Kirk Hammett’s KHDK Electronics Releases Dark Blood Overdrive

(Image: © KHDK Electronics)

KHDK Electronics has announced the latest addition to its line of hand-built guitar pedals, the Dark Blood Overdrive.

“KHDK’s most evil pedal to date, Dark Blood delivers an angry, merciless amp-like distortion,” according to the company. “The tone of Dark Blood is tube-like and mid-heavy with added high gain. It’s unique power is its distinctly amp-like sound.”

The Dark Blood makes its debut on the new Metallica album, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, which comes out November 18.

“This is the ultimate pedal for gain freaks,” Hammett says. “I plugged it in and the name Dark Blood came to me right away. At that moment, I knew this pedal was going on the new album."

  • “Everybody who hears the Dark Blood is blown away by how amp-like it sounds and how much power hides in this stomp box,” says KHDK cofounder David Karon. “We used an image of the human heart in deep red line art on the pedal to reflect this incredible life-giving power contained within a small unit.”
  • Dark Blood is built on KHDK's original circuit combining solid-state and MOSFET technology. In classic metal fashion, a treble booster was added to the front end of the circuit to push the guitar tone to the limit. Like all of KHDK's pedals, Dark Blood is hand-built by a family-run manufacturer in Paducah, Kentucky.

Dark Blood will be available from KHDK dealers. In addition, a limited edition of 100 Anodized Dark Blood pedals, hand-signed by Kirk Hammett, will be made available through the Guitar Guru Network.

Watch the demo below, and continue reading for more information.

From the company:

KHDK’s most evil pedal to date, Dark Blood delivers an angry, merciless amp-like distortion. The tone of Dark Blood is tube-like and mid-heavy with added high gain. It’s unique power is its distinctly amp-like sound.

Richly articulate and deep, Dark Blood can provide the main tone into your clean amp and is ideal as a fly rig and a backup to an amp or modeling rig.

With its high gain and aggressive, uncompromising dynamics, this is the ultimate pedal for gain-freaks, designed both for palm muting riffs and searing high gain solos.

Technology
Dark Blood is built on KHDK’s original circuit combining solid state and mosfet technology. In classic metal fashion, a treble booster was added to the front end of the circuit to push your tone to the limit.

Power
Dark Blood is powered by a single 9V battery. You can access the battery connection by unscrewing the bottom plate of the pedal enclosure. Alternatively, plug in an external 9V DC (center negative) power supply.

How to Use
Start with all settings at “noon” with a clean channel on your amp. Tweak to shape your tone.

Controls
Doom controls the pre-distortion equalization which determines the amount of low-end grunt present in your tone. This control moves from a tight bass to a long sustain, giving you a liquid, solo-ready tone.

Gate controls the background noise of your tone. This allows the stronger gain signal to pass, while weaker humming or hissing is blocked. Turn the gate clockwise for noise reduction, but avoid pushing the gate with lower gain settings; this could negatively impact the decay of your tone.

Gain controls the gain of the circuit. A lower setting creates a pick-sensitive tone with excellent dynamics, while a higher setting brings a massively overdriven tone.

Treble Control is a passive, natural sounding low-pass filter. It cuts high end and offers a wide frequency range. Turned clockwise, it becomes raw, aggressive and cuts through. Turned counterclockwise, it cuts highs for a warmer and more mellow tone. With different amps, the tone can be bright or dark; use this control to set the ideal amount of brightness/top end.

Volume sets the output volume of the pedal. Warning: at higher settings, the Dark Blood has a massive output. This pedal gets LOUD!

LO/Hi is tied directly into the gain and offers two steps of gain. LO is intended for rhythm playing while HI adds saturation, sustain, and compression. HI setting is recommended for a more powerful rhythm or soloing.Visit KHDK Electronics for more information.