Mattoverse’s Solar Sound Drive pedal reacts to light using a built-in solar panel

Mattoverse Solar Sound Drive
(Image credit: Mattoverse)

Wisconsin pedal builder Mattoverse Electronics has debuted its latest innovation, the Solar Sound Drive, an overdrive pedal that alters its tone according to the amount of light it receives.

The pedal is described by the firm as both “beautiful and uniquely impractical” and features a built-in solar panel, plus volume and gain controls and true bypass.

The aluminum enclosure has a wood faceplate, and there’s a plastic casing around the solar panel to ensure it’s protected from knocks. 

Mattoverse says the pedal works best with natural light, but can also be used with bright artificial light sources. In terms of tones, the brand’s demo showcases a nice array of crunch, rumbling distortions and some fun interactive manipulation options to be had when blocking or exposing the solar panel.

The major caveat, of course, is that how the pedal performs in your setup will very much depend on the location of your ‘board and the amount of light that reaches it (on top of all the other usual variables). In this respect, it is essentially designed to be inconsistent, but that is also the joy of it.

The brand has a reputation for its unusual, attention-grabbing and, yes, often impractical designs (e.g. the AirTrash – for players who want to make their guitar sound like garbage). However, they produce a lot of more useful boxes, too, among them the Just A Phase, Tremstortion and Bad Passenger Fuzz.

For more information on the Solar Sound Drive, head to the Mattoverse site.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.