This is an ideal setting if you want to bypass the pedal’s own crunch and more judiciously pummel the front of your amplifier, or if you’re using a more high-output pickup and don’t want the Silver Horse’s distortion to kick in.
How to Use the Silver Horse
Something important that I’d like to point out is that when I use Klon-style overdrive pedals, their drive sound is not the main sonic event. Whereas an Ibanez Tube Screamer, Boss Blues Driver, or other mid-to-high-gain overdrives sound good on their own (to me at least), the Silver Horse doesn’t sound particularly impressive when its gain knob is cranked.
The Mosky Silver Horse plugged into my Marshall tube combo
The Silver Horse really shines when you use it effectively in collaboration with other gear. The classic use case for me is to use my Strat’s neck single coil, the Output knob high and the Gain knob low on the Silver Horse, and set my Marshall tube combo just shy of distorting. This gets the amplifier just over the edge of breakup and results in a tastefully distorted crunch. My Strat’s single coils sound proudly Stratocaster-y, aggressive but restrained. It’s one of the best sounds I have access to.
With this as my tone starting point, I can add additional flavor to the distortion by slightly increasing the Silver Horse’s Gain knob, for which the sweet spot for me is between 9-oclock and noon. Beyond the noon position, even on a clean channel, the gain sounds pretty generic.
Closeup of the Mosky Silver Horse
The Silver Horse can do more than beef up your crunch tones, though. If you use it to push a dirty channel, you’ll get an even fatter and more aggressive tone. Just be careful to make sure the end result isn’t too boomy, because unlike a Tube Screamer style OD, the Silver Horse boosts your whole sound without attenuating the low end.
Another side view of the Silver Horse showing the input and a/c adapter jack
Another way I like to use it is to add a fractional amount of dirt and body to my sound with more precision than I’d be able to do with my amp’s controls. This is great for effects-laden spacy playing where more than a hair of distortion would be out of place.
Video Demo of the Mosky Silver Horse Overdrive
It took a bit of digging around YouTube, but I was finally able to find a video that demonstrates the range of sounds you can expect from the Mosky Silver Horse. Remember though: tone is very gear-dependent, so your mileage may vary depending on your actual setup.
Note: I did not make this video.
If you’re trying to get a completely new sound from your rig from an overdrive with a very unique character, the Mosky Silver Horse may not be for you. On the other hand, if you have a tube amplifier (or a quality approximation) that you like and are wanting to accentuate its natural character, the Silver Horse could be an excellent addition.
Because the Silver Horse is a “transparent overdrive,” your amp and guitar will still sound like themselves, but with a little more attitude and character, and you’ll definitely be impressed with the price you paid.
Written by SM
SM is the author behind the Var Guitar gear blog, where he writes reviews of pedals and equipment. Originally from the English countryside, he lives in California with his wife, three children, and a small closet bursting with music equipment.
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Bobby Davis is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Latest Blog Posts
- Hercules GS402BB Mini Electric Guitar Stand Review January 8, 2023
- SensorPush Wireless Hygrometer and Thermometer Review February 22, 2021
- The 5 Categories of Guitars December 7, 2020
pick one of these up for under 30 on a whim. this review is spot on. excellent when used as the front end booster, and decidedly mediocre as an overdrive. don’t go past 12 on the drive and this thing adds some nice sauce. to my ear the tone knob is basically “unity” at 90%, anything less and you’re rolling off what your guitar would otherwise be providing the amp. that works fine if you’re aware of it. not really a tone booster at all in practice. no complaints at all for the price. it’s not going to make it onto my live pedalboard anytime soon, but i like the cheap and easy access to this kind of chonky boost for studio and rehearsals with cheap amps. 🙂
At that price, it is one hell of a bargain!
Have any of you tried this booster with a dynamic mic used for an acoustic guitar? I want to be able to boost my volume for lead breaks and don’t want to install a pickup in my HD-28.
Ah yes, guitar distortion pedals. I’m not familiar with the Klon brand nor its sound, but I have bought a variety of different distortion pedals over the years. My first was in 1966 or 67 when I bought a Gibson distortion pedal. Ironically today I prefer the built-in distortion sounds I get from my Laney and Fender amps. But when I want something that sounds more like a vintage MXR I actually use a cheapie Chinese pedal that closely resembles the one in this post. In fact, I’d bet they use the same housing, are made in the same factory and just sold under another brand name as is so often done nowadays. I bought mine on Amazon and if memory serves me well I only paid about $34 Canadian. It too requires a power supply as there is no battery provision but it has a smooth sound that is reminiscent of what we hear in the 60s tune Hurdy Gurdy Man by Donovan (and I believe Jeff Beck played the guitar on that record). It’s also great for playing the Stones classic Satisfaction. I’m sure you’ll find a pedal like it on Amazon although the brand names will differ as will the pricing and models. But, you’ll recognize the compact box it’s housed in as they are all the same and likely use near-identical circuits.
Thank you sir… J Page played on that Donovan song… yes the MXR Dist + was my 1st pedal in the early 70’s run thru a SF Super and it sounded good. So pretty much most proper pedals will sound good thru a great amp I had an original Klon when they 1st came out. Nothing special. Mostly hype. But a lot of companies are cutting costs by not using batteries which I hate so this one is not for me. Pretty much spot on with your comment.