Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: Review - Fuchs Royal Plush Compressor Pedal

Monday, September 06, 2010

Review - Fuchs Royal Plush Compressor Pedal

I finally got my Fuchs Royal Plush compressor pedal after ordering one at the Nashville Amp Expo a few weeks ago. I was really excited to add this unit to my pedal board, especially since I had no compressor pedals in my collection and had been unable to find a compressor to my liking in the past despite many auditions.

As demonstrated by Andy Fuchs himself at the Amp Expo, this pedal is very quiet. Pretty much all compressors add a bit of hiss to the overall signal when used with overdrive or distortion (and this one is no exception), but with this pedal additional noise is very low and the compression effect is quite good. Per Andy, this unit uses a simple signal path for higher quality tone, hand-selected audio chips and an actual photocell just like an expensive rack-mount studio compressor unit. The effect is smooth, warm and free of the "pumping" effect cheaper units tend to suffer from. Plus, true bypass wiring means it isn't sucking your tone when not in use.

Compression can be a very subtle effect when applied to the guitar. In fact, a lot of the time compression is difficult for a listener to discern when used in a guitar's signal path. Many players use a compressor as a volume boost for solos with little or no compression at all, while others dial up a lot of compression that "squashes" the tone to produce the snappy attack often heard in Country music "chicken pickin'" and Funk rhythm styles.

Basically, compression is the reduction of the dynamic range of an audio signal when run through a compression device, such as the Fuchs Royal Plush or any number of other compression pedals, software-based compression plugins and/or rack-mount hardware. Compression evens out the difference between softer and louder sounds by making them closer to the same volume... either with upward compression (making softer sounds louder) or with downward compression (making loud sounds softer).

I am very pleased with the sound and transparent nature of the Fuchs Royal Plush. It's absolutely silent with clean tones and does a wonderful job of making the notes "pop" under full compression while avoiding the dreaded pumping effect. Back the compression down a bit and notes sustain beautifully while keeping their natural fatness. Tone-wise it's almost as if the pedal was not even engaged which, for me, is important because I want a compressor that is as tonally transparent as possible so that my amp's basic sound remains unaltered.

I am also very impressed with the construction quality of this unit. Good, roadworthy metal casing fastened by hard phillips screws with heads that don't easily strip out when opening up the unit to access the battery compartment. The plunger footswitch feels solid and is easy to engage and disengage... plus, even the purple paint is evenly applied and finished with nicely done graphics.

Overall I am very pleased with this purchase! If you are looking for a great compressor pedal, I highly recommend the Royal Plush.

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