Fuchs Plush Drive - quick initial review

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Trebor Renkluaf, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Just a quick review of my new Fuchs/Plush Plush Drive Pedal.

    The pedal arrived this afternoon – thanks to Teddy at Musictoyz. It’s finished in a cool green color that gives it a kind of nuevo retro look. The controls are touch, gain, tone and level and has the ********ed frickin’ super bright blue LED that Robert Keeley has forced upon us. Why do so many people like those things? Why do so many manufactures have to use them? They frickin’ hurt my eyes. I want to wear a welders mask when using pedals that have them – you would too if you read the warning on them. Ok, off of my soap box. Inside half of the PC board is covered in some red goop, but other than that looked clean and well made.

    Test amp was my Carmen Ghia set clean, test guitar my Tom Anderson Hollow Drop Top Classic. I fist set the controls to 12:00 o’clock with the level at about 9:00 o’clock. I turned the pedal on and got a substantial volume drop – I had to get the level up to about 1:00 o’clock or so to achieve unity gain at this setting. I was greeted by a dark, smokey overdrive that at once felt natural. On the Anderson’s neck pickup (a stacked single that I use in split mode) I noticed how touch sensitive the Plus Drive was – I could roll my guitars volume down and get a nice, warm clean tone and then turn the volume back up for overdrive, nice. I think players who like to use their guitars volume control to control the level of OD could easily find a set and forget setting using the pedal. Switching to the bridge bucker I was greeted with a nice crunch that would be great for crunchy rhythms, or lower gain leads. I was also impressed that it didn’t mask which pickup I was using – even with the gain full up the neck pickup sounded like my neck pickup and the bridge pickup sounded like my bridge pickup.

    The touch control allows one to go from a very touch sensitive overdrive (fully counter-clockwise) to a more compressed and gainier overdrive (fully clockwise). It sounded good in all positions, but I tended to leave it around the 12:00 o’clock setting.

    With the gain full up, and touch all the way clockwise it produced a good amount of smooth gain and sustain. It does tend to favor darker, smokier tones. I had the tone at about 3:00 o’clock and it was still a little darker than I normally played. Still the tone was so round and warm it invited me in. Again, even at full gain it didn’t mask the sound of the guitars pickups.

    There is not a whole lot of level available: with the gain full off, and the touch fully counter-clockwise (cleanest setting) I had to have the level full up to achieve unity gain. Even with the tone control full up there was a slight darkening of the tone.

    Overall I was very impressed and can’t wait to try it in a live setting. I think it will find favor among those who like a darker, smokier OD tone. It had me wanting to pull out a tele and plug into an amp with a tad of reverb for some smokey, jazzy blues.
     
  2. LVC

    LVC Senior Member

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    Pedal just sounds ridiculous with a tele. Set the pedal to a nice breakup on full vol then roll back the vol on tele.... it just sounds sick.

    Love it through my Suhr antiguity tele.

    Here is a picture of the tele -- My pride & Joy

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Sweet gitfiddle. I'm in the process of cherrying out my G&L ASAT Classic semi-hollow, it's in need of a good set up right now, but I'm sure the Plush Drive will sound great with it.
     
  4. LVC

    LVC Senior Member

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    I am pretty blown away by the couple of pedals I have tried.... and I am not easily impressed by pedals... I have and have had the best of the best (especially in the OD category) and his pedals (at least the ones I have tried) blow them all out of the water.

    I really want to get my hands on the Extreme Cream and the compressor.

    Now if he made a nice echo unit --- sort of a Chandler flavored stomp box echo, I'd be all over that one as well in a heartbeat.
     
  5. Csapo

    Csapo Gold Supporting Member

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    This review pretty much sums it up. My only other complaint (in addition to the afore mentioned very bright LED) is that the knob settings are very heard to read. I might have to change out these knobs.

    This is a terrific pedal. :AOK I used it at rehearsal today and while I did not do much tweaking (other band members have no tolerance), I dialed in a nice smooth OD, set around 1 o'clock. I used my Klon (set clean) to push it for leads and man did it sustain and sing. I was using a JM Sig Strat with the Big Dipper p/ups through a Carr Mercury set clean.

    FYI, so you know my point of reference, the other Dumble type pedals I have or have had include Hermida "Zendrive" (gave to my brother in law for Xmas, but another is on the way), Jettergear "Gain Stage Red" (about to now sell), CustomTone "Ethos TLE" (sold), Gaspedal "Dumb Bell" (sold) and the Menatone Howie (sold).

    This Fuchs Plush Drive is terrific pedal and will be sticking around. :dude

    Congrats Mr. Fuchs!!!...:BEER
     
  6. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

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    Just curious, what does the Plush Drive do for you that the other pedals - the ones you've sold or are about to - didn't?

    Also, I read one report complaining that the Plush Drive has too much bass response, or at least it has more bass than the bypass signal. Do you find this to be the case?
     
  7. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    Thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate the comparisons to the other hallowed pedals. Makes me feel I did my job right ! :D

    I recently got this review from one of our dealers:

    Review of the Fuchs designed Plush Drive Pedal with Distortion and
    Clean Boost capabilities...

    The first of the new Plush pedals to arrive to us here at Radical Tone was the coveted and much buzzed about "Plush Drive." First look- a comfortable sized footpedal, not so big that it will swallow your pedal board and not so small that you'll have to wear pointy cowboy boots to click it on. A pretty green pedal with white lettering and a textured metal box. Nice.

    For this review I used my Eric Johnson Strat with a Fuchs ODS 50 early model ODS-HT combo with an Eminence Red, White and Blues speaker. Four knobs grace the top of the unit along with the LED light and an on/off switch -- which is useless. I mean, why would you ever want to turn it off? Okay, well, maybe sometimes you'll want it off, maybe! Back to the review...The knobs are nice, tight and smooth. Get your settings and don't worry about them drifting when your drummer starts his double kick routine -- they won't move. But they're not so tight that you need a pair of pliers to move them either -- they're just right.

    Initial reactions... I plugged it in, then unplugged it and plugged the guitar in directly. My best Lava cables are put away on my pedal board, so I was using a Zaolla and an early model Lava ELC (they've improved on it in later revisions). I noticed a slight alteration in tone, but it could be due to the cables because I wasn't using the same cables in and out of the pedal. However, it was extremely negligible if noticeable at all. I looked closely at the pedal and pressed the footswitch with my hand -- aah! Instead blindness. Don't try this at home kids! This pedal will save you on the cost of stage lighting because of it's bright blue LED light illuminating you!

    This is the same LED that's in the TDS footswitch and when you light up all the lights on the TDS footpedal, it will light up your room !

    With all the knobs turned down no sound comes out of the pedal. We always assume that we're going to move from left to right as when
    reading, but initial set up on this pedal begins from the right (input end) and moves left towards the output. So we begin by turning up the far right knob the "Level" knob. The sound of the guitar begins to emerge as a dark clean tone. So next you might want to turn up the next knob to the left, the "tone" knob which brings all the high frequencies back in to your sound. Next you'll dial up a little gain. Right away you'll notice that you can get things very loud, very quickly and yet it is still clean. This means that you could use this box as a clean boost in some circumstances. So now we have the gain at 9 o'clock, the tone and Level knobs all the way up and it's time to adjust the touch knob. You'll notice that the "Touch" knob brings out all the squeak in your strings -- it really causes quite a sparkle. So now it has become a clean, sparkle boost pedal with these settings -- not bad.

    Now at this point the pedal is making all the packing peanuts on the floor dance around, so I need to turn it down and move in to distortion mode. To move in to distortion, as usual, you bring your level control down and your gain up. Your level control acts as a master volume for the pedal (sound familiar?) As the pedal distorted, it immediately brought to mind a tight, classic rock tone. Not a fusion tone mind you, but a real nice rock tone with a great Fuchs-like attitude. However, if you are are looking for a fusion tone, don't rule this pedal out either. There is a certain sound that Andy likes and I hear it in a lot of his amps -- that signature tone has found it's way into this pedal. That is reason enough to want to own this pedal.

    One of the first questions you may be wondering is "does the Plush pedal sound like the overdrive in the ODS amplifier?" The answer is... sorry, NO! It does not. So now you're wondering, which distortion tone do I like better? Oh man, do I have to choose? Yea, they both sound great and yet, if you have an ODS or even a TDS you'll probably still want one of these pedals. I'll have to try it with the TDS and let you know how it fits in with the distortion tones on that amp and if the TDS can do this sound, but I'm not sure it will. It's just different enough to stand on it's own. This is a Fuchs sounding distortion, yet with an original flavor. It doesn't sound like everything else, if fact it doesn't call to mind any other distortion that I can think of. But at the same time, the flavor is totally classic and familiar in a way. Your hand raises... you're wondering if it's like a Tube Screamer you ask? Nope, guess again. It's not at all like that (I have an original and a Keeley Modified Tube Screamer).

    The Plush Drive has it's own tonal shape. It gives a nice little bump right in the mid range -- 500hz to 1000hz range. As mentioned, this is a great rock pedal, not a heavy metal pedal, but the kind of rock that most mainstream players will really dig. The Plush Drive could also find a home in the tool kit of a country player. Blues and jazz players -- I won't say you won't like it, but while the Fuchs amp is awesome for Blues and Jazz, this pedal offers a little different color to work with, which is why I think it is such a great compliment to Andy's line of amps.

    One thing I've noticed about the search for tone is that there is no single point of origin. What I mean is that most of us end up getting a Strat, a Les Paul, a PRS, a Michael Lewis guitar (oh, a shameless plug?), maybe a Tele, a hollow body, a 335 type guitar etc... And then we want the ultimate Dumble tone, the ultimate Fender tone, the ultimate Vox tone and the ultimate Marshall tone. Then we need certain pedals and so on. As we used to say in the South "it's all good" and this pedal will find a place amongst those who want more of what is good.

    I think it's safe to say that Andy has developed another winner. The Plush Drive is a great sounding distortion with lots of flexibility. If you own a Fuchs Lucky 7, Black Jack 21, Train 45, or one of the Fuchs Overdrive Supreme model amps, this is the perfect companion. Add this to a TDS and you just might go crazy with the options you have add your finger and toe tips. [FONT=&quot]This pedal is reasonably priced at $229.[/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot](C) Michael Lewis / www.radicaltone.com [/FONT]
     
  8. scottl

    scottl Member

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  9. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Andy,
    I'm curious he mentions using it for a clean boost. I didn't find any boost available, at least not with the gain full off and the touch control fully counter-clockwise. Will I get a volume boost if I turn the touch fully clockwise (or thereabouts) while having the gain all the way off? I've yet to try that and am not near my equipment right now.
    Thanks
    Bob
     
  10. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    While it's not intended to be a clean boost, there is a small region where the gain is low, and the output is high, that it would function as a gain boost albeit small. It will switch into distortion mode beyond a couple of db's of gain.
     
  11. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Ok, thanks for the prompt reply. That's kind of what I thought. I wouldn't be using it for a clean boost anyway as it sounds too good with the gain up! Thanks for making a great pedal, and making it affordable.
     
  12. Franklin

    Franklin Member

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  13. sokinwet

    sokinwet Member

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    Love the pedal but the battery replacement is a pain...any spec's available on the 9v power supply?
     
  14. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    Sokinwet, any 9-V tip negative supply with a 2.1 MM plug (like a Roland) would work.

    Not sure:
    A) why you'd be changing a brand new battery and
    B) what constitutes "a pain" ?

    Remove cover, change battery replace cover. ;)
    What'd I miss ?
     
  15. sokinwet

    sokinwet Member

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    Thanks for the reply Andy. I'll be picking up a 9v supply. The included battery was not one I recognized (yellow case Panasonic) and my 1st thought was it might be a low quality "leaker". It is a very tight fit as evidenced by the scratched case on the orig. battery where it slides under the clip. Perhaps I'm just mechanically challenged.
     
  16. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    My guess is that battery was chosen for tone and not for long life or being a name brand. It's pretty accepted knowledge that the cheap, carbon zinc batteries sound better in some pedals than the higher quality alkaline batteries such as Duracell or Energizer.

    In my flashlights I want Duracell, in my pedals, give me the cheap stuff!
     
  17. sokinwet

    sokinwet Member

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    My guess is that when you replace the stock alkaline Panasonic industrial battery with a cheap cz leaker you'll also find that it doesn't fit between the clip and the switchcraft jack or the footswitch and you have to slide it through all the small gauge wires in the only opening and/or bend the clip. I prefer my flashlight to keep working after the 1st battery change.
     
  18. tambokgt

    tambokgt Member

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    Can someone PLEASE tell me where to buy one ? I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!! I called MusicToyz and they still don't have it.

    .....uuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
     
  19. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    The "stock" battery is a premium industrial Panasonic Alkaline battery, that should last quite some time, under normal use. Yes, I agree, it's a tight fit in the clip, so your battery doesn't bounce around inside the box. Would you rather it fell out of a lesser battery clip and broke your pedal ?

    I'm confident that our pedals have a long life ahead of them, based on premium quality parts and careful assembly throughout. If you have the manual dexterity to play guitar, you should (hopefully) have the finesse to replace a battery without injuring yourself, or injuring the pedal.....:worried

    As far as delivery, well, ummm, call the shop and speak with Annette. She can tell you who's been shipped what, over the last few days. Relax, it's only "a few thousand units" on backorder.....we'll clear it up...umm...er... soon?
     
  20. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Musictoyz sold out the first day. That's where I got mine.
     

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