A few years ago someone asked me 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 I came up with the Dark Matter. The Saturnworks Dark Matter has higher gain and warmer tube grit than the original Valvecaster.
Among other tweaks, the Dark Matter adds an extra internal preamp circuit, activated with a footswitch and controlled with an overdrive knob. The boost circuit pushes the tube much farther than the standard Valvecaster design. The pedal also features master volume, tone, and gain controls.
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 two weeks to ship.