What to do with old Hafler XL280?

Hey All, I have this old Hafler XL280 I got used back in the 90s. About 8 years ago I got an old Eico ST70 and that was the end of the Hafler. I have poked around on the internet in the past to try and determine if there is something wrong with the amp, or if these amps just never sounded very good.

Anyway, this amp and it's Hafler preamp have been sitting in their boxes for the past six years. So what do I do with this now?

My own knowledge is limited to basic tube circuits. I taught myself out of old 50s text books and the TUT books by Kevin O'Connor. I haven't looked at anything in over six years (schematics or books) while I raised two young children. Now I have some breathing room and am going to get back into it again. However, I would like to learn about solid state. I know absolutely NOTHING about SS, but I have become so frustrated and discouraged with tubes.

So having said that, what would your suggestion be?

1. Sell it. It's not worth the trouble.
2. Study your SS theory and mod/fix it.
3. As a HiFi amp it's junk. Gut it. Study your SS and use the PS, chassis and heat sinks. Build another stereo HiFi amp.
4. As a HiFi amp it's junk. Gut it. Study your SS and turn it into a killer stereo guitar amp.

What do you think? Thanks for any help.

Zero Cool

Paid Member
2004-09-20 6:10 am
well...first off. regardless of what you do with the XL280. stat at Pass Laboratories and find the oldest article and just start reading! the answer of what to do with become very clear somewhere in the middle of reading all the articles!

The XL280 has some nice large heatsinks if i remember correctly. didn't the 280 use the same chassis as the Dh-220?? but the power transformer will be too high of voltage for most DIY projects. but the caps and chassis and I/O jacks can all be reused. you might even be able to reuse the output devices im not sure?

You could sell it, but honestly it's not worth a whole lot. $100-150 i think? but that might help fund some other DIY project.

Nelson pass makes Solid State Fun!!! read and you will see just how much fun it can be!
Scrap the Hafler circuit and use the chassis (and perhaps the transformer) for a Pass amp. Personally, I would go for an Aleph J or an F5.

I wouldn't do that. I'd either bring it up to factory spec. or mod it. I suppose you could also sell it for decent buck.

I have two DH-220s that I've recently picked up. I'm in the process of modding one and I'll probably leave the other stock.

The Haflers, at least the DH-220s respond well to modding and sound very good, at least to my ears.

I have built the F5, among other Pass projects. While they do hold their own I wouldn't waste what is a good sounding amp in it's own right for the project.