doubt about which pedal in your arsenal you’ve kicked on. The Pink
Elephant also feels rock solid, and the combination of smooth 24 mm
alpha pots, sturdy battery snap, true bypass switch, and overall quality
construction also suggests that the Pink Elephant is a piece of gear that
can put up with being knocked around a bit.
The original Scrambler has two knobs—Texture and Blend—which
respectively control the octave-up level and balance the straight and
effected signals. The Pink Elephant goes a step further by adding a
Volume control, which Davis notes can be used to set up the pedal for
a clean boost.
Radical and Versatile Octave Tones
I tested the Pink Elephant with a 2006 Fender American Telecaster
running into a Friedman Naked 100-watt head and a 20th Anniversary
Bogner 2x12 cabinet. With the Pink Elephant’s Blend control at noon
and the Texture control at 7 o’clock, the pedal packed a potent
punch—heavy in the midrange with a discernible, but not overbearing octave-up presence in the high end. Turning the Texture knob up
increased the amount of the octave-up signal and injected the high and
upper-mid frequencies with a raspy snarl.
By flipping to the Telecaster’s neck pickup and rolling off its tone knob,
I was able to highlight the octave-up circuit’s capacity for thickening
tone and increasing sustain—an effect that was enhanced by dialing in
a little amp gain.
172 PREMIER GUITAR NOVEMBER 2010
The Pink Elephant’s sound is very much an acquired taste. The original
Scrambler was known for being a very unruly pedal at times, and like
the Scrambler, the Pink Elephant is capable of some truly otherworldly
octave fuzz tones. But while it offers unusual and unconventional
sounds, you get the welcome ability to control the pedal’s output level,
and this goes a long way toward taming the beast.
In capturing the essence and attitude of the original Ampeg Scrambler,
Davis and Creepy Fingers hit a home run with the Pink Elephant. While
you can dial in some very creamy and full fuzz tones with crafty use of your
guitar’s tone knob, the Elephant also tends toward more confrontational
sounds, just like the original Scrambler. The Pink Elephant’s biting, ’60s-style
textures probably won’t be every player’s cup of tea, but using the newly
added Volume knob, you can dial back the Pink Elephant’s most abrasive
tendencies, making the pedal a truly versatile update on a classic design.
Playing through the Pink Elephant, I heard all the vintage grind and
jagged edges of the original Scrambler sound, yet this came with the
added benefit of true bypass switching and a low noise floor. Indeed,
all but the most obsessive seekers of the elusive vintage Scrambler
pedal may be able to call off the search—the Pink Elephant has arrived.
you’re after that vintage Ampeg
Scrambler sound, or are in need of a distinctive octave fuzz.
you need a more versatile, conventional-sounding fuzz pedal.
Creepy Fingers Effects
By Charles Saufley
The guitar-playing citizens of Portland, Oregon, may know Jack Deville
as the man who can fix their amp in a pinch. But elsewhere in the world,
this esteemed Northwest amp repairman is fast making a name for himself as designer of two unique-sounding pedals, the Dark Echo delay
and the all-germanium Buzzmaster fuzz reviewed here.
The Buzzmaster’s bold, gold text and matte black box has a utilitarian,
let’s-get-down-the-biz-of-heavy-rocking look—something Lord Vader
would have in his rig, perhaps. The control set couldn’t be much simpler—at least on the face of the pedal. There’s a Volume knob and a
gain labeled Vig, which is short for "vigor." The latter is appropriate,
given the pedal’s potential energy and range, but maybe not quite as
suggestive of the evil this dial can introduce to your tone. Inside the