by Jef | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
LunaStone TrueOverDrive1 overdive pedal top

LunaStone TrueOverDrive1 overdive pedal  ·  Source: Lunastone


The LunaStone TrueOverDrive 1 has just been announced off the back of the NAMM 2017 Show, and seeks to extend the company’s well-respected line of boosts, overdrives and distortion effects pedals. But with the wealth of drives announced over the last few days – including stompboxes like the Suhr Eclipse or the Catalinbread Formula 55, can LunaStone offer something different? In fact, they think they can.

Cascading gain

Designed in Denmark by head honcho and engineer Steen Grøntved, the TrueOverDrive 1 overdrive circuit is based upon a cascading gain stage rather than the more common clipping diode design that 99% of pedal builders use for drive pedals.


This cascading gain structure is quite similar to how a valve amp’s gain stage works, which is why LunaStone say they chose to go down this route with the TrueOverDrive 1 pedal. They state they are seeking a more natural, touch sensitive overdrive that would complement your guitar and amp, rather than just taking over the core sound of your rig. It all sounds very laudable so far.

There’s some nerdy technical description on their webpage (link below) about how the diodes on other drives suddenly just engage as you crank up the volume from the guitar, and how they’ve sought to use the gain staging to make that smoother and more incremental. In the demo video below, Pete Thorn describes how the pedal ‘fattens up’ as you slowly push the drive circuit.

Foot Control

The TOD 1 has a simple control layout featuring just three controls for Volume, Tone and Drive. The controls are arranged in a diagonal line down the pedal. That only looks interesting but has the benefit that you can control the Volume and Drive knobs with your foot. So if you get the urge for a bit more or less of either mid solo, then a gentle tweak with your size 10s is just about doable.

The pedal is of course analogue throughout with true-bypass and uses soft relay switching. And it’s quite competitively priced, at $149, which is decent for high-quality effect pedal.



LunaStone TrueOverdrive 1 with diagonal controls for easy tweaking with your foot.

The LunaStone TrueOverDrive 1 is available from February and sounds like it could be a neat, valve-like overdrive for the money.

LunaStone TrueOverDrive 1 RRP $149

LunaStone TrueOverDrive 1 product page


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video



One response to “Can “cascading gain staging” set LunaStone’s TrueOverDrive 1 apart from the crowd?”

  1. buddy says:

    ‘But with the wealth of drives announced over the last few days – including stompboxes like the Suhr Eclipse or the Catalinbread Formula 55, can LunaStone offer something different? In fact, they think they can.’ By all accounts this is a great pedal, but they’re definitely overselling the uniqueness of their cascading gain stages design. All of Catalinbread’s foundation overdrives- including the 55 mentioned- use cascading JFETs with no clipping diodes, and I’m sure there are many other builders that do the same.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.