Tone Shaping with Maestro Pedals

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Tone Shaping with Maestro Pedals

maestro pedals
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

Diving into the latest five pedals from the "Founder of Effects"

Designed to cover all bases, Maestro pedals whip your sound into a frenzy, all with the grit, bite, and mojo of the ‘50s and ‘60s sound that we’re all chasing whether we realise it or not! 

The first run of Maestro range of pedals landed in 2021 and are here to stay. Modelled after the sounds of the golden years, the initial release of pedals featured the Ranger Overdrive, Invader Distortion, Discoverer Delay, Comer Chorus, and the highly revered Fuzz-Tone FZ-M.

Read all the latest features, columns and more here.

2022 sees the release of a new range of sounds from Maestro, building on an already stellar line up, and managing to cover new ground in their effects while retaining the pedalboard friendly, true bypass design of the initial release.

The new range has modulation covered with the Orbit Phaser and Agena Envelope Filter, before moving into volume and drive territory with the Mariner Tremolo, Arcas Compressor Sustainer, and Titan Boost. 

While the initial run feels like effects and sounds for ear candy, the newest releases are a line of stalwart pedals, ‘always on’ style effects that can reinterpret your tone in their own words. Here are the five latest Maestro pedals on offer.

Titan Boost

The Titan Boost is a super simple design with Maestro’s now iconic groovy artwork scattered across its otherwise brushed metal enclosure. Coloured with lime green, the Titan Boost is a three-knob boost pedal powered by 9V and featuring a single input and output. There’s a level control for gain, as well as a tone knob that subtly rolls off high end while making the mids and lows more present while that happens for added warmth.

What makes the Titan unique is the high pass filter, which is engaged by switching the HPF/flat toggle on and off. Flat leaves your tone unaffected and acts as a super transparent boost, while the HPF mode allows for the nice low-end roll off that can help a solo cut through while also being boosted.

Arcas Compressor Sustainer

If you’re beginning to think about shaping your tone to cut through while remaining balanced, a compressor is hard to go by. The Arcas Compressor Sustainer is Maestro’s take on a popular guitar effect, used to both tighten your tone and emphasise your feel and articulation.

The Arcas is a pedal simple enough to use, with the sustain knob controlling how much compression is applied – like a combo input/threshold control. The attack controls how fast the compressor kicks in once that threshold is met, and the level adjusts the gain once the compressor is doing its thing. The hi/lo toggle in the middle of the pedal is to set up the pedal for both high output and low output pickups like single coils, actives or humbuckers.

Mariner Tremolo

Sitting pretty in the middle of the new range of Maestro is the Mariner Tremolo, a bit of a combo gain and modulation beast. Featuring classic controls like depth and speed, the Mariner also features a shape control to adjust how extreme the effect on the volume is, and a harmonic/classic toggle to switch between a modulating, dual-tremolo mode in harmonic mode, and a more classic, subtle tremolo in, uh – classic!

Agena Envelope Filter

Moving right ahead to one of the more extreme sounds in the range, the Agena is an envelope filter that can move from super modest modulation to full blown warbling rage. The sense knob controls sensitivity, and acts a bit like a mix knob by adjusting how much of your dry signal is fed into the effect before being modulated.

Attack and decay act as a way to adjust how fast the filtering effect begins once you hit a note, and then how much it hangs over your playing once the signal has hit threshold. Again, the hi/lo toggles between input types to adjust optimal gain for different pickups.

Orbit Phaser

Rounding out the new range from Maestro is the Orbit Phaser, a seemingly simple phaser with familiar width, rate, and feedback controls. Where the Orbit deviates though, is in the 4-stage and 6-stage toggle, switching between varying amounts of phase stages for progressively in-your-face phase sounds. For those playing at home, 4-stage phasers are some of the most common and will handle most of your stock standard phaser needs. The 6-stage mode is where you get creative.

And there it is, five new sounds from the recently revived company who may very well have started us all on this pedal chasing journey. Maestro’s fresh range of pedals bring more niche and unique sounds to our boards, and only serve to complement their existing offerings, with both extreme settings and ‘always on’ style sounds available within each pedal. They’re simple, accessible, professional quality, and they look the part. Count us in, Maestro.

Head to Maestro for more information. For local enquiries, reach out to Australis Music.