David Hafler

When it comes to high-fidelity audio equipment, David Hafler is often described as the man who led the charge. In 1950, David Hafler and Herb Keroes started a Philadelphia-based company called Acrosound in order to build and sell audio-quality output transformers, primarily for home electronics hobbyists. In 1954, David Hafler and Herb Keroes parted company. That same year, Hafler met an audio engineer named Ed Laurent, who had designed a novel single-tube driver circuit for a power amplifier. In 1955, the two men founded the Dyna Company which later became Dynaco with the intention of not only producing transformers, but high-quality audio circuitry.

Dynaco’s first product was the Mk. II 50 watt power amplifier. Available as a kit or preassembled unit, the Mk. II was sold for several years until its replacement in 1956 by the Mk. III amplifier which produced 60 watts. Dynaco is best remembered by the ST-70 that was launched in 1959 and sold primarily as a Dynakit. A masterpiece of efficient circuit design, the ST-70 provided reliable, high-quality audio amplification at an affordable price. More than 350,000 ST-70 amplifiers had been sold when production finally ceased, making the ST-70 the most popular tube power amplifier ever made. Today, the Dynaco ST-70 is still considered to be one of the most outstanding tube amplifiers ever made.

"The Dynakit ST-70 is the most popular tube power amplifier ever made."

In 1966, Dynaco became a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyco, Inc. and David Hafler remained with the company for a few years, but left in 1974 to join Ortofon, manufacturer and importer of high-end phono cartridges. In 1977, Hafler founded the Hafler Company, continuing the tradition of offering high quality kits and assembled hi-fi gear. The Hafler DH-200 was introduced using mosfet outputs – a feature that way ahead of the rest of the amplifier community. In 1987 Hafler sold his namesake to Rockford Corporation where chief engineer Jim Strickland took on the challenge of moving Hafler towards building high end amplifiers. This culminated with the 9505 which by all accounts is one of the most musical power amps ever made.

In 1995, Hafler left the hi-fi market to instead focus on producing amplifiers for the studio market. This is when Radial began the affiliation with Rockford, taking on the distribution of Hafler amplifiers for Canada. Radial purchased the Hafler brand from Rockford in 2014 with a goal of eventually re-launching some of the Hafler classic amplifiers.