V-S Musician Combo 212 review by HH Electronic

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (8 votes)
HH Electronic: V-S Musician Combo 212

Purchased from: Found it in a skip!

Features — 8
This beauty was built in the HH factory in the north west part of Cambridge back in 1976. I got i about five years ago, when I salvaged it from a recycling centre. Someone had tried to put it in the electronics skip, but it was too heavy. I popped it in the back of my car and took it home to test it, and it was in good working condition.

This 100W amp features 2 12" Celestion speakers that delivers an impressive amount of sound! HH Electronic had designed it's own amp and sound control system, that they didn't want anyone to copy, so they encased all the electronics in resin making it virtually impossible to open.

The standout feature of this am is the Valve State. It is an alle transistor amp, but the Valve State emulates the tube amp.

Sound — 9
There are 2 different channels on this amp. I'll start with channel 2 which is a no frills clean channel with an equalizer and volume control only.
Channel 1 is where the fun is! here you have a wider array of control pots: Gain, bass, middle, treble, presence, voice and Valve State. The first 5 are rather obvious controls. The "voice" selector lets you select between 3 settings from light to heavy. The last pot is "Valve Sound," and it really makes a difference!

Without the "Valve Sound" turned on you get a clean transistor amp feeling. You can add gain to get more drive. The "voice" selector is important here:

  • "light" gives you a thin, sharp tone.
  • "middle" gives a versatile sound with a nice amount of body.
  • "heavy" adds bass and boost
With the "Valve Sound" on you get more growl from the amp. Again the 'voice' selector is very important:
  • "light" gives you a thin fuzzy sound
  • "middle" is the one I use the most. I am able to get a wide selection of sounds depending on the settings of the first 5 pots.
  • "heavy" will let you have a thick bass driven distortion.
I can get some great sounds from the amp, but it's been difficult for me to find the "true blues" kind of sound.

Reliability & Durability — 9
The only problem I've encountered is a bit of static humming until it warms up a bit. This amp was built to last! It is HEAVY and reliable and built to last. Like I said before, the sound circuits are covered in hardened resin making it very difficult to repair. Some of these amps have suffered from slightly faulty tone modules, and new ones are often required as repair is difficult if not impossible. I have read other people state that they have used the V-S Musician 212 Combo for years without any problems. I never knew it existed until I found it by accident

Overall Impression — 9
I play a mix of bluesy stuff, classic rock and more melodious rock. I have been able to find suitable and great sounds for a wide range of musical styles on the amp - even without the use of pedals. It is most useful when you want that "I love Rock 'n' roll" sound of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. However I find it difficult to change settings quickly between songs, so I play through a Vox Tonelab LE. It is plugged into the "effect return," and it works perfectly. I tried plugging it into both channels, but found that the amps own EQ "interferred" with the sound of the Vox. The Celestion speakers pack a punch and I've got more power than I'll ever need.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Wow that brings back some memories. I bought one of these from a shop in Camden Town, London, when I lived there from 1977 - 1979. I loved that amp. I brought it back with me to N.Z. when I returned home. I eventually sold it, as a lot of us guitar players tend to do. I wonder where it is now ? I hope you enjoy your amp. HH gear was very popular back in those days, and were solidly made and reliable.
    Nice to hear that. It's very sturdy and virtually unbreakable, and I enjoy i very much. I'm impressed that those old Celestion speakers still packs such a punch!
    Yes they are a real "bullet proof" amp. Mine travelled in a crate all the way from London back to New Zealand without a scratch. It was going like new when I sold it. It had a great 'tubey' sound to my ears. I used to get some very nice Gary Moore type tones out of it - with an Aria Pro II Les Paul - which I also bought in London. (note - I couldn't/can't play anything like Gary, but loved his tone and style - I saw him play with Thin Lizzy at the Hammersmith Odeon, and was blown away by the band) I wish I still had the Aria L.P and the HH amp . . .   enjoy yours !!!   :