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All-New Ampeg SCR-DI!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by CharlieC, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. You may like it. But then again you might not. Not really sure how THAT part (Scrambler) will work for slap.

    The EQ network does a pretty good job getting the Ampeg Mojo going, so you should easily be able to get a nice scooped sound for funk.

    The scrambler here does not sound like the original pedal from back in the day, or even the separate new Scrambler Pedal.

    The scrambler here CAN however (depending on the clean EQ, Drive and Blend settings) mimic the sound of an SVT pushed to the edge quite well (think more like The Knack bassist Prescott Niles' tone on the album, "Get The Knack", IMHO) or even (dare I say this and incite flames?), hints of Dee Dee Ramone's pushed live sound... There is a hint of "power sag"- the lowest bottom end kinda blurs out (some say disappear), and the mids get a bit more prominent.

    I start with Drive and Blend set to about 10 o'clock and go from there whenever I need/want that 70's tone. My EQ settings are pretty drastic (and somewhat questionable!)- roughly 2 o'clock bass, 10 o'clock mids, 2 o'clock treble, Ultra low in, Ultra high out. Big, full and scary sounding right to a power amp driving an SVT810...

    As with almost all things, YMMV!

    Good luck and PLEASE report your discoveries!
    PaulJSmith likes this.
  2. Chad T

    Chad T

    Feb 10, 2013
    The Scrambler circuit is REALLY midrangey. Those are radical settings indeed, but maybe not so much with Scrambler engaged. I'm gonna give your settings a try when I get a chance.
    basscapes likes this.
  3. Thanks, basscapes. I've used a lot of Ampeg stuff over the years - SVT-400T, SCT-CL, SVT-4PRO - and even worked there for a decade. That was 15 years ago, though, so I'm not all that familiar with the newer stuff. I can't imagine the tone controls are much different than the older stuff. The Scrambler circuit is completely new to me. I read through much of this thread, and listened as well as possible to some YouTube demos. It sounds like I might get close to what I want.

    As always, appreciate you guys sharing your experiences. I'll let you know how it goes for me this weekend.
  4. Well, (insert picture of bearded guy with beer) "I don't always use the Scrambler Circuit, But when I do, I'm already playing bloody loud!" That's the only way it makes sense to me- gotta be approximating the actual SPL of an SVT (or darn near close!) for it to sound right.

    Not many places where that is acceptable...
  5. Well, I had the opportunity to play with it a bit Saturday evening. Yep, it's definitely an Ampeg. The Scrambler sound isn't too bad at all. While it's still not ideal, it's definitely going to work better than the Boss ODB-3 pedal I just sold (that OD sound was terrible). I set the Drive to about 9 o'clock, and the Blend to about 12 o'clock, Ultra Lo in, and Treble cut to about 9 o'clock (my Fishbone 6-string is rather bright). I think this will work for now.

    Ultimately, though, I think I'm going to have to break down and shell out for that Beta Bass pedal made by that guy in Russia. Man, I loved that Beta Bass tone.

    On the down side, my bass crapped out on me that night, too. I'd noticed the volume knob seemed to have no affect on the output, and after checking around for a loose connection or bad solder joint, I closed it up and had no output at all. o_O So, I got ahold of one of the guys at Fishbone, and dropped it off for him Sunday morning. So much for tracking bass lines this weekend.
    JimmyM and bdplaid like this.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The Scrambler sometimes needs a shot of low end to sound good in the higher drive settings, but it's good in the PA because it cuts the annoying highs that blow tweeters. If you aren't looking to switch in and out of higher drive settings, you should be pretty good.
    basscapes and PaulJSmith like this.
  7. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I very much dislike distortion on bass, but I find the scrambler to a be a usable one, because it's not all buzzy and stuff. :) The rest of the pedal is way worth it.
    JimmyM likes this.
  8. Thanks, Jimmy. Yeah, this is pretty much a set-it-and-forget-it kind of setup.

    I've been using bass distortion since the early '90s, bdplaid. I have the Pearce and Ampeg Billy Sheehan preamps (prefer the Pearce). That kind of high-gain distortion is a lot different than these rattier sounding overdrive units. The one thing I don't like about them is the inability to control the tone of the OD separate from the clean tone. This unit doesn't have any tone control at all on the Scrambler section, so it just is what it is. I find it usable, at least to my ear live. We'll see how it sounds once recorded ... which is the real test for me.
    bdplaid likes this.
  9. Amped as an od pedal with a tone control
  10. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Clearly, you know more about distortion on bass than I. Every once in a while, for a goof, I turn it on and act like I'm a guitar player and overplay the hell out of whatever I'm doing. It's fun. But as a basic tone, no distortion for me. The Preamp side is killer for that, and I'd just have the classic preamp were it not for the XLR out that comes with the SCR-DI.
    PaulJSmith likes this.
  11. BlueShox

    BlueShox Registered Turtle Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    Lexington, SC
    Been digging for a minute can't find much. I've seen a few posts on Talkbass that lump this in as a pedal that has cabinet sim, but I haven't found anything about that in the manual. Those of you who own one, does it have cab sim and is there a way to turn it on or off? I'll be using it sometimes as as a Preamp pedal going into an amp, and sometimes as an ampless solution with PA support, so I'm hoping there is a way to switch it.

    I don't own one yet; I'm shopping between this, the Sansamp VT, and the TC Electronic Spectradrive
  12. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    No, not a way to switch off cab sim as such. I own one of these but never really thought it like that. To me it’s more of an ampeg-ifier... It’s basically transportable ampeg tone, if you will.

    This isn’t what you asked, but, there is a pad switch inside the pedal. That can change voicing via db cut. I like mine full strength, but it is there. Also, I believe the pedal can take 12v, so double check that as well. These subtle options might give you the change you are looking for - oh, and obviously the switches right on top; the ultra low and ultra high...
    macmanlou and bdplaid like this.
  13. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I agree - don't think it does cab sim as such, but it definitely is an ampegifier, for sure.
    Wfrance3 and macmanlou like this.
  14. BlueShox

    BlueShox Registered Turtle Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    Lexington, SC
    So if its not switchable, at what point does it stop becoming a cab sim and more of just the pedals baked in tone?

    The reason I want the cab sim is I don't want my fuzz and OD to be too abrasive when going direct. But I'm worried that if the cab sim is always in effect here, it may cut too much from the signal when its going to a bass amp. When I do use an amp, I'm planning on using the effects return on a rumble combo, bypassing the EQ and just using it as power. So I guess my main concerns and questions are:

    A) When using AUX in or going direct into PA, does the cab sim/pedal's baked in tone do enough to tame overly hissy fuzz and OD tones? I plan to use a little bit of scrambler in my "always on" tone for a slightly broken up SVT tone, and then I have Fuzz and OD in my chain that get used often, but never both at the same time.
    B) Does the AUX in tone seem to be a good representation of how it sounds driving an amp?
    C) Ignoring the fact this has AUX in, why would you recommend me buy this ahead of the VT?
  15. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    you're just going to have to try it and see if it does what you want.
    macmanlou likes this.
  16. BlueShox

    BlueShox Registered Turtle Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    Lexington, SC
    Sure, I know I'm asking some specific questions and nobody's going to be able to tell me if I'm going to like it for my specific uses or not. I'm sure I'm going to just have to buy it to see if its what I want, but its been out long enough and has enough users that I'm sure somebody who's used it like I'm planning to will be able to give me some more insight on it.
  17. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    There is a reduction of highs similar to a tweeterless cab in the SCR-DI. I don't know if it does anything on the bottom end, but it definitely cuts highs.
  18. I played a gig last night with just the amped di. . The scrambler od did it's job, but I prefer my ehx bass fool food and I missed my fuzz pedal.
  19. T.Dias


    Oct 23, 2015

    I've got both of them (scrdi and vt bass v2) and use a lot of fuzz also (currently i use a russian muff clone and a malekko b:assmaster) so maybe I can help a little here.

    First of all I agree that the scrambler side in the pedal is good to set it and forget. Activating and disactivating it works well just for low drive settings. I use it with the blend at 12:00 and drive at 1:00 or 2:00, living it always on (it gets pretty distorted but thats what I'm looking for). Generally i cut some treble to tame the scramber a bit.

    Both of them cuts the hiss in a way that makes fuzz and od more pleasant through di.The vt does it a little more severely IME(with speaker sim on). The preamp side needs to be activated for it to happen. Scrambler can be either on or off.

    The aux in is not effected by either preamp or scrambler and just go to the phone out. Good option for studying or monitoring.

    Its really hard to tell witch of them (vt or scr di) is the best. I really found my sound with the scrdi and I prefer it for more proeminent dirt. The vt, on the other hand, is very versatile witch makes it a really usefull tool, but i think it looses some of its definition with higher drive settings. Both are great units but I do prefer the scr di.

    Hope it helps.
    macmanlou and JimmyM like this.

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