Musicians Sound Design British Steel

Made in Cologne, Germany, the ironically named British Steel ($200 retail/street price N/A) is a purposeful-looking pedal with a rugged stainless-steel housing that feels brick heavy compared to most pedals of its size. The armor-plate enclosure has an easy access battery compartment, a 2.1mm jack for external power (adapter not included), and a small status LED at the upper right corner. The knurled-metal controls consist of Drive, Volume, and Tone (the latter has a center detent), as well as a Low/High switch that revoices the overdrive circuit for optimal response with humbuckers and single-coils.

The British Steel offers punishing output, and even with the Drive turned down you can get a huge amount of signal boost for overdriving an amp or mitigating line losses when driving long cables. This pedal walks the line between fuzz and distortion, delivering a tough-edged, tight-bottomed distortion sound that’s fairly reminiscent of overdriving a British tube amp with a treble booster. Accordingly, you can get a lot of glassy slice when you nudge the Tone control clockwise from its center position, but the rangy EQ isn’t squeamish about providing creamier textures, as well. Well suited for hard-rock players and old-school metalheads, the British Steel has a lot of the punchy dynamic vibe you expect from a good tube amp.

Kudos  Brute force distortion. Massive output. Excellent Tone control range.

Concerns Removable battery hatch cover was quickly lost.

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