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Mark Levinson Sound that Speaks for Itself

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  #1  
Old 09-14-2017, 12:57 AM
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gadawg gadawg is offline
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Default No523 vs No52?

Has anyone had the opportunity to compare these two units? I'm thinking about a new pre and don't care about the dac or the phono section ... just looking for the best of the line stages and the multiple main outs on the 52 would be very handy but only if it's still the best of the bunch from ML. Very difficult to find these available to listen to so any experience would be appreciated!

George
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:19 AM
tdimler tdimler is offline
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George...

I'm hoping someone will chime in here as I have the same question.....and like you I only care about the linestage. I have a hard time imagining the 523 besting the 52 but there is not a lot of information out there on either.

TD
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:29 AM
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A friend of mine has the 52. I have listened to it in his home and at my dealer. It is beyond reproach, wonderful in every aspect. Maybe someday I'll be able to purchase the 523 but will always regard it as a compromise when compared to the 52. This sounds smug because the 523 is fantastic and one should be happy to live within his means.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdelahanty View Post
A friend of mine has the 52. I have listened to it in his home and at my dealer. It is beyond reproach, wonderful in every aspect. Maybe someday I'll be able to purchase the 523 but will always regard it as a compromise when compared to the 52. This sounds smug because the 523 is fantastic and one should be happy to live within his means.
Thanks for the response! I see you have the 326 same as me currently ... what would you say are the biggest differences between the 326 and the 52?

Thanks again for the info!

George
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Esoteric D-02X|Esoteric P-02X|Aurender N100H
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:35 AM
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A darker, blacker, quieter background, a more detailed mid-range and top-end. The mids and highs are difficult to describe, not harsh but some may prefer the slightly softer, more romantic character of the 326.

AND don't forget a boat load of cash

Upon reflection all three are really top notch performers, in my case a better power amp or speakers may be in order.
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdelahanty View Post
A darker, blacker, quieter background, a more detailed mid-range and top-end. The mids and highs are difficult to describe, not harsh but some may prefer the slightly softer, more romantic character of the 326.

AND don't forget a boat load of cash

Upon reflection all three are really top notch performers, in my case a better power amp or speakers may be in order.
Thanks for the insight! I'm thinking about the No52 as well as the D'Agostino and the DartZeel pre's as I work towards my ultimate reference system. All are about in the same price range and I understand the D'Agostino and the DartZeel have some similar characteristics. It's going to take a minute to get my hands on these for demo for sure! Thanks again!

George
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:56 PM
tdimler tdimler is offline
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I concur on those being 3 great pre-amps I'd like to try! I'd add the Ayre KXR Twenty to that list. The Dartzeel would be my first choice, but it is important to remember the original NHB-18NS only performs well when run via single ended interconnects or the Zeel connection. This has been corrected in the new version but the cost is eye watering.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:38 AM
Karl Maga Karl Maga is offline
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I have not done any research on this, so I am truly asking the question. Not using it sarcastically.

Why do you conclude the 523 is a compromise?

My dealer, in describing in person conversations with the ML engineers who designed and manage the products, attributes to them the statement that the new products (523, 526, 536, etc.) are as good as anything ML has ever produced.

You must consider my limited experience when I say: The 523 and 536 combination leave nothing to be desired in my system. I have heard extensively the McIntosh, D'Agostino, Classe and Krell products at the dealer and don't find them to be any better. In some cases, not as good.

Last edited by Karl Maga; 10-19-2017 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:26 PM
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I'm hoping to find some of the new ML stuff at Axpona this spring as I can't find any dealer around me that has any on display that actually functions. That's totally a dealer issue but that's another story! When I sent an email to ML and asked about differences between the No52 and the 523 they responded and said that depending on the rest of the system I might like one over the other. That's telling me they think they have outdone the 52 with the new product. Again ... would love to hear it myself.
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Wilson Audio Alexx|Pair of Rel No25’s
ML No536|BAT Rex II Pre
VPI Avenger Plus w/ Transfiguration Proteus/VTL TP6.5
Esoteric D-02X|Esoteric P-02X|Aurender N100H
MIT Oracle SC and IC
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  #10  
Old 10-24-2017, 10:21 AM
Karl Maga Karl Maga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadawg View Post
I'm hoping to find some of the new ML stuff at Axpona this spring as I can't find any dealer around me that has any on display that actually functions. That's totally a dealer issue but that's another story! When I sent an email to ML and asked about differences between the No52 and the 523 they responded and said that depending on the rest of the system I might like one over the other. That's telling me they think they have outdone the 52 with the new product. Again ... would love to hear it myself.
The dealer issue is disappointing to me in the extreme. Considering that I spent the last 20 years as a manufacturer’s rep (Sales Engineer) for two of the worlds preeminent computer technology corporations, I have some experience with the impact on the brand that dealers affect. They’re invaluable to the brand.

Mark Levinson - or Harman, simply does not have dealer cultivation and nurturing in their strategy. Contrast that with McIntosh.

I have 0% regret for my ML purchases because of their sonic attributes. But I was suddenly and unexpectedly forced into retirement a couple months ago the age of 55 for health reasons and I may need to sell some of my gear (probably not). The lack of robust demand for pre-owned ML gear is in part due to the lack of retail interactions wherein customers and dealers experience the delight and joy of this fine gear.

And I assure you, there is much to enjoy and delight in. The No. 523 and No. 536’s are special.

Last edited by Karl Maga; 10-24-2017 at 01:17 PM.
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