Hafler 9505 Transnova Amplifiers

9505 Transnova

250w x2 Channels - Balanced Inputs - Bridgeable

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
KEVIN NUNN   AudioPhile [Feb 21, 2012]

Apparently there were several revisions made in these amplifiers during the time they were made. The one I have seems to have had all of them, and perhaps this is why I'm so enthusiastic with this amps listening qualities. I THINK it's a 2010 or just before they stopped production. I bought mine from the original owner after he decided to go with his high efficiency single speaker system powered by 5 watt single ended triode amps. I'm sure that sounds nice, but I'm a full range music kind of guy, and I like real full range speakers.

I've listened to this amplifier with every kind of music, and with every kind of speaker. Here is what it does so well - First, the energy and WEIGHT of the mid range is superior to nearly any other solid state amp I've used.
Piano for example isn't thin, or anemic as it can be through many other solid state amps, including very highly reviewed units costing thousands of dollars more then these go for. When the musician is being light in their touch, so is the reproduced sound, very airy and sweet. BUT - when the musician is jumping on it, this amplifier keeps right up with them!
It is a terrific amplifier having both very detailed reproduction, as well as the visceral power and weight when it's in the music. Second - The highs are smooth, and sound much like a WELL DESIGNED tube amplifier. It's not a sizzle and screech amp, It's never "grainy", but consistently smooth and natural. My experience is that if it hurts to listen, then something is wrong, and if most everything hurts when you turn up the volume to a realistic level, then it's most likely the common components, which is often the amplifier if that happens on more then one set of speakers. This won't make your ears bleed!
Third - The bass, is simply as good as I've heard from any amplifier, ever! What more needs to be said there?

This amplifier unlike previous Hafler labeled designs does not use, nor does it need a noisy fan to keep it in the good operational temperature range, The wrap around heat sinks get a little warm when pressed hard into low impedance loads, and that's about it.

It's looks are good, although not strikingly. so Too bad nice big analog meters are seldom seen anymore, those would have been the icing on the cake here..
Build quality none the less is first rate. Having owned many other amplifiers, I've made this one a keeper. While some more esoteric Class A amplifiers may be a little warmer(in every way...), where this one is a hair more clinical, it's overall qualities makes it much easier to live with. It does more things right, and fewer things wrong then just about any other, and it does it reliably, and is affordable too! No worries it will blow up from someone switching on a light on the same circuit, or a dropped needle on a record, or a thousand other things which can drive you batty with a $10,000 Jabba-the hut-amplifier sitting on your floor and heating up the room all summer. If you get the chance to snag one, I think you'll be happy you did!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff*G   AudioPhile [Oct 22, 2004]
Strength:

excellent bass response, very strong overall sound. Truly excellent stage, blows visitors away.

Weakness:

none come to mind

Very tight control of my JBLs, bass is hard hitting. Bought this off of eBay to use as a second amp to contrast my old Technics MarkII. Runs a bit hot, and to my ear sounds better after really heating up. Originally I wanted to try something THX rated. At the time I bought this (1999) the THX rating was hard to come by, and expensive. I found an amazing deal and took a chance, it was well worth it. The thing was 'as new', with box and manual.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
9000rpm   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 13, 2003]
Strength:

Very powerful, good at controlling the bottem end, extended highs that are not shrill or painful.

Weakness:

Heavy.

I have been using this amp with my Mirage M5si speakers since 1995. When I first bought my speakers I could only afford the Adcom 545II amp. A good amp, but the difference when I switched to the 9505 was significant. The bottom became much tighter, the midrange cleaner, and the top more extended. Overall, a clearer and more controlled sound. The Adcom is still a good amp, I have it packed up in the garage, someday I know I'll use it for another system.

Similar Products Used: Adcom GFA 545II
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tang   AudioPhile [Mar 02, 2003]
Strength:

Clean, clear sound stage. Control of bass. Drive low impedance speakers with ease. Build quality.

Weakness:

Too cheap. None really.

I bought this amp because of reviews of similar productin magazines. I did not audition it anywhere. Even thought I had the option to return the unit, I kept it because it exceeded my expectation. I used it to drive a pair of Apogee Centaurs Minors, which are fairly power hungry. The Rotel 980 could not drive the Apogees, but the 9505 drove them at ease. Bass is limited by the Apogees but clearly better with the 9505. Mid range is really sweet, it is just right. It has a clear sound stage. The speakers simply disappeared. It never failed to impress visitors. I have tried to use the balanced input, directly from the balanced output of my Theta DAC, but I did not like it. The unbalanced input is more natural. The best possible sound when I used a passive preamp.

Similar Products Used: Rotel 980
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Hadrian Tuck   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 16, 2003]
Strength:

Huge bandwidth Every detail of Music, studio and audience is revealed. No humms or added background noise. Silent parts of a musical track are realy silent, and a roaring concert put you right in the audience

Weakness:

none

When considering Amps, I spent a long time auditioning high end products like Macintosh, PS Audio and Theta. this was all very confusing unjtill I walked into Sam Ash to brouse at the commercial products I spotted a Hafler 1500 studio amp in the recording room and asked to see the specs. I was impressed by the huge band width, but the unit was very ugly with a separate volume control for each Channel (poinless resistance)I ask is Hafler had better component, that when I was introduced to the "Special Order" 9505. In the few Years that I have used this amp I have built quite an audiophile system to which the 9505 is still the heart. The 9505 continues to impress me everytime I listen to any music ranging from orchestral to heavy rock

Similar Products Used: Hafler 9303 better specs, smaller amp less power
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
HiFi Larry   AudioPhile [Jan 11, 2003]
Strength:

Build quality, reasonable price, balanced and unbalanced inputs, floating ground switch for minimum hum, and above all, sonics.

Weakness:

Needs room to breath as this amp is biased fairly high and runs hot.

I am very pleased with the sound quality of this amp. Clear, grain free highs and midrange, excellent retrieval of low level detail, well defined bass, and a spectacular wide deep soundstage. This amp and the Paradigm Studio 100 Loudspeakers were made for each other. Compares favorably with Sim Moon's W-5 for much less money. Could not possibly justify spending more on an amplifier. Shop around as prices vary widely.

Similar Products Used: Rotel RB 1090, Moon W-5, Hafler 500.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 01, 2001]
Strength:

Huge sound stage, lots of power

Weakness:

Speaker binding posts and rca jacks are crowded on the back panel.

I have owned the original Hafler 9500 for over 8 years now. It is a very musical amplifier. As described in Stereophile, it is a bit lean but throughs a huge soundstage. I use Spica TC-60's for speakers and currently am using a conrad-johnson pv10A pre amp. This preamp mates with the Hafler very well. Previous to the c-j, I had and Adcom 565 preamp. It was too lean with the Hafler. Overall, I feel the Hafler Transnova is an overlooked bargain. At $2200 list, there are better. At under $750 used, it is a great value.

Similar Products Used: Adcom 545, Carver TCM 15, Harman Kardon HK 117, Sound valves tube amp, NAD 2100
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Calvin   Audio Enthusiast [May 08, 2000]
Strength:

Transparent sound with a detailed soundstage, tight deep bass, muscial and involving, accurate portrayal of voices;no coloration, lack of harshness.

Weakness:

Speaker binding posts are to close to the RCA unbalanced jacks.

An excellent value, I compared this amp to amps costing a lot more, and the 9505 sounded better that most of them. The sound of the 9505 is accurate, involving and musical. If you want a amp that combines power and finess with the easy listening character of tubes, the Hafler 9505 Diablo should be near the top of your amplfier list.

Similar Products Used: Classe, McCormack, Adcom.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jack P   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 28, 1999]
Strength:

c;ean,powerfull,imaging and depth

Weakness:

none

This amp never fails to impress me with it's "see-through" realistic sound. The bass is very tight and the whole spectrum of sound is clean, clean, clean. Superb soundstaging as well.

Similar Products Used: Adcom 5800,
carver35
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mark   an Audiophile [Feb 06, 1998]

I have been using the 9505 with my Mirage M5si speakers for 3 years. Thebottom is very controlled, not too warm. A good match for M5si's as they can
get a bit too warm for my tastes(in my room anyway). The mid is very clean
and perhaps a hair lean. The top is also clean open. The M5si's are a a little
lean in the mid so I wish the amp has some beef there but I think only a tube
amp will do that. On the other hand the clean highs compliment the M5si's well
since the titanium dome w/cloth surround is very sweet, even a little laid back.
The amp helps keep the high end defined without pain! The construction is
excellent and I've had no problems with it. I'd rate it closer to 5 than 4
compared to other transistors amps I've heard. But since I must use a whole
number...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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