Dismiss Notice

Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, get alerts, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

1976/1977 Maestro MFZ-1 fuzz (Moog designed!)

Discussion in 'For Sale: Effects and Pedals' started by JimmyThunder, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. Here's a pretty rare bird for ya, if you do a search here you'll find some threads on MFZ1 clones but I don't think anyone's ever sold an original here on TalkBass. I got this awhile back just to play the Jack Bruce part on Zappa's "Apostrophe" but have determined I need the money for car repairs more than I need a funky vintage pedal for just one song.

    Here's come copy-paste from people who know more about this stuff than I do:
    The original Maestro MFZ-1 went on sale in 1976 as part of the TFC (Total Foot Control) series that included the equally legendary Parametric Filter, Stage Phaser and Fuzztain. With design duties ceded to Moog Music, innovation was always going to be high on the agenda; from the novel enclosure design with foot-operated control knobs and the whole pedal exterior acting as bypass switch (imagine a giant Mac mouse!), to the use of then space-age IC op-amps in the distortion circuit. It must have looked very much like the future back in the mid-70s - in a way it was, for the op-amps + clipping diodes in feedback design went on to power countless classic overdrives. Maybe it was a touch too far ahead of its time, because the MFZ-1 was discontinued in 1978 just two years after it was introduced, making originals relatively scarce and attendantly expensive.
    You may well be reading this because you've read that the MFZ-1 is an key weapon in Black Keys man Dan Auerbach's considerable fuzzy arsenal; well, if you like that brand of raw garage-bred blues-rock, step this way... [this pedal] is a fuzz with a distinctly overdrive-y character, which means it handles chords (even fairly complex ones) extremely well and has a top-end sparkle and transparency on the treble strings that's good news for slide playing and quite unlike your typical 60s fuzz. Head on down to the lower registers and you'll find a truly beastly low-end response that'll handle a bass or baritone guitar especially well. Its unusually high (for a vintage design) input impedance means that it works well in front or beind a wah (where most vintage units will oscillate, eat your wah sweep or both). I've heard the MXR Distortion+ (another even earlier op-amp design) described as "a pissed off overdrive", well [this pedal] is a Distortion+ that badly wants to kick something in. Yow.

    As you can see from the photos it's in good shape for a 35-year-old pedal, with all the labels intact (thank the factory for installing the bottom one crooked). Paint has flaked off the bottom-right side but seems to have stabilized, none more has come off since I've owned it. The knobs can be a LITTLE scratchy when adjusting (with your foot! On the fly!) but some contract cleaner would likely help. The battery connector shorted so I replaced it with a new one, the original is included for collectability's sake. Battery door is missing, as seems to always be the case on these TFC-series pedals, I reckon they fell off easily. These Maestros are BIG pedals...I put that Digitech in the shot so you can get a size comparison, it is of course not included in the sale.

    Looking to get $200 plus shipping (CONUS only)...no trades unless you're in NH with a 90s Volvo 240 I can pick-n-pull... :)

  2. Awesomeness vintage bump
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. midweek bump & price drop!
  5. new week bump....c'mon people make an offer, I don't wanna deal with the 'bay
  6. final price drop...two hundred plus shipping (ten bucks-ish)...lets go lets go lets go
  7. One ninety shipped!

    C'mon you'll be the only one at the jam with this pedal, even if you're jamming with the pedal-king of your city.
  8. gnuleben67


    Feb 23, 2014
    Hi, do you still have the Maestro for sale?

    Would you consider shipping it to Norway?
  9. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    Posted this on the DAM forum for you. Great fuzz.
  10. yup still for sale but i won't send it out of the US sorry

    and thanks devnulljp
  11. amstudio


    Jul 3, 2010
    Medley, Fl
    Do you have a demo with bass?
  12. Marsy


    Mar 12, 2012
    Absolutely unbelievable with bass!
    Obviously has its cons, but the pros out way for sure!
    There is no bottom end loss, guaranteed!
  13. no i do not have any demos recorded
  14. price drop
    180 shipped