Threecircles Recording Studio - H3000 Inside

Eventide H-3000 upgrade

You may have seen on our Facebook page that I recently managed to get my grubby hands on an Eventide H-3000. “A what?” I hear you cry…

You may have seen on our Facebook page that I recently managed to get my grubby hands on an Eventide H-3000. “A what?” I hear you cry…

The Eventide H-3000 is what’s known as a Harmonizer – a unit capable of effects like flanging, phasing and chorus by splitting the incoming signal and applying varying degrees of detune and delay to create a thickened sound. The units is synonymous with the wide 80’s guitar sounds from Eddie van Halen and many, many others and that sound is making a comeback…..

In fact my most popular videos on YouTube (over 60,000 views and counting!) is a tutorial on how to create a split harmonizer effect using software. You can see it here:

The unit I have is the original from 1988 and has seen various upgrades in the past two decades – the problem being that the upgrades are usually on the rather expensive side – the newest model – the H-8000, retails for around £4,500……

The is where eBay comes in.

For around $60 and a two-week wait you can get hold of the upgrade chips to convert your unit into one of its newer siblings in all but the name. The units all contain the same algorithms – it’s just the presets that change.

 

Threecircles Recording Studio - H3000 Inside

Here you can see what the H-3000 looks like on the inside – pretty daunting! the area for modification is in the top right near the power switch. A PCB trace needs cutting and the ePROM chips needs swapping over – made a lot easier by removing the IEC power inlet and moving it to one side for the duration.

The upgrade itself was fairly straightforward – a trace on the PCB needed to be cut by a razor blade and then a new connection needed to be made by scratching the trace off a couple of pads and producing a bridge between the two via a blob of solder. So far so easy (although making my own compressor certainly increased my confidence!)

 

IMG_0527Here you can see the new ePROM chips (in white) and you can just make out the new solder bridge made to change the PCB configuration.

Once the PCB has been altered it’s simply a case of prising out the old ePROMs and replacing them with the upgraded versions which contain the new OS and data, including all 753 lovely new presets! I had to bend the legs of the ePROMs slightly to get the seated properly which was just a case of bending them together on a flat surface and then they snapped into place.

The last thing to do was to reset the operating system by holding the Function button during power up and Voila! An upgraded and vastly more powerful H-3000 without breaking the bank!

 

IMG_0528With an OS reset, the unit now powers up as an H-3000 D/SE with 753 new presets including those from Steve Vai & Bob Clearmountain. Yum!

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