If it sounds great,why mess with it? Enjoy it while you save for a new amp.Just my opinion.
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I once had an ML3 for a short time, I found it exceptional in the bass but not good in highs. I would try to borrow another amp to hear in your system to see how it compared to the ML3. If you like the way it sounds now leave it alone. See the current post by the Mac 225 owner who had it upgraded and didn't like the results, you can be sure it will sound different after it is worked on. I would sell it and get a new amp but I didn't like the ML3 and you do. The Pass will sound quite different, why do you think it would be a good match for your system?
The best way to look at is like having a 1984 ferrari or a
2004 ferrari. The 1984 maybe a classic and runs fine but the technology advances in 20 years don't even make it that you can not even campare the two cars and I believe the same maybe true in amps and other electronic equipment.
I have two Plinius amp SA250 and SA 102 they sound great
let me know what you think
Hello and happy new year ...
I have the same thoughts ... I have a ML 23.5 and I just love it ... even to the point of taking it to the next level. I am looking at $2500+ to bring it to the "next level I have emailed a few members who had their classic Levinson amps re-caped and the signal path "upgraded". They were all pleased - some even blown away. I have been waiting for the moment when I know it's time. Like was stated above ... I love the way it sounds now so why risk an upgrade? I am also looking at a Pass Labs (X250.5) but I will want to try one out first. I like the idea of bringing in the second amp and spending a few months making up my mind. Then I will sell off the second place finisher. Unless I love em both (gulp) dreaded Tiger Woods syndrome.
However; if I do the Levinson upgrade - it's going to be somewhat of a marriage at least for 5-10 years and I expect much longer. I have very small speakers right now (ProAc Response D Two) but man does it sound good to me. I am sipping vino as I type and listening to the Beatles remasters. I bought the ProAcs just to prove to myself that they are not all they are cracked up to be. I was heading towards Dynaudio C1s but wanted to be sure at this point Im not looking back. I found a good combo. I even bought a McIntosh MC275 MkV and ran it for a few months not even close. In my setup the Levinson put it to shame. Not sure why I know the Mac is a great amp and the fellow I sold it to was very pleased. As most of you know you put the right components together and for some reason the synergy just happens. Sure there is some logic to it but its also somewhat of a crap shoot. Everyones ears are different I guess.
The name I was given was Joseph Chow and the company was Component Plus, USA. I hear he does very good work and I intend to write him this/next year and get his thoughts. Honestly I will probably go for it in a year or two and seal the relationship with the 23.5. I worry a little about being able to get parts and the knowledgeable hands to do the upgrade. If it all lines up I say go for it. If I am missing something feel free to pipe in. Im sure there are other mod guys out there who specialize in Levinson. It cant hurt to get as many opinions as possible.
Hope this helps ... I vote you bring the Levinson back into FULL glory.
I take a know what your are getting approach. Hold on to and not upgrade the ML3. Seek a replacement that you can bring into your system and hear via a dealer that will give you a loaner. Once you have 'better' sound, buy it and sell off the ML3. Most people I know that have done upgrades of their own equipment have been disappointed and felt the value was not good.
Joseph Chow is a good source for upgrades. I believe he also has a Mark Levinson amp in his system. Also, remember that most electronics that are 20 years old or more probably need to have their electrolytic caps replaced due to the old caps life expectancy running out. Electrolytics have also improved a bit over the last 20 years, so if done right, your amp should come out better than when new. If you like the Levinson sound now, a little refurbishing and upgrading will be a very cost-effective approach versus buying another amp.
I think it depends on the amp and the manufacturer. Some amps have "classic" status and some brands have better customer service and reputation. Since their take over of Harmon has not garnered much praise here for their handling of ML gear. Having classic gear modded by other than the manufacturer is risky, especially for resale value. There are exceptions like Jon Soderberg with Threshold gear.
I am having my Accuphase P-300's refurbed, they are fantastic even by todays standards and then some.
If your amp is only twenty years old,just use it the way it is,and enjoy...
I once had a very popular amp modded and was VERY unhappy with the outcome.
It's risky,unless you heard one and liked it.
My 2 cents....