H. H. Scott, Inc.
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- "H. H. Scott Inc." Was the business name of the Audio manufacturing company founded by Herman Hosmer Scott. Mr Scott is credited with inventing the R/C audio oscillator, and perfecting the first audio "compressors", which were employed within the nascent FM broadcasting industry. For the company's founder of the same name, see Hermon Hosmer Scott. H. H. Scott is not to be confused with E. H. Scott, an earlier manufacturer of premium radios and radio-phonographs.
Founded by Hermon Hosmer Scott in 1947, H.H. Scott, Inc. was one of the top hi-fi brands sold in the U.S. during the "Golden Age" of the vacuum tube. Other similar brands included Fisher, Marantz, McIntosh, and Harman Kardon. Some HH Scott units were sold as kits. Models beginning with an "L," such as LK (amplifier) or LT (Tuner), can be recognized as kits rather than factory-assembled units.
H.H. Scott sold some of the earliest FM stereo multiplex tuners and receivers. Pictured is the 1961 Model 350, the first FM stereo multiplex tuner sold in the USA. H.H. Scott was involved in early stereo multiplex testing with radio station WCRB in Boston, one of the first three U.S. FM stations to broadcast in multiplex stereo.
During the "Second Golden Age" of the 1970s H.H. Scott struggled against Marantz, Technics, and Yamaha as electronics evolved from tubes and solid state to pure solid state. At the time, Yamaha (obviously known for motorcycles and lessor known for pianos) took the lead with lower THD and IM distortion numbers. While names like H.H. Scott and Fisher attempted to "catch up", the psyche of the consumer seemed to move to overseas products. H.H. Scott products of this time were highly reliable but seemed to suffer an image problem much like Grand Daddy's Oldsmobile. Today these vintage pieces from the "Second Golden Age" hold their own in performance but offer the collector and purist a price and performance value. Today it would cost many times more to purchase a like product, even if it is available.
There are some unique pieces with built in equalizers and strong RMS at low THD and IM from this generation of products. A quick search is sure to reeducate the contemporary consumer that bass can be sharp and strong, and midrange can be mellow and pure, and highs do not have to shatter glass or ear drums to be pleasant. There is nothing better than hearing 100 RMS at full song and not getting a head ache (or pretending to enjoy) current (unmentioned) standards of 10-20-30% THD.
H.H. Scott and Avery Fisher along with Paul Klipsch were (better?) known for their loud speakers. Advent, Boston Acoustics, BOSE, JBL, AR (Acoustics Research) and some of the smaller Klipsch were stunningly popular and George Sioles' Design Acoustics represented niche producers of decent sound reproducers. This second generation and total phase development of turntables, cassettes and stunning performance from "real Japanese" equipment pushed H.H. Scott and Fisher into the back ground along with Harmon-Kardon. While I never really understood "why" I always believed that the term "loudspeaker" referred to a device that would enthrall the listener at high db without hurting. H.H. Scott and Fisher loudspeakers were power eaters while the Klipsch were amazingly efficient. Advent and BA were also more efficient which seemed to match the receiver specifications as "separate amp and tuner" were more of a luxury. This was not only the Golden Age of the vinyl record but also was the time in history that FM displaced AM (although few audiophiles and audiophillys would admit using FM as a source). The cassette tape displaced "reel-to-reel" and there were stunning developments in turntables as DUAL was challenged by a wave of high quality Japanese devices. A strong competitor and contributor and survivor to this day is Bang&Olefson...although their offerings then, like BOSE, are not like you see at the outlet mall today! BOSE only made loudspeakers and there was intense debate about the design among the esoteric.
In these times the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) was held in Chicago. There were two events a year: one at McCormick Place in the Summer and the other at The Hilton in the Winter. During both events the "esoterica" met at The Bismark, which was a 30's genre grand hotel. The buttons on the elevators spoke the floor numbers...quite a "thing" for the time. Here Gale and Dhalquist Loudspeakers were debated and one summer there was a water drive turntable for those concerned with "rumble". Shure and AudioTechnica battled with newest stylus designs. Four Channel was the rage for a time but even the very best 4 Channel was thought not to come close to pure stereo. There was a wave from England with B&W Loudspeakers and associated amplifiers and separate components lead by highly-vaulted McIntosh. Crown was the workhorse and SAE, while innovative, never seemed to match the reliability of the others. For example, while Dolby was generally accepted, the SAE "pop and click filter" which (if I remember rightly) "caught and eliminated a pop" that might be found on a slightly damaged vinyl and digitally erased the annoyance. Very heady times as there could be two or three "high end dealers" in a community the size of Tulsa, for example, each with their own mix of products and each purporting to be an expert. In fact, the audiophile dealer of the time had a fine selection of products and there was little "really bad". It's hard to imagine how many audiophile dealers there were in Chicago or Los Angeles or San Francisco or...New York City!
These Golden Times saw the music itself was redefining. Folk Rock, Amazing Rock and even the Disco genre all collided to make genuine high fidelity listening an every day and everyman's pleasure as it synthesized emerging and changed values. The 1970s gave way to the 1980s and audio changed as electronics brought new toys that diluted interest and redefined "listening pleasure". BoomBoxes, Walkman, and even the FAX Machine grabbed consumer interest. However, on those golden times, any way you wanted it...there was nothing nicer than to hear not only Joanie Mitchell as she sung "Help Me", but also, the introductory riff and that base note that dropped right in the chest and demanded one more time, please! (The Second Golden Age was "very" different from the 2008 F150 or HondaBoyRacer a stop light, in 2013, with 100% THD and a sub woofer shuttering windows of within a 20 foot radius.)
H.H. Scott...one of several important pioneers in the history of pure sound that you may have never enjoyed.
(By the way...not sure if a H.H. Scott by Emerson would be the same!)
In 1985, the brand was purchased by and today operates as a division of Emerson Electronics. Since 1999 H. H. Scott or Audioscott equipment including radios, car-audio, and mp3-players has been produced by Emerson's subsidiary alfa group in Hong Kong.
Classic H.H. Scott tube equipment is sought by collectors today.
Rare HH Scott LT-111 FM Stereo Tube Kit Tuner Utilizing Compactron Tubes Circa 1965
- The Vintage H.H. Scott Hi-Fi Stereo Archive promotes sharing of information, understanding and historic appreciation of vintage H.H. Scott (vacuum tube) consumer high fidelity audio products produced from 1946 through 1966. The site, online since 1998, is not affiliated or sponsored by H.H. Scott, Inc., but rather operates under the guidance of Lee K. Shuster as a free service to Scott tube aficionados.
- H.H. Scott - German Scott HiFi Classics and History Site (private project)
- Official Site of the brand owner