New Mark Levinson 5805 Firmware Problems


Greetings.  I'm new to this group.  I wanted to share my experiences.  I bought an ML 5805 that was delivered first week of February, 2020.  I updated the firmware to current version 1.47.  Upon doing so, the PCM digital filter choices "disappeared" from the amp menu.  Also missing was the decoding info provided when the Enter button is pressed.

Levinson customer support said no one else had reported this but me and seemed to try to "blame" it on me, asking such questions like, have I had a power outage, has the unit been moved, have I disconnected/re-connected wires, etc.  After being put through the wringer and providing them their requested information, they had me do a Config Restore to the previous firmware.  When I did that, the PCM filters and decoding info returned, but, if I customized ANYTHING in the amp (i.e. startup volume, offset, naming of inputs, etc) the PCM filters and decoding info disappeared again.  At one time, the amp went into Standby Mode and could not be awakened--it had "died."  This inferred to me that both firmware versions have bugs.

So, Levinson and my Raleigh, NC dealer (who has been terrific about this) provided a brand new replacement 5805 today.  The dealer's tech person installed it, updated the firmware, and, drum roll please...the exact same problems occurred with my new replacement 5805.  The dealer's tech said it appeared both firmware versions had bugs.  This so-called luxury amp has worn me out.  I am ready for a refund and a replacement product.  Does anyone have recommendations for a superb-sounding integrated amplifier for around the same price range +/-  $2K to $4K?
paulg24
Sorry to hear about your troubles a brand like Levinson should have all the bugs worked out before rolling a piece of gear out and also should be more customer friendly than your experience. Also glad you have a terrific dealer considering he's been so helpful what other integrateds does he carry? 
For a reliable and superb-sounding integrated amplifier, my suggestion is Accuphase.

http://www.accuphase.com/integrated_amp.html
I am in Raleigh as well so have the same dealer. My initial unit failed after about six months and would not power up. They replaced with a brand new amp in December. I will have to try and see what the Firmware version is on it. I have confidence ML will figure this out. 
So far I can change digital filters with no issue, but don't find a large difference really between them. 
At this level I understand your frustration, I was plenty upset waiting a few weeks for it to be settled out. 
But also at this cost level i want a dealer that I trust, and Ive been with these guys for over 20 years, and when and if I have issues, they are on top of fixing them.
I wouldve tried the Mac stuff, but ML is my favorite house sound. 

good luck to  you 

Brian

Here's an update.  After the replacement 5805 Levinson amp had the same malfunctions, my dealer/person (with decades of experience) realized that Levinson's firmware update was too large (v1.41 to v1.47 when my my two units were v1.38).  He speculated Levinson's updates left out something needed to go from v1.38 to v1.41 and then to v1.47.  So, he got Levinson to email him v1.41, he reinstalled it on my returned amp, then updated it to v1.47 and the malfunctions went away.  However, when we tried to do the same thing with my replacement 5805, it wouldn't allow it.

He kindly came to my house to try installing v 1.47 himself and we were surprised that Levinson had created update v1.48 within the last 24 hours, and, it fixed the malfunctions I'd experienced.  However, after playing it for several hours, the amp locked up while on and playing music, and could not be controlled with the remote or from the front of the amp.  So, no_money, you might want to be on the lookout for this.

Thank you all for your replies and suggestions!  Much appreciated.
Thanks for the update Paul, I am confident they will resolve the issues.
For now I have everything on default, and will not update FW... fingers crossed.
How do you like the unit overall? ... besides the frustration  
also, where you able to power down and reset the unit? I hope....
no_money, My main music source is a Naim NDX2 streamer, with a Naim Uniti Core (for ripped CD collection) as a server.  I'm auditioning the 5805's digital coax input with a borrowed Transparent Reference digital cable which sounds much better than my old Transparent Super 75 ohm cable, but unsure if it sounds as good as the NDX 2 DAC via RCA cables.
     The 5805 has so many types of inputs, one would not be concerned with, nor even see, the PCM digital filters if using one of the analog inputs.
     I like the 5805 a lot.  I couldn't afford high-end separates so I went with the integrated.  My replacement 5805 is still breaking in.  Aside from the frustrating firmware issues, the 5805 is a winner for me.
What is your music source and are you using digital or analog inputs?  And how do you like your unit?
Hi Paul,I am using a NAIM uniti core for a digital source, connected via a Transparent Ref as well.
Previous system was ML 332 and 326s and source was 37 transport in to a 360s dacMost of this was lost in a lightning strike. Pretty much the only thing that made it was the cables, amp, and speakers. Thank goodness for Allstate! I used the insurance money for the 5805 and sold the 332. I actually preferred the 5805.The 5805 feeds a pair of aerial acoustic 10T via Transparent Ultra mm2Analog source is MoFi ultra deck with Soundsmith MIMC star. Transparent Super G5 RCA to the amp.
You have some great equipment no_mo!  I have 18-yo Aerial Acoustic 7b's that still sound spectacular.  I'm glad to hear the 5805 can power the 10T's.  I have Transparent Super RCA interconnects I've also tried with the NDX2.  I may buy a din-to-RCA interconnect.  I've heard Chord Cables makes superior stuff.  I may post a question, Transparent vs Chord.
i have a set of superG5 and UltraG5 no longer used since I changed the setup. If it where not for all this CO19 I could bring them over to compare!  sigh.... 
My replacement has now died as well unfortunately.
it sounds so good though... crap..


Hi guys.

I heard about this problem from the same dealer in Raleigh.  Unfortunately they turned me into the unit, but when I was ready to buy they could not get one, that was early May.  

I ended up buying a B stock 5805 from music direct, had no problems with firmware upgrade.  Unit is awesome, I have a bluesound feeding it over coax.  I tried a Cxn V2 but it doesn't work well with the 5805 DAC and found the bluesound sounded so much better.


Speakers are Martin Logan impressions.

Don't worry, those guys are the best in the business.  They will get this figured out.  

I'm not sure how you could switch to something and be happier, these things blow an compatible MC out of the water.


The dealer has negotiated a fair trade up to a new 585.5 for me.

Cant wait for it to arrive!

and you are correct, the 5805 does sound fantastic.
Oh that's great to hear.

I considered the 585 but choose the 5805 for the DAC.  You should enjoy the extra power!
You asked for options, Gryphon Diablo 300, Boulder 866, Pass, Luxman and the other usual suspects.  Sorry about your problem with your ML.
Well, my replacement Levinson 5805 just died after 6 months, completely. No lights no nothing.
I think Levinson developed the 5805 in a rush job. no_money and I have had 4 units go bad between the two of us.  
This unfortunately sounds very familiar to me. Since 1 week the 4th ML 5805 is installed in our within a year. And also no 4 shows exactly the same problems as paulg24 described. My local dealer here in the Netherlands does his utmost to help me, but now also realises that I have lost all faith in this very well sounding machine (if it works). What a shame for such a well known brand, but for me no more ML's in the house. 
Sorry to hear about your issues as well. Jact. ML could really have knocked it out of the park with this one @ this price point. It really is great sounding. See if they have a 585.5 they can loan you. It certainly is beefier and has been out for over 5 years now. 
UPDATE:  My local dealer gave me a reasonable trade up to a Mark Levinson 585.5.  It doesn't have some of the features that the 5805 had, but features are no good if the equipment keeps dying.  My dealer's rep said he believes that the earlier serial #s machine had the problems.  Assuming firmware upgrades on the older machines, that doesn't make sense to me unless Levinson also changed some hardware in the newer machines.  Any, so far I'm happy.
Hi, I'm having similar problems with one of my No.53s. I went away for a few days in July. Just out of an abundance of caution I turned off all my ML equipment and unplugged everything; just in case a summer storm popped up while I was out of town. When I came back one of the 53s refused to come up. It's been out for service for 2 months now and no idea when I'm getting it back. When I bought my gear I returned a 519 and a 523 for really poor fitment issues. The cases didn't line up properly and sitting across the room you could see the problems. Btw, I had firmware upgrade problems with my 53s too. I think quality at ML is seriously suffering. I hope we all get our issues resolved properly. 
keep us updated Stuart, I hope they get this resolved soon for you. Nice amps! 
Sorry you’re having problems with your ML equipment Stuart. Hope you get your music back soon. 
Just a quick update. Over a month later and still no return of the 53. It's been 4 mths and counting. I hope nobody else needs ML equipment serviced. The wait is killing me. 
Stuart, I am sorry to hear about your ML 5805 woes. I had two die on me this year and requested a full refund to apply toward purchase of the ML 585.5.  I recently talked to the manager of my local audio dealer and his store stopped selling the 5805s entirely until Levinson figures out what’s wrong. Locally they had a 1/3 failure rate of all the 5805s sold.  I wish you luck. 
I promised an update on the sick no 53. Dec 11th is a good day. Finally got the amp back from United Radio. Took almost 6 mth wait for repair. I had no idea to expect such a lengthy wait time. Report says replaced dried out cap. Big shout out the Kyla at Jam Industries and Marco at Erikson Consumer for doing all they could and more to help with the repair. Will be a sweeter Christmas for sure because of their efforts on my behalf. 
This is all very disappointing but mirrors my experience with Mark Levinson lately as well. I bought new 523 and pair of 536s a couple of years back and went through 3 different 523s and never got one that worked. My local dealer allowed me to trade up to No52 Ref which worked perfectly but I finally sold and went to tube preamp. One of the 536 monos had an issue with the front led and they swapped it out and those have been good ever since. I have had two more friends buy the same 536s from same dealer recently and they experienced led issue as well. ML seems to really be struggling with quality across the board and their customer service seems to always blame the customer first. When I finally upgrade my amps to something better ... I’ll be done with Mark Levinson for good which is a shame as their new amps,preamps, and Integrated amps are really very good sounding. 
George