Levinson Amp Experts, I need your help please

I was considering the Levinson 332, 333, 333.5 or 431 power amps. Is there that much of a sonic difference between these models? Will they run as hot as a Pass X-250 when pushed hard? Are there any reliability issues with any of the models? Is the .5 upgrade worth the price? Are there any other power amp options that I should consider?

Thanks and Happy Listening.
I wouldn't consider any of those Levinson amps if I were you. Your Pass X-250 probably sounds much more natural. Levinson can sound thin or clinical without the proper surrounding gear. Many Levinson owners are also having service issues since Madrigal sold out to Harmon International. If I were you, and looking for more detail than your cuurent Pass X-250, I'd look at an older Krell, for service reasons. If you're looking for more musicality, and want to stay with SS, I'd recommend Jeff Rowland amps. Otherwise, try a tube amp. I know Levinson gear is going at a good discount here on the 'GoN, but there is a good reason for that.


PS. If you do buy a Levinson amp, I'd definitely get a tube preamp to warm up the sound.
Why are you considering an amp change? Are you having reliability problems with the Pass or is the heat the only issue?

All the best.
I'd consider going to the 334/335/336 series. I own a
335 and am very pleased with its performance. I
previously used a Levinson 27.5 and the 335 is definitely
more powerful. The earlier 331/332/333 series has
been criticized for being lean, analytical and lacking
in bloom/air. The later series is allegedly superior,
though I've never owned the older models.
If you like Levinson and your are willing to take a gamble on the future of the company (service) I would go with the 334/335/335 series. I owned a 332 for 2 years and I ended up switching the amp out for something else. I think clinical is a very good word for describibg the sound.
I own Levinson equipment, both the 336 and the new 436 monos. I'm involved in some service issues, but after talking with HSG's Jamie Cohen I know things will be resolved for the better. Have confidence in buying Levinson equipment as they are part of Harmon International, the largest audio comglomerate in the U.S. I believe. Corporate is also dedicated to fixing the current state of Levinson. About the sound, well the 332,334,and 336 were great amps. Maybe some of the best ever. I do like my 436 monos better than the 336, and the 436 have been getting great reviews buy Absolute Sound, Stereophile, and Audio Revolution. They amps are very accurate almost chemeleon like in not have a sound of their own. They sound like the source. There are huge differences from CD to CD. My friend's Krell, (which I like too.) has a specific sound that is heard from CD to CD, the Levinson equipment does not have this effect. I believe this trait is what people remark about as being analytic. I call it accurate, because when everything else in the chain is right these babies sing. So if you like this sound, there are some good buys on Audiogon and I wouldn't hesitate.
Good listening,
Check out the theta amps!
What is the voltage on the 50,000 uf caps in the ML 332?
I have owned or heard several ML amps. I think the later 300 series does sound the best. I do agree with Steven when he said their amps are true to the source. My opinion is most of their amps are neutral. One of my buddies also has owned several ML amps and we both agree they are accurate and neutral. I also agree with John that a tube preamp does mate well with their amps and will help if you want to give some bloom to the sound (BAT especially). I have not heard the 400 series of amps.
Peter,the Counterpoint stuff is getting old?Need a change?Good luck but stay away from Levinson,cheers,Bob,PS,I have an Ayre V5xe which is fine with no service worries. Too many good guys out there to do that,cheers,Bob
i'll third the Levinson's as being "true to the source". have spent alot of time with various 300 series amps and currently run a 432. they reproduce whatever the source presents.....good or bad. i couldn't be happier given my budget and preference's. if you're looking the add something (warmth for example) or take something away (forwardness for example.....the Levinsons are not the way to go imho. these types of things need to corrected/adjusted for at the source....by the source.

that being said....i recently had a chance to hear an 350.5 and thought it sounded fantastic. couldn't do any comparisons but can say i'm a fan of Pass and think they make some really nice gear. love my X1 pre.

I switched to the X350.5 after the caps in my ML333 blewed up for the third time in 8 years, and after seeing the bill Harmon charged me to repair it. I had sent my transport in to get it recalibrated as well, and they ended up replacing the entire mechanism and charged me an arm and a leg without letting me know first. That's another story. But I was mad as hell of their practice. But anyways, I traded in the ML333 for the X350.5 and never looked back. Better dynamic, more lively, bigger and more 3-D soundstage, and better control and deeper bass.

The 333 did sound better after recap though. But I didn't want to take the chance of it blowing up again.