Hafler 9180 Amplifiers

9180

105 Watt Mosfet Power Amplifier (1991-1994)

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Steve   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 11, 2018]

I agree with all other compliments about the Hafler 9180. Owned mine since I think 1993 or '94? Purchased it through a close out sale for a mere $400!! At the time I knew this was a really good price for this amp. I was a bit surprised no one wanted it.

An audio designer/engineer from Sellwood Oregon first introduced me to Hafler in 1977. He recommended purchase of a DH-101 pre-amp kit. I did and enjoyed the building process and it's performance. Miss the days of kits!

Back to the 9180. It has functioned without flaw since purchase. However in 2015, I had one small hiccup. One channel kept cutting out. I thought long and hard about having it evaluated and repaired. Then I tried a bit of internal cleaning, in a fantasy that maybe this was the fix. First sprayed off the dust then went around with an alcohol soaked swab cleaning random components. I had no clue about what I was doing or what it might accomplish. Voila! Problem solved! Been fine since.

Yes the Hafler is built well, like a tank others have said. It drives my pair of Thiel CS2 towers. A simple Rotel pre-amp and old Philips CD 80 round out my equipment. The Hafler, Philips and Thiel are old but the music sounds true. As a former musician I hear what I think is quite natural sound. The Thiels I have read are quite revealing of anything "upstream". I believe it!
I would never foresake my MOSFET amp.

Tried a Bryston once. Sound was lean and somewhat un-involving. Sold it some years later.

Sure I have "lusted" after amps with more watts and current. Then after that fantasy dissipates I return to the Hafler. It does what I want very well. The sound is musical and involving, not fatiguing. If I get fatigued at all it is the music source. Time to change the CD!

Anyway glad the audio designer/engineer introduced me to Hafler. It has been 23+ years of musical bliss!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Allen Chou   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 13, 2017]

Perfect addition o my frankenstein home theater system. This is a 25 year old amp and still amazing! Beats the pants off all the budget separate amps i've owned like Adcom, Emotiva, Acurus and Parasound. It even goes head to head with the expensive British equipment like Naim and Audiolab.

Only 105 watts but stable into a 1 ohm loads. Few amps in this price range can boast that. The best thing about his amp besides the build quality is that it actually sounds good playing music. I would have preferred the grey one, but those are hard to find. This is the best amp i've heard under $1,000 and I only paid $90 for it used!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dario Fosca   Audio Enthusiast [May 10, 2017]

To me the Hafler 9180 amp is one of the very best amps money can buy in the used audio market. I bought mine brand new in 1994 and can you believe, I still own this amp. I currently have it hooked up to a 1989 Conrad Johnson preamp. Musical fidelity from the combo is amazingly pleasurable and sweet to hear. Today, you can find this amp in good condition for about 200 bucks on average. Overall, the Hafler 9180 amp is constructed with the finest materials inside and out. Believe me, you will be totally delighted and pleased when you combined it a good quality pre-amp. Keep always in mine that in a sound system the most important audio piece is your pre-amp. That is the heart of great sounding music. So if you prefer individual components, spend your most money on your pre-amp and I assure you, you'll be left delighted.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike McCauley   AudioPhile [Jul 18, 2015]

I have owned this amp for 15 years,im the second owner.what people do not realize is if you arent happy with the lows or highs of a amplifier,then try another preamp .its not always your amplifier.The 9180 is one of the best sounding amps ive owned and that is why i stopped buyingt his amp and that amp.I think ive owned 1000 amps and i finally stuck to this one because of its layout,low ohm drive and sound.A amp does what its named for,it amplifies,you put poo poo sound in you are gonna get poo poo sound out bottom line.Do research people before you trash a amplifier.I found a set of Hafler rack handles for another model and put them on my BLACK unit and the handles are black and its a pretty piece.They make the 9180 and 9270 in silver that has rack handles and are 19 inches wide for rack mount ,the black ones are 17 inch so i wanted that look of the 19 inch models.I found mine with the matching preamp for $200 a long time ago in their boxes,one owner.The DH110 wasnt the sound i was looking for,it was not the amp.changed preamp and i had it.If you find a clean one for no more than $350 bucks today,remember this isnt 10 years ago now,buy it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Adventurer   AudioPhile [Oct 26, 2009]

Hafler's 9180 is the final evolution of the landmark DH-220 power amplifier that was the rage when released in the early 1980's. Excellent performance at a value price resulted from well-engineered complimentary circuitry employing the latest (at the time) power MOSFETs. I assembled and modified several, and installed the earlier versions in many audio systems, both home and professional venues. Reliability was high, and sound quality was quite good. The 9180 has several circuit improvements over the original Hafler 'DH' models including a complimentary FET differential input amp, turn-on transient supressor, larger power supply, other subtle circuit refinements as well as improved board layout, less wiring and notably higher quality parts. (Note that Hafler TransNova amplifiers employed a much different circuit topology.) Packaging/chassis are very good--substantial, functional build quality--I still find the 9180 to be quite attractive and the best looking of Hafler amplifiers. I could describe the circuitry further, but you're likely wondering about the sound. Against the latest state-of-the-art, mega-buck power amplifier, there are some shortcomings. In my listening tests, the low end in particular lacks some heft and control. None-the-less, this amplifier performs quite well over the audio spectrum providing clean, no-fatigue audio, and still holds its own which is quite an accomplishment considering that the basic design is around 30 years old! I call that good value. If you find one at a reasonable price, go for it and own a classic with a fine heritage while enjoying its performance for a long time.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
superryankatie   AudioPhile [Sep 09, 2006]
Strength:

Best money to spend. Will last a long time . more like decade or more.

Weakness:

Not easy to find a used one on the market. I guess that is a good reason.

.this kind of amp gives wonderful detail, warm tube like sound. great for 2 channel stero or used to home theater. It's built like a tank. If you can get one used ..i say go for it you can't go wrong. Can drive my b&w at 4 ohms with easy. This is a mucho amp. With very high ends parts and built quillty.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
haru   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 15, 2003]
Strength:

build quality, power reserves, confidence

Weakness:

cooling fins have sharp edges making handling it difficult.

This is as good a 100wpc ampt that I could ask for. In my application, it was masterful in its performance, never getting weak at the knees. Awesome

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 16, 2000]
Strength:

simple, no nonsence set-up / operation.

Weakness:

acousticly live chasis / cooling fins

I had purchased two 9180's to run in bridged mode to power two Polk SDA-2B's. A nieghbor had one to power his Alpha sub / sat system. Both systems sounded excellent. I was always pleased with these amps' performance. They supplied all the power I needed to listen to the different types of music I have at all levels. They really had no traits that were negative as far as their output, hoever the chasis were live. A clap of the hands in the room with them would have them replying with a not to pleasant "rinnnnnng" But some foam between every other fin and a mouse pad adhered to the case top took care of that. They took about an hour to reach listening "temperatures", much before that and they would be a bit crude compared to letting them reach a warmer temp. Pushing them hard would not stress them, thought they would get hot enough to heat a large closet. For what I paid for them, and the trade in value they brought me when I upgrade to the Hafler P3000's, I could have paid twice as much and not been concerned. They were a heavy, yet thin amp with simple set up (no hundred different inputs) and plenty of power either in stereo or mono (105 vs. 300) and very pleasant to listen to.

Similar Products Used: now using P3000's
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve Ferro   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 06, 2000]
Strength:

Simplicity and reliability!

Weakness:

None that I know of for the price.

I purchased the Hafler 9180 used from an audiophile friend of mine. He was the original owner. I had the pleasure of auditioning it on his system up against such greats as Krell,Cal. Audio Labs, NHT. Needless to say, some very expensive high end gear. Suprisingly, the Hafler performed quite well in comparison to the Krell. The Hafler is a great all around performer when fully warmed up. (approx 1 hour) Considering the $250 price tag used, I can't imagine getting any better performance for the dollar!! I enjoy the open full sound it gives.

My system;
Hafler9180
Chase Technologies Line controler
Rotel RCD971
MIT timed interconnects, Monster interconnects
B&W 602's Bi wired W/Monster



Similar Products Used: NAD integrated amp, Adcom
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Frank   Audiophile [Sep 19, 2001]
Strength:

Good build, nice bass and trebble

Weakness:

When compared to high end products, their shortcomigs are quickly evident. Good beginner products.

The 9180 is a good product to start with - I did. However, it is not up to par with High end amps. My mid fi McCormack absolutely puts any Hafler amp to shame - Better bass, mids and highs with pinpoint imaging.

However, the Hafler is a good, reliable amp and should be considered for anyone entering highend or on a budget.

The 5 star review is not warranted.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 10  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com