Dark Matter Tube Overdrive

(4 customer reviews)


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

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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.

Among other tweaks, 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 Dark Matter 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 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.

The Dark Matter overdrive pedal features high quality components including:

  • A Die cast aluminum enclosure.
  • High quality footswitches for smooth operation and longer life.
  • An Electro-Harmonix vacuum tube.
  • 1-year warranty against defects.
  • Handcrafted and bench-tested in California, USA.

The Dark Matter pedal runs on standard 2.1mm 9v DC center-negative power. At around 350mA, it is a power hog, though, so it is a good idea to run it on its own power supply, or an isolated power supply. If you need a power supply, we have one here.

Please note: Dark Matter 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.

Additional information


Dark Matter, Dark Matter Jr.

4 reviews for Dark Matter Tube Overdrive

  1. bryan

    Just wanted to say thanks for the Tube Drive pedal! Im in LOVE. As an electronic musician, 90% of my guitar is recorded and played live through DI and this preamp really thickens up the tone tremendously. Ive gotten major compliments from other guitarists about when i play out live, so for that i thank you…
    JR Schramm (Chicago, USA)

  2. Chris (verified owner)

    This pedal sounds amazing with both guitar and lapsteel.

    It’s got a sweet n’dirty tone that you can dial in many ways .. and it always cleans up nicely with a turn of the guitar’s volume knob.

    If I dial it in just right, I can get three or so tones on the way down. Volume 10 is snarling, 8 is creamy blues, and 5 is sparkly clean but still very present.

    As far as steel goes .. it’s just the cherry on top of any rig. My ol’ National New Yorker through a 72′ Fender Twin, goes from sounding like it’s saying aloha into grinding vintage blues with this beauty juicing the line.

    From Maui to Kansas City with the stomp of a foot.

  3. Dustin Yager

    I finally got the chance to play around with my new Darkmatter overdrive and holy cow, man! This is absolutely hands down the best OD pedal I’ve ever used. It makes my Morgan AC20 sing. Not only is the tube side amazing but the boost circuit is better on its own than my ep booster. You should be charging double for these! Anyway, thanks for making such a fantastic product. I’ve bought and sold dozens of ODs over the years but this one isn’t going anywhere.

  4. Demir Ateser (verified owner)

    This pedal is awesome! It’s like sweet n crunchy candy. Yes – you can get some screaming distortion going. The combination overdrive and preamp made it easy to locate several sweet spots where I can use my guitars volume to go from lean to downright nasty.

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