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Mark Levinson 532h - anything to like about it?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Rosewind, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    I have been offered a swap with a Mark levinson 532h. What if anything would this bring me together with an EAR 912 apart from plenty of power and a certain degree of smooth sound?

    Lately I have swayed back and forth between solid state and valve power amps in my set-up. I really don't need a high-powered amp in my set-up, but given the fact that my EAR preamps have been harder to sell than anticipated, I am quite tempted to give this a spin and sell it off if it doesn't suit me. I can listen before I swap, but I would like to know what to expect.

    I have read the Nap 135 update thread with some interest as it includes a short discussion of the merits of raw power paired with loudspeakers. Buried in there is a mentioning of a low-powered Mark Levinson amp. As usual there are a lot of different opinions.

    Has anyone here any experience with Mark Levinson, in particular, the 532h?
  2. crimsondonkey

    crimsondonkey pfm Member

    Anything to like? Nope.
  3. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    Care to elaborate. Did you ever hear one?
  4. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator pfm Member

    I had one for a few days, searching for a new power amp I compared it in my system with:
    Electrocompaniet Nemo
    Classe Cam600
    Boulder 1060

    I liked it a lot. It's best qualities were v good transparency and top class bass impact. Strangely though I found its sound a little cold and clinical which surprised me, I always thought Levinson stuff was more organic and warm. I was using 800 D2 speakers at the time so it might have been the match, but apparently the 800's were voiced using Levinsons and Classe's....
    The Classe's had a much bigger, more powerful and warmer sound, but a bit too much for me...classic American sound.
    The Nemo's were better than the other two combining their best bits but without the weaknesses. The Boulder was a good step above all of them, so I bought the Boulder.

    Hope that helps a bit....
  5. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    It does indeed. Thanks. The Boulder goes on my "want to listen to before I die list."
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    IIRC Mark Levinson has nothing to do with the company that now bares his name, I think he moved on decades ago to Cello and Red Rose. Maybe that accounts for the character change?

    PS I rather fancy an early Levinson preamp sometime, a ML1, No. 26 or whatever, one of the classics from the early days of TAS, though I understand some with the sealed modules are a PITA/impossible to service.
  7. mfav

    mfav Member

    The 532H is a good amp , it may not be for everyone as its very tight and fast (some may say cold) .All the ML H amps are a few years old and came before the new design team took over (bar the 585 integrated ), since then there is a move back to the older Levison values and sound . If you get the chance to listen to the 585 or the 534 power amp they are totally different to the 532H ,more depth and bass impact but still very clean . I listened to the 515 turntable through one of the new pre/power combos at CES and thought it one of the better systems there at a fraction of the price of some of the others
  8. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator pfm Member

    Very tight and fast sums it up better probably, no excess fat at all. Bass was massively tight and punchy, I'd say the punchiest (should be a word) I've heard from an amp. Probably not the deepest around though...
  9. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    If I got it, it would be paired with an EAR 868PL and 1 driver 47 Laboratory 4722 Lens standmounts. Sesitivity rated at 85db / 4 ohms.
  10. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    Are you using a EAR 912 or 868PL? Your first and last posts differ. You could check with TdP on what he thinks?
  11. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    Hi Stuart.
    I see.
    Well, the thing is that I have an 868PL at this point in time and have reserved both an EAR 912 and the Mark Levinson 532h. The price for the two will set me back a lot of money (=7550£) - even if you deduct mony from the sale of my 868PL (= 2800-3000£?), and I am not sure that I will want to spend that much. In fact, the most likely outcome is:

    EAR 912 (= 4200£ less the money from my EAR 868PL) + a cheaper power amp than the Mark Levinson 532h

    The option 868PL + Mark Levinson 532h (= 3350£) is less likely at this point.

    [So far my communication with EAR has not given med any responses. So I have stopped wanting price quotes and advice. I even tried through the Danish importer to no avail.]

  12. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member


    What is your source(s)? If you are into vinyl, then maybe a EAR 912 makes sense - it is highly spec'd towards that source. You should also consider a EAR power amp or hold on and waitbpatiently until a pair of 509s become available.
  13. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    Hi Stuart.
    I am into both vinyl and streaming (+ I have a B&O Beocord 6500 Casette deck). Unfortunately my middle name is not "patience" :p But luckily, after I get the EAR 912 in the house I have no option but to be patient.

    I have a very good TT that I fetched in Germany at the beginning of August: Amazon-Audio Reference / Morch UP 4 / Benz Gullwing SLR. I was very lucky to get that. It replaced my faithful 1984 Thorens TD160 mk ii.

    I certaily expect my EAR 912 to be my final preamp.

  14. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member


    I think a 912/509/519 would be a great system. Be patient!
  15. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    Thanks Stuart.

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