30 Pedals in 30 Days: Fuchs Pure Gain, Cream and Plus Drive

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Don’t forget to check out the video at the bottom of the page.

Boutique amps manufacturers usually don’t have a big list of artists playing their gear. Usually, their amps are reserved for tone hounds and artists who most of us have never heard of. So, it’s surprising that Fuchs Audio Technology has, in such a short time, amassed an impressive roster that includes dudes like B.C. Kochmit of Eye Empire, Zach Myers of Shinedown, Joe Bonamassa, Jimmy Herring, and Al Di Meola. Not only is their artist list extensive, it’s diverse.

This tells you two things:

First, Fuchs amps aren’t just for tone snobs.

Second, Fuchs amps can do anything.

Andy Fuchs is convinced that he’s brought those same qualities to his pedal line. Three of the standouts are the Cream, the Pure Gain, and the Plush Drive. When TheToneKing.com had a chance to hang out with the man behind the name, and listen to him demo three of his pedals, you know we had to jump on it.

 

plush-cream-01-500x379The Cream Pedal

If you ask any guitar player what the top five most influential pedals ever built are, the TubeScreamer will be on everybody’s list. And, nearly every pedal manufacturer has tried to replicate it.

Andy Fuchs had a novel idea, instead of trying to replicate it, why not just do his own version of it. He says it’s the same dish, different recipe. Everybody knows how to make beer can chicken. Take a can of beer. Stick it up the chicken’s ass. Cook until tasty. But, the spices, type of beer, or how you cook the bird are all up to you. That’s the idea behind the Cream pedal.

The Cream still has the same easy three-knob configuration, but all of the circuitry has been modified for a more modern boutique standard. Fuch’s goal was to make this pedal quiet, articulate, but with massive attack. Fuchs also managed to get rid of what he saw as an annoying mid-range hump that’s been in nearly every TubeScreamer incarnation.

A good amount of shimmer without being too brittle, playing dynamics and volume affect how the pedal reacts. The Cream is a bit throatier than many other TubeScreamers, but it’s also more versatile. Anywhere from Blues to screaming leads, this pedal has you covered.

 

 

 

The Pure GainDV016_Jpg_Large_501979_top

The Pure Gain is a low-noise FET based boost pedal. Just a single gain stage is incorporated into the pedal, giving the player a boost that starts at subtle and ends at just a hint of distortion. The goal here was to make a pedal that didn’t color the player’s tone while kicking up the gain just enough to push through the mix.

Two things about this pedal stand out.

Line 6

First, when the Pure Gain is set to zero, it acts as a buffer. Turning your signal from 1 MEG to 20k impedance. To recap; players use a lot of cables. Those cables destroy your signal at 1 MEG. To prevent signal loss, 20k is the way. Fistfights have been breaking out lately about pedals that give you a true-bypass and ones that continue to act as a buffer even when not engaged. With the Pure Gain, you can engage the pedal but turn it to zero to get your buffered signal, or you can turn it off and leave your signal as is. Best of both worlds.

Second, putting the Pure Gain in front of any overdrive or distortion pedal will bring your tone to the next level. It’s just enough of a boost to bring you from a hard-hitting chunky rhythms to screaming solos. And, that’s where players will notice the most difference. While the Pure Gain works well stand-alone, it really shines when combined with other pedals.

Also, there’s the Pure Gain Plus, which incorporates an AB box with two Pure Gain pedals in one stompbox.

 

 

 

 

plush-drive-04-500x386The Plush Drive

Amps that have their own signature overdrive sound always run into the same question.

“Can I get your sound in a pedal?”

“Yes. Yes you can.” Fuchs offers the Plush Drive as a less expensive and conversation friendly version of gain stage from their boutique amplifiers. Smooth mid-range, the Plush Drive is especially sensitive to the dynamics of the player. The harder you hit, the more drive. The lighter you play, the cleaner your signal. According to Andy, the Plush Drive has just the right amount of attack and singing quality.

Compared to the Cream, the Plush has a much more rounded attack. It’s also significantly warmer but doesn’t get muddy. A good complement to the bridge or neck pickups which tend to get brittle in the wrong hands. Basically, if you’re looking for a $3,000 boutique amp that fits in your hand, you’ll want to check out the Plush Drive.

 

 

Fuchs Amps hasn’t been around very long. Which is why their copious artist roster is such a surprise. What’s even more surprising about them having so many artists is that Fuchs Amps is a damn boutique amp manufacturer. The laws of the universe seem to end at their doors. Somehow, they’ve managed to entice players from every ilk to use their gear night after night. And, their pedals seem to be garnering the same enthusiasm. We here at TheToneKing.com thank Andy Fuchs for taking time to demo the Cream, Plush Drive, and Pure Gain pedals for 30 Pedals in 30 Days and can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next.

 

Click here to enter into TheToneKing.com’s 30 Pedals in 30 Days Randall Give-Away!

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gax8rB6T28U’]

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Filed Under: FeaturedPedals3P3D-2013

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About the Author: Marc published his first novel Becoming in 2010. It’s a kick-ass book with monsters and dreams and stuff, and you should buy it. Since then, he’s written thousands of articles for TheToneKing.com, many of which have been picked up for circulation by manufacturers and other news outlets. His next book, Drugs and Pancakes, should be available early 2014 if his alcoholic editor can find time to work on it in-between destroying his liver and screaming about punctuation. He graduated from Roosevelt University with honors, which means that he’s not as dumb as he looks. He’s been playing guitar for over 25 years, which is almost twice as long as most of his students have been alive.

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