Iconic pedal brand Maestro is making a comeback this year – is the legendary Fuzz-Tone about to return?

Maestro Fuzz-Tone
(Image credit: Maestro/Instagram / Future)

Throughout music history, few effects pedals have been as influential as Maestro’s iconic Fuzz-Tone. Introduced in 1962, the flagship FZ-1 popularized the effect, paved the way for all other fuzz pedals, and was favored by a host of guitar heroes, including Keith Richards and Pete Townshend.

Now, after dropping a short clip on social media, Maestro has officially announced it will be making a comeback this year, and has teased a new pedal will arrive on January 18 – which begs the question: is the world-famous Fuzz-Tone set to return?

Put simply, it’s highly likely. Not only is the Fuzz-Tone Maestro’s most iconic pedal, but the announcement of the Gibson-owned brand’s return alluded heavily to 1962 – the year in which the FZ-1 was first unveiled to the world.

“While not everyone has heard of Maestro, everyone has heard Maestro,” a statement from the company reads. “And the world is about to hear it shape an entirely new generation of sound.”

It all sounds very promising, and while we’re not expecting the forthcoming pedal to sport the same chassis as its forebear – the Instagram clip shows off some futuristic-looking light action – it’s still likely to be a refined version of the classic FZ-1.

“In 1962, the world was introduced to Maestro, and everything changed,” the announcement continued. “Suddenly, musicians didn’t merely play music; they shaped their own unique sound formed by effects and both defined and shattered genres all at once.”

And, in case you still need convincing, Maestro has prefaced the quick-fire clip with the tagline, “The legend returns.” Well, we’re sold.

It remains to be seen how faithful this new pedal will be to the original blueprint – which featured a three-germanium transistor circuit powered by two 1.5-volt batteries – or if it will bear a greater resemblance to the three follow-up Fuzz Tones that Gibson released throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s.

If it is indeed an FZ-1-style pedal, it will be the first Fuzz-Tone to hit the market since Gibson briefly reissued the unit as the FZ-1a in the 1990s.

Keep your eyes peeled on Maestro’s official website, which will share all the details on January 18.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.