Packing more metal than Pittsburgh, the U.S. Steel is high gain Valhalla. Blistering distortions and searing lead tones just keep coming; every nu-metal chunk, every modern rock slab. Back off for smoky blues or ignite the rage of an uber-gain rectifier. Emulating the massive Celestion®-powered chunk of a closed-back cab, the musclebound U.S. Steel is here to raise hell and steal your girl.
Tech 21 press release (August 3, 2011)
Tech 21 received a cease and desist notice from United States Steel Corporation for the allegedly unauthorized use of the name “U.S. Steel,” stating that it “is likely to cause the public to mistakenly think that your business is sponsored or approved, or in some way is affiliated with or connected to, United States Steel Corporation. Of equal importance, your company’s use of ‘U.S. Steel’ dilutes the distinctiveness of the U.S. Steel brand.”
The “U.S. Steel” is one of 8 styles of pre-amp pedals in the SansAmp Character Series. According to Tech 21’s Vice President, Dale Krevens, “We chose the name to convey its tonal range of heavy metal guitar sounds. It honestly didn’t occur to us that guitar players might think Tech 21 or any of its products have anything to do with America’s steel industry. Being a niche pedal in a niche market, it’s oddly flattering they would call us out for using that name.”
A mutual agreement has been reached between the two companies, in that Tech 21 will stop the use of the name “U.S. Steel” for the guitar pedal once the remaining stock is sold. For future sales of the pedal, Tech 21 has chosen a new name, “U.S. Metal.”