Upgrading my system? Levinson to. . . . ?

I'm considering the following changes to my system. I'd sure like some feedback/comments. I have three options in mind.
1. Keep the system as is. I love the sound as is, but think I would benefit from some better amplification.

2. Upgrade my system by swapping a pair of Levinson #33 amps for my two pair of Levinson 436. This is the one I'm favoring. The 33s would be older but I have a chance to own one of the best amps in the world to drive my Salons with.

3. Selling my DAC, Transport, and Preamp and upgrading to a Theta Gen VIII and Compli and maybe even switching to the Theta amps. I'm really interested in the Gen VIII and Compli so I could upgrade my digital, and use the Gen VIII as both DAC and Preamp thus making my system newer and simpler by not having a preamp.

4. Of course if there are other ideas I'd be glad to hear them.
1. Keep the system as is. I love the sound as is, but think I would benefit from some better amplification.

There is always better, if you love the sound as is, sit back, relax and keep on enjoying!

I may not be the best to be giving advice about not changing. :)
don't do anything but listen

You seem to like the Levinson sound. I do not know what you currently have for a digtal front end, but as far as amplifiers go if you have a chance to swap 4 levinson 436's for the 33's then I would do it. I have owned 436's 33H's and currently 33's and I can say without reservation that the 33 series of amplifiers are head and shoulders better than the 400 series amps. Before doing so I would call Levinson for a service history of the 33's.
Get a pair of NuForce 9.02s - you can get them on a 30 day return priviledge. Then see what you think. What have you got to lose?

Best of luck!

Bob Wood
Buy some more music, clean cable contacts, check AC health, try Aurios feets and enjoy the music.

Having owned Plinius SA250, MCintosh MC300, Levinson #333 and then a pair of #33H's along with Levinson #38S pre, #36S DAC, #37 transport...I decided to go to tubes 5 years ago...

Due to living in a hot climate, however,I recently decided to add a summer system consiting of #333, #380s pre and again the #36S and #37. No way was I willing to sell my tube gear and would have used the tubes in the cooler months.

To make a long story short, after 4 days, probably 15 hours + of music, I've returned to the tubes and the Levinson gear is being sold...even my wife remarked after the 2nd day that she could certainly tell the difference. The Levinson product is a clean sound with lots of authority but it lacks the true "musical experience" we've learned to love with the tube gear.

As I shared this story with a fellow audio friend he stated that certainly was a compliment to Jud Barber of Joule-Electra. Indeed it is! Jud's Rites of Passage monoblocks provide the amplification with the Joule-Electra LA-100 tube preamp as well as the LA-150 phono stage...

Living in a hot climate, we'll add a "silent" exhaust if necessary but one thing's for sure...we were happy with the Joule-Electra gear for 5 years before the bug bite and I'm confident we'll be happy another 5 as well. A little warm in the summer maybe...but well worth it for the musical enjoyment received.

Good luck in your quest for the best!
LOL, still sittin' on the fence, eh!?


Paul :-)