H|H Audio V800 Amplifier Information

Hello,

I currently have a H|H (or HH or H&H depending on who types it) Audio V800. I know very little about this amplifier other than it sounds very nice and it is beefy. I acquired it from my father who used to use them for Pro-PA applications, he still has 8 of them sitting in a road case in his warehouse. I know they were made in the late 80s, they are MOS-FET, they are British, and H||H Audio is no longer in business.

I am looking for any information on the company, designer, designers other work, and or the amplifier. I really like this amplifier and am very curious about the history of it.

It looks a bit ruff but still functions and sounds excellent.

Thanks,
Joe

Pictures:

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H||H stands for Harrison & Hill. One of the founders was Mike Harrison who now runs Harrison Information Technology Ltd., which also makes PA power amps. The other founder… well, I don’t know. There were also divisions such as H||H Acoustics and H||H Electronics. Those who have a fetish for guitar gear may know the brand from Eddie Van Halen, who used an H|H MOSFET amp as a power amp for his rig – in fact it was the very same V800 model.

The company is no longer in business; first it was sold to Carlsbro (story tells that Stuart Mercer, the owner of Carlsbro, funded this purchase by selling his yacht). Carlsbro introduced some new designs with the aid of their design engineer Rob McFarlane but eventually sold H||H to some Russian consortium (Mercer bought his yacht back), which then sold it to Laney. I believe many Laney speakers are still branded H|H Acoustic. I have few schematics (not V800, though) but they seem to be extremely rare.

You may also be interested in:

http://www.hhamplification.com/
 
Back in the 70's I used to work for H||H at Milton in the "shed" first on the lines wiring up the amps (taught me to solder :) ) then in the speaker dept.
Went to Bar Hill but left after a while for other things.

I still have a H||H IC100S bought at the time - and it still works well. my son uses it with his guitar....

I always felt it was the Tiger? CPM PC which the company invested in which bought it down - just when IBM bought out the dos based PC.:rolleyes:

Alan
 
Yeah, now I remember that... Does anyone know where could I find more information about this “music computer” that caused H|H to bankrupt? The only thing I read about it somewhere was a small mention that it would have been sort of like a PC with a built-in Cubase. Too much ahead of its time I think…

And who was “Hill”?
 
Spiny said:
Back in the 70's I used to work for H||H at Milton in the "shed" first on the lines wiring up the amps (taught me to solder :) ) then in the speaker dept.
Went to Bar Hill but left after a while for other things.

I still have a H||H IC100S bought at the time - and it still works well. my son uses it with his guitar....

I always felt it was the Tiger? CPM PC which the company invested in which bought it down - just when IBM bought out the dos based PC.:rolleyes:

Alan

I now like dos even less than I did before.

Great information Alan I appreciate it!
 
Back with more questions...


If I wanted to clean the inside up what would be the best way of doing this?

I've debated using canned air and a cleaning cloth. Would this be the best?


Also, I've heard of benefits of changing out old capacitors for new ones. (IE if they start to age you can get hums which this amp is victim of)

The capacitors on the power supply are 15,000uF 80VDC.

Would their be any benefit to going with something bigger? And where is a good place to buy quality capacitors of that size?

I'm also a little confused about what the voltage rating means. Does it just mean the maximum voltage or is there a total power rating attached to it?

Sorry for the noob questions. I'm learning! :scratch1:

Thanks!
 
Hi joetama,

nice little ol' style riggid and reliable amplifier. Wish I had one of those in my stock.

For a minor cleaning job canned air and cleaning clothes are sufficient. In case you wanna go for a 'sterilized' amp ;) you need non agressive cleaning liquids and maybe eartips (aka Q-tips, if you now what I mean). But that's a fiddling work I won't go for. Besides, in most cases this won't be necessary. Dry (compressed) air and a cleaning brush/clothes will be OK to get the major dirt out of it.

The capacitor voltage rating, labeled on the can, is the maximum allowed (peak) voltage that should be attached to it. There's no 'power' rating (concerning the unit 'Watts') for a capacitor. However there's a value called 'ripple current'. For such amplifier applications this value is of less interest since the charging interval is limited to quite low frequencies (actually rectified mains frequency, which would be either 100Hz or 120Hz).
In SMPSs (Switched Mode Power Supply) this parameter will be much more important.
Any good bulk capacitor with the mentioned min. parameters would do the job. Because of the large value [18,000µF] and the higher voltage rating [>=80V] the price would be the main thing you have to consider. A good bargain would be anything below 10 Euro (or 15$). For the special audiophil types like slit-foil caps or T-network caps you might have to pay a fortune for it - prices (far) above 40 Euro a piece are not seldom. So, it's up to you if you go for high-quality grades or just a standard-grades - depending on the low tide in your wallet :D
Where you can get such parts in your country I do not know, I'm sorry for that but I wish you all the luck you can get.
 
Corax,

Thanks for the information. I did some searching online but it wasn't clear about the voltage rating. Thanks for clearing that up!

After removing the bottom panel of the amplifier there is some corrosion 'leaking' out of the top of one of the capacitors. So, I am defiantly going to change them. Especially after doing some reading here about capacitors popping. Most defiantly don't want that to happen. :whazzat:

Looking at some of the circuit boards it is defiantly going to need a more complete cleaning. What would you recommend for a good cleaning solution? I have used DeoxIT from CAIG Labs in the past, would this be too aggressive? I need to get a new bottle of the lower % solution anyway right now I only have the D100 and figure that might be too strong.

Anyone know a good place to buy capacitors in the USA?

Thanks,
JoeTama
 
@joetama:

If the cap is leaking that doesn't really mean that he's defective. I had one myself in my DIY HiFi-amp and checked his parameters with a good capacitance-meter (capacity and ESR vale, leakage current, etc. are still in good condition) just the sealing got bad over the years. In addition I figured out that the same caps used in another equipment are still OK. Soooo, either the problem is just with this single cap or ...?!? And exactly here comes the big difference that might counts:
Since the complete amp is mounted on a huge heatsink but just upside down when inserted into the case - the heatsink is then on top and all parts point to the bottom, so does one of the bulk caps which is leaking by now.
In my early years of electronics (almost thre decades ago) I had no knowledge about the recommended built-in orientation of electrolytic capacitors having excessiv liquid electrolytics inside. They do have a preferrable built-in orientation! Today I now better and take seriously care about this 'issue'.
Therefore horizontal orientation, as can be seen by the provided pictures, might only be slightly better than upside-down mounting. :smash:

For cleaning of your amp I won't use special cleaning chemicals. I'm using just the stand detergent your wife might use when cleaning the dishes. It's almost outstanding in getting rid of oil, dust, and other sticky stuff, like deposits from cigarett smoke and anything similar. Finally to get rid of the thin detergent film on the PCBs, components etc. I use standard alcohol (don't take too many deep breaths ;) ) or spirit. That's all. This is also a pretty cheap solution. This method served me well for many years of cleaning vintage tube amps and other old stuff.
 
Cheers Bob.

I thought it used stepped attenuators because I'd found a place that does spare parts and they listed stepped attenuators for the V-800.

I now have the 'beast' in my possesion. I've got it wired directly to my PC sound card and Tannoy reveal monitors. The gain pots are the regular smooth type with one detent at the 'top'.

First impressions are that the transformer humm is awful.
Second impressions are that the sound is pretty damn fine! It's amazing how loud these speakers can go when properly driven.

I've even managed to light TWO green LED's!

Next ..... must try it out on my floorstanders before family return!!
 
I've had it in my main system wired directly to my CD player and sounds great. Absolutely no compression at any volume and my speakers go very loud now .... addictively loud!

The sound is very balanced in my system where it was too bright before. Perhaps it's a warm sounding amp.

Bad points:
Very pronounced transformer hum. This doesn't change when plugged into my mains conditioner.

If I could get rid of the hum then I'd use it in my main system after a good re-spray and re-cap!
 
Sonusthree said:
I've had it in my main system wired directly to my CD player and sounds great. Absolutely no compression at any volume and my speakers go very loud now .... addictively loud!

The sound is very balanced in my system where it was too bright before. Perhaps it's a warm sounding amp.

Bad points:
Very pronounced transformer hum. This doesn't change when plugged into my mains conditioner.

If I could get rid of the hum then I'd use it in my main system after a good re-spray and re-cap!

I'm assuming you aren't running the amplifier with the balanced inputs?

I've had trouble with buzzes when it isn't running balanced.
 
is there any thing more

that you can post a schematic ....even a hand draw or a basic configuration .....

it might be usefull

small tip :
since you are replacing the caps anyway ( my sugestion will be that for such old equipment all other small elctolytics should be replaced also ) you might consider placing the new electrolytics vertically instead of horizontally ....

in lomg term use the electrolytics placed horizontally place their fluids down so loose the capacitance

then on the other hand instead of 2x15.000 mfd beter 4 x10.000 mfd or higher and placed vertical