Monday, December 21, 2009

Fuchs



If you've ever had the pleasure of plugging into a Fuchs amplifier you know just how much attention to detail goes into their sound, build, and design. Of gear that has landed on our doorsteps in the last decade or so I can honestly say the Fuchs Audio Tech is amongst the top 10 names available today. So who's responsible for this dream-tone building machine? The name's Andy Fuchs, and he ain't no ordinary tone chasing freak. This man is a true artist of the game, an audio archeologist, and a tone architect of our time. Andy's ability to design gear capable of reproducing yesterday's golden tones is mind-blowing! Within the Fuchs line you will also find a handful of gear with Andy's own touch, gear that many of today's heavyweight's choose to use in their setups. When I first discovered the Fuchs name I remember saying to myself "If only these cats had their own pedals..." So when the Plush FX line came rolling out of the gate a few years back you can only imagine how stoked I must have been. Just like the Fuchs amplifiers every pedal that comes from the Plush FX line is outstanding. All pedals are built from the highest quality components, and are capable of an array if tones that will keep you busy busy busy. We're gonna be taking a look at two of AWC's favorite Plush FX pedals, the Extreme Cream overdrive, and Good Verbrations reverb unit. If you guys aren't up on these killer pedals this is a great place to start. Dig it!


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Extreme Cream
overdrive


* Cast Aluminum Housing
* Industrial Powder Coat Finish
* Heat Cured Silk Screen Labeling
* Cliff 3PDT True Bypass
* Neutrik Connectors
* Metal Shaft Controls
* Mil Spec Circuit Board Construction
* 5 Year Warranty
* Made in the USA


I'll tell you one thing, they nailed the name of this pedal dead on the spot. When it comes to a smooth, lush, creamy overdrive, there's no better place to stop than this bad boy. The Extreme Cream is the overedriver for the player looking to get all his dirt tones from one box. The pedal offers two identical 3-knob channels that produce a handful of sweet sounding tones. The "Hot" channel is voiced more heavier overdrive, all-out distortion, and searing lead tones. The "Warm" channel projects more of a rhythm tone, giving you subtle to crunchy overdrive tones. The Extreme Cream's two channels when combined with your root tone will cover just about everything you'll need for the stage, recording studio, and band practice. Both channels sport Level, Tone, and Gain knobs. The LEDs are super for bright which make this a killer pedal for gigging outdoors or on dark stages. The Extreme Cream's circuit consists of high quality IC's and hand selected FET's, this gives the pedal it's organic tube-like tone and keeps the noise level at a minimum. The overall design is very sleek and intelligent, making east use of this pedal and handing you quick usable tones from one minute to the next.

Round #1:

Like all overdrive pedals that come through AWC there is one guitar's test they must pass, and that is my beloved Lady, my candy apple red custom Tele. The first amp tone we set up was a sparkling clean Hot Rod Deville sound, plugged into the low channel with everything at 7 except the bass knob between 4-5, and reverb level at 2. I set the Extreme Cream's Warm channel with it Level knob matching the amp's output, the Tone at about 10'o'clock, and Gain at 9'o'clock. The Hot channel was set a bit hairier, it's Level knob a touch above the amp's output, Tone at noon for more bite, and Gain at noon. We felt these two settings would be a perfect starting point for getting an taste of what the two different channel are capable of and an idea of how they work together. I started with some simple rock riffing with the pedal bypassed, the sound was crispy clean no sign of mean. Once engaged the Extreme Cream's Warm channel produced a buttery, semi-clean dirt tone, just like a tube amp on the verge of break-up. The sound could easily be tamed by lightening my strumming or rolling back a click of my guitar's volume knob. Adding in the Hot channel dished out an entire new flavor, everything became more intense, saturated, and compressed. The little extra output I dialed into the Hot channel along with it's more aggressive voicing made it sound huge. I had a spot-on classic rock tone, and with Lady's tone knob rolled back and neck humbucker switched on I was able to get a killer woman tone. Any pedal that's capable of giving you a woman tone through a Tele and Fender Deville is rockin in my book.

Round #2

For some more extreme settings I pulled out the Les Paul and Stratocatser, I wanted to hear the differences between both of the guitar's characters. I used a couple of classic reissue amps with each guitar, a Bluesbreaker and Princeton Reverb (thanks to my buddy's awesome studio). The first setup was the Les Paul through the Princeton, with the amp set to a low volume super clean tone. The Extreme Cream was set hotter for these runs, the Warm channel with it's Level at around 2'o'clock (to push the amp a bit), Tone at 10'o'clock, and Gain at 2'o'clock. I played some bluesy lead runs with the pedal bypassed first, picking lightly and smoothly to get as clean a tone as possible. I kicked in the Warm channel and BOOM! Everything jumped out and bit like a angry rattle snake. The pedal broke my amp into a Brown Sugar Stones tone, my chords rumbled with perfect balance and clarity. What's really sweet about this pedal is that it responds to your pick attack just like a tube amp does. All of the little undertones and overtones you can get from a overdriven amp as possible with the Extreme Cream. Next I stepped on the channel switch and engaged the Hot channel. The Hot channel was was set exactly the same only the Gain was set between 3-4. The second I switched it in all of my frequencies bloomed into fat'n'saturated lead tone. Each note was extremely pronounced and velvety. The amount of control I was able to get from the overdrive sound was unbelievable. I was able to manipulate every little nuance, bit of feedback, and vibration. How the hell Andy pulled this off is beyond me, I would absolutely kill to apprentice under this man. Next up to bat was the Strat through the Princeton, same amp and pedal settings. Now there was a difference in the sound of course, but the attitude and character of the pedal's tone was still there 100%. With the single coils there was much more of an bounce and edge to the overdrive. Through the Warm channel it reminded me of a jazzy Stevie Ray Vaughn tone. The sound was warm, round, gritty, and grimy, a very clever sound for pulling off a bunch of different music genres. With the Hot channel thrown into the mix it is was Hendrix city all the way. I added in my wah and had the drive screeching and wailing, every rock of my foot sizzled the Extreme Cream's tone higher and angrier. I added in more amp volume to make things even louder and to my delight the pedal stayed quiet and kept. By this point I was stunned at cool of a pedal this is. Last I would just have to say I see no way to wrong here, I found no bad tone out of this monster. Everything I threw at this pedal and every application I put it up against worked out beautifully. I would imagine all of the Plush FX overdrive and distortion units sound this killer. I would love to hear what else Andy has up his sleeve, or hear what his delay units sound like. This is no hype friends, these are pro-to-the-fessional sounding stompboxes. We will be looking at more of these awesome pedals in the near future so please stay tuned. The Extreme Cream has officially been chosen to appear on our next record too, we will share that with you once we get some takes recorded. Can you dig it!!?


For more info on Fuchs Audio Technology or Plush FX go to www.fuchsaudiotechnology.com Whether it be amp or pedal, you will find something remarkable on this website. I am saving up for a Fuchs amp I'll tell you that much. Peace friends.




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