I had that system way back when the first came out. Probably the early 70's. I remember one incident on a gig where I had it plugged into the PA system, which had cheapo speakers, and blew both speakers after playing an octave or two below the tenor I had it installed on.
I used the pickup you mention and installed it in the top of the neck. I don't think I would do that on my Ref. 54 though. I had the unit mounted on a mic stand. Had a lot of fun with it, and sold it many years ago.
That Eddie Harris video is great! If I remember correctly, he modified a sax mouthpiece and used it on a trumpet, and did some recordings with it.
BTW, for anyone that wants a better look at the unit here's a Youtube link:
Thanks for that Danny and nice to hear from someone who got one first time around.
Can you remember what accessories came with it?
Did you get for example the pickup ports with the thread seperately or in a Maestro sax piece?
Was there a Maestro clarinet barrel with a pickup port installed with it?
These may have been aftermarket accessories. I have the original Gibson brochure but there's no mention of accessories.
Thanks for any help. Mike
i bought mine new after trying a Varitone. Bill Tole Sr., the regional Selmer rep (father of Bill who leads the Jimmy Dorsey band currently), let me try the Varitone pickups and they worked with the Maestro. Purchased necks for alto and tenor from Selmer and used them successfully with the Maestro. The clarinet barrel with plug mic on the side came standard; the optional tenor mpc was very closed, with a plug mic on top with a cut out on the top of the cap to fit around the mounted mic . I still have all the components including the Maestro unit stand.
Mike, It was so long ago I don't remember anything about the included accessories. I seem to remember I had something called an "RB" pickup, that worked well with the system. The base was glued or soldered into the neck (in my case) and there was a small rubber o-ring that held the pickup that you plugged in. There was a cap that was used to seal the mount when the pickup wasn't being used. I'm pretty sure I installed a pickup and used the system with a flute also. That's about all I remember concerning that unit.
Funny, I recently incorporated the Boss HR-2 harmonist pedal into my gigging setup, and use a touch of octave help to fatten the sound. Of course, it doesn't change the sound as the Maestro system did, but it does give me the octave effect. Sure is a lot smaller, being a small foot pedal.
Thankyou both for the helpful answers. Danny I have an RB pickup. I got it off a member here NOS and I have it in one of my alto pieces. I haven't tried it with the Maestro unit yet but I have used it effectively in the studio with effects pedals mostly wah wah.
I used some pickups back in the late 70's/ 80's myself. Barcus Berry on my alto and a flute pickup that replaced the cork assembly made by Ken Tootle here called the Tootle Bug...I still have that one and intend to reinstall it when I get around to buying another head. I was also kindly given a NOS Leblanc pickup recently by a member here..that one is similar to the old Barcus Berry and goes under the reed.
I have two Maestro units now a W2 and a W3 and they share a foot switch. My interest really was stimulated by a lifelong love of the late 60's/early 70's Mothers of Invention
and with knowledge gained through the internet and the access of Ebay and SOTW I decided to go for it. I have always loved the vintage electric sax sounds
and I like the old technology and even though a lot of the effects can easily be recreated today the vintage sound has an authenticity I find fascinating.
Thanks a lot Mike
Finally got a Maestro pick up port (plus an original Maestro tenor piece) thanks to a kind SOTW member. My Maestro pick ups fit beautifully with just a little twist.
So theoretically I'm good to go to test the Maestro W3 and W2 My intention is to have the port mounted in a spare V1 alto neck so that's the next stage in my quest to recreate the classic late 60's MOI electric sax sound.
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