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Hafler P1000 Trans.Ana

Power Amplifier By Martin Walker
Published September 1999

Hafler P1000 Trans.Ana

Power amps are rarely seen as glamorous, but remain a vital part of the audio chain. Martin Walker tries out a well‑specified model from Hafler.

David Hafler has been designing amplifiers since 1954, when his first 50 Watt valve model was launched, and the Hafler company now has an enviable reputation in audiophile circles. The P1000 under review here is the baby of the current range, providing 50 Watts per channel into 8Ω using an advanced MOSFET design. Its claimed high sound quality is no doubt due in part to the TRANSconductance Active Nodal Amplifier design that claims to produce "a natural and accurate soundstage with exceptional image focus".


For studio use, one of the assets of the P1000 is that it has no cooling fans, and its rackmounting case is only 1U high. The central portion that houses the circuitry and mains transformer is only 12 inches wide, and each of the rack ears is cleverly incorporated into a pair of large finned heatsinks that make up the remainder of the rack width. These provide plenty of air space for better air circulation, but it's always sensible to leave at least one empty unit above and below any rackmounted device that is likely to generate a fair amount of heat. However, this is a small price to pay for total freedom from fan noise in the studio.

The rear panel is clean and simple: each of the two channels has one of those clever dual‑function Nuetrik Combo connectors for balanced or unbalanced use, using either XLR or quarter‑inch TRS jacks, as well as a phono socket for unbalanced use. Useful features include a ground‑lift switch so that you can fit the amp in a rack without worrying about hum, and a 230/115 Volt power selector switch. The P1000 draws its power via an IEC mains socket, with a moulded 1.5 metre mains lead supplied.

The outputs are screw terminals on a single barrier strip, which did surprise me a little (and makes the amp less suitable for mobile use), since most amplifiers feature 4mm terminals or Nuetrik sockets. You could probably find some suitable spade terminals to terminate your speaker cables, but clamping bare wire ends is not the most reliable solution for a fixed installation.

The front panel has a rotary level control for each channel, as well as three indicators showing the presence of a signal, clipping, and when the thermal protection circuitry is active. There is also a headphone socket, but unusually this doesn't mute the speaker outputs. This approach does have the advantage of not reducing the damping factor of the amp by placing extra wiring in series with its output stages, but a separate headphone level control would have been useful. The only other controls are a mains rocker switch with integral power indicator, and a recessed switch for normal/bridged‑mono operation — the P1000 will provide 110 Watts into 8Ω if used in bridged mono mode.

The Proof Of The Pudding

Rather than attempt A/B tests with my existing amp (a 200 Watt‑per‑channel Soundtech PL602) I decided to simply swap them over, and leave the P1000 in place for a few days to see what changes (if any) I noticed during normal use. However, this proved unnecessary, as the difference was obvious within a few seconds. At £279 the PL602 is excellent value, but the Hafler P1000 had a lot more discrimination, letting me hear many subtle details that had previously remained unnoticed, even in mixes I knew well.

Bass was punchy and well controlled (this is often due to a high damping factor providing better speaker control), and the highs were crisp and extended. The trans.ana design seemed to provide a very transparent and detailed sound (the frequency response extends to about 100kHz, which generally helps in this department). The convection cooling also worked well — in use, the heatsinks got quite warm, but never too hot to touch. The P1000 may seem expensive at £387, but this is certainly a case where you get what you pay for, and the longer I listened the more I was tempted to buy one.


  • Transparent sound.
  • Well‑controlled bottom end.
  • No fan!
  • Fits in a single rack space.


  • Screw output terminals not suitable for gigging, and will not accept thick cables.
  • No independent level control for headphone socket.


A high‑quality amplifier with transparent and detailed sound, suitable for all critical listening applications.