Inside Fuchs Audio Technology
By: Scott Kahn
Andy Fuchs grew up with music, and with tubes. The product of a musical family, his father owned a music store, so today’s classic gear was readily available to the young guitar player. As a high school student, Andy took classes in electrical engineering while working part time repairing televisions (some of our readers are too young to remember picture tubes in televisions going bad), and repairing amplifiers manufactured by a little music company called Fender.
His love for the technology landed him on 48th Street in New York City doing amplifier repair work, and eventually he joined SSS, one of the largest equipment repair companies in the tri-state area, in order to set up a pro audio department and enable them to repair tube amps. Along the way, he built high-end tube-driven pro audio gear, and eventually started modifying existing tube amps to see what he could really make them do. Word got around, and soon, players were paying him to modify their amps.
In 1999, Andy started building amps for himself using point-to-point hand wiring, but he decided early in the process that point-to-point designs introduced too many variables to maintain consistency. At that point, he turned his attention to laying out circuit boards. Happily for the rest of us, he didn’t shy away from tube technology.
Sharing some booth space with another merchant at that year’s NAMM show jump-started his company, and the following year, Fuchs had their own booth. It was during that 2000 NAMM show when guitar player Kenny Wayne Shephard happened upon Andy’s amplifiers, fell in love, and became the company’s first endorsing artist.
Two years later, Fuchs was a full-time business for Andy, having recently moved out of his house and into some industrial space in Bloomfield, NJ. That too, was short-lived, as the company’s amplifiers continued to grow in popularity. This past spring, Fuchs relocated once again to a much larger facility in nearby Clifton, NJ, where they are producing a variety of different tube amps guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
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