NPD TC Electronic Dark Matter

Victek

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I picked up a TCE Dark Matter yesterday and thought I'd share first impressions, and pictures of course :)

The pedal has a nice weight and the foot switch feels solid. The back can be easily removed with a coin to gain access to the battery compartment which is isolated from the electronics. You need to remove another panel with a star type bit to get at the circuit board, etc. I added the last picture so the labeling on the knobs could be seen. Note that none of the pictures capture the subtle metal flake in the finish; it's very nice.

First impression is the pedal sounds great :thumb: I used my Epi ES335 Pro guitar and Fender Frontman 65R amp, and put the Bad Monkey in the chain as well for some A/B. Both pedals reach unity gain around 10 o'clock and so there's a lot of boost capability. One of the criticisms I've read about the Dark Matter is there's too much bass, but that wasn't the case with my setup. With the tone knobs set at 12 o'clock the Dark Matter was actually a little brighter than the Bad Monkey. The Dark Matter also has a voice toggle that cuts the bass a little if desired. The DM offers plenty of adjustment via the High and Low EQ knobs so I don't see that being a problem for most setups. The Dark Matter offers a bit more gain than the Bad Monkey. I like playing with the Monkey dimed and the Dark Matter sounds good that way too :) There's definitely enough gain for my rock and roll style and of course it can be backed off if desired. So I give the Dark Matter a "thumbs up". YMMV of course, but it doesn't cost much to find out if it's right for you.
 

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StormJH1

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HNPD! Since it's only $50, I've been looking to add this one to the MojoMojo overdrive I recently reacquired. The MojoMojo is actually pretty decent, it just trends dark and works "differently" than other overdrives with a similar gain range. Also, I did not think the EQ controls did much on the MojoMojo, but I've seen videos of the Dark Matter where they seem to have more of an impact. It's probably brighter overall than the MojoMojo since it's doing a British-voiced Plexi thing.

Glad to hear you liked the tone through a Fender-style amp (Frontman 65R is an awesome pedal platform, btw).
 

Belvedere

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Congrats! It's a great pedal!
I use it in combo with the mojomojo and they work great, let the mojomojo push the dark matter when you need more gain and the result is stellar and very versatile!
 

Victek

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Congrats! It's a great pedal!
I use it in combo with the mojomojo and they work great, let the mojomojo push the dark matter when you need more gain and the result is stellar and very versatile!
Thanks for the congrats! :) I remember seeing a Youtube demo where TC Electronic said the two pedals were designed to work together. I'm glad to hear that they work well for you.

@StormJH1 It sounds like the MojoMojo needs the Dark Matter :naughty: :D
 

Victek

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HNPD! Since it's only $50, I've been looking to add this one to the MojoMojo overdrive I recently reacquired. The MojoMojo is actually pretty decent, it just trends dark and works "differently" than other overdrives with a similar gain range. Also, I did not think the EQ controls did much on the MojoMojo, but I've seen videos of the Dark Matter where they seem to have more of an impact. It's probably brighter overall than the MojoMojo since it's doing a British-voiced Plexi thing.

Glad to hear you liked the tone through a Fender-style amp (Frontman 65R is an awesome pedal platform, btw).
Thanks for the congrats :) When I went to GC for the Dark Matter I also wanted to try the MojoMojo, but they were out. In fact the Dark Matter I bought was the display model, so apparently these are popular pedals. If you get a Dark Matter I'll be interested to hear what you think. TC Electronic says they were designed to work well together :hmm:

I'm going to plug in the Dark Matter again today and focus on how much range the bass and treble controls have.
 

StormJH1

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Thanks for the congrats :) When I went to GC for the Dark Matter I also wanted to try the MojoMojo, but they were out. In fact the Dark Matter I bought was the display model, so apparently these are popular pedals. If you get a Dark Matter I'll be interested to hear what you think. TC Electronic says they were designed to work well together :hmm:

I'm going to plug in the Dark Matter again today and focus on how much range the bass and treble controls have.
It could be that the Dark Matter is popular...or it could be that Guitar Center doesn't really carry two of anything nowadays. Sigh.

They are popular, though, you can get a sense based on the number of reviews that pop up for it. The mod switch on both pedals, is supposed to increase the bass response, but what it actually does is shift from a low mids to upper mids emphasis. In a mix or in a live setting, you may prefer more upper mids so you aren't competing with bass guitars and other lower frequencies.

I'll probably pick one up. They actually hinted in one of the videos that the MojoMojo was based on a different British amp (I want to guess it was a Hiwatt, but not sure). The Dark Matter (ironically) is probably the brighter of the two, but both have decent low end. And my amps trend brighter, so it could be a good pairing.
 

Victek

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I'll probably pick one up. They actually hinted in one of the videos that the MojoMojo was based on a different British amp (I want to guess it was a Hiwatt, but not sure). The Dark Matter (ironically) is probably the brighter of the two, but both have decent low end. And my amps trend brighter, so it could be a good pairing.
I played around the Dark Matter more today. Regarding the Bass and Treble controls they clearly make a difference. I don't know how they compare with tone controls on the MojoMojo though so no help to you sorry. So far I've been keeping both tone controls at 12 o'clock and the gain around 3 o'clock. That's plenty of gain for my taste and the pedal stays quiet. The sound cleans up quite a bit if I lessen the pick attack too. I want to do another side by side with the Bad Monkey and also the MXR SuperBadass. I haven't been liking the MXR pedal lately and this might help me figure out why. If you decide to get one I'll be interested in what you think. :)
 

StormJH1

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I played around the Dark Matter more today. Regarding the Bass and Treble controls they clearly make a difference. I don't know how they compare with tone controls on the MojoMojo though so no help to you sorry. So far I've been keeping both tone controls at 12 o'clock and the gain around 3 o'clock. That's plenty of gain for my taste and the pedal stays quiet. The sound cleans up quite a bit if I lessen the pick attack too. I want to do another side by side with the Bad Monkey and also the MXR SuperBadass. I haven't been liking the MXR pedal lately and this might help me figure out why. If you decide to get one I'll be interested in what you think. :)
For sure! My playing has been a bit sporadic lately, but I'll post back if I remember.

Hold onto that SuperBadass if you can - I think that's just an excellent distortion pedal with crazy versatile EQ control. I actually wasn't too fond of MXR dirt until I encountered that one.

Glad to hear the Dark Matter's EQ has a noticeable impact - it seems like a solid pedal for a BOSS DS-1 price!
 

Victek

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Hold onto that SuperBadass if you can - I think that's just an excellent distortion pedal with crazy versatile EQ control.

Glad to hear the Dark Matter's EQ has a noticeable impact - it seems like a solid pedal for a BOSS DS-1 price!
I did another side by side; this time with the MXR Superbadass. It seemed to me that the High and Low EQ controls of the MXR SBA produced about the same effect as the Dark Matter. The SBA does have a fair bit more volume with unity gain being around 8-9 o'clock. The SBA is also virtually clean with the drive (gain) knob on zero. The Dark Matter cleans up quite a bit with zero drive too, but it's not quite a clean boost. With all the EQ knobs straight up the SBA is brighter than the Dark Matter. Over all the two pedals have a lot in common.
 


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