Madrigal Mark Levinson out of business.

This sucks. Dunlavy now Madrigal.

Madrigal shuts doors

By JIM HICKEY , Middletown Press Staff 07/02/2003

MIDDLETOWN -- Madrigal Audio Laboratories, a producer of high-end audio and video equipment that has been based in this city for several years, announced Tuesday that it will be going out of business.

A spokesman for Madrigal declined to comment on Tuesday, stating that there was nobody at the South Main Street offices who could handle media inquiries.

However, the city has received a letter indicating that the company will be shutting down for good on Aug. 30, according to Mayor Domenique Thornton.

A source close to Madrigal, who asked not to be identified, told The Press that employees showed up for work Tuesday morning as usual, and were told that they had been laid off.

They were then toldto collect their belongings and leave the building, according to the source.

Madrigal manufactures high-performance audio and video components under the brands: Audioaccess, Mark Levinson, Proceed, Madrigal, Imaging, and Revel.

The company is a subsidiary of Harman International Industries, a manufacturer of high-quality, high-fidelity audio and video products based our of Bedford, Mass.

According to the company’s Web site, Harman International was formed in 2002, and manufacturers products for the consumer and professional market. The company’s stock is traded on the New York stock exchange.

A public relations official for Harman declined to return a phone message on Tuesday.

A receptionist at Harman’s Bedford, Mass., office said that several of the company’s department heads "were in meetings" on Tuesday, and would not be able to comment on Madrigal closing.

Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh said the chamber been told earlier this week that Madrigal would be shutting down. He also said that he had heard employees had been laid off.

Although Madrigal or Harman were unable to confirm the total number of employees, McHugh estimated that the company employed around 100 workers.

"It’s a real blow. We’re not talking about a company that employees four or five people here. They employ a substantial number of residents from Middlesex County," McHugh said.

McHugh said he was surprised that officials for Madrigal or Harman hadn’t given more notice that the company would be closing down, especially since Madrigal is a member of the chamber.

"Usually we receive more notice when a company plans on shutting down or leaving. It allows us to work to lessen the blow on the employees, and the community," said McHugh.

The mayor said she had already contacted the state Department of Labor about establishing a crisis career center for laid-off employees to help them transition into new jobs.

The center will be established in conjunction with the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, and would be similar to the one established last year after the Old Saybrook manufacturing division of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. closed down and laid off about 500 employees.

A federal program established in 1998 called the Workforce Investment Act will also help unemployed workers find jobs. Through a program called the One Stop System, employees can have their skills and educational level assessed to help them find jobs.

Thornton said she planned on contacting U.S. representatives Rosa L. Delauro and John B. Larson about the availability of federal grants to help laid-off workers find jobs.

"We want to act as quickly possible to implement any programs that will help these people as they search for new jobs," said Thornton.

To contact Jim Hickey, call (860)347-3331 ext. 221 or email him at
Interesting since I was just auditioning Revel F-30s today and the dealer told me that he just received the speakers a few weeks ago and they were ordered in January 2003.

Guess I'm not buying a pair! Next!
If I'm not mistaken the Revel line is made somewhere in California. I understand the "Levinson" line will be continued at another facility. What bothers me is it appears that there was no outplacement service or anything of that nature to the employees laid off. It's one thing for a small manufacturer, but with the backing of an enterprise like Harmon International? Let's just say I'm rather surprised, and hope that what was reported is not the case.
A third thread, do I hear a fourth?
...btw, Mark Levinson, the product line, is not out of business.
The electronic newsletter for has an article on what Harmon is doing with Madrigal and Lexicon. To see the article, go to this link:
Kenlu - no sweat! I just got my REVEl LE-1 amp back after warranty repair. I had the unit sent to REVEL in Northridge, CA but the work was done at a different shop anyway
(JMP Electronics).
I also think that REVEL is a independent branch of the Harman company anyway and hence not affected by the sad Madrigal story.
Good luck!
Based on that Audiorevolution article, it sounds like they are moving the manufacturing, not shutting down the lines. Any dip in resale values of Revel speakers might be temporary.
As stated above, Revel and Levinson operations are just being moved to Lexicon's location. The original article was focusing on Levinson's sudden departure from Connecticut. I had a couple of Levinson questions (about the upcoming 433) and when I called on Wednesday, it was to the new contact number on ML's website, which is in Mass. I was told that Revel and ML operations would be back on Tuesday of next week. They were unavailable until then as they were in the midst of the move.

With all respect I think the point you missed in that article was the fact that yes , the line will continue.
But the PEOPLE who made Levinson the product it was were all let go. Say you own a ferrari and suddenly they announce they have let all their people go.
Next, a whole new group of people say chrysler for arguments sake will be manufacturing , servicing , supporting the cars . How would you feel?
These people know little about the product yet you expect the same results?!?
I for one am going to wait and see what happens next before I buy another piece of ML or Proceed new or used.
Ask Lexicon if any of the engineers or other people are still with them
If not well you have a product with the same name only.
Probably manufactured in china or taiwan and mass produced.
Welcome to Mid-Fi. The Ferrari suddenly doesn't sound so prestigious now eh???
I have a older Proceed player that needs repair. With reading the above threads I don't know what to do at this point. I did get a remote recently from Madrigal for the player. It's sad to have so many talented people cut from there jobs. Not everyone can just flock to Cali.
Repair for Mark Levinson and Proceed products has been moved to the Harman Specialty Group facility in Bedford, MA. Please contact Customer Support at:

(781) 280-0300
Is it totally out of the question that these guys will still put out a good product? Maybe I'm reading responses wrong, but since when was Lexicon considered mid-fi?

I'll pass judgement on the quality of a companies product only after I've seen and heard it.

I guess what I'm saying is you should give them a chance before you assume their going to make crappy equipment.
I feel for all the folks who lost there jobs without notice. harman international can kiss my balls they will get none of my cash .Sure they knew what has going on ,just dont care enofe about the workers and there families to give them a fair and proper termination .If this is how harman runs there buisness whats next? .JK
Mhubbard , you also missed or overlooked the point I was trying to make.
Regardless of a companys "reputation" (Lexicon)
Assuming responsibility for a new product line (levinson) without keeping any of the minds or people who have the KNOWLEDGE of the product is a shaky proposition at best.
What do these people truly know of the product itself?
You can only read so much from books, prints and notes
If I gave you a ferrari shop manual could you become an expert mechanic in a very short period of time?
I think not.
What makes Lexicon any different?
I have called them several times and each time they have skirted around this question ..Who is manufacturing and servicing these products???
Even jfrost's post as a company rep neatly avoids this issue. It just states that the FACILITY has moved.
Ask jfrost where are all the people going? WHO will be there? Upon contacting a former insider at levinson, I found that only 5 out of 150+ people were retained!!! I guess that their knowledge and skill was not necessary?
Maybe I am going into too much detail here but the main reason I purchased ML/Proceed for my stock was the fact that it was hand-made in the USA with great care and devotion. Not to mention the fact that if I had a problem I knew I could send my service and sales Dept. to Madrigal for answers and I knew WHO to talk to in order to get satisfactory results. In fact on rare occasions I could even speak to the very engineers who designed the product (usually overseas related issues)
Do they even work for harman anymore ? I think not.
Who do I speak to now? Someone who must try to fill those shoes ??? Good Luck.........
A company that will farm out , mass produce and probably send overseas most work (read: asia)
Nothing wrong with that but, most of that type of product does NOT fit the description of a hand produced painstakingly cared for product.
It fits the profile of mass produced middle-of-the-road comsumer electronics. That is where i get "Mid-Fi" from.
Ask Lexicon exactly where they will manufacture. I am sure you will recieve the same "smoke screen" I did.
No matter what Label you put on the front of the unit what is inside is what counts.
A Lexicon sticker alone does not make something a viable product.
Especially when the original product was crafted to such a high standard.
Not to say it will be junk, I just have a hard time believing that the product will be held up to the same standards. (Especially with the vague answers provided by Lexicon)
A good example of this is musical instruments,
See what a pre-CBS fender stratocaster goes for and how it is revered compared to the "corporate versions"
In a great way it makes me want to go and buy the pre-CBS version. You can have the mass produced, corporate,inferior version.
I will hold onto my personal ML pieces as collector items until I can get some tangible answers.
Enough said. Watch and see..........
I think the way Madrigal Audio Laboratories has handles this situation is terrible. As was stated before, the people that made the product great are no longer. They were given no consideration at all. The company has also left us (the consumer) with no explaination. I personally have a problem doing buisness with such a company. Shame on them! What makes a company great is a combination of the quality of its' products, customer service and the reputation of the company. The latter has suffered greatly from this.
I am from Connecticut and used to work for Madrigal Audio Labs. It was a great place to work and there were many dedicated people there.

My last project for the company was the operating software for their No. 32 (and '383 integrated) preamplifier. Those pieces, among others, represented the epitome of the care and craft that went into the design and manufacture of the Levinson products, all to the credit of the employees in Middletown.

I think what killed them in part was moving too far away from what they were good at, and developing some extremely complex products (No. 40 & DVD players) that they really didn't have the engineering manpower to design in a timely fashion. Their no-compromise design philosophy demanded that a lot of the software for the software-intensive products be written from scratch, and that represents a major engineering effort.

The company was not perfect; no company is-but almost everyone in Middletown was unusually dedicated to the company mission, both the employees and the state of Connecticut have suffered a great loss with the closing of Madrigal Audio Laboratories.

Another late great American consumer electronics manufacturer, which Harman will most likely exploit the good name of and then discard when the interest and revenue dry up...
I wonder if the man will ever get his name back?
See prices of ML gear dipping. Regardless of the fact, it sounds to me that it will might be the case that ML and HK International behind it, will look at the bottom line instead of the quality and the air of the equipment that has had a long history of achievements. If THIS was not the case, as someone has well pointed out, why let go of the staff that was behind the successes of the ML logo for the past couple of decades. It sounds like the repetition of SF + Paradigm international. Another bites the dust. Guess the prices of ML gear will undoubtedly drop, regardless of whatever happens when the dust settles.

I say that the original ML should get his name back, for he has not done a shabby job of acquiring other company lines and making them profitable again.

Correct me if wrong, but ML isn't the one that sold his name?
I find Harmon's lack of respect for its employees to be dispicable. I have thus scratched all Harmon companies from my list of potential future purchases. I want the brains, not the name.
I've worked for several small electronics manufacturers and the knowledge of the people in the factory is always essential to producing quality products. I don't see how the manufacturing can be effectively transferred with so little advance notice.

Secondly, you've got to wonder about future products. Will they be able to create and introduce similar ML products at another location? There has to be a lack of continuity, at least, in the product development.

Existing equipment shouldn't be a problem. There will always be someone who can repair this stuff.
Depressing to see our little circle of dedicated hobbyists
exploited by corporate maneuvering but we must reap what we sow. Supporting large corporations never seems to benefit us. Levinson has gone the way of Marantz, McIntosh, Fisher and many others. All that remains of their former stature is the spelling of their names. My recommendation is that we discourage such practices by rejecting any and all products henceforth offered by Harmon International. Let them know that such pillage will not be tolerated or supported.
If they don't care about the people who made their name, how
much will they care about you?
Perhaps another example of how high end and big business cannot coexist. I've thought HK has done an unusually good job in recent years, actually, of not messing up ML, but it seems impossible to take the labor of love that is essential to genuinely good high end and graft it on to the corporate mind set that chases quarter to quarter numbers and demands specified ROE numbers before a new project can begin. This holds true, it seems to me, not just in audio equipment. Smaller high end shops almost always go downhill when they sell off to big companies. Software, cars (notable exception in Ferrari), mutual funds. I'm no MBA or economist, but I wonder if there are studies of this phonomenon. All I know is that the day DaimlerChrysler buys out Porsche, I'm going straight to the showroom and buying a 911 before they are ruined.
There are some interesting and amusing comments here.

Several of you are critical of Harman for moving their repair facility. Some of the criticism is based on comments from a newspaper story. The article appears to indicate that workers were layed off upon reporting for work on Monday morning. This is only one side of the story. There are no comments or responses from Harman. Lack of a response does imply guilt or that the story presented by the "workers" is correct. It simply means that Harman has chosen not to address this issue.

Some of you are mad at Harman for letting the people at the facility go. I suspect that some people were hired at the new facility to handle the additional backlog. I congratulate those people for bettering their position or successfully re-entering the work force.

I'm not defending Harman. I agree that the move from Bridgeport may have been handled better. I will also not pass judgement. As long as the products continue to be among the best sounding, best produced that is good enough for me. the way.....Jaguar was in bad shape about 15 years ago. The Ford Motor Company purchase of that auto manfacturer has made a dramatic improvement in quality and sales.
By the way, as a former Ford owner, eventhough it might have done a great job at resurrecting and getting a pedigree manufacturer such as Jaguar, they could not even get their factory trained technicians to do a simply job with my 1996 Ford Escort Wagon...Switched to another brand, imported, and I will never look back at a Ford again.
Harman International has done a sloppy job at keeping spare parts for their other stereo/loudspeaker lines. Would you trust it to do a better job with a esoteric company such as Mark Levinson? Keep me posted.


PS: Change cannot be stopped, but then, we can always choose to change at a slower pace when promoting the products to smaller manufacturers.
The Ford example makes my point pretty well. I drove an early 70's E-type and a recent XK8, and I can tell you that the only resemblance is the hood ornament. The new car is just a better Mustang. I also owned an early 70's 911 and a drove a recent Boxster S (I have some rich friends), and I would say Porsche is just fine. And not co-incidentally independent. Jag was also broke, having lost their way, whereas as far I know Proceed was making good and desirable products. So good, in fact, that HK probably killed them out of fear that the better-value Proceed gear was canabalizing ML sales.
Maybe some bright, anonymous minds behind ML while in CT would follow the example of other now, defunct High end manufactures, to break away and make their own ML refurbishing and revamping business and make themselves a handsome profit, as well as making the owners of quite of few ML pieces very, very happy. Long line free enterprise and perhaps, this was a move that really started something exciting. Maybe all owners of ML gear should begin to activelly participate in such venture.