Fuchs Royal Plush: Fuchs is mostly known for their tube guitar amps, but they have branched out a bit in recent years with several pedals. The Royal Plush is a basic two-knob optical comp, in the same spirit as the Demeter or the BBE Opto.
The knobs are just output Level and "Bias", which controls the amount of your signal driven into the opto element. Setting it higher lowers the threshold and increases the ratio at the same time. It has an inherently fast attack time. The action is very smooth, with no "dip and swell" or other artifacts. Lower settings of Bias will get more natural, "invisible" compression, while the highest setting will flatten your signal. At a high setting it does an excellent job of cleanly limiting big peaks, but again at that setting it will also squash most of your dynamics; most opto type comps are not the choice for someone who wants limiting only above a high threshold. It will also do some moderate limiting at lower Bias settings.
There is zero loss of highs or lows, and the frequency response overall is fairly flat, with no big scoops or humps. The tone is neutral, close to transparent. It has very low noise, though of course higher settings of either knob will amplify the existing noise from your instrument.
The housing is about the size of a Boss pedal. The construction quality is pretty good, in the handmade category, though the wiring could be neater. The circuit itself is tiny; without the battery, it could have fit in a nano sized housing. The footswitch is "true bypass", and it runs on standard Boss-type 9V DC. If you were considering the Demeter, which is still a great pedal after all these years, the Royal Plush sounds and behaves the same, but with a normal Boss DC jack.
Price in USD: new $199, used $125-$150
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