I have a 37 transport.
Issues : Drawer mechanism...sometimes need servicing because it has difficulty in opening(Needs to be "gelled and a new rubber band).Take it to my local importers/service centre,cost minimal and fast service(My Proceed CDD did the same)You need to establish if you have a dealer close to you that can do the servicing for you.If you need to send it to HSG the hassle and cost are going to be too much.In that case you need to consider the purchase carefully ....
Otherwise helluva good transport and built like a tank.I use a 36s dac with the 37 and a Stealth Varidig AES/EBU dic IC.To get the most out of ML equipment you need to run balanced cabling.
Another secret ~ spend more on the transport compared to the dac ...
I dont plan to change the 37 soon.
rumor has it Levinson charges $1000 for any repair work before they even open it up? Search the archives of Audiogon I read it here.
To clarify, when a unit is presented for service, they ask for your approval up front, for up to $1200 in repairs. They do this for two reasons:
1) With the approval, they can proceed on repairs rather than trying to contact you when they find the problem. This saves time and gets the unit fixed and returned quicker.
2) The $1200 amount is the maximum out of pocket you will spend for the repair, even if the repair exceeds $1200. You don't automatically get charged $1200, its only the maximum amount should the cost reach that or beyond. If the repair is less than $1200 then you'll only pay what that cost is.
Repair being both materials and labor.
BTW, a replacement transport is in the $1200 ballpark.
How do I know? I sent my No.37 back to Harman today for service - gulp...
I just had my 37 send in for repair this past April and they wanted $1000.00 up front for the service and all the basically did was replace the rubber band and clean it up. But I will say, the unit now works like new. Like Chris said if there a problem it will be with the draw. The person who I purchase my from was not up front with me, so take your time and check it out completely. Also FYI the 360s DAC was $1200.00 but thats another story.
The cost of my 37s new rubber band and "gelling" was the equivalent of $100.Servicing done by the official importers of Levinson gear to my country.
How can HSG ask $1000 for the equivalent service in the States ??
What was wrong with your 37 that you sent it in for service??
I guess I am trying to get a handle on whether the 37 is a problematic or temperamental unit. Having owned other pieces of Levinson equipment, I do understand that cost of ownership is not cheap; however this is the first ML piece I have owned with moving parts.
My Proceed CDD went for "the rubber band and gel" service once.My 37 needs to go back now for the third time.....This time due to my two year old daughters "interest" in my equipment.
Whether this is problematic or temperamental depends on your own personal view,I guess.
The point is,I bought it used,so the purchase price was good.Also,cant really go for anything else that is nearly as good ,because it will be much more expensive.So,I'm happy to keep it.Also,my servicing are inexpensive and fast.If iI,however, had to pay $1000 for the exercise,it would change my point of view completely !
Just to clarify:
Levinson did come out with the flat rate policy a few months back, $1000 for Proceed and "regular" Levinson pieces, $1200 for "S" versions and $1500 for reference. They have since recanted this policy and now charge $100 an hour plus parts, I guess up to the preapproved limit listed above. A much better policy.
I have owned a 37 in the past and only sold it to move into a PMDT, couldn't afford both at the time. I didn't have any problems with either unit.
I called them on 7/11 for an RMA number...Upfront $1200 capped approval to do the necessary repairs. The repair cost could run from 0 up to 1200, anything over 1200 there is no charge for. This is for the No.37.
gee I wonder how much this information lowered the market value of a Levinson 37? $500 is my guess. Wouldn't touch one with a 10 foot pole now.
I can much blame you mejames, these prices are crazy, I had to send in my 37 and my 360s in at the same time and I paid through the nose.
I owned a 37 transport and had problems with the drawer. I really liked some of the transports features especially the programmable CD memory.
Question : Does the 390s have the same drawer issues ??
When I had the 390s the only problem I had was that when you press the open button the draw would open then close on your finger as you attempted to remove the CD. Levinson also stated on there web sit and in many reviews that the 390s has the same transport as the 37.
Both, I and a friend have the 390s unit.We have logged about 3 yrs use.The units have been flawless,and based on the current "HOT" product of the month,in CD systems(Audio Aero/Linn/Wadia/Reimyo),of the one box variety,I just cannot help but to think the 390s is a bit of a "Bargain".Especially when one takes into account the quality of design and manufacture.The sound,to me,is wonderful.I really don't care if something else is a bit better.I have a great analog front end,to add a differing sonic viewpoint.Best regards to all!
I spoke with a two friends of mine who work at a high end shop that sells Levinson equipment. I asked them what the repair history and problem patterns were on the 37/39/390S.
I have known these guys for years and they have always been honest with me.
They are one of the highest volume ML dealers in the US.
Can you tell I am trying to add some validity to my post? ; )
They said that the early 37s were problematic and it was traced to the units not "surviving" the shipping. They literally used to ship units back and forth to this shop to study what was happening. Those problems were resolved by using a different transport screw and locking mechanism.
They also said that usually with these transports that if they were problematic, it was usually right out of the box. Once the unit was used for a few hundred hours, if there were not any problems up to that point, it was rare that one would develop after that.
The problems generally were related to the drawer mechanism and laser alignment, the former being consistent with the post on this thread.
The unit can also be a little finicky about CDs that are too thick, or are not equally balanced because of too much ink or paint on one side of a CD, which can cause a little wobble. The ML transports seemed to be the only brand with this problem.
All in all they said it has been a very reliable piece for a high end transport, and just as good if not better than other high end brands that they were familiar with.
Anyway, I ended up buying a used 37 (not from them). Thank you for all your comments and knowledge on this.
Could be, but when the same unit is on its' second or third transport replacement, I don't think shipping is the culprit.
Having to replace a transport on any piece of equipment, would have to label it a Lemon.
Used "Mr Min" cleaning spray(general purpose cleaner,anti-static) on the transport tray.Used a soft cloth to wipe on the top,bottom and sides of the tray.The drawer opens and closes flawlessly now.The drawer also sounds much smoother/softer when opening and closing.Glad,because it saved me money and the inconvenience of being without the transport.This spray also gives a wonderful shine to the metal parts of audio equipment.I also used it on the paint work and chrome parts of my motorcycle ~ have not found anything else that can give such a lovely shine to those type of surfaces.
Maybe something to consider if you have a "sticky drawer" 37 ....
When I had a No. 39 CDP, which used the 37 transport, I did encounter some CDs that it would not play, including some "enhanced" ones with video on them. Frustrating, but it seemed to be unfixable -- a characteristic of the Philips transport used in this unit. Great sounding transport, however, and otherwise entirely reliable.
One other frustration, which I assume applies to the 37 as well: it does not read indexing within tracks. I have one or two test CDs where, for example, individual test tones will be indexed all within a single track. The Levinson does not read out the index numbers nor will allow you to jump from one index point to the next. Too bad.