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Anyone have any thoughts, experiences, comments on these reference amplifiers? Althought almost 10 years old now, they are still the most imposing in my opinion with their 31" height and massive weight with tremendous build quality. Anyone compare with other newer amplifiers--how have they held their age? Are they still the best out there?
 

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It's been almost 3 years since I critically listened to the 33s. They were a little out of my price range (and size range) but I wanted to compare them to the other 3 amps I was considering: the 33Hs, Spectral 360s and Linn Klimaxs.


While the comparison is not exactly fair since the 33s are significantly more expensive, my recollection is that they handled everything I could throw at them and seemingly with no effort. When pushed, the other amps' weaknesses could be exposed (soundstage would collapse slightly, lows would become muddied, there would be a sense that the amp was struggling to keep up) -- this was not the case with the 33s. I'm afraid my memory is less clear as to color characteristics of the 33s, if any.


I did not listen to any other amps that were in the same class/price range as the 33s.


BTW I ended up getting the Klimaxs which I felt were faster and more consistent from top to bottom than the 33Hs or the Spectrals.
 

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Top notch uncolored amps with power to spare.. they are superb in every way.. typical "Lev" sound with direct focal and unbiased tonality.


These amps fall in the catagory "true to the sound"


They are big and HEAVY .. and impressive at first sight..


Loved them...
 

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Hi Steve,


They are very awesome, have had them in my system. Did not keep them, because they were just to big and heavy (somewhat expensive-relatively). Kind of a ridiculous experiment, cost 400 bucks to have them moved in and out, do you realize that they are a combined 1000lbs! So I went with Krell 650Mc's. Had more bottom end. Not quite as transparent, but I loved the effortless strength. I don't think there is a more truly powerful amp out there. Even Pass or Mc 1000 watt monsters. Maybe VTL Wotan's, but that's a whole other animal. Saved 12000 in the deal. Now they have the 750Cx's that are even more ballsy. But if you are really considering the 33's, I think you owe it to yourself to make absolutely certain that you listen to the Halcro DM58's or 68's. The 68's can be had for a bit less than the 33's weigh alot less, look in my opinion alot better, and lastly by all accounts from those who have heard them sound significantly better. This is in print media and from a good friend of mine who bought them even before the reviews. I have yet to hear them, but I trust this dude's ears implicitly, the rest of his system is Levinson (as is mine) and I know they were oh his original short list. Well sadly, I guess this recommendation is based on heresay, but just think about this. The Absolute Sound and Stereophile both called this in no uncertain terms, the best amplifier ever. That's from pubs that love to hate each other, so for them to agree is a big deal. They other thing to consider about that is that the company is small Australian firm that isn't backed by alot of money. So unlike alot of other larger manufacturers, you know that they didn't stimulate great reviews with smoozing as I'm sure is very prevalent amongst the HiFi propaganda. In the end, I think I really dig them on the basis of looks. I know stupid, but it drove me to buy the Lev 40. You spend that kind of cash, it's got to be cool.


My 2cents,


Edward
 

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Well Steve,


It just occured to me that Matt is a proud owner of a pair of the 58's. I'm surprised he did not give you the head's up. But I'm sure if we ask him nice, he'll tell you the truth. I think he's holding back cause he doesn't want anyone else to have them!!!! By the way Matt, have been watching your HT develop. It's out and out awesome now. I know you had asked before, but I'm loving my 40. Probably not worth 3 times your 12B-especially sense it was delivered with a bad audio main board, but I still think it's a kick butt unit. Let us know your comparison of your babies to the 33's, you could save Steve some bucks......


Cheers,


Edward
 

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Hi Edward, thanks for the nice words, Well I didn't want to change topics as Steve was asking about the 33s.


But since you asked, I seriously demo'ed the 33s at my dealers in Montreal, he matted them with similar equipment that I had at the time.. ML 380S, ML DAC..etc.. they were powerful totally blew me away. In Canada, there price is over $50K I think and I just couldn't justify them. Then along came the Halcro's., they were a relative unknown 15 months ago when I started to look at them, then I spoke to a good friend Mike Lavigne who had the 33s Halcros and now has Tenor tube 75iw. He told me that The Halcros offered more warmth and detail and better sound-stage then the 33s. He told me out of the 2 (33s and DM58) the DM58s were a no brainer. So I bought a pair, I was going to fly down to Florida to demo them then figured to test them in my own home with my equipment. What I heard compared to the Levinson amps I had were precisely that...warmth and detail.. an amazing black background and even rated at 200w/mono-block, these DM58 do not fade at high power requirement. They are most interesting with pipe-organ music. My Wilsons are getting a great workout.


The Halcros are built to industrial strength at I would say Mark Levinson with Madrigal set the standards in that arena. I love the look and the stylish shape. The support from Hacro has been exemplary (again a Madrigal standard).


So what separates the two ? .. sound and what you perceive the sound should be. At this level of amp (even with the Halcro's being named "Best Amp ever" I am not sure I would ever be bold enough to say that) Both are amazing amps. I would also throw in there for Solid state the Edge amps as they really impressed me at CES last year. Too bad they don't support XLRs.


In tube amps, of course Lamms, Tenors and the most colorful amp and sweetest sound I heard was the VAC tubes.


Good luck !
 

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Not to get off the original subject but having seen the size of the 33's. I am fascinated with these monster amps. Has anyone had much experience with the Theta Citadels and Classe Omega MonoBlocks? I know they run $7500.00 and 10000.00 ea. respectively. Are they in the same league as the ML 33's?


Happy Holidays

Michael
 

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I've had the Rowland 9T's , Pass 600's and now the Krell 750MCx's. In my system, the Krell's blew away the competition. The Rowlands were kind of bland, the Pass' dry and the krell's warm, detailed and are great imagers. Of course, everything is system and room dependent, so YMMV. I also listened to the Parasound JC-1's , which for the price, $3000, are excellent.


David Shapiro
 

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If you were to crack the covers on the levinsons it would become

immediately apparent that the quality of assembly, parts, layout

etc are second to none, not even close. How much of this quality

ends up in the sound of the unit is another matter. Also remember

that this levinson design is now almost 10 years old. I would bet

that they could do much better if they wanted to.


Even the krell's as well built as they are, do not use some of the

extra fancy stuff the levinson uses. Once again, whether they need

to or not is another matter.


The Theta is a pretender to the throne. Pretty front panel. Look at

the recent stereophile report, paying attention to the thd numbers

and the fact that it can't even meet its own specs. Then look inside.

Yucch.


Never seen the classe unit...
 

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Yes, the 33s are top class poweramps but they are in the market for so many years. There are now many new poweramps using more recent technologies (e.g. Rowland 302, Linn Klimax, Halcro 58/68, Goldmund 29M/29.4M). I don't think it's wise to buy the 33s before seriously considering these newer (may be better) alternatives.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Keung
I don't think it's wise to buy the 33s before seriously considering these newer (may be better) alternatives.
Agreed, but to dismiss a product because it's a few years old is a little close-minded... newer isn't always better.


Mark
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by oneobgyn
I definitely agree with David Shapiro's post. I have owned just about every high end piece of gear out there and although the 33's are intimidating, the Krell 750 Mcx blows them away.
I dislike statements like this. Could you be more specific? Once you get to the high-end, things rarely blow other high-end stuff away - the differences are usually only very subtle...


FWIW, I use 33H's - my music room is on the top floor of my house and carrying two 33's up the stairs was not something I wanted to attempt (the 33H's were tough enough) There was also no guarantee that the floor joists would support their weight once we got them there :eek:


Mark
 

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My room is also on the second floor and I had to negotiate Wilson X-1 Grand Slamm's as well as Wilson XS subwoofer up the stairs, which is a combined weight of over 2500 lbs. Add to this the weight of the 750Mcx's which is approx 360 lbs as well as another 450Mcx--well you can see my point. The joists hold just fine.


As far as power, I use the 750's to drive Wilson X-1's and I must tell you that the performance is stunning. I am not negating the performance of the 33's except to say that even though they are reference amps, they are still 10 years old. Unfortunately in this hobby, there is no such thing as standing still and being content with what you have. A perfect example for me is the video end of my gear which 10 years ago was state of the art but by todays standards is far behind the the industry standard and cost a whole lot more by the way than what is out there now. Have a listen to the Krell 750's is all I ask
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by oneobgyn
My room is also on the second floor and I had to negotiate Wilson X-1 Grand Slamm's as well as Wilson XS subwoofer up the stairs, which is a combined weight of over 2500 lbs. Add to this the weight of the 750Mcx's which is approx 180 lbs as well as another 450Mcx--well you can see my point. The joists hold just fine.
Yowch! :)

Quote:


As far as power, I use the 750's to drive Wilson X-1's and I must tell you that the performance is stunning. I am not negating the performance of the 33's except to say that even though they are reference amps, they are still 10 years old.
Age doesn't automatically make a piece of technology redundant. Otherwise, nobody would use vinyl or valves anymore ;)

Quote:


Unfortunately in this hobby, there is no such thing as standing still and being content with what you have.
I disagree... I'm *very* happy with the kit I have and actually spend more time listening to music than I ever have. For the first time in my life I have no urge to upgrade at all.

Quote:


A perfect example for me is the video end of my gear which 10 years ago was state of the art but by todays standards is far behind the the industry standard and cost a whole lot more by the way than what is out there now.
But video is a different arena altogether. The majority of hi-fi kit utilises old technologies which are well understood. Video gear on the other hand is going through an evolutionary surge; D-ILA, DLP, LCOS, HDTV, etc; computing power is increasing power of scalers, and so on - there will continue to be rapid improvements in this area and plenty of opportunities to upgrade and improve as time goes on.

Quote:
Have a listen to the Krell 750's is all I ask
I will certainly try.


Cheers,


Mark
 

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Nearly everything imported to the UK is charged at a rate of £1 = $1, regardless of the underlying exchange rate. This is certainly the case for Levinson kit.


Welcome to "Rip-Off Britain" :-(


Mark
 

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I was in the UK last summer and indeed got a taste of what you said. A great country but very expensive. Enjoy your gear. I wasn't knocking it. I change mine very often but, like you the audio end of mine is now where I will stay for a long time to come. It will taking a miracle to convince me to change. My gear was posted by a colleague of mine having seen photos done by my son. He posted to this high end topic and mine has been the brunt of many debates. Retail for all my gear now falls around $325K but I am now ugrading the video side and then I am done. It seems that there are a lot of wannabes as well as pretenders on this site who seem to know everything ( or at least they want to make you believe such) and are always critical about everything. I have always maintained "that which gives us pleasure is what enjoying this crazy hobby is all about."
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by oneobgyn
I was in the UK last summer and indeed got a taste of what you said. A great country but very expensive. Enjoy your gear. I wasn't knocking it.

I change mine very often but, like you the audio end of mine is now where I will stay for a long time to come. It will taking a miracle to convince me to change. My gear was posted by a colleague of mine having seen photos done by my son. He posted to this high end topic and mine has been the brunt of many debates. Retail for all my gear now falls around $325K but I am now ugrading the video side and then I am done. It seems that there are a lot of wannabes as well as pretenders on this site who seem to know everything ( or at least they want to make you believe such) and are always critical about everything. I have always maintained "that which gives us pleasure is what enjoying this crazy hobby is all about."
Amen, to all of the above! :D


Mark
 
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