Maestro’s Comet Chorus and Discoverer Delay, from the company’s Original Collection effects series, may have a retro-chic aesthetic, but they bring a pronounced (and welcome) modern twist.
Both are analog and use bucket-brigade device (BBD) tech, a chip invented in 1968-’69 by the Philips Research Labs. It’s basically a brilliant mini circuit within a circuit, which is how Maestro fits a full, lush-sounding delay or chorus circuit into a stompbox.
The Discoverer provides delay range from 20 to 600 milliseconds, which is all most players will want, going from a classic ’50s slapback to plenty far out sounds. You can adjust the number of delay repeats via the Sustain control, or level of delay by tweaking the Mix knob. The toggle adjusts modulation from a tape-like wow and flutter with saturation to a NASA-level pitch shift. Internal trim pots tweak modulation Rate and Width.
The Comet is equally adaptable; in Earth mode, the toggle offers a shimmering chorus effect, while switching to Orbit adds amplitude modulation for a Leslie/Uni-Vibe rotary-speaker effect. Again, an internal trim pot adjusts levels of modulation. Both use a 9-volt battery or wall wart and employ a true-bypass on/off footswitch.
Like their sounds, styling is another tip of the hat to the space age – vintage control knobs, mod graphics, and lights in the funky trumpets graphic add up to unique-looking boxes.
So, how do they sound?
Both are natural and warm-sounding, offering everything you expect from a delay or chorus that’s not some fantastical boutique objets d’art at a distant-galaxy price. They’re solidly built, straightforward in function, and ready to get down to the business of making music.
This article originally appeared in VG’s October 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.