Levinson is one of the most dependable brand names when it comes to high-end audio systems. For years the brand has been recognized by audiophiles throughout the world as equipment that delivers clear and consistent quality in music.
What are the specs for the Mark Levinson No. 36?
- Digital processor with HDCD$r decoding.
- two AES/EBU on XLRs, two S/PDIF coaxial (one RCA, one BNC), one ST optical, one TosLink optical.
- L/R balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) analog out. Digital out. Also one RJ-45 communications port (see text) and IR repeater port.
- Frequency response:
- 10Hz–20kHz, +0, –0.2dB.
- Dynamic range:
- 98dB (or better).
- S/N ratio:
- Channel separation:
- greater than 110dB.
- FIFO jitter:
- less than 20 picoseconds, uncorrelated.
- Output impedance:
- less than 6 ohms.
- 15.75" W × 14.3" D × 3.75" H.
What else to know about the Mark Levinson No. 36?
"In the upper range, the No.36 had a more subtle, airy treble. The difference didn't jump out and grab me, but percussion and other instruments with strong high-frequency overtones were more finely shaded on the Levinson. On the other hand, through the low and mid-treble, the Sonic Frontiers was more vivid, more "there." I never found it to be unnaturally bright in this region, though here the differences with the No.36 were most obvious. More often than not the Frontiers added a subtle but effective presence to the sound. There were few, if any, differences in depth and soundstaging—but to the extent that there were, I attribute them primarily to this small spectral shift.
When I switched to the balanced mode on the Sonic Frontiers, the sonic differences between it and the No.36 became even more subtle. But the contrasts were noted in the same areas, and I would not significantly change my observations.
On balance, I have a tough time declaring a preference between the Sonic Frontiers and the Levinson processors. I liked the good old "palpable presence" of the SF, and the top- and bottom-end detail and definition of the No.36. I can't imagine anyone being unhappy with either, but of course definite preferences will develop depending on the individual listener and the system. If they fit your budget, you should definitely hear, and consider, both.
What can I say? Run out and buy the No.36? That would not be bad advice if you have the price of admission. It certainly must be heard, even if only to hear what's possible in today's best D/A converters. Make no mistake: the No.36 can compete in that company."
Brief History of Mark Levinson
Long mapped-to Binghamton New York – the current headquarters and manufacturing center for Mark Levinson Labs – not many people know the brand was originally launched outside of the Nation’s Capital in Silver Spring Maryland, in 1949. In 1956, the brand built their original facility in New York, according to the official brand website.
Other Mark Levinson Products We Often Buy
StereoBuyers has purchased tens of thousands worth Mark Levinson brand equipment since 2014, with individual buys ranging from $100 to well over $50,000. If you are moving, ready to upgrade, or have Mark Levinson equipment you do not or will not be using, why not contact us today to find out if it is worth good money?
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The following images show actual Mark Levinson equipment purchased by StereoBuyers.