ML 39 w/Bryston amp and Thiel 2.3?

Looking for comments from anyone who has owned/experimented with the combo above...current setup is a Sony DVD-P7000 run through an Acurus ACT-3 to Bryston 9B amp and Thiel 1.5s. (System used for audio and Home Theater). Planning to ugrade soon to Thiel 2.3s, and am considering a Mark Levinson 39 as a high end digital front end to run balanced into two channels of the Bryston. Would be curious as to experiences with the 39 and any Bryston amp and Thiel laid back, etc?
This sounds like a great setup! I'd tend to not use the #39 unless you are getting a super deal. I've owned this unit and was satisfied with its sound. It was "tweeky" in the sense that if it ever loses power, a full hour must pass before plugging it in and powering up. If you don't wait this long it will either: 1. Not produce output or 2. Generate sounds equivalent to a banshee being molested by a porcupine. If I were me (and I am) I would test drive the MSB Platinum before dropping large bucks on the '39. The other stuff (Bryston & Thiel) are no-brainers they're so good. Have fun!
hello, I want to say I strongly disagree about the 39. I own one and do not have such problems. The unit is one of the greatest cd players I have ever tried. I love it and wont sell it unless I was forced to do so. When someone makes bad comments about it you need to wonder how good there other electonics where at the time. That is very important with such a revealing cd player. The player does everything And the sound is unmatched. So I would HIGHLY recommend buying it. I cant say enough great things about it. It is mind blowing. I use the 39 direct to my 335 and Martin Logan Ascents. Very nice sound
Dude, you misunderstand. My post says something like: "I was satisfied with its sound". This means it sounded good. I complained that if the unit was unplugged, it took a full hour of being unplugged to return to a functional state. This was confirmed by the factory (and the dealer)as a "known problem". It's ironic that the head honcho of madrigal is quoted in July's Stereophile as saying "We don't experiment with out customers on immature technologies". I guess they only experiment with mature technologies.
well I can tell you this dweller, I live in North Haven Connecticut and Madrigal is only 20 minutes from my home. And I have a good freind who works there and That is not a reported problem with the 39. You may have had a problem with yours. It happens. My point is the 39 is not only the most versitile cd players on the market but it has a sound that is hard to beat. Sorry to hear you had a problem with yours but me and 5 other audiophiles that I know love it. Good luck
Yes, I most certainly did have a "problem" with my unit which I purchased new from an authorized dealer (consistently voted among the "top 10" in the country by some magazine or other). I contacted the dealer within a day of purchase which is when I was informed of the "known problem". I also personally contacted the customer service dept. of Madrigal who, if not repeating the "known problem" mantra (this was about three years ago -give my memory a break), did not tell me to return the unit to the dealer for a new one (which I'd have done in a heartbeat). My rational for not returning the unit was to sacrifice common sense at the alter of "audiophile (audiofool?) suffering for the ultimate sound" B.S. that pervades this hobby. The clowns making money off this stuff think nothing of taking $6000 and then shining you on with the "known problem" line instead of fixing what's wrong. I am simply using this forum to relate my experience, when asked, to fellow hobbiests. The #39 was a good sounding unit (not the best I've heard) and, in the main, performed reliably. I'd still audition the MSB Platinum with its upsampling, radically new balanced DAC architecture, and interpolation (for 50% of the Levinson's $6000) first.
dweller, Iam sorry but there is nothing wrong with my unit. Maybe its because mine is newer than yours was? I deal with Madrigal directly with a few things I have going on and they wouldnt sell units that dont work in an unsuffient manner.They didnt get there name by doing such things. The 39 has been tested on the bench with much more supireor cd players than the msb and has beaten them out by a noticable margin. I like what ever sounds good to me and I dont care who makes it. Thats the name of the game. Its all about the music and how close will that peice of equipment bring me to the real thing. So in that I rate the 39 as top quality from sound to build quality. All the reviews by magazines and people who have owned it are always great ones. I have the final word and I agree it is one amazing cd player and very hard to beat.
Interesting points about reliability...but can anyone answer the question?
Rsuminsby, I owned the 3B-ST and then moved to the 4B-ST with the Thiel 2.3. Then I moved to the 7B-ST with the Thiel CS-6. The Bryston/Thiel combination is a bit bright and can lead to some upper mid congestion, depending on room acoustics -- but it can also sound so live, it can be fun. The right speaker cable (e.g., MIT) can go a long way to smooth things out as reporting in numerous prior posts (I took that advice and, holy cow, there's a huge difference). I've worked with a couple of different digital front ends, the latest being the Perpetual Technologies, and haven't noticed a lot of difference in the brightness but did notice a big difference in the detail, smoothness, soundstage and musicality. I'm sorry I have no experience with the 39 but would suggest that the "laid back" vs. "brightness" issue is less affected by the front end then it is with the total system. And again, the MIT goes a long way to help that out. IMHO. Hope that helps. Cheers!
A better answer to your question is most of the people who own theil speakers use Levinson because it smooths the theils out. They can be brite. The Brystons are very good but they are not as refined as the Levinson by adding the 39 it will smooth out your overall presentation.The 39 is a cdplayer you will buy and have for many many years to come.If I where you buy the 39 and use your system the way it is and then sell the brystons and get a Levinson amp and run the 39 directly to your amp. And you will be blown away with the results. Good luck
I owned a No. 39 for several years and did not have the reported problem with it, though I had other quirky problems from time to time. It's a very good unit but is getting a little long in the tooth.

I have some experience with the MSB Platinum and agree that it outperforms the Levinson, but you will still need a good transport. If you want a one-box CDP, there are others to consider for sure, but the No. 39 does sound very good and is on the laid-back, soft side of things (not a criticism at all), which will probably balance well with the rest of your system.

Mr. Lev335 tends to act as a Madrigal apologist around here, which diminishes his credibility, I'm sorry to say.
I dont act as a apologist. I just call a spade a spade its a great unit. What else can I say? There are many great players out there. I happen to like the 39 more than others. It is the most flexable unit on the market. Hands down. I shouldnt be judged for liking a peice of equipment. Good luck
Lev335 - I noticed your No 39 is for sale on Audiogon...if you like the unit that much, why are you parting with it?
Rsuminsby: You devil!
Dweller - I'm not trying to stir up's an honest question. I'm always curious when someone makes a system swap, because you'd have to assume they found something better....