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The “beautiful and uniquely impractical” Solar Sound from Mattoverse is an overdrive pedal powered by the sun

Mattoverse Solar Sound
(Image credit: Mattoverse Electronics)

At ease, wall warts! Here comes a pedal that’s powered by the sun. That’s right, the ever-inventive Mattoverse Electronics has unveiled an overdrive pedal that eschews the need for such earthly essentials as the pedalboard power supply, with a solar panel mounted on the enclosure to provide all the juice you need.

Depending on your perspective, the Solar Sound overdrive is either showcasing a future pathway to sustainable renewable energy for the signal chain, or is taking inspiration from our pocket calculators.

Either way, it’s a design that has takes the obvious downsides – yes, namely that the sun does not shine for 24 hours in a day, and rarely if ever in some parts of the UK – and turns them into a positive, with Mattoverse promising some gated and choked overdrive tones when the transistor is starved of the electricity it so desires.

So, at full power, you can dial in a light overdrive, or dial it up for smooth distortion, all standard fare, but in low-light conditions, such as the stage, the overdrive is going to start to behave a little differently. Well, it makes a change from our germanium fuzz pedals from chucking a hissy fit as the seasons change.

Playing this on a summer’s day in the great outdoors is of course optimal, but you do not, thankfully, need the sun per se. Shine a bright light at the Solar Sound while playing and it should keep the drive flowing.

Bonkers? Of course, but then this is the same pedal company who promised to make your guitar sound like “absolute garbage” so we always expect the unexpected from the outer reaches of the Mattoverse. But if frees up an extra port in your ISO brick then all the better. 

The Solar Sound overdrive is available now, priced $229. For more details, head over to Mattoverse Electronics.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.