Dark Matter Tube Overdrive


Want smooth tube clean boost or overdrive in a pedal? How about using a tube?

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Looking for a warm tube sound? Try a tube. The Saturnworks Dark Matter tube pedal delivers clean boost, a warm overdrive, and a growling distortion, powered by a 12au7 vacuum tube.

Dark Matter Standard & Peppermint

A few years ago someone asked us to build a Valvecaster-type tube overdrive pedal. Powered by an 12au7 vacuum tube, the Valvecaster produces a huge volume boost, but adds only a bit of tube overdrive. So after playing with the design we came up with the Dark Matter. The result is a pedal with higher gain and warmer tube grit than the original Valvecaster.

In addition to tweaks on the original Valvecaster design, the Dark Matter adds an extra internal preamp circuit on its own footswitch. The additional boost circuit pushes the tube to more overdrive/distortion than the standard Valvecaster design. The two circuits can also be used separately to achieve two flavors of clean boost. The pedal also features master volume, tone, and gain controls.

Click here and here to hear the Dark Matter in action.

Here’s another video a customer made featuring the Dark Matter.

The Dark Matter Peppermint is an upgraded premium version of our standard tube pedal. It uses the same circuitry, but features a distinctive powder-coated red enclosure, a minty peppermint graphic, upgraded Japanese soft click latching switches, red aluminum control knobs, and Swithcraft USA jacks.

Dark Matter Jr.

The Dark Matter Jr features the same overall components as the full-sized Dark Matter, but in a space-saving footprint. The Jr. skips the second footswitch for the solid-state booster/tube driver. It still has the circuit–just as preamp boost knob, rather than a separate switch. It also skips the separate tube gain control, with the solid-state preamp working to overdrive the tube.

Components and Features:

  • A Die cast aluminum enclosure.
  • High quality footswitches.
  • Neutrik jacks for the standard versions.
  • Premium soft click latching switches and Switchcraft jacks on the peppermint version.
  • An Electro-Harmonix or JJ 12AU7 vacuum tube, depending on availability.
  • A top quality Lumberg DC power jack.
  • High quality wire made in the USA.
  • 1-year warranty against defects.
  • Handcrafted and bench-tested in California, USA.

The Dark Matter tube pedals runs on standard 9v DC center-negative power. However, the power requirement is higher than most of our pedals at around 150mA.  The power supply must therefore be able to supply 150mA or more. Our tube pedals include a 1500mA power supply 

Please note: Dark Matter tube pedals are custom built-to-order and take around 2-3 weeks to ship. 

If you’re looking for a pedal that is customized to you, or a pedal upgraded with even higher quality premium components, check out our upgrades and customizations page for examples of customizations and upgrades we offer. We can upgrade your pedal with premium soft click switches, Switchcraft jacks, metal knobs, powder-coated enclosures, custom graphics, and more.

Please note: The pedals in the images are stock photos and not the actual pedals you will receive. The pedals you receive may vary in their graphics, knob colors, and/or LED colors, where applicable. We have our graphics options here.

Additional information


Dark Matter, Dark Matter Peppermint, Dark Matter Jr.