Maestro Comet Chorus Pedal review

Guitar players, synth enthusiasts, and hardware geeks are constantly on the lookout to find the secret weapon that will make them sound unique and set them apart from the myriad of gearheads making music with similar tools. This search for individuality has opened up a massive market for boutique pedals, effect boards, modulators, and more. 

And none of these effects can help completely turn a sound on its head more than pedals that introduce modulation to a sound. Slowly shifting the timbres of a sound or drastically wobbling them through fierce amplitude changes can be the secret sauce to taking a generic sound wave and turning it into something captivating. 

I demoed the Maestro Comet Chorus Pedal, which packs a ton of potential for modulation in a small five-node guitar pedal, in hopes of finding out if it deserves a place on the effects board that I use for almost all of the synths and guitar tones across all of my productions. 

So, let’s dive into what the heck this pedal is, my favorite features it has, what I’m not crazy about, and some other fun goodies I discovered along the way…

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What Is Maestro Comet Chorus Pedal?

The Maestro Comet Chorus Pedal is one of ten guitar pedals that Gibson released in the newly launched Maestro “Original Collection” line of pedals. 

Staying true to the minimal, two-mode aesthetic that is common across all of the pedals in this new line, the bread and butter of the Comet’s functionality comes from its twin modes that are able to be toggled between through the switch located at the center top of the pedal. The two modes are Earth mode and Orbit mode.

Earth mode offers a fairly broad swing of classic chorus affection, all of which can be dialed in and adjusted through the Depth control. Earth mode is essentially your bread-and-butter chorus effect that, when pushed to its extremes, introduces pitchiness and a swirling effect highly sought after in many genres.

Next comes the more avant-garde style of chorus that Maestro brings to the table. With Orbit mode enabled, light amplitude modulation creates a slow-moving rotary effect that adds an out-of-this-world churning effect to the sound. This effect mode is far more “in your face” than the Earth mode and can be just the ticket to creating a truly unheard-of sound. 

Check Out Our Deep Dive Into The Maestro Mariner Tremolo Here 👈

My Favorite Features Of The Maestro Comet Chorus Pedal

Maestro Comet Chorus Pedal review

After playing around with this thing in the studio, using it on guitars and synths alike, I came across a few features that really stood out and made this pedal a serious contender for space (of which it takes up a lot) on my pedal board. 

Here are the three features that I was most impressed by in the Maestro Comet Chorus pedal.

It’s Got A Dry/Wet Knob! 

I know that this is not as infrequently seen in chorus pedals today as it used to be, but the fact that it has a dry/wet knob that allows you to dial in just how much of the effect you want is amazing. 

Chorus effects overall tend to be very distinctive and sound-altering, which usually makes any sound that you use it on sound a bit “chorusy” overall. That might work for niche shoegaze genres and synthwave productions, but having the flexibility to dial in your chosen amount of chorus on your hardware gear is awesome to have in this retro-styled pedal. 

It Has A Unique Sound

Now all chorus effects have a similar vibe of creating a “doubled in unison” style of sound, but the two different modes – Earth and Orbit – on the Comet Chorus Pedal offer a truly unique sound that can be just what certain producers are looking for. 

For me, I am constantly looking for ways to use gear unexpectedly or to find the unexpected gear that can set my synths apart from the sea of other producers using the same devices. That is exactly what the Maestro Comet Chorus does – and it helps turn even the screaming resonance filter sweeps of my Korg MS-20 into floaty and rich cascades of sound. 

“A lot of choruses harken back to the ’80s with that crystal-clear sound, and we wanted to allow some of that, but also add a different flavor.” – Craig Hockenberry, Gibson’s Director of Engineering

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And if you’re looking for a more standard effect from this chorus pedal, the Comet can handle that too with its classic Earth mode, which you can toggle with a simple switch of a button. Between this functionality and the dry/wet knob included above, you can have either a drastic and warbled tremolo-like effect that washes you in the face all the way down to a delicate whisper of the effect (or anything in between).

It’s Cheap! 

This pedal retails for $135 at the time of writing this article, which is damn cheap for what you get! 

I mostly justify this price point based solely on the two features mentioned above; you get an outboard effects pedal for your guitars or synths with a high level of utilization for a far more approachable price point than many other pedals that are coming on to market these days. 

Plus, it’s built like a truck too. While I haven’t had a chance to take this thing out on the road just yet, am sure it can handle the rigors of life on the road.

Learn More About My Favorite Pedals To Use On Synths Here 👈

What I Wasn’t That Crazy About

comet chorus pedal review

After using this guitar pedal on a few different instruments in my studio for a few different production styles, I came to a few extra conclusions that should be worth mentioning to anyone looking to invest in this studio upgrade. 

Its Size 

Compared to a few of the other pedals I have been using over the past couple of years, I will say that the Maestro Comet Chorus is a bit cumbersome and clunky. As such, it doesn’t fit snugly into my pedal board as my other pedals do. On the same note, it is also far heavier than many other pedals and its weight can certainly be felt when added to a bag or board. 

Now for some, I am sure it is a worthwhile trade, as I have mentioned above that the durable design of this thing is robust and hefty, and the tradeoff might be well justified for many. But it was worth mentioning that regardless. 

But this was just my first impression of the pedal and after doing a bit of digging and consulting with Gibson’s team of professionals, I came to notice that the top-mounted jacks are a real game changer here. Many other chorus pedals, like the BOSS CH-1 of the MXR M234, have side-mounted input and output jacks which make them seem slim and slender until it’s time to fire them up. The added width introduced by the side-mounted jacks on many pedals is an unseen adage of bulk that the Comet completely avoids.  

Its Sound Might Not Be Usable By All 

I personally consider this pedal’s unique take on the classic chorus effect to be one of its shining qualities, but I can also see that its specific sound might not be for everyone.

If you’re a synth or guitar player looking to add a more conventional chorus to your arsenal, the Earth mode on this pedal might be exactly what you’re looking for and you may never have a need for the Orbit mode. But then again, it might not be what you’re after and you might think that $135 is a lot to pay for another conventional chorus pedal. 

For me personally, the Comet Chorus Pedal’s unique sound is what makes it all for me, and that is why it has earned a spot in my pedal line-up (at least for a few specific applications).

Who Makes The Maestro Pedals?

Gibson originally launched the Maestro branding back in the early 60 with a pedal that would go on to define an entire range of what we now refer to as “stomp-box” effect pedals. Back in 1962, they launched the brand with the Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz Tone pedal which was a two-knob stomp-box effect that was used on iconic records like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” and others.

And while the Maestro line later went on to create many other products before it eventually went on hiatus in the late 70s, Gibson has now made a power move by reopening the Maestro doors with a completely new line of analog pedals that can outshine and compete with the glossy digital pedals with all their bells, whistles, and fancy UIs. 

By contrast, the entire line of Maestro Original Collection pedals that are being released harken back to the original design of the FZ-1 and feature a bulky, metal box and a minimal number of knobs and dials, allowing you to lock into your rich and warm sound without ever having to second-guess which parameter you should press. 

Specs On The Maestro Comet Chorus Pedal

  • Pedal Type: Chorus
  • Analog/Digital: Analog
  • Inputs: 1 x 1/4″
  • Outputs: 1 x 1/4″
  • True Bypass: Yes
  • Power: 9V DC power supply or 9V DC alkaline battery (sold
  • separately)
  • Power Usage: 55.4mA
  • Batteries: 1 x 9V
  • Height: 2.5″
  • Width: 3.45″
  • Depth: 5.04″
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs. (including battery)

Learn More About This Pedal While Supporting Our Team Of Writers Through Our Partnership With Sweetwater Right Here 👈

Our Favorite Demos Of The Maestro Comet Chorus Pedal

We scoured the interview to find the best videos that we think give the best interpretation of what the Maestro Comet Chorus Pedal can do so that you can hear this pedal in action and decide for yourself if it is right for you.

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