Fuchs Audio Technology is a boutique amp builder that has been impressing tone enthusiasts worldwide for some time. They teamed up with Brainworx a little while back on a couple of plugins based on a couple of their amps that at the time were production models. The amps are now only available via custom order so the plugins really do have that “rare amp” kind of feeling.
The Fuchs Super Overdrive Supreme 50 is a head that was inspired by Andy Fuchs’ love for the famous Dumble Overdrive Special. Being that the actual Dumble amps sell for anywhere from $70,000 to $150,000USD and up (no, that’s not a typo), there’s a huge market for cloned and new takes on the amp in a price range that mere mortals can afford. While inspired by the Dumble creations, Fuchs’s designs have branched off over the years, with re-voiced tone controls, extra gain-stage options and more of his own personal touches.
Originally the Fuchs Audio plugins came out as exclusives for only Universal Audio users but Brainworx has now extended the amps reach with fully-native versions available for all users and interfaces. The amp is delivered with a cab section and some useful processing tools onboard.
The GUI is perfect. Not good or great but perfect. It looks like the real amp, the textures are terrific and it gives the user that “real amp” feeling. In addition to the killer looks, the GUI is laid out easily and effectively for almost any user from beginner to professional. The cab section UI could use a bit of an update but we will cover that in a bit.
Let’s talk a little about how the Overdrive Supreme and it’s Dumble inspiration work internally as well as a little about what the controls bring to the table. Some of the controls act as most would but some are very much unique to work with. This amp doesn’t dial in like anything else I have used before. A notable mention is the missing reverb control and thus the missing reverb that follows. This omission does not bother me at all personally but it does affect the otherwise perfect score for authenticity.
The gain control at the far left of the panel can help blast out some great low-gain and crunch sounds without even activating the amp’s overdrive. It’s also great for finding the best response for any set of pickups / input. This control is hugely useful in setting the table for the rest of the tone and just the first of many controls with an insane amount of value from 1-10. For hotter pickups, I tend to moderate this control a little more than others.
Moving on, the ever-important “Rock / Jazz” switch has a huge impact on how the amp sounds and dials in. The switch changes the response of the bass, mid, and treble controls. The “jazz” setting has a relatively subtle and softer vintage sound and the “rock” mode delivers a more direct and harder sound. I love this switch for a number of reasons and while there are no rules with how to use it, I tend to prefer the jazz for cleans and rock for everything else.
A bright switch is always a wonderful addition to any amp that I am going to lean on for clean tones. The 3-position bright switch on the Fuchs ODS offers a treble bump, a sort of mid bump type boost, and a bypass option. The deep switch is pretty much what you’d expect with the majority of switches that add something to the bottom end. I found it very useful for adding weight to single-coil pickups.
The high and mid tone pots are push/pull, with vintage-style response in one position and then the other opens a much more aggressive side to the amp. Something not seen every day are the input and output level controls in the overdrive area of the amp. These are extremely handy when dialing in the amp for different styles as well as being a great transition from rhythm to lead sounds. The accent control can very loosely be described as a presence control though it’s specific function is a touch more complex.
Between all of the controls, the amp all by itself is a vault of tones but with the addition of pedals / FX, the amp really just does not have many limits. It’s a literal juggernaut of vintage and modern tones that provides everything from soulful and crisp clean tones to a mountain of vintage style higher gain punch. Rhythm or lead, soft or gainy, blues to hard rock; the Fuchs ODS is purely enjoyable to dial in and to use.
Even though 3D cab sections are becoming the industry standard, some companies are option to stay with the trusted and true method of simply providing a great selection of IRs with optimized positions and the very same industry standard mics you’d see in most 3D loaders. In this instance, Brainworx has included a selection of terrific sounding 412, 212, 112 options from Fuchs and other cab builders. The cab size doesn’t seem to matter a lot as the amp really does well through just about anything depending on the application. I spend most of my
Unlike many of Brainworx older plugins, the cab section in the Fuchs ODS and other newer releases can be bypassed easily with the “RC off” button. The cab section does not include the ability to load your own IRs into the plugin itself so users will need to use their own loader and selection of IRs but it does contain a lot of great cabs. The downside to the cab section is that with all the new files Brainworx have been adding, their drop-down style menu no longer works out. The list of cabs is just too long to scroll down through. If your choice is at the bottom of the list, it’s a long enough wait to throw a wrench into the workflow. This can be a challenge when testing multiple options around the list. I love the upgraded selection of files but a better way to access and scroll through them would make for a better overall experience.
Brainworx includes a few really handy options like a gate, tools to process the high and low, delay and more that help to create an all in one feel. I find a lot of the tools to be useful when tracking but I normally bypass them for my own tools especially when adding a boost or anything before / after the amp in the chain. Many of the overdrives and screamers I tried with the plugin worked out great and brought even more great sounds from the Fuchs ODS. Brainworx’ yellow drive plugin was about as magical as it gets out in front!
UPS / DOWNS
The Brainworx Fuchs ODS has managed to find its way into my most preferred plugins for blue collar rock, southern rock, blues, great cleans and a lot more. I have become a big fan of this plugin and it has earned that spot by rarely letting me down even a little bit during the review process and beyond.
Many of the Brainworx plugins once stuck in Universal Audio purgatory have already being released to the wild with seemingly more on the way. Some of them are a few years old at this point but they don’t seem to show their age at all as the tones are crisp, detailed and truly exceptional. I am very happy to see the Fuchs duo of plugins finally available for all users.
The cab section’s slugishness has to trim a little off the overall score even with the ton of killer new IRs that Brainworx are packing their currently releases with. All of their newer releases could really benefit from a streamlined way to hunt for and select the best IR for the job. With 25 files, the drop down menu works but with a dump truck full, the workflow is slowed considerably.
Make no mistake about it, this is a serious offering for players that enjoy blues, southern rock, classic rock, jazz and a lot of other genres but, it also has a ton of gain for slightly louder applications. This plugin is also another plugin that I think could attract new players to the plugin universe.
See more: Plugin Alliance launch video