Ampeg Scrambler Bass Overdrive Pedal Review

Most professional guitarists have an overdrive pedal on their pedalboard. There are tons of overdrive pedals for guitarists that will add grit and crunch to your sound. While these pedals are a necessity for guitarists, overdrive pedals also expand the versatility of a bass guitar. Unfortunately, there are fewer options for bassists because while a guitar player can plug into a bass overdrive pedal, a guitar overdrive pedal will not sound very good on a bass guitar.

The Ampeg Scrambler bass overdrive pedal is one of the best options on the market. It provides a very authentic and full sound while still allowing bassists to get some crunch.

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Ampeg Scrambler bass overdrive pedal rating

Ampeg is a household name when it comes to bass pedals and amps. The Ampeg Scrambler Fuzz pedal was a classic bass overdrive pedal from the late 1960s. So, naturally, I was intrigued by the remodel.

When testing the Ampeg Scrambler, I looked for some essential factors bassists should consider when purchasing a new pedal.  I’ve based my review on five main categories. Each category has a maximum score of five points, and the total research score is a weighted average. Here is my research score and the criteria I used.

Frontman Philosophy Score

4.45 out of 5

Sound: 4
Features: 5
Price: 5
Durability: 4
Warranty: 4


  • 4.5” by 2.6” by 2.2”
  • Battery powered (9V)
  • Weighs 9 oz
  • ¼” input and ¼” output jacks
  • Analog pedal

What’s great?

  • Control over the tone makes this pedal versatile for all basses and playing styles.
  • The Scrambler is much more powerful and has a stronger crunch than other overdrive pedals on the market.
  • Even with the drive turned up all of the way, you will maintain your preset tones.

Some downsides?

  • Not the most durable pedal out there; it will likely need repairs.
  • Not a suitable sound for hard rock or metal bassists.


My score: 4 out of 5

30% of the total score

I was thoroughly impressed by the Ampeg Scrambler’s sound spectrum and versatility. The best way to describe it is when you turn the pedal on, you are essentially “plugging” your bass into an Ampeg amp with the drive turned up. This gives your bass a crunchy sound without sounding too artificial. The overdrive feedback is also very low on this pedal, so you won’t likely hear the pedal humming while you play.

The one downside of this overdrive pedal is that it doesn’t have enough fuzz for a hard rock or metal bassist looking for some serious distortion. But this is an overdrive pedal, which functions a bit differently than distortion, so if you are looking for distortion or fuzz, there are many good bass distortion pedals out there if this is what you are looking for.


My score: 5 out of 5

25% of the total score

The Ampeg Scrambler is a simple pedal that delivers quality overdrives and includes several great features. The pedal has four main control knobs: treble, volume, drive, and blend. The blend knob stood out to me as an exciting feature because you can mix the clean sound from your amp with the pedal’s crunch. Adjusting the drive simply turns up the overdrive on the pedal, but the blend knob adds another element. So you could potentially have the overdrive turned up to the max and still mix the sound with the clean amp sound.


My score: 5 out of 5

20% of the total score

Pedals are not the most expensive equipment you will purchase, but the costs add up, as musicians rarely have only one or two pedals. The Ampeg Scrambler is affordable, costing only around $100-$130.  You can’t beat the price for a quality pedal of this caliber. This pedal is a good option for both pro musicians and bassists on a budget.


My score: 4 out of 5

15% of the total score

The overdrive circuits are enclosed in an all-black, matte metal casing. I can tell by holding the product that it is strong and can withstand the wear and tear of touring. The knobs are also firmly in place and do not wobble at all.

Unfortunately, other testers have complained that after only a few months, the product had shorting issues, or the overdrive became too quiet even to hear. I did not experience issues like this, but it is worth noting that some people have had some problems that required warranty repairs.


My score: 4 out of 5

10% of the total score

The Ampeg Scrambler comes with a 1-year limited warranty. The warranty covers only factory issues such as the circuitry and electronics shorting out. The warranty is not valid if you customize the product in any way. Ampeg is known for honoring its warranties.

Wrapping up

The Ampeg Scrambler is one of the best overdrive pedals for a bassist looking to add a bit of fuzz to their rig. Don’t expect heavy metal distortion levels from this pedal, but it still packs a decent punch and comes with some exciting features.