Mean tone machines

FOR: Rocking guitar tones. WCR founder and designer Jim Wagner knows great tone and how to create it, crafting boutique gear that answers to his own demanding ears. We tested the American Steele on an Ibanez Les Paul copy cursed with bum pickups—and if we were to say that the American Steele radically transformed this guitar into a wicked tone machine we’d be grossly understating the fact. The Steeles cooked up enough gain to muscle the front end of the amp into submission while retaining rich dynamics, especially when backing off the volume. Most impressive was how well all the pickups performed together across a range of styles. These pickups milked tones out of this guitar that were so intoxicating we couldn’t put it down. If you’re looking for a modern take on classic rock tones, you’ll want to check out some American Steele.

NOT FOR: Tinny tone.


– Doug Doppler

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