Iconic pedal brand Maestro returns with five new effect pedals, including a reimagined Fuzz-Tone
When Gibson released a clip teasing the return of Maestro – the pedal brand behind the famous Fuzz-Tone FZ-1 – we assumed the iconic pedal builder was about to release a reimagined version of the classic fuzz pedal.
Well, it turns out that Gibson is relaunching Maestro for not one, but five all-new effects pedals, chief among which is a redesigned Fuzz-Tone FZ-M.
Leading the Maestro Original Collection, the FZ-M will be joined by the Ranger Overdrive, Invader Distortion, Discover Delay and Comet Chorus.
A look at the pedals reveals the uniformity in their functional design – each features three control knobs and a central voice-changing rocker switch – and the aesthetic appearance, which is led by three Maestro-branded illuminating bugle lights.
That’s not all, though: Gibson has announced that a second batch of five pedals will join the burgeoning Master Original Collection later this year, along with a Maestro Custom Shop Collection – comprised of ultra-limited pedals built to spec. of the originals – also currently under construction.
Craig Hockenberry, Director of Engineering at Gibson Brands and Chief Designer of Maestro, commented, “I don’t think there’s a limit to what Maestro can do. Given Maestro’s history and legacy, he has certainly earned the right to play anywhere in the effects world.
“When it comes to Maestro in 2022, all you have to do is use your imagination,” he added. “That’s where Maestro will go and where Maestro will be.”
Read on to learn more about Gibson’s new line of Maestro pedals – all of the pedals below are available for $149, except for the Discoverer Delay, which is $159.
Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-M
We have to start with the FZ-M. Based on the same pedal that paved the fuzz-laden path for all other pedals, the modernized Fuzz-Tone boasts a precise all-analog design with the aim of capturing the iconic Keith Richard. I can’t get no (satisfaction) Your.
However, alongside the FZ-1 inspired fuzz is a newly designed sound, with the two-in-one functionality of the FZ-M also promising a thicker, more “modern” fuzz sound. Accessible via Classic or Modern modes, each voice is adjusted with Attack, Tone and Level controls.
In practice, the knobs are pretty self-explanatory: Attack controls the fuzz sound and Level adjusts the output, while Tone aims to shift the overall sound from bright, raspy timbres to warm, woolly fuzz.
Maestro Ranger Overdrive
Next is the Ranger Overdrive, which is said to be inspired by “the world’s most beloved vintage tube amps”. The all-analog overdrive pedal is equipped with a Hi/Lo toggle switch – used to switch between amp-style overdrives and tactile cleans – as well as knobs for gain, tone and level.
Said to be usable as a boost pedal to dial in the grit and dirt in your amp, as well as a delicate “always on” warming effect, the Ranger Overdrive also features the three Maestro bugle lights, which illuminate when the true bypass the switch is flipped.
Distortion Maestro Invader
The above elements are joined in the gain department by the Invader Distortion. Again, you’ll only find analog components under the hood of this pedal, which is described by Gibson as a “modern distortion pedal with an aggressive, commanding sonic character.”
In this case, the toggle switch taps into a built-in noise gate, which can be adjusted by means of an internal potentiometer that controls the noise threshold of the pedal. Elsewhere there are controls for gain, tone and level.
Maestro Comet Chorus
The Maestro Comet Chorus harnesses analog bucket-brigade device technology and versatile switching in an effort to deliver a spectrum of sonic versatility. The promised tones include Earth Mode’s optimized shimmer effect.
Flip the toggle and Orbit Mode seeks to introduce rotary speaker-inspired amplitude modulation into the mix. Global controls include Depth, Mix and Speed knobs, while an internal potentiometer dictates the overall level of the Orbit effect.
Maestro Discoverer Delay
Last but not least is the discovery time. Once again, bucket brigade technology appears here and is used in an effort to deliver classic delay sounds. The delay time, controlled via the appropriate knob, ranges from 20ms to 600ms, and is complemented by the Sustain and Mix knobs.
For the Discoverer Delay, the toggle activates a built-in modulation effect that harnesses a range of band-like beats and significant pitch shifting. This Mod-On effect can be further tweaked via two internal potentiometers that adjust the modulation frequency and width.
To learn more about the new range, visit Maestro Electronics.