It’s been no secret that Gibson was working with the Maestro Electronics brand name again. Today, the American guitar giant officially announced five new stompboxes under the Maestro moniker: Fuzz-Tone FZ-M, Invader Distortion, Ranger Overdrive, Comet Chorus and Discoverer Delay.
Maestro Electronics – Original Collection
With five new pedals at the re-launch, including the Fuzz-Tone FZ-M, Invader Distortion, Ranger Overdrive, Comet Chorus and Discoverer Delay, there should be something for everyone in this newly rejuvenated line of pedals. These wedge-shaped Maestro Electronics pedals from Gibson have hints of the vintage styling of the originals, and all feature top-mounted jacks.
“Maestro was the first commercially successful pedal, it changed everything, and set the entire world of pedals and effects into motion. We’re using the distinct Maestro aesthetic to develop unique takes on each of these effects in a way that’s fun and looks back at the past, but with an awareness of what modern guitarists require. Maestro sounds are relevant to new, casual, and professional level players and everyone at Gibson felt a responsibility and obligation to revive Maestro because it’s vital to pedal history.” – Gibson senior director of product development Mat Koehler
Based on an the legendary Fuzz-Tone-FZ-1, the new Fuzz-Tone FZ-M seeks to ride the tail coats of the pedal made famous by the Rolling Stones on their ’60s hit single, Satisfaction. A central toggle switch selects between Classic mode, based on the exact FZ-1 raucous fuzz tone, and Modern mode, which is a lot thicker, with a slightly different voicing. Controls consist of Attack, Tone and Level, with Attack adjusting the amount of fuzz required.
RRP – USD 149
Fuzz-Tone FZ-M Demo Video
The new Ranger Overdrive is a dual-mode overdrive pedal voiced after the driven sound of a vintage tube amplifier. This time, you get controls for Gain, Level and Tone. The Classic/Modern switch chooses between a warm, expressive, amp-like overdrive, and a more touch sensitive mode with slightly less distortion and a little blend of the clean signal in the mix.
RRP – USD 149
Ranger Overdrive Demo Video
If you need more gain, then the new Invader Distortion could be the Maestro pedal for you. Once more, you have controls for Gain, Tone and Level. You also get an onboard noise-gate, which can be engaged or disengaged with the toggle switch, and an internal trim-pot to adjust the gate threshold.
This pedal is pretty high-gain, with a very modern voicing, so don’t expect vintage style tones. This probably also means that we can expect more pedals with new designs that push the Maestro name into new territory.
RRP – USD 149
Invader Distortion Demo Video
The new Comet Chorus is an analogue bucket-brigade chorus pedal, again with two operating modes. Earth mode, provides a clean chorus sound, while Orbit mode introduces a bit of amplitude modulation to the effect, which can be adjusted with an internal trimpot. The controls for the pedal include a Wet/Dry Mix knob, plus modulation Depth and Speed.
RRP – USD 149
Comet Chorus Demo Video
Finally, we have the new Discoverer Delay, an all-analogue bucket-brigade delay circuit. The Delay ranges from 20ms to 600ms, and the delay feedback is adjusted by the Sustain knob. Then the Mix knob adjusts the amount of the wet signal.
Again, you have a toggle switch that adds in modulation, offering slight tape-like pitch flutter to full on wobbling modulation. You can also adjust this using the two internal trimpots.
RRP – USD 159
Discoverer Delay Demo Video
All five of the new Maestro Electronics pedals are true bypass, and will run from either a 9V battery or regulated 9V DC power supply. The launch price is pretty good at USD 149 for all but the Discoverer Delay, which is USD 159. I am really looking forward to trying them all out soon. Hopefully, Gibson will release more new pedal circuits under this classic brand name, as I am sure players will buy them at these price points