Here is my Ampeg Scrambler, it is the very first distortion pedal I ever successfully made. It was built during my second year of university (2011), I had previously tried to make a tube screamer, but knew next to nothing about electronics, and it didn’t work. this however works amazing, it is still one of my favorite subtle fuzz effects, it is essentially a distorted octave up effect (Texture) with a wet dry blend control (Balance) the circuitry is quite simple. the nice thing about this pedal is that the gain does not increase with distortion, so there is no need for an output volume control, and means it is easy to hear the quality of the distortion without being fooled into thinking it’s better just because it’s louder.
I had been meaning to add a 9V DC socket, as it has only previously had a battery clip, and stick some labels on it. it took me far to long to getting round to doing, but I’m glad it’s finially finished. The schematics I had for this circuit stated that 3 diodes on the diagram weren’t actually found in any of the real units, I first built it with these additional diodes, and then snipped them out to see if it made any difference, it did not. I couldn’t tell any difference with them in or with them taken out, so I just left them out, I had planned to put them on switches to change the effect, but it seemed a bit pointless.
This pedal could easily be modified to include a tone control, I imagine a big muff style tone would work quite nicely, but this is no where near as distorted as the big muff. I had decided to build this pedal, because I really liked the name, and thought it would messed up the sound beyond recognition, turns out its not as extreme as the name would suggest, and the second reason was because I had seen one on eBay that was roughly around £900. I didn’t bother with a true bypass foot-switch, as the balance control all the way down lets through the buffered unaffected signal and I don’t play live so felt it was unnecessary.
I would recommend building this pedal for any body who is looking at getting in to making guitar pedals or other simple electronic circuits as it is quite simple compared to some of the other pedals out there, I didn’t even use a PCB, perf/pad board or stripboard I just used, what I think is called, Matrix board, which is like the other two types of board but without copper on them. I just poked the legs of the components through the holes, twisted them together and soldered them together directly. It is also an extremely cheap build, like most guitar pedals the most expensive things were the pots, chicken heads, and 1/4” jacks and enclosure.