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Thread: Mark Levinson

  1. #1
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Mark Levinson

    Wow! Did not know this about Levinson. Apparently the product that has his name, Levinson amps that are sold through Harmon, really has nothing to do with Levinson other than the name. Also he started Cello Audio and then left it. He now builds amps and other gear in China...Red Rose Audio. But thats not the most shocking, (I know some good stuff comes out of China these days) The most shocking and surprising thing I discovered about Mark Levinson is in the original article out lined in red.

    Red Rose Music SACDs

    Mark Levinson
    Born in Oakland, California in 1946, to Daniel J. Levinson and Maria Hertz Levinson, Mark Levinson grew up in the Boston area and later moved to New Haven, CT. His father was a professor of psychology at Harvard for 16 years and Yale University for 24 years. Daniel J. Levinson became a pioneer in the field of adult developmental psychology and was the author of the classic book "Seasons of a Man's Life."

    Music (particularly jazz) quickly became the focus in Mark's life. Before the age of 20 he was sitting in, on double bass and trumpet, with the likes of John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Johnny Griffin, Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett. Foregoing a college education for music, as a young man he developed himself as a musician, touring Europe as a bassist with pianist Paul Bley and later going on to study classical Indian music with sarod master Ali Akbar Khan.

    In his early twenties, Levinson began work in a recording studio, which became a springboard to his experimentation with electronics and sound reproduction. His first components included the mixer through which the Woodstock music festival sound system was fed. In 1971, mentored by electronics pioneer Richard S. Burwen, he founded Mark Levinson Audio Systems (MLAS, Ltd.), hand-building amplifiers that became standards of reference in the audio industry.

    In 1982, Levinson parted company with MLAS, Ltd. and started Cello Ltd. in 1984. In 1998 he left Cello to found Red Rose Music.

    Levinson is also a recording engineer and has recorded award-winning albums for Blue Note artists including Jacky Terrason, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Joe Lovano, and Music Maker Relief Foundation.
    Just some interesting notes about Mark Levinson. Oh...and by the way....Mark Levinson's Red Rose Music sells rebadged OEM products by Korsun another audio company in China.

    ANDREW'S AUDIO HIFI RECOMMENDATIONS

    I'm sure most of you may have known this....I'm sure Ajani already knew this, but its new news to me.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  2. #2
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    I used to get to hear all his good toys back when they were his own.

    Didn't know about the re-badging but had read all the rest many years ago.

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    Frenchmon, I did not know any of what you posted. I had always assumed the reason M.L. amps are named such is because M.L. was the man at the helm of his own product. I guess its kind of like Carver and Sunfire gear....no longer Bob Carvers.
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  4. #4
    RGA
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    I wasn't the least bit impressed by the current group of amps under the name Mark Levinson. Now I understand perhaps why I wasn't impressed - Harman is a typical corporation - yet to be impressed by a single product that has come out of their "group."

  5. #5
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    If you want to be surprised even more, go to Red Rose Audio and look at the price list of the stuff that's made in China at the Kurson factory. I thought stuff coming out of China was suppose to have good, cheaper prices? But if its got Mark Levinson's name behind it, then apparently not.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  6. #6
    Charm Thai™
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    I used to love the Cello speaker ads with the naked broads in Stereophile.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ...yet to be impressed by a single product that has come out of their "group."
    Never thought ML would make an integrated amp but I really really really liked the no.383.

  7. #7
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHills44060 View Post
    I used to love the Cello speaker ads with the naked broads in Stereophile.


    Never thought ML would make an integrated amp but I really really really liked the no.383.
    Are you sure the no 383 is a Mark Levinson designed amp? He has integrated amps under the Red Rose gear.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  8. #8
    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon View Post
    Are you sure the no 383 is a Mark Levinson designed amp? He has integrated amps under the Red Rose gear.
    No it's a Harmon product for sure but I meant Mark Levinson the company not the man. Of the products I've gotten to play around with it stands out as one of the nicer ones they've made since he left.

  9. #9
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Oh...I see.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  10. #10
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Hmmm....So I wonder if Mark Levinson is just a high end Harman Kardon amp or intergrated amp?

    So I wonder how good the Harman Kardon HK 990 really is???? The Levinson amps have great control over speakers...so I assume the Karmon Kardon recievers and Integrated amps do as well.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  11. #11
    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon View Post
    So I wonder how good the Harman Kardon HK 990 really is????
    Great question. I've don't know anyone personally who has one and none of the dealers around me have had one in their showrooms.

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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    When I was looking for an integrated amp I looked at the Dussun T6. Then I learned I could buy the Red Rose int. amp which is identical at 3 x the price. Of course I do not know if the internal components were identical.
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  13. #13
    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    When I was looking for an integrated amp I looked at the Dussun T6.
    When I was shopping for integrateds about 10 years ago I narrowed my choices down to the Mark Levinson No. 383 and the McIntosh MA6900. Ended up going with neither and staying on the preamp/amp path.

  14. #14
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    Inspite of Mark Levinson's name being behind the pre-Harman products, he was just that -- the name. The first Mark Levinson products, like the JC-1 preamp and ML-2 amp were designed by John Curl (hence the J-C model designation of the preamp).

  15. #15
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon View Post
    I'm sure most of you may have known this....I'm sure Ajani already knew this, but its new news to me.
    LOL... I guess I read way too much about HiFi...

  16. #16
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen B View Post
    Inspite of Mark Levinson's name being behind the pre-Harman products, he was just that -- the name. The first Mark Levinson products, like the JC-1 preamp and ML-2 amp were designed by John Curl (hence the J-C model designation of the preamp).
    I suspect that part of the reason it was so easy for Madrigal Audio Labs (now part of Harman) to drop Mark Levinson (the man) from Mark Levinson (the brand) is because he was likely just a salesman and had little or nothing to do with the design of the products. Just like Peter Q at Audio Note (Sorry, I couldn't resist a cheap shot at RGA's favourite brand).
    Last edited by Ajani; 02-16-2012 at 04:41 PM.

  17. #17
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon View Post
    Hmmm....So I wonder if Mark Levinson is just a high end Harman Kardon amp or intergrated amp?

    So I wonder how good the Harman Kardon HK 990 really is???? The Levinson amps have great control over speakers...so I assume the Karmon Kardon recievers and Integrated amps do as well.
    Most likely the Levinsons are upgraded HKs or the HKs are stripped down Levinsons.

    Just look at the specs for The Mark Levinson № 585 integrated amplifier revealed at CES:



    he № 585 offers three analog line-level audio inputs plus an MC/MM phono input and six digital audio inputs, to accommodate a wide array of music sources, and can be operated via its remote control. The № 585 delivers a generous 225 watts per channel power output into 8 ohms, to easily drive even inefficient audiophile loudspeakers, and provides a dedicated subwoofer output.
    The № 585’s analog circuitry is optimized to deliver extraordinary sonic refinement, and it incorporates leading-edge 32-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converters for unsurpassed digital audio performance. The Mark Levinson No 585 includes HDMI™ 1.3, USB, AES/EBU and coaxial S/PDIF inputs, and provides USB and S/PDIF digital outputs. A host of onboard sonic tailoring facilities are provided including full bass management with high-pass filtering, low-pass crossover controls for the subwoofer output and more. The № 585’s unity gain SSP mode enables easy integration with home theater systems, and the № 585 offers a full complement of system control ports.
    It basically has upgraded versions of the DAC and DSP of the HK990

  18. #18
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    I wasn't the least bit impressed by the current group of amps under the name Mark Levinson. Now I understand perhaps why I wasn't impressed - Harman is a typical corporation - yet to be impressed by a single product that has come out of their "group."
    I'm not convinced that the typical small business is less likely to screw customers than corporations. Way too many small to mid size businesses are just as greedy and corrupt. Some are even worse as they don't have a reputation to uphold.

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    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani View Post
    I suspect that part of the reason it was so easy for Madrigal Audio Labs (now part of Harman) to drop Mark Levinson (the man) from Mark Levinson (the brand) is because he was likely just a sales man and had little of nothing to do with the design of the products. Just like Peter Q at Audio Note (Sorry, I couldn't resist a cheap shot at RGA's favourite brand).
    No need to apologize.

  20. #20
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani View Post
    LOL... I guess I read way too much about HiFi...
    LOL! No...you're ok. Some of us study car mechanic literature, some of us study theology literature, some computer literature. Your study is in the area of audio and HiFi more so than some of us. That's a good thing. Some times your're really technical in your posting which is a good thing and shows you have a good understanding of things HiFi. You, Glen B, E-stat and Feanor and a few others. Nothing wrong with that. And as much as your read things audio and HiFi, I figured you had read up on Levinson. If I have questions, and cant find the answers, I know who to ask.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  21. #21
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen B View Post
    The first Mark Levinson products, like the JC-1 preamp and ML-2 amp were designed by John Curl (hence the J-C model designation of the preamp).
    I still have fond memories of the original JC-2. It was a landmark product in its day which was in some respects better than the Audio Research SP-3a-1, my previous reference circa 1975. My DIY attenuator box pays homage to its slim and elegant form factor.

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    Interesting tidbits Frenchie, I didn't know he was a musician and I sure didn't realize he left his company as early as 82. I suspect he was more than just a salesman as it did say he designed the mixing board used at Woodstock. Wonder if he was there

    RGA, it's typical of you to throw cheap shots at everything not SET, and I see most ignore you, or, never heard ML the product. However, for the record ML the product makes some very good sounding amps, although coming for a premium price. You do have to trust your own ears and eyes though I still haven't forgotten the Lexicon/Oppo conspiracy.

    According to dealers I've talked to Harmon's lines are supposed to be separate entities but you can't help wondering if some sharing might happen. I have no experience with the HK HT stuff but back in the late 80's, early 90's the HK receivers were very very nice, all discrete circuits with high current amp sections.

  23. #23
    RGA
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    Mr. P

    I don't make cheap shots - I tell it like it is (like it is means like I hear it). And like I hear it is based on what else I have heard for the same money or less money. The people who get insulted rarely have heard what I have heard and perhaps if they got off their ass and auditioned stuff I would not have to read about mediocre overpriced stuff being raved about because it beats other overpriced mediocre stuff.

    Ajani

    Why would that be a cheap shot? Peter never claimed to be an engineer and continuously corrects anyone who is under the impression that he is. He was a dealer who had close relationships to manufacturers. Basically an audiophile who has enough money to hire people to get him what he wants. He wants a DAC he hires the owner of Sonic Frontiers and Parts Express to help his own designer build one. he wants a turntable he - hires Guy Adams to build it. Not unlike Steven Spielberg who isn't a composer - he needs a composition so he hires John Williams to create one. Spielberg still makes the final decision and still has tremendous input to get Williams to get him what he wants - but he's no composer.

    Go to 4:55 Audio Note $1,000,000 loudspeakers.mp4 - YouTube

  24. #24
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    Ajani

    Why would that be a cheap shot?
    I had assumed the fact that is was meant to be a joke was obvious. It has been clear from the trillions of post about audio note that Peter q never pretends to be more than a salesman in love with his own product.

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    My HK AVR635 is a pretty strong unit and had no trouble driving my Danes, 82s or 42s.

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