A Heavenly Upgrade: Choosing the Perfect Successor to the Mustang Maestro 60 in your Church Sound System

For many years, the Mustang Communications Maestro range of amplifiers were the preferred choice for sound systems in many churches across the UK. Two different models, the Maestro 60, and the Maestro 125, provided 60w and 125w of power, respectively. Unfortunately, the Maestro amplifiers from Mustang have been discontinued for many years now, and recently we’ve needed to consider alternatives for our customers. 

There is no doubt that the Maestro range was a brilliant choice for church sound system installations. Their robust design ensured outstanding audio quality, crucial for broadcasting the spoken word and music clearly in a reverent space. Having a basic layout, it was remarkably simple to use, allowing even the non-technical among us to easily manage sound levels. Simplified design really made it ideal for volunteer-run operations as many churches are.  

Moreover, from a technical aspect, the Maestro had everything a church needed for an adequate sound system. With two inputs dedicated for microphones, three other inputs which could be used for microphones or line level sources, and a sixth dedicated auxiliary input, it pretty much covered all bases for most church needs. Phantom Power – which was available on all microphone inputs, meant that it was compatible with a vast array of microphones. Output capabilities allowed for loudspeaker connectivity via 100v line and low impedance, with an additional link to allow the addition of a recording device or an induction loop system for the hard of hearing.

For a long time, an alternative amplifier which provided the same combined functionality, simplicity, and audio quality, was the A-1700 series from TOA. Offering 60w, 120w, and 240w versions, it catered for installations across the UK from the smallest village churches right through to the largest inner-city churches. With 9 audio inputs, it surpassed the needs of many church applications, but you could never have too much of a good thing. 

However, following the fate of the Maestro, the A-1700 series has been gone for a while now too which leaves us wondering…what is available today that can fulfil the requirements of a church sound system?

The Effectiveness of a Versatile Amplifier

After careful consideration, our go-to solution for houses of worship would still be the TOA brand. Currently they have a couple of ranges of amplifiers that fit very nicely into this sector. Thanks to the modern digital technology used, they offer eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions that are ideal in contemporary markets. 

The most basic offering is the A-3500 series. Boasting comparable 60w and 120w output options, as well as a 240w and a massive 480w option too, this range can easily be retrofitted to existing systems, allowing the retention of in-situ equipment and cabling, therefore reducing costs. This is possible thanks to available outputs compatible with 100v line and low impedance. When used in 100v line mode, there are direct outputs to feed the main body of the church, plus an additional two switched outputs to allow extended areas and external areas to be switched independently if the speakers are wired back separately. 

Furthermore, with the A-3500 series, you get a total of five audio inputs. The first four inputs can all be switched for microphone and line level connections, with the first two inputs having phantom power, generally for the pulpit and lectern mics. There is a dedicated auxiliary music input and an output to feed a recording device or induction loop system. You can also use a remote processing device with this amplifier to control audio feedback. 

However, if you are looking for feedback control, then it is worth considering the A-3600 series instead. Offering the same output levels as the A-3500 series, the A-3600 range takes you to the next level for sound system control, whilst still managing to provide an easy-to-use front panel for everyday users. The fundamental difference between the 3500 and 3600 series is all in the input capability, and the fancier control for fine tuning the sound. 

Offering four audio inputs with phantom power, two additional inputs for line level audio sources and a dedicated music input, the 3600 boasts an impressive 7 input capability. Control is achieved from the front panel rotary dials, but the system can be expanded using remote volume controls – an ideal solution for places of worship where the sound system may not be accessible during a service.  

Additionally, for anyone who has wandered too close to a speaker with a microphone on and made the room collectively wince, the built-in digital audio equalisation and feedback suppression is there to stop that nasty squeal, helping the A-3600 really stand out against the competition.


In conclusion, with any sound system it’s always good to talk through your requirements and the options available. We are always ready for a chat, and with a multitude of manufacturers in our portfolio and countless church audio system installations, we are confident that we will help you achieve the perfect solution. 

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The amplification requirements of a Sound System tend to vary. However, the implementation of a first class amplifier can stand the test of time.

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