Hafler DH-200 Amplifiers

DH-200

100 Watts Per Channel MOSFET Power Amplifier - Was Sold Assembled Or As A Kit (1979-1982)

User Reviews (29)

Showing 1-10 of 29  
Jason Smith   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 02, 2013]

This collection of reviews helped me decide to buy a Hafler DH-220 on Ebay and I'm glad I did. I bought it along with a DH-100 solid state preamp for $260 + $40 shipping. I bought it from a dealer who said it was in excellent condition. I have no idea if it came from a kit or the factory. I don't know if anything has ever been replaced or upgraded with it. But I do know that it delivers entry level audiophile quality sound at as cheap as you can hope to get into the market.

Now my entry level system is complete. I have a customized vintage 70s Thorens TD-166 turntable ($550) going into the gem of my system, a Mark Voigt hand-built Magi Phenomenal Tube Phono Preamp ($850 new). That goes into the line input of the Hafler Preamp which feeds into the DH-220. I also bought some vintage Klipsch KG-4 speakers for $340 to complete the system. I'm very happy, though I know I will want to upgrade the DH-100 for a tube line preamp. Add in about $150 for Better Cables and you've got a great entry level vinyl system for under the price of many tube preamps.

I don't have a lot of experience in audiophile sound so I know I'm not the best judge. However, as a musician I have spent a lot of time in studios, and I've always felt like I couldn't get close to that "studio sound" at home. Listening to vinyl on this system, I'm starting to feel like I'm in the studio with Hendrix, The Beatles, and all my other favorites. It's a great feeling. And after years of mp3s, online streaming and just listening to cds in my car, I am realizing that it's a lot more satisfying to listen to music while seated on my sofa with a tumbler of Southern Comfort in my hand.

If I had a little more money, I'd have splurged on ebay on a rebuilt Hafler DH-220. But I wanted it NOW and this one came with the pre-amp. I needed the preamp so I just decided to get them together. And I can always upgrade it later if it starts humming etc. That's another great feature with the Hafler. There are still people out there who upgrade them.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Audiocus   AudioPhile [Aug 27, 2011]

THis review is of a refurbished Hafler DH200 amplifier.
I got thi amplifier of Ebay in great shape but after hearing it, I figured that rebuilding it back to new specs was well worth it.
Getting on in years of being an audiophile, I had my fair share of amplifiers. Making things short, I've owned many set-ups including, Quad, Naim, Bryston, Musical Fidelity ext. Solid state, Class A,single ended and powerfull push pull tube setups as well.
All have given me some enjoyement in the past but imediacy is now the name of the game. I want to feel that I'm in the same room as the performers. (A small groop of course) as this set-up will not play at full orquestral volume.
I use a Single ended pure class A tube amplifier using 845 tubes for the highs and the Hafler DH200 for the lows.
The match is perfect. The imaging is spooky real sometimes. Some nights I just can't go to bed. The amplifier is dead quiet. You have to place your ear has to be close up to the speaker in order to hear a faint hiss.
I have to use a subwoofer in order to get some real foundation in the lower notes( this is not a Brysten 4B) but for most of you out there, it will be OK. I must admit that the uF bank in the power supply has been upgrated from 10,000uF to 22,000uF. This added to the bass foundation. I did not find that this amplifier has ringing highs as many have found in the past reviews. In fact, I find it kind of soft and laid back. To much for my taste and so the reason for by-amping with the 845 single ended amplifier for the highs.
All in all, a great amplifier for the price. Just make sure that you test before you buy. The output transistor are Mosphet TO-3 types and have been discontinued. You can find replacements but thry are expensive and the bias will have to be adjusted.

Strengths:
Great amplifier for the price.

Weaknesses:
To soft on the highs for my personnal taste.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
sqlsavior   AudioPhile [Nov 10, 2008]
Strength:

Detailed, transparent sound, with particularly good bass.
Rugged construction.

Weakness:

Can get quite hot at high power output levels. Give it good ventilation.

This review is for the DH220.

After 25 years, the only good piece left alive in my old stereo system was my NAD 3020 integrated amp, a legendary giant-killer in the budget audiophile category for many years. So when I received a settlement for my motorcycle accident recently, I went and bought both a HT setup, and a whole new (& used) 2-channel-only system. The Hafler is the stereo power amp I'm keeping. I am quite happy with it.

I've been listening to my new system about two months now, and am VERY pleased. I've been hearing new detail and complexities from very familiar albums. I particular, I can follow bass tracks note-for-note that used to get lost in the rest of the music. How much of this is due to the amp versus the rest of the system is hard to estimate, but the Hafler sure isn't holding the rest back.

It is also very easy to listen to for hours; very non-fatiguing, especially with vinyl, and most CDs, in my (mostly older) collection at least. It is also very revealing of some source material's shortcomings. A Linda Ronstadt CD (Hasten Down the Wind) sounded awful - harsh, nasty, and not at all like my vinyl copy, which sounded better than ever.

I am convinced that the enthusiam for tube amplifiers, seemingly growing right along with the re-emergence of vinyl, is a compensating reaction to poor-sounding CDs, often newer ones, compressed and loud, produced by tin-eared, clock-punching, rap-happy sound "engineers", in the worst sense of the word.

While I am curious about tube amplifier sound, and may try one someday to satisfy that curiosity, unless I win the lottery, I am likely to be enjoying my Hafler for the rest of my life. Highly recommended :)

Similar Products Used: NAD 3020, Dynaco ST120, Marantz, Rotel

Rest of system:

Music Hall MMF-5 turntable
Denon DL160 high output moving coil cartridge
Marantz CD5001 CD player
Apt-Holman pre-amp
Hafler DH220 power amp
Magneplanar MMG speakers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jlane   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 13, 2007]
Strength:

simple, solid, trouble free, cheap, clean

Weakness:

can get a little warm if you don't give them some room.

Happened into this forum while looking for help repairing my old Hafler. I bought it new in the late 70's-early 80's. I have been driving a pair of EPI 20 plus speackers all of this time without one problem. It is amazing how basic the Hafler is and how cleanly it drives the great old EPIs. I chuckled a little when I read about the guy who found his dads old Hafler in the garage! He seemed surprised that we old farts in the stoneages had anything that sounded good!

I have been more than pleased with both amp/preamp and speakers all of these years. If anyone is looking for a great and simple set-up. I would recommend both.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rndawson   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 31, 2006]
Strength:

power ******

Weakness:

none

This amp is the greatest better than most resent foreign amps I have tried.

Similar Products Used: Sony,RCA,B&W
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
CerwinVega   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 02, 2005]
Strength:

Bass, power, ability to get extremely loud. A good first amp as these are about 21 years old now. A good amp to DJ smaller parties.

Weakness:

can get really hot easily, will blow fuses if your not careful, can have a filtering problem (at least in my experiences with this amp coupled with the compatible DH-110 Hafler preamp)

This review is for the DH-220. This was my first power amplifier for home/car back in 1994 when I was 16. I owned this amp from 1994 to 1997 until I decided to concentrate on car audio and the amp was giving me some problems with humming and I had to keep filtering my preamp to help with the problems. This was a good first amp for me as I learned a little more about home audio since then. When working properly with the Cerwin Vega VS-120's I would shake not only my house but houses 100 yards away with the windows shut which explains the power that it put out with the correct speakers. The power rating on DH-220 is 115 RMS into 8 ohms.

Similar Products Used: Audiosource AMP Three which I now own with no problems!
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
jwsb   AudioPhile [Jun 16, 2004]
Strength:

Airy, detailed, non-fatigue

Weakness:

Lean Bass

DH 220 revisited I had borrowed a similar unit from a friend a couple of years ago and apparently written some poor review of which having revisited seemed a bit unjustified. This just goes to prove that matching vs. price and product reviews count the most. At that time I had compared the 220 with the QUAD 405 the Adcom 545, Sumo Nine for a possible budget set up. Tis was first matched with a Metaxas Marquis pre-amp and then with a Le Tube pre amp. I have said that the 220 seemed a bit veiled and fuzzy. True at the time. In confirmation I also have to say that I prefer the QUAD among the three. THE 220 REVISITED I recently bought a mint condition 220 from a friend who needed to liquidate. Matched this first with the Following preamps: Music Reference RM5, Carver Hologram and finally with the Superphon Signature Line. I used the Soliloquy 5.0 and B&W 201 prism also for comparison. As you could see I did take some time to review. Pleased note that I also matched the items to keep the set-up at a budget level. Various cables used: Monster M1, Audio technica bi-wire and Linn. Silver interconnects, Tara labs. Player was a Cal Audio DX1 with Chesky Ultimate demo disk THE RESULT My opinions haven't change during the first two pres. However when I did change up to The Superphon and the B&W Combo I found the Hafler singing with authority. Open sound stage, Transparent/Airy/Delicate. It Lacked the low frequency UUMPH of the Adcom 545 (BTW I prefer the 545 to the 555. Smoother/less grain) and the cleaness of the QUAD however the overall presentation was quitre involving. Details you could pick from the air and hardly any fatigue. I was actually hooked and wanted to keep the set-up for myself. Alas, my guests always look for the tubes apparently allured by the mystique they bring. I keep my mind open and believe you should have both SS and Tubes. I've been in the used Audio Business for some time now and although the Hifi Market seems to be going in favor of tubes, I believe that in some cases due to an almost infinite range of sonic qualities produced by matching, it is hard to make a realistic distinction. Try placing the components behind a curtain. Is there anyway you could tell between SS, Tube, Hybrid? Class A vs. Class AB? 300B vs. 6AS7, EL34 vs. KT66? Bi polar vs. Mosfet? GIVEN 10 different speakers? The possibilities are endless and I'm quite sure that given enormous time you'll burn out (just like my dad) THINKING RATHER THAN LISTENING AND ENJOYING!!! BOTTOM line. With the risk of putting my foot in my mouth: Given the match mentioned above, I find the DH220 One of the better values i've come across! Yes it is an excellent Amp for the price. There I said it.

Similar Products Used: For this review: Adcom GFA545, QUAD 405-2, Sumo Nine Plus Class A
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
baesone   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 28, 2004]
Strength:

Plenty of cheap, raw power. Tight bass. Able to be upgraded.

Weakness:

Fatiguing and grainy sounding especially in the middle high to high freq.

First the bad: the Hafler has a straight ahead, in your face sonic quality which makes for a fatiguing listening experience. To my ears, it makes my music sound flat and a bit grainy on the top end of the freq spectrum. Bottom, though, is nice and tight...plenty of power here. A/Bing this against a modest Yamaha receiver a found the Yamaha, although lacking in power for my vintage Infinity's, more transparent and airy. Now the good, the PA-3B mod from Musical Concepts has gotten excellent reviews from a wide variety of listeners. For 300 bucks ($430 installed) you can get the kit and make the Halfer equal to the best of today's tube amps. I think i'll be saving for this mod... An earlier post mentioned tweaking the bias which I think I'll look into as well. I can recommend this amp if you can get it for 175 or less. There have been drastic improvements on amp design since this piece was introduced over 20 years ago. If you're looking for power to rock your house, no mod needed...if you're looking for refinement, an additional $300 will bring this dinosaur into the modern age.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
positivefiction   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 09, 2004]
Strength:

Refined, open, relaxed sound. Cheap as hell. Reliable.

Weakness:

Not able to put out the same raw current as my similarly powered Bryston, but then again, the Bryston sounds 'raw' compared to this old gem. Stupid two prong lamp cord for a power cord that begs to be replaced with an IEC plug.

This review is actually for the 240SE, a later model that was based (as far as I can tell) on the DH 200/220. I actually got the amp for free. I was digging through my dad's garage, and saw it. Curious guy I am, when it comes to old hi-fi equipment, I asked if I could try it out. "Go ahead and take it." He said. "I'm not using it." I've been running a Bryston 3b-ST to power my NHT 2.5's for a while now. And, while authorative and highly detailed, I've been playing with the idea for a 'softer' sound, just to give my ears a rest. The Hafler fit the bill perfectly! These old Hafler amps seem to showcase the MOSFET technology they pioneered. Very smooth sound. Detailed, but in a relaxed way. Good, spacious midrange. Good soundstage. No listener fatigue, despite the slight lack of bass authority compared to my Bryston. I was actually surprised with how good this old thing sounded. I expected it to sound different than my Bryston. I didn't expect it to sound 'better.' And, to my ears, it does. At the moment, I have the Hafler powering the tweeter/midrange section, and my Bryston powering the woofers in a vertical bi-bired configuration, so I get the best of both worlds. Finesse for the mids and highs, and raw current to my woofers. But, if I had to choose one amp of the two, I'd choose the Hafler. The Bryston is more likely the better 'technical' amp, with more apparent detail, and authorative bass fidelity, but the Hafler is easier on my ears for longer periods of time. The Bryston's a brute. The Hafler is a gentleman. Best of all, it was free. Even for the prices these things go for used, they're a friggin bargain. A great candidate for people using receivers with pre-outs to power their speakers. They'll breathe more life into your speakers than you thought they had. Not to mention, this amp is at least 15 years old, and still works wonderfully.

Similar Products Used: Bryston 3B-ST
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
toneedge8   AudioPhile [Nov 29, 2003]
Strength:

Plenty of power for most speaker applications, very clean, easy to listen to, extremely durable.

Weakness:

None in its price range. It doesn't sound as good as the Audire or the Naim, but what would you expect? It doesn't sound bad in that company, just not as good.

This is an excellent amp. For someone looking to put together a very respectable hifi at a reasonable cost, this amp will fit the bill, and the Hafler 110 preamp (or the 101) is an excellent match. It's really unbelievable how inexpensive these have become; for the price of a cruddy reciever at a discount house, one can have a "real" hifi. I have both a Hafler DH-110 preamp and an Adcom 555, and I definitely prefer the Hafler. Side by side, using the same source, amp, and speakers, the Hafler sounds much more detailed, with a wider and fuller soundstage, more dynamic, and with more overall depth. Perhaps the Adcom would do better with some amp I didn't try, but I tried this with two Rotel 850's strapped mono, an Audire Crescendo, and the Hafler 220.To my ears, the Hafler preamp came out on top in every case. And the combination of Hafler preamp and amp is excellent. Of course, if one has a couple of thousand bucks, one can do better, but this combo will get a person going with very good, accurate and involving sound. I'm actually of the Naim fold now, and have sold my 220 to a friend, but I'm buying another one to have for a second system. Really, for the money these go for, one can't go wrong with the amp or the preamps. So you people out there who want a very good hifi at a very low cost, in my opinion you can't go wrong with the 220/110 combo.

Similar Products Used: Audire Crescendo, Rotel 850's, Naim 160, 250, and 135's; Adcom 555 pre, Audire Diffet 1 pre, Dynaco PAS-3x, Hafler DH-110 pre, Naim 32, 32.5 and 102 pre's. Naim CD3.5, Denon 1560, Rotel RCD-855
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 29  

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