-   Mark Levinson (
-   -   Mark Levinson 432 Amplifier on the Way (

kfr01 09-08-2012 10:27 AM

Mark Levinson 432 Amplifier on the Way
Since purchasing my Vandersteen 5As, I've been contemplating a move away from my integrated amplifier.

This move has been complicated by the fact that my wife loves the look of the MA6600 and I'm also rather enamored with the integrated amplifier. Therefore, I made the decision to keep the MA6600 and move it to the living room (where my wife spends most of her down time) and out of my two-channel cave. This also means that I don't get the benefit of the sale of the MA6600. Sub $5k was the budget for this experiment.

While I've briefly considered tubes, tubes just seem incompatible with the way I currently use my system: I want quick warm-up and I don't want to feel guilty if I fall asleep listening to music.

Mark Levinson has intrigued me and I've decided to give a used Mark Levinson 432 a try. There are a few things I really like about this particular model.
- truly balanced design
- true 'dual mono' design (two massive transformers, one for each channel)
- more power (for more headroom)
- no input buffer
- no autoformer
- a standby mode which keeps the amplifier warm
- extensive protection features (I do not want to risk harming my beloved 5As)

A number of these things I like might not make the amplifier any better than the MA6600, but they do make it different and will be interesting to me on my audio journey.

I will first be trying the ML432 driven directly from the Wadia 121 DAC being used as the preamplifier. I've been interested in trying the Wadia's famous digital volume control, and this will give me an opportunity to try directly driving a beast of an amplifier.

Mike from Audio Classics told me that my ML432 has a very clean front panel, has been fully tested, and is currently benching beyond manufacturer spec.

Stereophile's measurements of the ML432's smaller brother, the 200wpc 431, exhibited textbook performance and some of the lowest distortion levels I've seen from sub $10k amplifiers in that publication.

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about this next experiment on my audio journey. I'm also considering upgrading some of my cables in honor of the new arrival (should be late next week or early next). Wireworld XLR's and a new Wireworld PC are on my mind! Any other brands that I should be considering for good synergy between Wadia/Levinson?


Some stock pics:

Masterlu 09-08-2012 10:39 AM

Karl... Congrad's, I have always had a soft spot for ML Gear. Looking forward to your impressions and pics.

Still-One 09-08-2012 10:44 AM

I agree with Ivan, when I purchased my first McIntosh piece it was a decision between ML gear and McIntosh. It is nice sounding gear.

jfray 09-08-2012 10:45 AM


I am glad you did not sell the 6600!! :D It is my favorite Integrated amp. Please take pictures and post your impressions!

cmalak 09-08-2012 10:48 AM

Karl...congrats on the ML amp. I hope it turns out to be a great match with the Wadia and the Vandies :thumbsup:

tweet 09-08-2012 11:52 AM


Congrats on the Mark Levinson amp! You'll be glad you kept the MA6600. Her beauty is everlasting! :)

I had every intention of purchasing a ML amp a few years ago, but my dealer offered me a deal on some Lexicon equipment that at the time was just too good to pass up. The Lexicon's are long gone, but I still have a soft spot for the ML look and sound. I hope you enjoy it! Keep us posted! :thumbsup:


kfr01 09-08-2012 11:58 AM

Josh and Terry: I don't expect that I will ever sell the McIntosh MA6600. It is a beautiful integrated amplifier with great sound and a classic user interface.

kfr01 09-08-2012 11:59 AM


Originally Posted by cmalak (Post 361011)
Karl...congrats on the ML amp. I hope it turns out to be a great match with the Wadia and the Vandies :thumbsup:

Cyril: I value your analytical point of view and almost PM'd you before making the decision on this. Do you predict it will be a good match?

djwhog 09-08-2012 12:08 PM

Congrats Karl great choice, smooth clean power nice amp!

Sure going to wake up those speakers a bunch :)

kfr01 09-08-2012 12:16 PM


Originally Posted by djwhog (Post 361034)
Congrats Karl great choice, smooth clean power nice amp!

Sure going to wake up those speakers a bunch :)

That's the plan! :-)

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:11 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
ęCopyright 2009-2018 owned, All Rights Reserved.