Maestro adds five smart new pedals to its retro-cool Original Collection

Maestro Original Collection pedals
(Image credit: Maestro Electronics)

Gibson reviving the Maestro brand on its 60th anniversary was one of the biggest pedalboard stories of the year, with the brand launching its rebirth with a fistful of new designs back in January. 

Now, having covered the main guitar effects pedal foodgroups with overdrive, distortion, chorus, delay, and of course a fuzz pedal that references the seminal FZ-1, Maestro Electronics has expanded the Original Collection with the addition of five new designs.

As per the original run of pedals, these are all housed in stylish, retro enclosures, with three dials and a mode switch, and top-mounted jacks for easy mounting. 

The new models include the Agena Envelope Filter, Arcas Compressor Sustainer, Mariner Tremolo, Orbit Phaser, and Titan Boost, and sounds-wise they range from the always-on tone enhancer to the transformative modulation option.

In the former category you might find the Arcas Compressor Sustainer. This is an all-analogue compressor pedal that has dials for Sustain, Attack, and Level, with a two-position HI/LO mode toggle switch.

The modes control the baseline sensitivity of the compressor; set it to LO for the compressor to apply a more laissez-faire approach to transient taming, or to HI if you really need it to get a grip of things and make that chicken pickin’ pop.

Like the best compressors, the Arcas can be used to enhance sustain and smooth out your playing, bringing out the best in your clean-picked arpeggios and making the leads stand on end.

Another pedal that could find itself more on than off is the Titan Boost. It is packing up to 25dB of clean gain that you can send right into the bullseye of your guitar amp, pushing your electric guitar tone into sweet, natural overdrive. 

Maestro says it has been designed to play nice with all kinds of pickups and amps, with dials for Tone, Level and HPF (High-Pass Filter) joined by a toggle switch that allows the HPF to roll off the low end and brighten dull amps or pickups, cleaning up any muddiness in the tone, or to be used as a regular tone control.

The Mariner Tremolo, meanwhile, offers Harmonic and Classic modes, with controls for Depth, Shape and Speed allowing you to sculpt your preferred intensity of amp-like throb. 

Classic will take you from subtle and smooth to chop, but if you want more texture, more hypnosis by dial, the Harmonic mode will get you there, referencing the sort of sounds that you might find from an ol’ vintage Bandmaster.

For swirl and chew, you’ve got the Orbit Phaser. Switchable between four and six-stage phaser modes, with controls for Width, Feedback, and Rate, this is totally old-school.

Maestro's phase shifting DNA is impeccable, with the Orbit arriving in a lineage that began in the '70s with the three-speed Maestro PS-1 – as in, the first phase shifter on the market, which was designed by Tom Oberheim with the intention of replicating a Leslie rotating speaker effect. 

Finally, for all you funkateers out there, we have the Agena Envelope Filter. A dynamic, Friday night effect, it is controlled by Sense, Attack, and Decay knobs, with switchable HI/LO filter modes to cater for your frequency preferences.

All of these look the business, complete with the red, yellow, and blue LED bugles on the front. They’ll take a 9V battery but better still attach to a reputable pedalboard power supply and all will be well. Priced from £155 / $149, these are available to order now. See Maestro Electronics for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.