Took my Levinson amp in for repair

It had some noise in the left channel the deal called today stating they pretty much blew it up and I need come pick it up
Is there anything I can do about this?
Yeah, they owe you an amplifier.
Time for a lawyer...
Who did you send your amp to for repair. I am interested to know where not to do business.
I'll bet is was a 33x series amplifier, they were known to have cap problems. I should know, I had a 333 and ML wanted $2k to replace the capicitors.
the deal called today stating they pretty much blew it up
I'm guessing they said something more like "It's not worth fixing", right?
IOW they aren't admitting they blew it up, and they would say it was blown up when you dropped it off??
Because if they told me they blew up my amp I wouldn't be on an Internet forum asking, I'd be in their shop asking them what they're going to do for me.
Sorry, I do not understand your post. Are you saying the dealer (Repair Shop) attempted to fix your Levinson amplifier and "during" the repair process, they destroyed your Levinson (they blew it up)? If this is the case, the dealer owes you a replacement amplifier. This means, I think, they owe you for the current estimated value of your Levinson amplifier. In other words, they should offer you a credit on your broken amplifier for a new or used one in their store. What was the condition of the Levinson amplifier when you delivered it to the repair shop? Please let us know what happens.
I would ask for current replacement cost for a current model and negotiate from there... worst case should be a realistic resale value... good luck.
Name the repair shop for the rest of us.
All The Best.

You took your Levinson 332 with hum to repair shop. No repair shop can repair your levinson with out the four 50000uF/125V caps and 1900uF/150V regulator caps. These caps are custom made that is why Levison charges over $2K.
Any lower value caps used the amp will blow up. There is a Levinson 332 on audiogon now. The cap replacement was done by me using Cornell caps. Only Cornell Dubilier and United Chemicon makes these caps.
It seems to me if you took it in with what sounds like a small issue and they are trying to deliver it not working at all they owe you a replacement amp or the replacement value. I would not go away without a fight.

Yes when I took the 332 in it had a slight noise in the left channel
It is a local dealer, who I did not buy the amp from, but have bought many components from
I guess they turned it upside down and noticed the caps or a cap was leaking so they turned it upright and pluged it in turned it on and it started smoking
I do have a call into the state attorney general for advice
I thought they would have insurance for these things, I did not ask the dealer yet waiting to hear back from the state
Will keep this updated
They certainly would seem to have some liability in my humble opinion. Is your dealer a Mark Levinson dealer?
Not anymore
01-17-13: Abruce
I guess they turned it upside down and noticed the caps or a cap was leaking so they turned it upright and pluged it in turned it on and it started smoking
If I were to play devil's advocate (or dealer's lawyer) I guess I would say "We turned it on and it started smoking." Which in actuality is pretty much what happened.
Not really but lawyers are not usually very honest now, it workedwhen it was brought in with the exception of a small noise issue
Now I retread your statement yep that's what happened minus a few details
Sorry to hear you are experiencing this situation. The facts stated, though, leave a lot of things unclear.

They would be liable only if there is reason to believe that the damage was either caused by or worsened by their negligence or carelessness. As opposed, for instance, to some undiscovered pre-existing defect in the amplifier, or some problem that may have developed during transportation. In those situations, as long as they noticed the smoke and turned off the amplifier quickly, I’m not sure how they could be held responsible.

Also, whether or not they are insured has no relation to whether or not they are liable. Its effect would be, hopefully, on their willingness to accept responsibility, and perhaps on their ability to pay.

Has the root cause of the problem been diagnosed, and have they determined what was damaged as a result, and why? Has it been established if the leaky capacitor had anything to do with the smoking that occurred when they plugged it in, or for that matter with the noise you heard previously? Have they determined what part was smoking? When the smoke appeared, do they claim to have noticed it and turned off the amp promptly? Have they determined what the repair costs would be?

I don’t mean to be discouraging, but I’m not sure that anything meaningful can be said unless the answers to these kinds of questions are known.

-- Al

You see these kinds of posts pop up every once in a while, but you hardly ever hear the "other" side of the story. So I don't know how anyone can give a fair opinion as to what could or should be done.
In any event, I wish you luck and hope things work out for you.
"Not really but lawyers are not usually very honest now"

And very often customers alleging someone wrecked their stuff that was already broken aren't either.

one of the several Audiogon members who is a lawyer.
I sympathize, but you would have to prove negligence on their part, to prevail. Expensive to prove in court - requires not just an attorney, but also an expert witness is usually required to prove the applicable standard of care. Not at all clear from your version of the facts that they were negligent. Especially where, as Brf points out, these amps are well known to be trouble-prone, at best.

Many shops have a disclaimer posted, or that customers must sign, that absolves them from, or limits, their potential liability

Lloyd the Lawyer
Hey thanks for all the posts, I was just looking for opinions which I got, the damn thing is too heavy to be a boat anchor
I think I will pursue an authorized repair shop for Levinson gear, spend 2k, and perhaps sell it still better than nothing

Thanks again
you take your car into a repair facilty with a slight "engine noise". the mechanic takes it for a test drive to hear and possibly diagnose the noise. the engine throws a rod or "blows up" in some manner.....what happens next??

i'm just asking?

thinking what Al said above comes into play. so many possibilities.....but you don't win lawsuits with possibilities. lots of questions need to be answered before anyone gets paid (except the lawyers =)).
It doesn't seem like the dealer was negligent. I like Levy03's analogy.
Try not to ACCIDENTLY trip fall and hurt yourself with witnesses there to see when you pick up your amp. Won't they even try to help repair the damages? It just doesn't seem right that you should be stuck with nothing. Best of luck and I hope they'll try to help you.
"Not really but lawyers are not usually very honest now"

Gee, in one sentence frangment you've managed to 1) paint with a very broad brush; 2) insult, without provocation a segement of the population as a whole and certainly a segement of Audiogon participants; and 3) state a position without asserting any basis.

Now to your actual issue- unless you can PROVE that something the dealer did precipitated the problem, AND that what they did was negligent, you've got NO CASE. The burden of proof is on you, and from what I've read you have no way to PROVE that what happened at the dealer would not also have happened the next time you turned on the amp in your own home. In order to prevail you would need an expert to testify what was wrong with the amp, and how that was caused by the dealer's negligence. You are of course behind the eight ball on this because at the starting gate you brought the amp to the dealer to address a malfunction. Even in a "small claims" scenario where the burden of proof usually is lower, it's going to be tough to overcome the fact that you brought a broken amp to the dealer and you got back a broken amp.

You mention insurance and doesn't the dealer have insurance for these sort of things. Well, maybe, but just because someone is insured doesn't mean if you intend to pursue a third-party liability claim you are relieved from proving negligence. You aren't. And the amp could not be covered under the dealer's own 1st party insurance coverage because the amp did not belong to the dealer. So your only recourse is a third-party liability claim.

Face it, you had a ML that was going south, and it did.

Care to guess my profession?
Pretty close except take car to shop they take things apart put back together test drive things go up in smoke
The amp is still fixable
Abruce: i completely understand *and* agree with your position. no doubt i'd feel the same. my comments were more directed at advise to jump into the judicial system and get a lawyer (unless u have a friend/relative who will help for free). also agree with your path thus far...local/state agencies might be able to help or provide a nudge?. i'd try everything free and fairly painless before sinking money into a lawsuit. try negotiating with the shop owner for a fair % of the repair/replacement cost. if you're both reasonable....maybe something can be worked out?.

best of luck getting this resolved.
I am sorry to anyone involved in law enforcement attorneys lawyers etc
I typed before I thought sorry Zavato

"Won't they even try to help repair the damages? It just doesn't seem right that you should be stuck with nothing."

With all due respect, like I mentioned earlier, we have not heard from the other party. Who knows how this unfolded before and after he was told the amp blew up, and to come pick it up.

Every once in a while the other party does respond in these types of threads, and it's funny how untold facts from the original story seem to appear.

I'm just saying.
I thought I should share my experience with Levinson equipment to show the other side of the coin . I've read posts about the cap problems on Levinson amps , but I've owned two 300 series amps long term and have not had any problems at all , except a blow fuse do to my own incompetence . I do leave my systems on 24/7/52 . I've also had a 400 series amp and currently a 500 series with no issues .
My local Levinson dealer is the best too .
Markpao, I was also wondering why we haven't heard from the other party.
Levinson WOLL NOT provide replacement caps and/or schematics to anyone other than their 2 authorized repair depots. Even is this dealer wanted to help out his customer, his hands are tied as he cannot get replacement parts or any cooperation from Levinson.
There are caps available for sale currently on this site - just search for Mark Levinson. You would want to check on authenticity, but they sound like the real deal.
Audiogon member "Renjy651" has commented on this thread that he does ML cap replacements and has access to equivalent or better caps than the original ML caps.
If you get the amp repaired....Have the tech that does the repair tell you what went wrong (get it in writing). If it is something that "likely" happened at your Dealer, it may help in a court of law.

I think this falls under "preponderance of the evidence" (tipping the scale) that it more than likely happened because of the dealers mishandling.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn (and watched Judge Judy a few times). :-)

On the other hand, it may show that it was just time to go/who knows/can't blame the dealer/bump in the night kinda things/ which will save you time and money. Then time to let it go and move on.

Good luck.
You don’t have a snow ball’s chance in Hades of winning your claim. Focus your efforts on getting your amp repaired.
While all of the above posts are interesting, it seems the best course of action is to immediately take the amplifier to a Mark Levinson authorized repair shop. If it were me, I would rush my amplifier to the closest Levinson authorized repair shop for an opinion and an estimated written cost to repair. One question to ask is what damage, if any, did the leaking caps do to the wiring, other parts, etc. Unfortunately, you might have to ship it to another location (I do not know).

After reading everyone comments above, my sense is you cannot sue the dealer that you first took the amplifier to.

I do not know the age of your amplifier but I would be careful about spending big dollars for its repair. The problem is if something 'major" goes wrong today, other things might break tomorrow. Depending on the repair cost, and the opinion of the repair technician, I would ask about replacing your current broken Levinson amp with another amplifier assuming the retailer can give you a reasonable trade in on your old one. If your amplifier is very old, I question making expensive repairs. Please let us know what happens.
The caps were already blown (the noise coming out of your left channel). The smoke may be caused by the leak that spilled over some parts during transport (or when it got flipped over) and caused a short somewhere. It is a well documented issue with the 300 series amps.

I had firsthand experience with the amp and Levinson "service" and reported my experience a few years back. The Levinson tech told me it was a design issue (capacitor driven too hard). They had switched capacitor supplier a few times to try to get better caps that could handle the load without blowing up. My amp got serviced 3 times through an 8-year period.

A few years back, after all these complaints started surfacing, Mark Levinson extended the warranty on the 300 series amps for another 5 years. You may want to contact them to see if your amp is still under warranty. If not, the cost will be $2k or more. Check first as shipping may be separate and will surely add another $500 (both ways).

What agreement did you have with this repair shop?

What was documented when dropping it off?

Any witnesses that saw the unit working while in their possesion?

You can do something about this IF you have some good documentation. They have in their possesion an amp that they may have never been able to fix in the first place.

Negligence could be that they can't work on this type of amp but took a chance anyways.
I copied this info from the Mark Levinson web site for a list of their service partners:

Service Centers

We take great pride in our Service Partners. Their experience and dedication make these professionals ideally suited to assist with our customers’ service needs.
If your component must be serviced, please contact one of our service centers by choosing from the list below.

*INTL and USA service forms are available for download - listed below after Service Centers list*

George Meyer A/V
12418 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 820-1113

Pyramid Audio
305 East Braker Lane
Austin, TX 78753
(512) 458-8292

36 East 29th Street
New York, NY 10016
(212) 725-8778

The Service Bench
194 Vanderbilt Ave
Norwood, MA 02062
(781) 769-4337

United Radio
5717 Enterprise Parkway
East Syracuse, NY 13057
Toll-free: 800-634-8606
(315) 446-8700
I've had very good service from The Service Bench. I'm not affiliated with them and don't even live in Mass.
Abruce do you know if the electrolytic from the caps has gone all over the circuit board(s)?
In my working on these types of problems I find that the leaking caps cause shorts;any chance you know if the area involved is large,small and what other types of components are in the affected area.
Maybe the board can be removed and cleaned in a solvent tank to aid in better troubleshooting of the affected area;thats even if the repair shop has that capability or you can find another source for repair.
Unless you signed a waiver of responsibility here is what I would do.

Find out exactly which capacitor was leaking. Email the manufacture describing the problem and the leak. Ask for an estimate for repair.

Send the amplifier to the manufacture and get an estimate for the repair of the catastrophic failure.

File a claim in your local Small Claims Court. Testify with both estimates and the verbal, "pretty much blew it up,," as well as the admission they plugged it in after they noticed the leak.

Detail all your costs such as shipping, travel, and time spent.

Your showing due diligence for a minor problem and they're returning you their failure.
Vicdamone, you need to prove that the dealer was negligent in their actions and their actions alone caused the problem.

Sending the amp for repair estimates and filing a claim in small claim court does nothing to further the OP cause unless you can substantiate your claim with “proof” that the technician was negligent in his actions. The “burden” to prove that the repair depot was negligent is on the OP and his proof must be in the form of unbiased expert testimony.
I have an example of "proof" of negligence for you.
My computer just stopped working. Brought it to the service center where I bought it new (major computer company). They tried to bring it back, but couldn't and said I needed a new hard drive. So they installed the new hard drive and charged me some $375.00.
Before sending the "bad" hard drive across the country to one of those expert hard drive restoration places I though I'd bring it to a local service guy. He called me later that day and said he put the old hard drive back in and got the computer working without too much effort. But, whoever just worked on it put the long screws back where the short screws were supposed to be and subsequently poked holes right through the back panel.
So he put all that information on my invoice (that was for $100.00) and I took that to the first service center. They had no problems issuing me a full refund for their screw ups and told me I could keep the new hard drive.
01-23-13: Markpao
Before sending the "bad" hard drive across the country to one of those expert hard drive restoration places ....
Mark, back up regularly and you won't have to worry about using data recovery services, which are expensive and very often are only partially successful.

Better yet, use a drive imaging program (e.g., Windows 7 Backup, Mac Time Machine, Acronis True Image, or what I use, Terabyte Unlimited's Image for Windows), and you won't even have to spend significant time reinstalling software following a hard drive replacement.

Best regards,
-- Al
I know, I know Al. Believe me I heard about this many times over. It's a long story so I won't go into it. One thing is for sure, this will never happen again!
There is no case here. It is a well known fact when the Levinson 332 started humming. The reason China made junk Philips caps going bad and leaking on 332 you are not suppose to use the amp. You can read the post on Audiogon (WHY IS THE MARKET FOR USED LEVINSON AMPS SO SLOW)
The Levinson 332 started humming on one channel on 5/24/12.
The only way to repair this amp is to replace the four 50000uF/125V with 150V surge filter caps with new Cornell or United caps. Also replace the four 1900uF/150V regulator caps with 1900uF/250V caps. These caps are custom made by UCC and Cornell.

If this will not turn the amp on you have to replace the three surge resistors on soft slow start VSMB board. also few other small caps. With out the four filter and regulator caps it cannot be repaired.
I went through a similar experience with my ML332. Came down one morning and it was softly buzzing through the left channel. I took it to the Service Bench in Norwood. They were very nice, but told me it would cost $2,500 to repair. I purchased a replacement set of capacitors that were advertised here on Audiogon by my new amplifier repair sherpa Abe. With his expert help and advice I replaced all the caps and my 332 sounds better than it every has and I saved almost $2,000.
Buy the caps from Abe and you will fall in love with your ML-332 all over again.
Agree with Levy03, there ought to be some middle ground that can be reached between you where they wouldnt have to pay full cost of a replacement and you wouldnt either. I had a Volkswagen Rabbit years ago, bought it brand new, did all the scheduled maintenance. After only 19,000 miles (still under warantee) the bottom of the engine fell onto the roadway. VW America knew that shouldnt have happened since the car had been regularly maintained by an authorized VW dealer. They wouldnt pay full cost for a new engine since it had 19,000 miles on it but after offers and counter-offers agreed to pay for 3/4 of the replacement cost. I took them up on it since the idea of bringing a suit with the attendant court costs and lawyer fees was a non-starter for me, plus the time and effort it would have involved. Maybe you could reach a similar agreement about your amp. And Levy03, if you're reading this, I'm a Levy too!
Mrmitch,the biggest difference between your experience and the original posters is that your vw was still under warranty. Huge difference.
Picked my amp up Friday
The two who poked around with it talked with me
I ask if they heard the noise in the left channel, yep when we plugged it in we could hear it, turned it off and tightened some screws on power supply noted leaky cap, put it back together turned it on started smoking, but no we didn't cause it