Levinson 33H or 20.6

I can not decide between the 33H or the 20.6 amps. I have no way to demo both in my system at once. However, I have heard great things about both amps. The 20.6 is of coarse pure Class A, Levinson no longer builds a pure Class A amp. There is also a lot of talk about problems with the 33H due to a design flaw in there built in line conditioner. Any opinions would be great!

I have had the 33H and it is a fine amp. The 20.6 is voiced a little warmer in my opinion. So it comes down to personal taste and synergy. I like the sound of the 33 and 33H's.

On a side note. The only problem that I have heard on the 33H and 33 series is that some capacitors tend to go bad on the board. Do not know which board it is and it is due to heat, I believe.


my pair of 33h amps not only haven't ever misbehaved, in addition, when i get a brown-out (temporary power-outage), the amps turn themselves completely off whether they're playing music or not. this means i have to put them back into standby first, and then hit the button again if i want to listen to music. i like this feature alot.
they are dead-quiet amps, very dynamic, i feel they are more musical than the levinson amps of the past (excluding the pure class-A designs), and the power rating of 150W is so conservative as to be misleading. as for the 20.6's, i've only heard them at the dealer. but, as i used to own a ml-23.5 stereo amp, it got musical textures right, had the "levinson house sound" which is a bit austere (which i didn't mind), but didn't throw a 3D stage. i would guess the 20.6's might not present much stage depth either. they're great amps in their own right, but the 33's IMHO walk the line between too sweet and too lean very well. sadly, another thing to consider is harmon's disappointing ability to provide parts for older lines of components- something they should think about if they want to remain a cornerstone-manufacturer of high-end gear. having said all that, i would definitely love to hear the 20.6's in my system just the same as they were the finest amps levinson made at the time and very highly regarded.
I own both 33's and 33H's. I've never had a problem with either pair. Both are quite powerful and throw a wide and extended soundstage.

The 33H's I've had the longest now at almost 6 years. Currently in a second system with Revel Gems. Sysnergy between the Gems and 33H is phenominal.

I cannot comment on the 20.6, I've never heard them. I wouldn't be surprised if they were quite good as well.

Levinson being Levinson, you either like the house sound or not. I own all the 3 series reference pieces and find that they do nothing to draw you in, nor do they do anything to push you away. For me it has made them easy to live with long-term, and it's nice to be off the audiophile merry-go-round of "flavor of the month" components.


Paul :-)