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Discussion in 'Recording' started by andshesbuyingastairway, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. has anyone heard of this power amp that eddie van halen and tony iommi use with their live rigs (i assume) the H&H V800, does anyone know the basic topology of it, whether it's tube, what kind of solid-state, etc.
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    They were made in the mid/late 90's....they are mos-fet designs...they have a gigantor power supply....they were extremely hi-fi and had a nice tight tonal range.....doubt you could find one even if you tried...and put my gobstopper back....urchin.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Those are the ones that power my live PA rig. MOSFET output, bullet-proof and HEAVY.

    HH was a company in Bar Hill, Cambridge UK. There are usually a few of their V and M series amps on Ebay (UK) at any one time, and some Ebay shops have them passing through as well.
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I used to have a couple of HH Chameleons driven by a Hillmix board. They were great until the output devices died (from old age, certainly not design!). We could never find the parts to fix them, which was a real shame.
  5. and i take it they have some big ole transformers in there.

    just for posterity, what kind of power amp would yeild a similar sound, i'm not familiar with any MOSFET amps (at least to the best of my knowledge)
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Check out McIntosh Laboratories...
  7. are you serious? this H&H is up to par with mcintosh?

    how much were these things back in the day?
  8. is h&h made by either the same company or in the same format as hafler amps?

    and also is it possible that EVH used this amp with his master volume-less amps as well in the recording studio as a form of attenuation? could that work if you saturated your marshall and then just barely drove the power amp accordingly?
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

  10. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    The reason that I referred to McIntosh was that it took the HHs to replace the Mc power amps (2x 2105s and a pair of M60 tube chassis) to get even close to their fidelity. Crowns didn't do it, Yamaha P2200 didn't , either.
    Those HHs sounded real good, in fact that Mos-FET design back then was heralded as "tube-like", in terms of their harmonic distortion characteristics.
    As many times as I've seen EVH in concert, I never saw an HH in his rig.
    And he was LOUD, no output attenuators on his amps that I could tell.
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The 'output attenuators' you must be referring to are most likely what he used in the studio. And these are actaully voltage attenuators as in a Variac. This goes between the wall voltage (120vac in Amerika) and the source plugged into its outputs. It is essentially a transformer with a variable voltage tap. My sources indicate that EV ran his anywhere from 90 to 96 volts, depending on whos info you want to believe. I do not believe he needed to do this live as they were, and are, LOUD AS HELL.

    The intended interaction of this setup is one of causing the transformer and thus the output stage to work really hard to reproduce the tone and the volume being called for. It cant, so it goes into a brown type of distortion without much effort except in the case of the internal components which tend to eat themselves rather quickly when used like this.
  12. interesting, i'm assuming the two mcintosh amps you cited were the 'go to' so to speak in tube? can you tell me A. what are the other 'go to' amps from mcintosh (both solid state and tube) and B. if you are citing primarily discontinued older models, if any of the newer ones stand up in quite the same way?

    could either of you gentlemen tell me how a phase linear or hafler power amp would compare in terms of the hifi that we are talking about. and could you possibly give me any few badass models from those companies too (despite the fact that i believe both are completely out of comission)?

    yeah i read about that variac, so that's what he used as a form of attenuation? damn that's interesting. didn't he blow fuses all the time though because of it? what do you think guys like jimmy page and hendrix would have done though for recording their marshalls?

    also, you are saying that none of the older crowns before the macro tech series stand up either?
  13. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    The Macs I cited were from the '60s and the '70s. The 2105 was a basic stereo 105w/channel transistorized amp, the M60s were mono tube (60w) (6550s). I also had a 275, a stereo tube amp that is highly coveted today. Hindsight is 20/20, eh? Those Macs were beautiful-sounding, in that even the s-s versions used very complex output transformers ("autoformers"). When I went to replace them, it took so much more power to generate what they could produce. The Crowns I was referring to were the DC300,BTW. These were very reliable workhorses, but their actual fidelity was..."grainy" and not that "musical". But in an era of new technology power amps, where it was the "wattage war", a stable power amp that wouldn't DC and take some speakers with it was hard to find. Enter Phase Linear....
    The 700 was a nuclear warhead, just waiting to meltdown when the load was "right". The 400 was a bit more stable, but had the balls of a gnat.
    They were early designs of "high powered" amps, meant for the serious home audiophile who was jonesin' for the dynamics found from tube amps. It was quickly learned that if you wanted that "punch" the 60-watt tube amps gave, you'd have to have 300 watts solid-state. But a lot needed to be learned before these designs would handle the live sound market.
    And as far as EVH and "output attenuators" are concerned, I was thinking "Hot Plate/Power Brake/Power Soak (OMG, those things...)", the type between the amp and the speaker, which is something that EVH obviously didn't use. He has spoken about using the Variacs to "starve" the amps, which will eventually kill them, to get that "brown sound" like DD stated.
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    One of these days I'm gonna take me a trip down to Gator country and have a beer with Mr. Moon. We're gonna talk about power amps and laugh about silly crap we've seen happen on stage.....It'll be fun!

    And, we'll discuss the relative merits of this 'grainy' sound from those old Crowns.....

    Yes, its become a power war. Unfortunately it hasnt become a fidelity war. Thats okay most of the time since a lot of amp setups are bi-amped/triamped and so forth. The power amp isnt asked to reproduce a lot of the bandwidth so the lack some may exhibit on the bench cant be heard in a realtime usage situation.

    Moon didnt mention the WINNER of the early power wars....BGW.

    Storytime......I was running a PA on a show that had a nice 4way system powered by the incredible sounding and VERY dangerous to operate Phase Linear. Four 700's , four 400's on the mains and six 400's on monitors. Monitors were stage left/right and left/right wedges. The subbins were dual 15's with 2220's, the low mids had a small scoop with E series JBL's, the upper mids were a combo of 10's in pairs and a 2" throat JBL with a cheese cutter and the highs were all JBL with 1" throats and cheese cutters. Nice sounding rig, two hours in and out.

    Okay....we're going along and the band is really getting it done....the audience was jumpin and things were sounding great. Theres a hippie guy hanging by the subbins which are eye-level on the stage...(every show has one of these guys)...One of the PL 700's goes DC and an arc of flame literally 8 feet long or so spews out of this bin right past this guys head.......

    Hes like....." Duuuuudddeeee......KOOOOOLLLLL!!!"... I'm like..."Oh Fuk....." and the crowd goes crazy....they think its part of the pyros....

    Two 2220's ...frames BENT from the heat....One Phase Linear 700...Slag....The askeral from the transformers melted into the amp below it in the rack. Think Hiroshima on a 19" scale.

    The next show had all BGW in the racks. I took home two of the 400's and used em in my studio for years and years...and on my home stereo.

    If you really want some dynamic sounding stereo power amp for the guitar rig, look to the soecialy amps that are out now. Mesa, Marshall...just a couple ...there are several more for this application.

    If this is for monitors in the studio, then look to the Hafler . While not new any longer they sound great and are very honest with the power ratings as well as the fidelity. I still own and use an older 220 and have owned several 500's. These are old-skool and sound great.
  15. what other hifi tube amps are there? and how would you say in terms of hi fidelity the phase linears standup?

    i take it also that you are implying that none of the crowns really stand up either to the amps we are discussing? its weird because on crown's little history timeline they indicate all kinds of recordings their various amps have been on

    if you answer back, you don't really have to discuss much of the power handling because i'm not really wondering in terms of live sound but more hi fidelity studious applications

    hah that was a great story, yeah i know i shouldn't have put this topic in the guitar and bass section, it's more for general audiophile studio use
  16. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Great story, Dave ! Yeah, I'm sure a couple of old sound guys will have
    plenty to talk about over beers. Roadies trying to 'catch' Marshall cabs falling off forklifts, PL700s flaming out stage wedges, dogs falling off stages (and subsequently being 'put down' on the spot!), Julio Inglesias'
    all-Brit/all-hash-head production crew 'losing' their truck, krypton-gas lasers blowing up because a water line was pinched by an amp case, the laughs will go on!
    As to modern hi-fi tube amps, MANLEY has a nice line. And Conrad-Johnson has a great rep, plus tons of 'boutique' amp makers. Go to the Stereophile website and scroll through their listings.
  17. i've seen the manley, didn't know how they stood up to macs though
  18. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    The Manleys are known for recording and mastering studios, they do fine, and will hold up just as great as the Macs.
  19. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    yeah phase linear... what put bob carver on the map.... we used to call them flame linear.... and another vote for hafler as well... i had a 500 at one time in my keyboard rig.... and still have around here somewher an old 200 that's been heavily modified it was used for years in my stereo...
  20. i take it you guys don't think phase linear is that great, sonically speaking? or just reliability and stability issues?

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