The Scrambler 
Building the long discontinued sought after Ampeg
© Scrambler
last update: May 14, 2010

Copyright 2010-2022 by H. Gragger. All Rights Reserved. All information provided herein is destined for educational and D.I.Y. purposes only. Commercial re-sale, distribution or usage of artwork without explicit written permission of the author is strictly prohibited.The original units  with their associated  trade-names are subject to the copyright of the individual copyright owner. The Author is by no means affiliated with any of those companies. References to trade names are made for educational purposes only.By reading the information provided here you agree to the Terms of Use.


Building Experience
Sound Samples

my ampeg scrambler version
The Scrambler (click to enlarge).

Ampeg Scrambler clone with balance equalization for an even volume sweep, but otherwise stock.

The hardware has been ordered from Musikding in Germany, box is of type BB.
The front plate is made of an image transferred to a thin aluminum sheet via photographical process using Copyphot (TM) technology. It is very resistant against abrasion. The optics are closely modeled after the original units - beautiful!

For the LED I used a bezel with lens, reminiscent of old tube amp jewel lamps. The original does not have a LED. This was probably deemed redundant because the unit does not leave you in doubt whether it is on or not.

Building Experience

This unit is not subject to modding - at least not in the author´s experience. It is beautifully weird as is.

I used the tonepad layout, what they call the Revolcador. This is a bit crammed for my taste, but at least there is provision made for evaluating diverse transistors on the PCB. Also, most caps are electrolytics, which very often use the same footprint for various working voltages, unlike film caps. So most of the caps that rumble around your drawer will fit.

Before I realized that I had already ordered a set of MPSA14, I made homebrew piggy-back darlingtons out of garden variety silicon transistors which worked fine. In fact, they sounded a little sweeter than the MPSA14, but I did not use them after all in because they were a bit bulky in the crammed layout.

If I were to rebuild the board, I would use the board mictester had done for this very purpose.

One thing I noticed, when I was sweeping the balance knob (which is a mixer between dry and effect), the volume dropped somewhat towards clean - meaning I have too much gain. This is contrary to what somebody else has experienced, who had too little gain. This must be subject to the transistors used.

Fortunately, this is very easy to remedy. One could modify the collector resistor of Q4 in analogy to the method shown by the previously mentioned builder. But dropping the value of this resistor may change things in an unwanted way besides increasing the current draw slightly. I decided to leave the overall value intact but splitting the collector load and tapping the output signal from the split point instead. It turned out, that a half/half split works fine (470 Ohms). The balance  control now sweeps smoothly from clean to distorted. I think it is clear what I have done, so there is no need for a schematic.

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Sound Samples

I did not make any sound samples because there are plenty of them around and mine does not sound any different . Also, there there is no tweaking.

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Update History
  • Nov. 5, 2010: first release
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