Steel String MKII |
Steel String MKII

Steel String MKII

Steel String MK II
$ 199 99
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Shipping July 27, 2020
Lifetime warranty
30-DAY money back guarantee return policy

Features include

  • Designed alongside the "Real Deal" Dumble Steel String Singer #001
  • Authentic D*style clean tone, touch-sensitivity, fatness, and warmth
  • 1/3 smaller foot print than original Steel String
  • Jazz/Rock toggle for additional lo-end EQ voicing
  • True Bypass (mechanical bypass)
  • Designed & assembled in Los Angeles
  • 9VDC center-negative power operation (adapter not included)

The Steel String Clean Drive MK II faithfully recreates the tonality and feel of the iconic Dumble Steel String Singer amplifier in a stompbox format. Designed alongside a real Steel String Singer (#001), this 100% analog tone tool will do it all from Overdrive, to Fat Boost, to Compression, to EQ shaping and more. Get the unmistakable Crystal-Clear Overdrive and Fat Clean Tones from albums like "Texas Flood", "Venus Isle", and "Continuum" through any clean amp platform.  MKII improves upon the original with a 33% smaller footprint, in addition to additional EQ shaping and bass cut control with the "Jazz/Rock" toggle switch.

  79  Reviews (4.91 stars) —
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Riccardo Bergomi
This Pedal it's perfect to play blues, rock, pop and make your clean sound amazing!
Gokhan Altun
This is a great low gain overdrive pedal. Always on type of pedal that adds character and a bit of nice dirt to the plain sound of the guitar. Combined with other pedals make them sound better too.
Michael J. McRae
This is an excellent unit for those who don't want an over the top distortion or fuzz sound. this pedal gives a nice natural sound and will boost your clean sound in a very great way. Great product, the only one of it's kind on the market, I love it.
M Sh
Great sounding pedal, will improve your clean sound so dynamicly cause it's responsive, it really listens to your playing Another amazing job from vertex effects , thank you mason for bringing peace to musicians
Frank Russell
I've bought many pedals. This, by far, is the best pedal I've purchased so far. these folks know what they're doing.
Scotty Reddin
Performs as advertised. I am very pleased with this product.
Used it live at Church Sunday, got a few head turns from the band
Daniel Murphy
This lived up to my expectations and actually surprised me with it's versatility. After only having tried it through headphones at NAMM, it is immensely satisfying through tube amps and provides excellent tweakability on the gig. It's a permanent fixture on my board now.
Garry Cheung
One of the best ...
Amazing! Brings my tone to life.
John Lee
Best low gain pedal I've ever had! Nice sounding sparkling gain with strat pickups, but still great with P-90s on ES-330. I had the Archer(Klon copy) on my board, but THIS vertex SS immediately replaced it. Better work with other pedals, tone is way much more balanced, comfortably nice compression and just enough mid pushing, And I'm using this as preamp. I prefer this sugar like gain to my fender Blues deluxe and Marshall's preamp. There is nothing I can complain about this pedal. Now I'm buying another one for my friend.
David K
Simply a great pedal, and a ‘must-have’ in my opinion. We’ve all tried l o t s of pedals over the years and the SS gets me exactly the range of tones I need from it, so it was easy to take one of my Klons off my pedal board ;) Reading other reviews, it’s hard to come up with any additional praise for this great pedal!
Eric Cooper
I am a big fan of blues and have been chasing Overdrive tones like this pedal can produce for years! With Strats, this pedal is smooth and gets a really nice edge of break up tone going. With Telecasters and humbucker guitars, it gets a nice extra push into clipping and gets you to that dirty blues/rock realm. Excellent tones, excellent pedal, and great customer service by Vertex!
Bertrand Gallaz
Without any doubt the best low-gain drive I've played so far. She sprinkles magic dust on everything I'm playing with.(telecaster-Gibson Midtown-Gibson ES330) Sounds great with achtop jazz guitars with flatwound strings too!
Bertrand Gallaz
Without any doubt, the best low gain, non-transparent (she's rubbing your mids in the right way), I've bought so far! (and I've bought many). Great clean fat boost too! Great tone in front of my Taurus Stomp-Head 2 Classic Sound amp and my 1972 Fender Bandmaster Reverb. Equally good into my laptop in front of amps from BIAS Amp 2.
Ryan Benton
I found it works best as a boost with a bit of gain. It does give that Dumble Stevie Ray sound in that case with my tele playing through a tube amp with 6L6’s. It is definitely a CLEAN gain so be aware it’s not a replacement for your overdrive channel or a tube screamer, but alone or with a tube screamer it has a great round sound with nice compression that is still full of tone. I would say if you’re thinking of getting a boost like the EP boost that can add a little gain if desired and has nice tone shaping, this is highly recommended.
Jacques Bureau
Great pedal! I love it. Add something to my sound that I love. A keeper.
Roland Finley
yeah, the "Steel String "pedal is always on, it adds something,a little boost,compression maybe, I don't really know it just makes my already great sounding Marshall 205H sound even better, I really don't like the bright ass LED light that lets you know it's on,but a little piece of tape solved that issue, so now we're good
Tim Hintz
Very happy, using this with a Fender 64 Custom Deluxe Reverb. Just a great cleanish boost that adds body and sustain. Something I couldn't get with dirt pedals with the gain low.
Johnny Russler
So, this is my 2nd Vertex Pedal and I now want to make my whole board Vertex. GREAT!
Bill Sims
I've had my Steel String for 2 weeks. This is my first Vertex pedal. Once I dialed in my settings, this pedal is amazing. I like clean tones and this pedal takes it to a new different level of clean. Its a warm fat clean which I couldn't get from any of my amps or other pedals. Its works well with all my other pedals and its built like a tank. Worth the investment.
Matk Gaudet
Steel String Is the best pedal I have ever purchased. Most pedals are muddy and kill tone. This thing has enhanced my playing. The first time I plugged it in, I was mesmerized. Awesome job!!
Anthony Steele
Great pedal. Plays well with others in my board. I like the chime for a lot of clean stuff I do. Vertex makes great stuff.
Tom Samiec
Steel string made my guitar sing like crazy and sustaing all night long. Killer pedal!
Nothing short of awesome! The missing link in the search for the ultimate tone. Not at all a distortion pedal, but more of a pre-amp (IMO) to get you that early signal break up with a big beefed up tone. They nailed that elusive $100k Dumble tone everyone is searching for!! I couldn't be happier and am looking forward to owning the entire line up of Vertex pedals! Kudos for an awesome job done flawlessly, Vertex crew!
thomas strickland
now the first pedal in my chain, really fattens my sound playing through a mesa boogie love this pedal!!
Ryan J
Liking it so far. Still haven't been able to dial in the Mayer tone - but I know it's possible. Dialed in a pretty sweet clean with grit tone for church though - added some delay and reverb, and it's sounding pretty great for U2-ish style leads.
Zack R
The Steel String is an amazing pedal. I play it through my clean channel of a Mesa Boogie F50. The sound was already great but holy cow. It really fattens up the tone. The sustain sings for days and you get that full sound that everyone is chasing after. I put it at the front of my signal chain before the OD’s and compressor and it really takes my tube screamer to another level. This has quickly become an "always on" pedal in my chain. It handles reverb and delay and other modulation effects beautifully. Well worth every penny you spend on it to get that authentic Dumble tone for two hundred bucks. Thanks to Mason and crew at vertex for taking the time to get this right.
Brian Chapman
The position of "pedal number one" on my board has been filled. Steel String is exactly the right kind of booster for my guitars and amps. Not too clean, not too dirty, plenty of highs and ballsy lows.
Dalton Harvey
I’ve had time to use this pedal in the studio and in live applications, covering different genres, parts, and rhythms. I’m pleased with how it performs and I have a hard time turning it off because of how much I enjoy using it. It pairs very well with a Strat and a Deluxe Reverb and at the end of the day I would recommend it to anyone.
Sacho Fender
the best booster overdrive pedal I ever played! ....telecaster over princeton amp..... killer sound!
Ian Archibold
I have to say this is must have pedal. In my case I specially play strats and the tone I had was great but now with this one it is like a strat on steroids. Richer, Fuller, I used it in tube amps and solid state amps and they both sound great. I honestly don’t regret at all buying this pedal.
Casey Milham
Killer pedal. Makes my already great Milkman amp sound even better. John Mayer/SRV fans will enjoy this pedal. Big round tone!
Dave Preston
Really digging this Steel String Clean Drive! Killer tone through my Fender Deluxe, getting that 25K Dumble amp sound for under $200 bucks! Nice range of light and delicious crunchiness.
Andre from Dubai
Honey to my ears! Adds a lovely "zing" to my clean tone with lots of underlying depth. I'm finding it quite flexible (unlike many other "one-trick pony" pedals), so this covers a lot of territory. I'm probably just going to put it near the beginning of my signal chain and leave it on permanently!
Tony Ludwig
Yeah, Got this as a Christmas! really happy. I like playing SRV songs like Texas Flood, Pride and Joy and Cold Shot to name a few...This really gave me that fat sound I was looking for... the ads where you see the guys playing getting those different artist sounds....yep all true; even made me sound better!!!
Scott Davidson
Great sounding pedal. It works equally well with all of my guitars. (Humbuckers, Single Coils, P90's). I've used it in front of both tube and solid state amps. I'm having a hard time turning it off. It just adds "more" to my tone. Could not be happier with the purchase. Customer service was excellent. I sent an email after my order confirmation and received response the same day. Looking forward to adding a couple more Vertex pedals in the near future.
Bob Erickson
FINALLY!!!!! Been chasing Jimmy Page's live tone for decades...what a relief!!! THANK YOU VERTEX!!!!
Jim Gentry
I have a pedal graveyard full of attempts at "clean drive". FINALLY someone got it right. Touch sensitivity is dead on, and it adds a tonal characteristic that is rich in harmonics. I’ve also added this thing before my distortion pedals in the signal chain with surprising results. It’s so nice to hold a note and hear it develop and bloom instead of dying out. It also rolls off fizz and makes it more natural. I’ve already begun to evangelize about the Steel String to my guitar buddies. The $200 price is quite reasonable for a boutique pedal, and the 30 day return policy makes it a no-brainer. And yep, you can NAIL the SRV tone. Getcha one!
Anthony Best
This pedal is pretty incredible. I use a bogner uber which has a terrible clean channel which is super dry and the output is so much lower than the gain channel. The Steel Stringer is an always on pedal when using the clean channel. I put this head to head against a $2000 dollar Dumble inspired clean amp and i honestly couldn't notice enough difference to keep a dedicated amp. Many pedal claim to be a Dumble in a box, but this is the only one that I have found that delivers it.
Jim Bailey
I love the the Vertex Steel String pedal. It brings the clean out, and has a lot of grit when you want that sound.
Chris Scallon
Totally digging the Steel String Singer pedal - Mason nailed it on the Dumble tone. It has got me liking my amp (Fender Hot Rod Deluxe) much better than before - that clean overdriven Dumble tone is so sweet!!!! And sure beats spending bookoo bucks on the real thing...Keep up the fine work Mason and Vertex....
Gerry Ricci
The "Steel String" just brings everything to life. I would compare it's effect to a good mix that has been mastered. Love it!
Jeff Blanton
Love it so far!!! The Steel String effects pedal made my new USA Pro Tele come alive!!!
The Steel String clean boost Is awesome!! I played an early 60’s Fender combo that was modded by Dumble when he lived in Santa Cruz. A friend brought it over and said you’re not going to believe this amp!!! He was right! This amp had so much touch response and sustain for days it was crazy! I have been chasing to get this sound and feel since. The Steel String and a Hermida Zendrive going into my 68 Deluxe Reverb is the closest I’ve come to duplicating what I consider the best sounding and touch responsive amp I have ever played!
I can't say I played a lot of SSS's or even one but this padel does one thing a pedal should really do; gets my creative juicies going. Amazingly, its able to make my tweed deluxe break beautifully even in a bedroom level volume which no other pedal can.
Yannick Lapierre
I bought the Vertex Steel String clean Drive and also the Lenny Boost pedal. The Lenny is a good mid boost clean boost but that's all it is. The Steel String CLean Drive feels like an amp, it's powerful and clean with just a bit of breakup when pushed. I prefer the pedal with 18 volts. It truely is a great pedal.
Fausto Morell Mateu
This pedal is a beast. If you like John Mayer o SRV kind of sound, you have here an easy way to reach an incredible tone. I love the way you can use it with a strato and a ts808 tubescreamer. Nice tone, a lot of control with the gain and very dynamic!
Tab Bartling
Love the warm huge tone!
Lance Tarrance
This pedal took my ultra clean Fender Deluxe reverb sound & turned it into a "cranked amp" edge of "Break up " !!!!!
Steven O
works exactly like it said. Used with a Deluxe Reverb or Twin = Heaven. Will definitely buy more products from Vertex!
Michael Kinser
Preliminary review is positive so far. Getting ready to track lead guitar(s) for a cd project I am working on. Will be running into (2) DeluxeReverbs and Blues Deluxe into a custom made speaker cab with a Weber 15" AlNiCo . I like how the pedal pushes the front end of my amp.....I am not a big fan of pedal box od or distortion.... but the Steel String pedal is unlike anything I have run across in my 40+ years of playing. Stay tune for update :)
Nicholas Panichelli
Love the filter on this straight to a Les Paul sounds great
Dana Gaynor
Love it. Works as advertised. Put my sound over the top!
Dennis Helms
As I have only played a couple of hours with my new Steel String Clean Drive so far I've barely scratched the surface of the true potential of this amazing little device. My first test was with my Stratocaster. I was so impressed to say the least. As expected it seemed like they were made for each other. Just playing through an old 1960's Blackface Princeton Reverb at a low volume the sustain is so sweet. I am using a little added compression but the Steel String is the perfect spice to the sound. Just now I tried it out with my Les Paul and everything else exactly the same and what a surprise. The sound is awesome. Can't wait to try it with some other players. Thank you Vertex!!
Sammy Simpson
Far exceeded my expectations, having played through actual overdrive specials,this is the only pedal that truly captures the dumble tone
Stephane-Olivier Guillaume
I use this pedal at unity gain after my overdrives as a tone-enhancing tool. Honestly, I don't know how close this pedal is from the real #001 Steel String but it does a wonderful job at giving fullness and body to a thin guitar sound, even on bedroom level. I just have one negative point: used with humbucker (57 classic) the pedal distorts on low gain settings (below 9 o'clock) for bassy notes. I fixed this by running the pedal on 18V. So, as a possible enhancement for future version, I would add an internal charge pump so it is always running on 18V.
Tim Vansickle
Nice solid box that provides a nice push into the tube amp. You get a bit of grit and really rounds out that blues and basic rock tone you need. It's found a home on my pedal board and I use it heavily for classic rock tunes for both rhythm and leads.
Steve Guc
All I can say is WOW very organic.
Barry Slayton
I used it with two different amps this weekend , very easy to dial in , sounded great , the tone I've been looking for . Thanks good job!!!
Ron Davis
LOVE this pedal. The more I play with it, the more I love it. The dynamics are awesome. Chime to crunch by just digging in a bit. Role off guitar volume a bit for total clean, Great tone genie! Home Run, Vertex!!!
Gregory Spear
These pedals are amazing! The way they respond to pick attack is phenomenal. And the tone is literally out of this world!
Ilan K.
The pedal you've created is special, really special. I just got it yesterday, so I haven't had a chance to really explore all of the options, but I was able to quickly turn a pretty regular-sounding Princeton reissue into a monster sounding Dumbleesque beast. The best part is that I don't really play any boutique gear. I have a 1980s MIJ strat with Lollars that goes into a newer Princeton Reverb reissue with a few tweaks. The SSCD took a regular rig completely over the top.
Owen D
Ive found this to be an excellent addition to my board. Not only do you get a great and round tone which harks back to it's namesake, but it works equally well as an overall boost. I'm using it more so as a booster with my overdriven sound coming from a TS9. The Steel String provides an awesome push for my overdriven signal, yet can also be gentle and rounded.
Vern Warta
This pedal thickens up tone at lower volumes without sounding buzzy.
Barry Stone
Having recently received my SS pedal, am very happy with its performance ! Using a Fender Supersonic ( 60 watt-1x12) it really brings the nuance out of my amp & playing - sort of a '3-D' effect to the sound ! In these days where everything is miked up & soundmen love small amps, the SS gives that extra boost you sometimes need on the fly at live gigs !
Tim Lee
I own many other distortion/overdrive pedals and the Vertex Steel String Clean Drive is now my favourite drive pedal. This one will definitely stay on all of my pedal boards. Amazing clean tones and versatile.
Johnny Price
pretty much as promised so far, ive used it a cpl times since i got it, def an instant kick in the ass boost and tone but im finding out the bottom line is, its in the hands, the pedal aint gonna give what the hands dont deliver, so im hoping i can eventually get up to speed with what this pedal can deliver!
Fantastic pedal!! Turned my Fender Hot Rod Deville 4x10 into a beast!! It's my main clean amp with the pedal it makes it sound so much bigger and more full.
Paul Jacques
Steel String is the Secret Sauce! Just plugged in my new Vertex Effects Steel String Clean Boost and I am blown away! I plugged it into the clean channel of my Marshall Joe Satriani head with an American Deluxe Telecaster and it just made the amp come alive. It's subtle and not subtle at the same time. The effect is transparent yet adds that "extra" bit to the tone that makes it impossible to put your guitar down. I kicked it over to my first crunch channel and kept the effect on. It added almost no noise and just warmed everything up on the crunch while making the highs higher and the lows lower, all the while focusing the tone. I think this will become as essential as my guitar cord. I am never turning this thing off!
Joel Hatcher
The Steel String Clean Drive does EXACTLY what I hoped it would. I can truly say that it is the first pedal that stays on pretty much all the time for me. Mainly I play through Black and Brown Fender amps.Sounds DAMN good on TV Front tweed too. It's as if Mr. Dumble has modified my amps. The immediacy of response, the HUGE sounding notes, the compression that is so subtle yet so magical.. Wow. And, wether it's trying to achieve cranked amp tone at very low levels, or pushing the amp half way and letting the pedal make it absolutely roar, I am very happy with what I hear. What I love most about this pedal is that it perfectly flatters the harmonic spectrum throughout. Rock solid lows, strong but non obtrusive mids, and dancing, swirling,complex colorful highs.I put it right before my amp, then if i want more juice I turn on the AC Booster, Soul Bender, or TS808 in front of it. They ALL sound juicer with the Steel String Clean Drive in line. Pure magic. Thanks Mason and co. No wonder there's a bit of lead time on these. This one is a keeper!!
Mark Christensen
The Dumble amp is much like the Geddicorn*; an almost mythical beast whose rarity and specialness mean that, although I will agree to the fact that they exist, it is highly unlikely I will ever find myself in the same room as one. Because of that I can’t really speak to how closely the Veretex Steel String cops the sound of the Dumble it was modeled after (#001!). What I can attest to is that i’ve had it in my pedalboard for a couple of weeks now and in that time have not stepped on a distortion or overdrive once. My clean tone has a personality and presence that i am totally enamored with. To many guitarists the term clean = sterile/lifeless/boring. With the SS in my signal path my guitar’s clean tone sings. It kinda takes me back to the first time i heard a Sonic Maximiser™ - I can’t articulate how it accomplishes it, but things just sound better. I love the result.
Ron Brenay
Purchased this pedal with the hopes it would breathe life into my 57 Tweed and I gotta say, it sounds much better than I even expected. The filter control is brilliant and allowed me to tweak my midrange to my liking. I love this pedal and its one of the rare boxes on my board that is always on. Cannot recommend it enough.
Austin Skinner
Just a quick word, man. The Steel String pedal is amazing for small amps dude. We haven’t been able to stop using it on all the small amps around this place. My favorite is, of course, my old Tweed Deluxe. Everyone uses a boost or OD somewhere, but this thing takes that amp to a whole other world. It pushes it just enough and makes it sound huge. Every note is 10 miles wide. We also managed to hear it through an old 15-watt Matchless too. Again, these amps are awesome all by themselves, but this pedal is voiced just right and takes things to a whole new world.
Justin Taylor
Awesome pedal! really a big sound! keeps great bottom end with the tone/filter knob all the way up. I personally like it on lower gain and crank the level with filter all the way. I also found running a clean boost in front of it allows the boost to act like a second gain stage!! my current clean boost will be replaced by a Vertex Boost in 3-5 days! lol
Chris Gill
Mason, Killer Sound!! Great for acoustic guitars, too! Nice and Fat! Makes slide guitars really sing! It can get a nice clean fonkified grit on a Resonator, too. Thank You! A++++
love it !!! cant believe the change in tone of my 65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue. well worth the wait. nice work Mason !
Michael H
HUGE sounding! It sweetens up the overall tone while making R&B and jazz lines sound big, even with single-coil pickups. A must for Strat and Tele players. The best pedal I've heard for creating a big, beautiful Strat bridge sound. That's hard to achieve, especially with a vintage style pickup. Placed after the Dynamic D, with minimal gain from each pedal, the Steel String Clean yields a firm, dynamic, and punchy Robben Ford style tone. Beautiful, Mason!

Steel String MKII

Steel String MKII

Shipping July 27, 2020