Dynaco History


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Founded by hi-fi pioneer David Hafler and Ed Laurent in 1955, a small company by the name of Dynaco unknowingly would become the most popular tube amplifier company of all time.

Five years prior in 1950, David Hafler and his friend Herb Keroes started up the company Acrosound, dedicated to building audio quality output transformers. While the two are often credited for creating the “Ulralinear” transformer, their work was an expansion of a circuit design by Alan Blumlein that never came to fruition. The secret to Blumlein’s clever design was to use taps from the output transformer to feed signal back into the output stage circuitry. The Acrosound transformer circuit quickly became a staple in the early 1950s for electronic hobbyists building their own amplifiers.

Following the success of their transformers, David Hafler began selling entire amplifiers as build-it-yourself kits—a rather novel idea for the time. This allowed the average audio enthusiast to follow a schematic, choose the power of their output transformer, select specific tubes and customize their own unique amp. What made Hafler’s idea different than the rest at the time was that his circuit boards came preassembled, freeing up a considerable amount of time for the purchaser. Allegedly due to differences of opinion over kit production, David and Herb went their separate ways in 1954.

During a visit to Brociner Electronics in New York, Hafler met Ed Laurent who was also designing power amplifiers at the time; they joined forces in 1955 as Dyna Company. Soon after incorporation, Dynaco announced the Mk. II 50-watt amplifier that came available as either a kit or preassembled. This sold for many years, superseded only by the soon-to-be-classic Mk, III 60-watt unit. As they gained momentum in the emerging hi-fi market, Dynaco relocated to a former chocolate factory with an old walk-in refrigerator that served as a well-isolated listening room.

Demand for Mk. II, Mk. III and PAM-1 preamp allowed the company to offer some new products: most notably the Dynaco Stereo 70. With the help of Bob Tucker, the ST-70 was designed in 1959 to reduce distortion and improve audio quality with four EL34 output tubes, a GZ34 rectifier tube, two 7199 input driver tubes, two ultralinear output transformers and a power transformer. At the time, solid-state amps were dominating the market and the ST-70 was available at a surprisingly 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.

In the following years with Ed Laurent as Chief Engineer, Dynaco produced a multitude of hi-fi products including the FM-1 stereo tuner, the A-25 bookshelf loudspeakers, a range of solid-state amps and the Dynaquad integrated system matrix to create “4-dimensional” sound from stereo recordings. Dynaco continued to follow David Hafler’s lead by producing simple, reliable, easy to manufacture and assemble electronics with the best user-manuals in the industry.

In 1969, Dynaco became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tyco, Inc. For a few years after, David Hafler remained as an advisor to the company before starting the Hafler Company in 1977. Due to unexpected setbacks, Dynaco changed hands a few more times over the following decades before settling with the Panor Corporation in the early 1990s. The Dynaco brand was purchased again by Radial Engineering in 2014 and will continue the Dynaco tradition of producing high-quality stereo equipment at a low cost.