Mark Levinson No36s

Hi Guys
I have the chance to purchase a Mark Levinson No36s dac , i can not afford the more modern equipment but have read from reviews that it is still a very good dac , my main concern is with how reliable it would be ? as it would be 10-15 years old now , i guess i just want to see for myself what the M/L legendary sound is all about ! Many say that service can be a problem but would this be more of a case with a transport rather than a Dac as no optical replacement required ? How is the sound quality of the No36s ? I can not audition in store as i live in a rural location . Thanks
The No. 36s is an excellent DAC, and very reliable. I designed several into systems back in the 90s, and I can only think of one issue, but it was fixed quickly.

The main issue I have witnessed with Levinson/Madrigal/Harman (pick whatever name you want) is that there has been so much change to the corporate structure, that getting older units serviced doesn't have the level of attention that use to exist. The only viable complaint that seems to come up consistently is the cost of service. If something does go wrong, it takes some healthy funds to get it repaired or upgraded. I think this can be less of an issue if you have a relationship with a current Levinson dealer.

Again, it's an excellent piece of gear, and I highly recommend it. It works great with Apple Macs with the toslink optical output. It's extremely well built and reliable. Keep me posted, I'm eager to hear what you decide....
Hi Hellofidelity
Thanks for the confirmation on reliability of the No36s dac , I bought a Audio Synthesis dax last year as you may see from another of my posts , unfortunately it developed a fault with the ultra-analog chip and upon returning it to the dealer it was confirmed it was non-repairable , got full refund so no problems . Shame because it was a lovely sounding unit! , although i was a bit unsure of the build quality as the buttons on the front panel were not very solidly fixed and very light to touch , first rate sound though and i miss it! i hope the Levinson No36s would be up to the audio Synthesis in the sonic department if so i would be a happy camper
I owned a 36s original not upgraded. It was a nice unit but I preferred the Sony XA5400ES better. There were small little nuances which the 36s did not resolve. The 36s moved more air in the very low base better than the Sony. The last time I had the 36s repaired it was a minimum of $900 to work on by the service center. They also mentioned there were no more Teflon boards available if I had to replace one again. The 36 'S' version used special Teflon boards. I beleive the S version also had more DACs per channel than the regular 36.
Hi Coxhaus
It would be nice to try a M/Levison , I don't think the Sony XA5400ES is available anymore ? certainly not in Australia according to the Sony Australia website , infact no cd players at all listed!. The service costs and possible lack of parts are certainly a big factor for me to consider , i understand that a older product could need parts replaced and then comes the Question of newer products that would equal the sound and build of a second Levinson for similar dollars . but gee i like the look of the Levinson 36s but Boards no longer available that could be a big problem.
Any opinions on the matching No37 transport ? is the optical laser still available ? i guess that the No37 would be a perfect match ! Cheers for all your advice so far it is much appreciated .
When I owned my 36s I also owned the matching 37 transport for the ten or so years I owned the Mark Levinson DAC and transport. I never had a problem with the laser so I can not comment on the laser. Mine always worked. There were a few transports which had drawer problems. It would be a good thing to check.
for xa5400es 230v, try - just use paypal to skip the slow email responses. minus 19% germany tax the price is attractive with the current euro exc rate.


I can't speak German, and would also very much like to get an XA5400ES!

How reliable is dnet24?
And how do you use PayPal to pay for this and deduct the 19% German tax...?

Many thanks for your help!

neither can i speak German!

if u ship it out of Germany the final price (also the postage) will be deducted 19% local Germany tax. to be sure, just register your mailing address and u will know if there is tax or not, when u put item in their virtual basket. dnet24 is pretty reliable meaning to say they are not a fraud, but email responses are really slow! they do speak English, so u might call them if u r not sure.

i made a mistake of using bank transfer thinking it will save some exchange rate commission compared with PayPal. but in the end their Germany local bank require 2.5% service charge, the order was delayed. i paid for the service charge via paypal!

they don't double box though the original Sony box is pretty sturdy. shipping cost to Malaysia is about 75euro after deducting the tax on postage.

whatever u decide, good luck finding a 230v version!