Levinson upgrades vs factory original

I've recently seen some ads for Mark Levinson 380S advertising that the units were factory original, not upgrades, apparently to command a premium price. Any thoughts on whether it's worth paying extra to get a "factory original" vs a "factory upgrade" for the 380S or other components (e.g., the 360S digital processor).
I've wondered the same thing. The 360S is a new board--so I really can't see why it would matter there. I upgraded by 38S to a 380S and am very happy with it--but that still doesn't answer your question. One issue could be warrantee--the upgraded versions are waranteed from the date of the original purchase of the original unit, whereas a factory original will obviously be newer and have a longer time on the warantee. The only other piece of insight I can offer is that Levinson chose not to upgrade the 331, 332, and 333 amps because it could not be done to acheive the same results as the new line: 334, 335, 336. They do have upgrades for the previous amps--but it is not as good sonically as the newer version. Hope that helps.
Hi 1439bhr; I purchased an ML 360S that had been upgraded from a 36S. Its been nearly a year and I have no regrets. The only thing different between the two is that the upgrade port is inside the chassis rather than on the back as on a factory 360S. BTW, I bought the unit from a high level Madrigal employee who told me that all the upgraded parts had the remainder of the warranty since upgrade.

A used "factory" unit may command a somewhat higher price than an upgraded one, but I think that Madrigal does such high quality work that factory or upgrade matters little. I would not hesitate to buy upgraded again-- you just need to understand what the differences are-- if any. IMHO. Cheers. Craig
From what I understand they do offer upgrades for the older 300 series it cost 2,000 and it gives you 75% of the new series sonics. When you have a peice upgraded it is like a new one if you were to buy a used preamp say my 38 for example and send it in for upgrade. when they open it up if they saw anything they would just fix it. Levinson gear doesnt break. And they are very trust worthy. I had a problem with my 335 and I drove to the factory and they fixed it on the spot, they are one of a kind. If you need anything done or have any questions for them call them @ 860-346-0896 Ask to speak to Dave Narber very informative. tell him daniel mallory recommended you tell him the guy with the 335. He is very honest. And what better way to have your questions answered. good luck
Some of the reasons for price differences may be the factory faceplate. If I understood my dealer correctly, you can upgrade the #38 to 380s but the frontplate will not say 380s unless you pay an additional charge for a new one. I could be wrong as I am still way back in the ARC ls-15 range and was merely talking with my guy regarding future upgrade to 38 then to 380s.
I have a 38 for sale and when I talked to levinson they told me that the upgrade included a faceplate I hope this helps good luck
Lev335: The upgrade to 380S includes the faceplate (and it should considering the price). Levinson insists the performance of an upgraded preamp is in every way equal to an original piece, and there is no reasonable argument to be made in refute of this. My own experience has also found this to be true in the case of the 380S. The oft-referred-to "psychological aversion" to upgraded Lev pieces (vs. factory originals) by many buyers is baseless, IMO.
The dealer I spoke with stated that the upgrade is the same as a 380s in every way, no difference at all. Just like Bmolloy says. But he said it can be done for slightly less money, maybe around 500.00 ??? if you don't change the face plate. But at this price point you might as well throw it in.