Halcro, a relatively new name to American audiophiles, first became known through their reference series of amplifiers. The dm38 at $20,000 is the lowest price amplifier in the series. The series begins with the dm38 180 Watt per channel, stereo amplifier and works its way up to the 270 Watt per channel monoblock dm88. The Halcro reference series amplifiers are comparable to the best solid state amplifiers in the world such as those from Krell, Mark Levinson and Pass Labs. Besides their uniquely shaped chassis, the amplifiers share a well deserved reputation of being extremely detailed and quiet. Their performance, build quality and industrial design are top notch.
The dm38 is a quick and neutral amplifier capable of resolving the finest details. The noise floor is extremely low which allows the amplifier's resolution to be heard. Listening to music through the dm38 is a revealing experience as it is capable of revealing all of the slightest details in the source recording. The amplifier is powerful enough to reproduce dramatic and detailed bass notes with ease yet detailed and clean enough to reproduce the most complex and delicate notes with great accuracy and no unwanted harshness.
• The build quality and design is excellent and more reminiscent of a piece of artwork than a stereo component. Seriously, if Halcro put their music playback system at an FBO (private jet airport) people who have never bought an audiophile system in their lives would buy Halcro. Its just that nicely finished and sounds just that compelling.
• The dm38 can hang with the likes of Mark Levinson, Krell and anybody else you want to throw at them. If they aren't on your short list for the best high end electronics out there - they should be despite not having the longest legacy. Legacy doesn't make for a better sounding amp.
• The sonic character of the dm38 is very neutral, its speed coupled with an extremely low noise floor make it an extremely revealing amplifier. Be sure to pair it with quality source components as you would only fuel your super car with the highest octane fuel.
• The single pair of speaker posts makes the Halcro db38 difficult to bi-wire which is something I like for my speaker system.
• Weight and heat to a lesser degree an issue for some that are using a rack. While most high end custom installations go into a Middle Atlantic-type rack - you need to be very careful with where you place the db38 as it is a beast. If you plunk it on the floor between your speakers (audiophile style) then you have little to worry about other than going to the stone yard and picking out a smooth and gorgeous looking slab than can be polished into an ultimate amp stand.
The Halcro dm38 is among the best amplifiers in the world at any price. Its sound quality easily competes with the amplifiers from Krell, Mark Levinson, Pass Labs, Bel Canto, Spectral, Ayre, Boulder or any of the other players in the ultra-high-end market. At this level of performance, the sonic characteristics of the amplifiers become harder and harder to describe as they become closer to the proverbial "closer to the music" phenomenon. However, if forced to describe the Halcro's sound quality I find the Halcro sound to be similar to that of the Krell FPB series except a bit quicker and with less weight in the bass. For those in the market for a reference grade amplifier with the ability to resolve the slightest nuances, I strongly recommend a close look at the Halcro dm series.