||Download Example 1
|Clip recorded with Schecter Jeff Loomis 7-string, Creation Audio Labs MW1 Studio Tool into Pro Tools HD3, no EQ, dry.
The U.S. Steel clearly borrows its inspiration
from a Mesa/Boogie Dual or Triple Rectifier.
Much like the Recto series, the U.S. Steel’s
real strength lies in heavier music. The tone
controls are voiced as follows: Mid at 450
Hz, Low at 125 Hz, and High at around 3.2
kHz. You can boost or cut these frequencies
by 12 dB. The Character knob adds
thickness to the Drive control settings, but
also brightens up the sound—an effect
that gets more pronounced as you turn the
knob clockwise. Once again, the Speaker
Simulation button mimics a Celestion-loaded
speaker cabinet, and my ears tell
me they were going for either Vintage 30s
or 75s. You can’t be too literal about this,
as it’s an emulation circuit, but it does a
fine job of getting your tone in that ballpark
when you’re going direct into a mixer
or computer interface.
For me, Mesa/Boogie’s Rectifier amps have
always worked really well for metal, and they
particularly excel in the rhythm department.
No doubt, there are legions of fans of this
tone, which is why we’ve heard it on so many
records. The U.S. Steel doesn’t disappoint in
this respect—in fact, it covers it in spades.
Inspired by the look of the U.S. Steel sitting
next to my Schecter Jeff Loomis 7-string, I
plugged directly into Pro Tools through a
Creation Audio Labs MW1 Studio Tool and
threw up the devil’s horns. I was immediately
hit with that ultra-subsonic low you can
only achieve from this type of amp. Chugging, detuned riffs flowed easily from
my hands and felt very natural and inspired.
However, I was surprised that, when I
played a Schecter Hellraiser with EMGs
through the U.S. Steel, it sounded very
similar to my Les Paul with Sheptone PAFs.
There was a slight difference in the gain,
which was easy to compensate for, but the
overall sound was clearly that of the pedal,
not the individual guitars. So, while the
Character knob brings in more thickness
and heaviness as you crank it, the basic
sound of the pedal is always very present.
The Final Mojo
If you’re after a mammoth, Recto-inspired
sound but have to record direct, you could
easily track with the U.S. Steel and few
listeners would be the wiser. The pedal
delivers an effective plug-and-play tone
that effortlessly channels the spirit of the
American metal amp.
you want hulking, Recto-like muscle
in a pipsqueak-sized box.
you prefer a high-gain option that
lets your guitar’s voice shine through.