Maestro Electronics has been around for 60 years and is best known for creating the FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone used by Keith Richards to play the legendary lick on “Satisfaction.”
Maestro recently introduced five pedals in a new Original Collection that includes the Arcas Compressor Sustainer and Titan Boost, each purporting to deliver secret sauce for any guitar rig.
The Titan Boost is great for beefing up an amp with natural overdrive or making guitar solos pop. Its Hi-Pass Filter knob tweaks low-end frequencies while Flat mode maintains transparency. There’s also a Tone knob to adjust high frequencies, and Level increases output volume up 25db. All help dial up oomph with sizzle and warmth without sounding piercing or muddy, no matter if you’re using humbuckers or single-coils. Construction is solid and includes true-bypass switching and a colorful LED indicator.
The Arcas Compressor Sustainer tightens single notes, fattens funky rhythm parts, and works as a clean boost to punch through a stage mix. It’s great for any style of music and offers two modes of compression – Hi for lower-output pickups/single-coils, Lo for humbuckers. The Sustain knob sets compression level from mild to intense, Attack controls response time (how quickly the compression engages), and Level alters overall output. The LED indicator lets the user know when the pedal is engaged, which is great for onstage use. The result is a tight, punchy sound that adds sweetness or a thicker attack to single notes or complex chord voicings.
The Titan Boost and Arcas Compressor Sustainer both create a lo-fi earthiness that maintains an amp’s character while adding tonal flexibility and volume. Though they boast retro aesthetics, their function is state-of-the-art sweetening.
This article originally appeared in VG’s February 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.