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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fuchs Audio Technology Plush FX Pedals... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: 
Cream™ $199.99 USD + shipping & tax 
The Plush® Drive™ $229.99 USD & shipping & tax 
Noxious $249.99 USD + shipping & tax 
Pure Gain® $179.00 USD + shipping & tax 

Fuchs Audio Technology is an American manufacturer of boutique guitar amplifier and effects pedals.

This review is on the Plush FX Cream, The Plush Drive, Noxious and Pure Gain point-to-point hardwired effects pedals.

Guitar used: 
Jac Harrison signature Chili Caster by Chili Custom Guitars

Amp used:
Bogner Alchemist 1x12
1972 Fender Bassman head through a 2x12
Epiphone Valve JR head through a 1x12
Fender Frontman 1x12

Cables used:

Strings used:
Dark Horse 10-46

When it comes to effects pedals there are more options than happy endings found at your favorite massage parlor. Anyone with access to the interwebs can buy DIY kits from many different manufacturers, kind-of-build them correctly, put their logo on them and sell them as "boutique". This results in the consumer (that's you) getting a less that desirable tone and possibly turning you off to real boutique pedals and effects. A good rule of thumb when buying anything, is making sure that the person manufacturing the product knows what they are doing, and that they have a good reputation. Andy Fuchs (the brains behind Fuchs Audio Technology) has a great reputation for not only building a quality product, but one that has distinctive tonal characteristics that others try to emulate. Just like the amplifiers Andy builds; his effect pedal line "Plush FX" is built with attention to detail and from the highest quality of materials making the Plush FX line of pedals durably for a gigging musician. 

This review is on (4) different pedals from the Plush FX line, (3) OD pedals and (1) signal processor.  All (4) will be included in the 2013 Local Music Gear pedal comparison. 

Pure Gain:
Out of the (4) pedals in this review, this is my personal favorite. There are more than a few manufacturers that can make a quality pedal that changes/alters the tone of your guitar, but very few can make a transparent signal processor. This pedal gave me an uncolored signal that made my guitar sound the same as if I was using a 3 foot cable directly into the amp, but while running through (10) effect pedals. In my opinion this is a must have addition to any pedalboard so the player, (that's you) can get the full dynamic response and tone through the full chain -- from guitar to amp. 

The Plush® Drive™:
According to the Fuchs website; "The Plush® Drive™ was designed for those who want the true tone, response and feel of boutique tube amps like the Dumble, Two-Rock or Fuchs®, at a reasonable price". Since many boutique pedal builders say the same thing I wanted to really put this pedal to the test. For this review I went to a local music store to play it through the most undesirable, blah sounding amp ever made in-my-opinion, the solid state Fender Frontman 1x12. I figured that if this pedal was going to do what Mr. Andy Fuchs claimed it would do, this would be the amp to try it out on. To say the least it dramatically changed the dynamics of this amp, almost opening her up and letting her breath. This pedal delivered a touch sensitive dynamic boutique amp vibe to this POS amp, so now I wanted to try her through something that already had some tone. The second amp I played her through was my all-tube Bogner Alchemist 1x12. Once again this pedal delivered a boutique quality tone to my amp, but with another layer. It sounded like I added a fuzz box in front of a boutique amp giving me a vintage fuzzy crunch (very ZZ top lighters on my dresser) and it was controllable via the "gain" knob where on the solid state amp it just delivered traditional crunch. So in regards to Mr. Andy Fuchs statement on his web site -- it's true and this is a quality pedal that makes your amp work harder instead of coloring it.  

This is Andy Fuchs answer to the ts-808. SRV made the ts-808 famous for a reason -- it is a great pedal. I found two differences between the Fuchs Cream and my ts-808. First, and most important (in-my-opinion) the Cream is point-to-point hand wired and is built with only top quality parts here in the states. Second, I found the Cream had more of a dynamic response to how hard I was playing. My tone cleaning up a little more with a soft hand and broke up a touch more with a hard hand. If you are in the market for a ts-808 or you want to step up from your ts9 -- this is the pedal for you.

Originally designed for Nick Catanese of Black Label Society, this pedal offers the player  that rip-your-face off tone that some guys live for. To do this pedal justice my "metal head" counter partner on Gear Guys radio (Jon Hernandez), will be doing a full review of this pedal within the next few weeks. What I can say about it is that offers the same dynamic response that the other Fuchs pedals offered -- and I was able to dial in many different tones with the on-board EQ.   

My advice:
Pedals are one of those personal products that you need to connect with. When shopping for a pedal the most important thing is quality of build, and I am 100% positive that you are not only getting a quality product when buying a Fuchs Plush pedal, but you are getting a pedal that does what it was intended to do -- give you tone. So my advice is play one.  

Fuchs Audio Technology
407 Getty Avenue
Clifton, New Jersey 07011
(973) 772-4420

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Posted 10/2013
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