Hafler 9505 Transnova

Continuing the discussion from What did you buy today? (Part 2):

Here are my thoughts on this amp after a few days listening to it exclusively & I’ll keep it simple & to the point.

It isn’t as forward as the Avantone. I don’t think the 9505 is forward at all. At the first moment listening to it I had just moments before been listening to the Avantone & I thought the Halfer was kind of thin sounding. I was wrong. The issue is that the Avantone is warm sounding, thicker sounding. The Hafler is honest. It should be. It’s a pro mixing amp after all that was very expensive back in the day. What goes in is what comes out & it doesn’t add any warmth. It is not sterile either unless what is playing is sterile. If you listen to something like CSN Greatest Hits which is a very warm sounding recording, then you hear the warmth of the recording.

I’ll have to do some switching back & forth at some point to check the other amplifier traits of each amp for comparison. Right now I am very happy with the 9505 in the system. I want to take the sub out to check the amp’s full range on my Tannoy XT8F towers too, as the Avantone was doing before the sub arrived.


I think you’re spot on with your analysis of the 9505. The name of its game is clean, transparent power for days. Not coloring the sound. No distortion. As you rightly noted, it makes for a perfect studio chain component because you don’t have to worry about it adding to or subtracting from the signal it’s being fed. Are you only using your chain with the 9505 for enjoying music or do you have recording and monitoring purposes in mind as well?

Either way, you have to love it when you find one of those solid components that does its job so well that it literally never goes out of style. I mean sure, some day you might move on, but as long as that amp is functional someone is going to love and appreciate it. An amp that provides loads of clean, undistorted power will always have a job.

It’s just powering my Tannoy XT8F for my main hifi. I will keep my Avantone though & put it on more of a nearfield set up later on. It sounds good too, but different.

The Avantone CLA200 is a warmer sound signature than the Hafler 9505. I could be mistaken but I believe the CLA200 is a clone of the Yamaha P2200. (Sound signature wise)

The virtues of the Hafler 9505 is dynamic power with neutrality, speed & control. What goes in is what comes out.

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Unfortunately the 9505 doesn’t have variable gain. I didn’t mind that it sounds so neutral really, being so detailed, but the fixed gain has led to an issue. The amp is too powerful to match up with my JBL LRS310S, even with it at full volume.

The solution was to put the CLA200 in the chain again, which has variable gain. That will be a post of it’s own.

On another note my Tannoy Definition sub can keep up with the 9505 & then some. That too will be a post of it’s own.