The original Carlin Compressor is famously used by guitarist Reine Fiske from Swedish band Dungen, and the Fisklåda is made in tribute to him. Hence the name. I originally made two Fisklådas as a custom order back in 2013, as a gift to Reine Fiske from an American music journalist (who also wanted one for himself). The artwork is inspired by a can of Swedish ’Måsens’ brand surströmming (foul smelling fermented herring), and Fisklåda means ”Fish Box” in Swedish.
The Carlin Compressor is a very unique and unusual electronic design, and I liked the custom order Fisklåda pedals so much, I always wanted to revisit it.
The Fisklåda is a quirky pedal, and you'll instantly notice that it is not like compressors as you know them. It definitely has it's idiosyncrasies and it takes some effort to master, and then there's a good chance it'll grows on you.
In principle you can use it as a compressor/sustainer without the distortion effect, and as a distortion without the compression/sustain, but it is the combined effect that gives the best and most interesting results. The Fisklåda is not necessarily useful a replacement for you existing mainstream compressor. It is too much it's own thing for that.
At low distortion levels, you can get some really unique swelling distortion effects, where the distortion comes on with the compression and sustain.
The first edition of the Fisklåda was released in 2020 as a limited edition of 40 pedals - which sold out quickly.
The new one, coming in July/August 2023, has gotten an electronic overhaul, courtesey of my brilliant Danish electronics engineering partner, fixing some inherent weaknesses of the original Carlin circuit design, while retaining the exact same sound and response.
For the tech nerds, the improvements are that we added local decoupling for each amplifier stage, high frequency stabilisation in the high-gain part, some emitter degeneration in the rectifier stages - plus an output buffer (still non-buffered mechanical true bypass). All this makes for a more stable pedal - without compromising the vintage sound qualities the slightest. If anything, it sounds even better than the first version.
Casual demo of the first version, running through the knobs to let you hear what it sounds like:
Download the Reuss Fisklåda manual here (first version)
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