AudioAficionado.org  

Go Back   AudioAficionado.org > Manufacturers Forums > Mark Levinson

Mark Levinson Sound that Speaks for Itself

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 12-23-2018, 06:29 PM
Masterlu's Avatar
Masterlu Masterlu is online now
AA Founder, Legend AV Owner



 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: South FL & Cape Cod MA
Posts: 69,086
Default

AudioIdiot... Welcome to AA!
__________________
Ivan
FLORIDA
MX136, MC1.2KW(10) MC2KW(2), MCD1100, MS750(2) MVP881, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, HT-2 SUBS(2) HT3F(2) WS350(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) XCS350(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" MOTORIZED SCREEN, CINEMA-TECH SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: ACCUPHASE A250 AMPS, C3850 PRE-AMP, DP950 CD/SACD TRANSPORT, DC950 DIGITAL PROCESSOR, DG-58 DIGITAL EQUALIZER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS1230 POWER SUPPLY, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
CAPE COD

MX150, MC501(2) MC1.2KW(10) MC2301(2) MR88, MVP881, MCD1100, MDA1000, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, ESOTERIC K-01X 30th ANNIVERSARY (BLACK) SACD/CD PLAYER, G02-X CLOCK, HT3F(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) JL GOTHAM SUBS(2) JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(4) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) KALEIDESCAPE STRATO & TERRA SERVERS, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" SCREEN, SONUS FABER STRADIVARI, SILENZIO, FORTRESS SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Analog Rig: CLEARAUDIO INNOVATION WOOD, UNIVERSAL ARM w/ Da VINCI' CART, 2nd UNIVERSAL ARM w/ GOLDFINGER STATEMENT CART, HRS-MXR REFERENCE RACK-GLOSS BLACK w/ M3X SHELVES, AESTHETIX RHEA SIG PHONO-PRE, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: BURMESTER 911MK3 AMP(3), 088 PRE-AMP, 089 CD PLAYER, 100 PHONO PRE-AMP, 948 POWER CONDITIONER, AVID ACUTUS REFERENCE SP TT, GRAHAM PHANTOM II SUPREME ARM, BENZ MICRO LP-S CART, GRANDIOSO P1/D1 STACK, G01X RUBIDIUM MASTER CLOCK, N05 NETWORK PLAYER, SILENZIO, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, SONUS FABER AIDA SPEAKERS, JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(2) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) PS AUDIO P20, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES

Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1 CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1ís, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000T/PS8, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Bryston/Esoteric System: ESOTERIC C02-X PRE-AMP, P-02X TRANSPORT, D02-X DAC, G02-X CLOCK, BRYSTON 28B3 CUBED MONOBLOCK AMPS, BIT-15(2) AMR-DP777-SE DAC, SILENZIO, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, QUADRASPIRE RACK, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E650 INTEGRATED, DP560 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3ís, CANTON REF K5ís, SILENZIO, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WIREWORLD GOLD CABLES
Bryston Active System: BP26 PRE-AMP, MPS2 POWER SUPPLY, BAX-1 CROSSOVER, BDA-3 DAC, BDP-3 PLAYER, BCD-3 CD PLAYER, BIT15(2), MODEL T ACTIVE SPEAKERS, 21B3 CUBED AMPS, SILENZIO, TARGET RACK, WIREWORLD SILVER CABLES
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-23-2018, 06:52 PM
Cohibaman's Avatar
Cohibaman Cohibaman is online now
Senior Member


 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 3,622
Default

Mark Levinson No52 Stereo Preamplifier Review

https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/...lifier-review/
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-24-2018, 12:30 AM
gadawg's Avatar
gadawg gadawg is online now
Vinyl Rocks!

 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Prosper TX
Posts: 686
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioIdiot View Post
Hi Gadawg,

I am curious how the 52 would stand up against the 32?
As far as I can see the 52 is very similar but also very different.
I never heard the 52, but found the 32 exceptional in 2004.

The 52 looks much easier to build, and maintain (or repair) but does it sound a lot better?
Cheers
I think the short answer is yes. Itís been a while since Iíve listened to a 32 but Iíd sum it up like this ... the 32 had an incredibly low noise floor, great detail, a very good sense of space between instruments, great bottom end extension and wonderful timbral reproduction. The 52 does all of that at about the same level or a tiny bit better but where it really excels is in the area of 3 dimensional holographic soundstage reproduction. Listen to the first three tracks of Becks Morning Phase and youíll be convinced youíre in the recording not listening to it. Robert Lenís Hope DSD128 recording will do the same thing. I can list many others but the 52 renders a 3 dimensional soundstage in a way that usually is reserved for tube preamps. Now...Iím not saying it generally sounds like a tube product because it doesnít ... just has the sense of space and presence we usually associate with that. Combine that with everything else that it does so well and you have a preamp that is simply in another league than most and embarrassed by none regardless of price. If you like the 32 the 52 is even better. One note though ... it does take its sweet time breaking in from new so you have to be patient. Think 1000 hours to get the very best out of it. I think it really is the best ML has ever built.

George
__________________
Wilson Audio Sasha 2|Pair of BalancedForce212's
ML No536|BAT Rex II Pre
VPI Avenger Plus w/ Transfiguration Proteus
Esoteric D-02X|Esoteric P-02X|Aurender N100H
MIT Oracle SC and IC
Transparent Reference Power
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-24-2018, 05:59 AM
AudioIdiot's Avatar
AudioIdiot AudioIdiot is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterlu View Post
AudioIdiot... Welcome to AA!
thanks, this looks like a really nice, informative and friendly forum
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 12-24-2018, 06:14 AM
AudioIdiot's Avatar
AudioIdiot AudioIdiot is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default

thanks for the reply Gadawg.
I do believe you, but I am quite puzzled by the changes in design from the 32 to the 52.
As a former audio engineer I designed many audio products, some really expensive ones. This all stopped in 2005, but my love for audio never disappeared and since 2 years I am fully addicted to great sound and the stuff that comes along with it.

In 2004 I compared the No32 with my latest design, a two box pre-amp for an established high-end audio company (also listed in the manufacturers forum here at AA). I believe it retailed for around $20k. The cost was also substantial.
We compared it to the No32 and although the differences were not day and night, the 32 just was a better amp.
As my free-lance design work stopped due to more work with my day-time job I never got to the bottom of it, but the no 32 always kept in the back of my mind as "the" pre-amp.
When the 52 came out I was less impressed with some of the design choices.

As I am new here I am not yet allowed to post a new thread, but when that happens I will do so with a (technical) analysis of what I think the differences are. If the AA community agrees the 52 is better than this could become interesting reading and again proof that great sound can not always be explained by technical choices.

Cheers.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 12-24-2018, 07:29 PM
gadawg's Avatar
gadawg gadawg is online now
Vinyl Rocks!

 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Prosper TX
Posts: 686
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioIdiot View Post
thanks for the reply Gadawg.
I do believe you, but I am quite puzzled by the changes in design from the 32 to the 52.
As a former audio engineer I designed many audio products, some really expensive ones. This all stopped in 2005, but my love for audio never disappeared and since 2 years I am fully addicted to great sound and the stuff that comes along with it.

In 2004 I compared the No32 with my latest design, a two box pre-amp for an established high-end audio company (also listed in the manufacturers forum here at AA). I believe it retailed for around $20k. The cost was also substantial.
We compared it to the No32 and although the differences were not day and night, the 32 just was a better amp.
As my free-lance design work stopped due to more work with my day-time job I never got to the bottom of it, but the no 32 always kept in the back of my mind as "the" pre-amp.
When the 52 came out I was less impressed with some of the design choices.

As I am new here I am not yet allowed to post a new thread, but when that happens I will do so with a (technical) analysis of what I think the differences are. If the AA community agrees the 52 is better than this could become interesting reading and again proof that great sound can not always be explained by technical choices.

Cheers.
Some of the technical choices were puzzling to me as well like the use of op amps rather than discrete outputs but like the Esoteric CD players I think the magic is in the implementation of the parts just as much as it is the parts chosen. Many companies use the AK chips but just canít match what Esoteric is able to do with them. ML went all discrete in the their new preamps but they just canít quite do what the 52 does. Now ... Iím thinking they will upgrade the 52 soon and maybe take the advanced design of the 52 and go discrete. Might be even better. Just a note I think if you subscribe you can post immediately. Glad to meet you and looking forward to hearing more about your thoughts technically.

George
__________________
Wilson Audio Sasha 2|Pair of BalancedForce212's
ML No536|BAT Rex II Pre
VPI Avenger Plus w/ Transfiguration Proteus
Esoteric D-02X|Esoteric P-02X|Aurender N100H
MIT Oracle SC and IC
Transparent Reference Power
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 12-25-2018, 11:31 AM
AudioIdiot's Avatar
AudioIdiot AudioIdiot is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default

Thanks George,
I am glad I wasn't the only one who questioned their choices.
There is a full written analysis waiting to be posted, but I need to reach 10 posts .... !!!!
Peter
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 12-26-2018, 01:32 AM
gadawg's Avatar
gadawg gadawg is online now
Vinyl Rocks!

 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Prosper TX
Posts: 686
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioIdiot View Post
Thanks George,
I am glad I wasn't the only one who questioned their choices.
There is a full written analysis waiting to be posted, but I need to reach 10 posts .... !!!!
Peter
Peter,

So I went back tonight and did some reading on the 32 Reference as its been a long time and my memory isnít what it once was ... I was surprised to find that it made use of the instrumentation quality op amps like the 52. Actually the op amp boards look very similar to what was in the 326s. Both were a substantial upgrade over the 380. If you go back real far you can find units that used actual transistors mounted on heat sinks but that appears to have changed in the later Madrigal era. Harmon continued that up until now and Iím guessing will bring out new Ref product that follows their new design directions. Iíve owned a 380, 326 and now 52 Ref and the 52 is the best but the 32 is very very good and if you find one in great condition youíll have an excellent unit at a bargain price. I did listen to a 32 but itís been a while

In fact ... the 52 seems to be more of a refinement of the 32 rather than re-invented. There are a ton of open box pictures on the web of both units and there are a ton of design similarities between them. One of the biggest differences was the material for the circuit board which I believe stopped being available at some point on the 32. I can only say I wish they had Ďrefinedí the 33H rather than produce the 53ís! Iím betting the next Ref amp isnít too many years away now that the 536s bests the 53s in many areas IMHO.

George
__________________
Wilson Audio Sasha 2|Pair of BalancedForce212's
ML No536|BAT Rex II Pre
VPI Avenger Plus w/ Transfiguration Proteus
Esoteric D-02X|Esoteric P-02X|Aurender N100H
MIT Oracle SC and IC
Transparent Reference Power
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 12-26-2018, 05:44 AM
AudioIdiot's Avatar
AudioIdiot AudioIdiot is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default

George,

I have a schematic of the 32 (most pages at least) and it is a very complex unit.
Especially the multistage power supply. The actual schematic of the audio path is quite straightforward. and all happens on the lower board of the actual amp.

I think "refinement" is quite a good word for what happened. I do believe that the 52 is substantial lower in cost to build.
Peter
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 12-26-2018, 05:58 AM
AudioIdiot's Avatar
AudioIdiot AudioIdiot is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadawg View Post
Peter,

So I went back tonight and did some reading on the 32 Reference as its been a long time and my memory isnít what it once was ... I was surprised to find that it made use of the instrumentation quality op amps like the 52. Actually the op amp boards look very similar to what was in the 326s. Both were a substantial upgrade over the 380. If you go back real far you can find units that used actual transistors mounted on heat sinks but that appears to have changed in the later Madrigal era. Harmon continued that up until now and Iím guessing will bring out new Ref product that follows their new design directions. Iíve owned a 380, 326 and now 52 Ref and the 52 is the best but the 32 is very very good and if you find one in great condition youíll have an excellent unit at a bargain price. I did listen to a 32 but itís been a while

In fact ... the 52 seems to be more of a refinement of the 32 rather than re-invented. There are a ton of open box pictures on the web of both units and there are a ton of design similarities between them. One of the biggest differences was the material for the circuit board which I believe stopped being available at some point on the 32. I can only say I wish they had Ďrefinedí the 33H rather than produce the 53ís! Iím betting the next Ref amp isnít too many years away now that the 536s bests the 53s in many areas IMHO.

George
So to actually respond on the topic of this thread.
An alternative (because of budget) would be a 326s for me. They appear a bit more often on local eBay. What I can see is that indeed some design elements are copied from the No32. However the power supply doesn't come close. This doesn't mean that it is no good, but it does not have the isolation the 32 has. In my opinion a 52 and 32 will sound good no matter how poor the AC is, but a 326s needs a clean supply. And the rest of the equipment still does as well as I have not seen any other component (source or power amp) that uses this kind of isolation from the mains supply as the 32 and 52 have.
In my situation with fully isolated balanced AC mains (pos and neg 115V AC) the 326s could perform quite well.

The discrete designs from the Madrigal area you refer to is the 26 for instance. I borrowed that unit once and reverse engineered it to get the schematic. Not a design I would like to use, but for its days quite a daring design. unbalanced in the middle and a balanced to unbalanced input option with just a discrete inverter amp to get balanced out.
But these amps are getting quite old now.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Audioaficionado.org tested by Norton Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:43 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
©Copyright 2009-2019 AudioAficionado.org.Privately owned, All Rights Reserved.
Audio Aficionado Sponsors
AudioAficionado Subscriber
AudioAficionado Subscriber
Inspire By Dennis Had
Inspire By Dennis Had
Harmonic Resolution Systems
Harmonic Resolution Systems
Wyred4Sound
Wyred4Sound
Dragonfire Acoustics
Dragonfire Acoustics
GIK Acoustics
GIK Acoustics
Esoteric
Esoteric
AC Infinity
AC Infinity
JL Audio
JL Audio
Acoustic Sciences Corportation
Acoustic Sciences Corportation
Legend Audio & Video
Legend Audio & Video
Audio by E
Audio by E
Canton
Canton
Bryston
Bryston
WireWorld Cables
WireWorld Cables
Stillpoints
Stillpoints
Bricasti Design
Bricasti Design
Furutech
Furutech
Shunyata Research
Shunyata Research
Accuphase
Accuphase