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Old 12-30-2011, 06:50 PM
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Default Levinson Reliability???

Fellas,

I have a question for you all.

I have an opportunity to pick up a Levinson 433 that would meet my needs very well. It is from an authorized dealer, full warranty, and has functioned flawlessly since 2008 as a demo. Perfect condition.

My question is. I know the 3xx Levinson amps had cap problems, but are the 4xx amps reliable? It seems that some have failed, but I have not heard of any 433 issues, as these were designed after the 431, 432, and 436.

Thanks for the info.

Tim
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uberbrown View Post
Fellas,

I have a question for you all.

I have an opportunity to pick up a Levinson 433 that would meet my needs very well. It is from an authorized dealer, full warranty, and has functioned flawlessly since 2008 as a demo. Perfect condition.

My question is. I know the 3xx Levinson amps had cap problems, but are the 4xx amps reliable? It seems that some have failed, but I have not heard of any 433 issues, as these were designed after the 431, 432, and 436.

Thanks for the info.

Tim
I had the ML 332 amplifier and it's matching preamp for review many years ago and never had any problems. Know that's an anectodal report worth publishing
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:01 AM
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The Levinson 43X series amps were all based on the Proceed HPA 2/3/5 series amps. When Madrigal shut down the Proceed HT division the HPA series of amps all underwent very minor revisions and became the Levinson 43X series. These amps had very tight operating tolerances and generally require servicing from a knowledgeable tech on a somewhat regular basis. They are excellent amps and are very dynamic. If you do buy the 433 and run into an issue I have the HPA schematics that I could send to you. From my experience this series of amps has no cap problems.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakesailor View Post
The Levinson 43X series amps were all based on the Proceed HPA 2/3/5 series amps. When Madrigal shut down the Proceed HT division the HPA series of amps all underwent very minor revisions and became the Levinson 43X series. These amps had very tight operating tolerances and generally require servicing from a knowledgeable tech on a somewhat regular basis. They are excellent amps and are very dynamic. If you do buy the 433 and run into an issue I have the HPA schematics that I could send to you. From my experience this series of amps has no cap problems.
Thank you.

I just sold the HPA5 to upgrade, so that may rule out the 433.

Back to the Drawing Board!
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:14 PM
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It's always interesting to have a look under the 'hood....

First the Levinson...



And then the Proceed...




In the case of the Levinson instead of having the toroidal transformers mounted sideways (as was done in the Proceed HPA) they instead mounted the transformers in a more conventional upright manner. When they did this they also eliminated the shielding that the Proceed used to cover the transformers and they also shortened the length of the internal heat sinks to accommodate the less efficient use of space. According to my friend who worked there, this made those amps much easier (read less expensive to build) but not necessarily an improvement over the HPA…..

Last edited by lakesailor; 12-31-2011 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:27 PM
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I have a ML335 and HPA3 that continue to work great going on 11 years. The 335 did have the caps replaced under warranty...I think this was a isolated component/design issue as almost all of the 33x amps needed this fix. Both amps are built like tanks and sound great. Alas I am going to put both up for sale as the 5.1 system they were in now uses ARC amps. A ML 390S and Proceed AVP2( as DAC) are the last 2 components from Madrigal I use...in the gym and BR systems. Others I have owned with no issues 38, 380S, 360S and Proceed PDP3/PDT3, PMDT(the PMDT was a flawed product ahead of its time...and its software)

I really miss not being able to call Rose when I needed help

I will likely regret selling amps but would rather buy more music than keep equipment in boxes.

▄ber...I think the HPA3 is much better sounding than the HPA5... So don't completely rule out.

I have been very disappointed with ML's latest products(and Lexicon) and feel the company has slowly descended to high priced mediocracy since the Harmon ownership

Last edited by enatai252; 12-31-2011 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:30 PM
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Have a ML27 that needs filter capacitors, ML sent me to their service company, they will not sell parts to a repair shop, they said send it in to us for repair, with a big deposit. Not happy with support, non existent!!!!
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:59 PM
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I once had the ML335 with the infamous cap problem. Levinson took care of it. There is no other problem during the time I owned it. I opened the unit and found it's impossible for anyone else to service than the authorized repair center. The driver stage in the 335 is more complicated than that of the ML380s Preamp.


Terry,

Levinson is like every other Big Name Companies. They do not sell parts to the customers direct. I think this is the same for every other Big Name Brands when it comes to service / repair. Even if levinson provide you the parts, the chances are the regular technicians can't cope with the complicated repairs it may require.

I am not sure about the 2x series but the 33x and 33 have very complicated circuits that requires complicated test equipments to troubleshoot and adjust. Some repair shops may be able to handle it but I think many mom and pop repair shops aren't up to the task.
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enatai252 View Post
Alas I am going to put both up for sale as the 5.1 system they were in now uses ARC amps.
AP,

Email sent.

Tim
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:46 AM
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Lakesailor,

If you would be so kind to share your schematics for the HPA, I would be highly appreciative. This is purely precautionary as my HPA 3 has performed flawlessly but eventually, the caps will need attention.

TIA... Sonicbath.
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