Mark Levinson No.53 Reference monoblock power amplifier Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: Solid-state, monoblock power amplifier with proprietary "class-I" output stage. Inputs: 1 unbalanced (RCA), 1 balanced (XLR). Outputs: 2 pairs binding posts. Maximum output power (20Hz–20kHz, at <0.1% distortion): 500W into 8 ohms (27dBW); 1000W into 4 ohms (27dBW). Frequency response: 10Hz–20kHz, ±0.1dB. Input impedance: 100k ohms balanced, 50k ohms unbalanced. Voltage gain: 26.8dB. Output impedance: not specified. Input sensitivity: 2.89V input for full output. Signal/noise ratio: 85dB ref. 2.83V RMS (1W at 8 ohms). Power consumption: not specified.
Dimensions: 20.9" (530mm) H 8.4" (214mm) W by 20.4" (518mm) D. Weight: 135 lbs (61.2kg) net, 165 lbs (74.8kg) shipping.
Serial Numbers of Units Reviewed: 9800004366 & '7.
Price: $50,000/pair. Approximate number of dealers: 50. Warranty: 5 years, transferable.
Manufacturer: Harman Luxury Audio Group, 1718 W. Mishawaka Road, Elkhart, IN 46517. Tel: (888) 691-4171. Web: harmanluxuryaudio.com.

Company Info
Harman Luxury Audio Group
1718 W. Mishawaka Road
Elkhart, IN 46517
(888) 691-4171
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Comments
tmsorosk's picture
53's

Many may find Mike's less than stellar review a surprize , not me , I found his sonic discription about on par with mine , and thats coming from a guy thats on his third generation of Levinson amps.

Mark Levinson needs to go back to the drawing board on this one.

Will Levein's picture
Puzzling... Anyone going to review the No.532?

I was looking forward to this review because my understanding is the No.53s have pretty much split-opinions between those that 'get-them' and those that don't. Obviously Mr Harley is in the latter camp & he hasn't exactly held back has he!

I myself am the very satisfied owner of the stereo No.532. Unlike the commentor above this was the first ML purchase I've ever made, and believe me, I compared it at length (both in terms of time & geography!) with all the expected contendors. It emerged far and away as my favourite: the best power amp I've heard in 20 years of listening.

I accept that the consensus is emerging that the No.53s are indeed disappointing, but what I would say is don't write off the 'lesser' amps in the range, because they perform superbly and offer what I think is good value for money too.

John Atkinson's picture
In August 2011

Larry Greenhill favorably reviewed the No.532H in the August 2011 issue of Stereophile: see www.stereophile.com/content/mark-levinson-no532h-power-amplifier.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Will Levein's picture
(correction)

Of course I meant Mr Fremer, not Harley. I read too many Hi-Fi magazines!

Axiom05's picture
Different Animals

The technology used in the 532 and No. 53 amps is very different. They are very different amplifiers and one should have no expectations about one based upon the other.

tmsorosk's picture
Different animals

Good point { Axiom05 } , the 53 's were Levenson's first attempt at class D , but Levinson will send you a bunch of imfo stating it's not class D if you question them on the technology . From there written description it sound's allot like class D to me , but I'm know expert .

 

It was Larry's review that put the nails in the coffin for the #532H for me . After a little over a year listening to it , I've found it to be as he described. Thanks again Larry.

JohnnyR's picture
So.........

........you waited a whole year after LISTENING to the amp yourself THEN read a review and decided it was a crap product but only after letting someone else tell you it was? xD

"It was Larry's review that put the nails in the coffin for the #532H for me . After a little over a year listening to it , I've found it to be as he described. Thanks again Larry."

So much for trusting your own ears and judgement. LMAO

tmsorosk's picture
LOL

You may want to read the whole post JohnnyR , and get off drugs.

JohnnyR's picture
Explain Yourself Then

Where did I misquote you? Get off drugs yourself. Don't blame me if you kept a "faulty" amp for over a year.

tmsorosk's picture
LOL JohnnyR

 " Putting the nails in the coffin "  Would mean it was the last step in a very long process of reading , researching , listening in many systems as well as a long term loan of the #532H in two of my own systems , listening to different music at different levels and trying many cords , cables etc over a period of months to make things just right , before purchasing . Larry's timely review simple confirmed what I felt .  

 I also feel the " faulty amp " as you described it , is one of the best I've ever heard  and will likely keep it for years .

                 Clear ?

gn77b's picture
Can't help but wonder...

I can't help but wonder about few things and simply notice others. first, are the measurements and subjective reviews completely independent here at Stereophile and the results kept secret until publication? there seems to be a correlation between good measuring gear and subjectively perceived "dry", "fatiguing" or "uninvolving" sound. that, to me, seems suspect. I can imagine a scenario along the lines of "oh, these are the measurements? they look very good, I expect this to sound bad". maybe even unconsciously so. which, amusingly, proves that there is indeed a correlation between sound and measurements.

I have wondered if what we read here are not indeed slightly biased opinions and the result of idiosyncrasies. would anyone reviewing the No. 53 judge it the same?

also, the Soulution is an exceptionally good measuring amp but not class D and not based on large amounts of NFB. but again we read about that "clinical" sound. I can't think of many good measuring amps here at Stereophile that weren't characterized as sounding "dry", "clinical" etc. the same way I can't think of many horribly measuring SET amps that weren't sbjectively praised.

it gets even weirder with speakers. the also recently reviewed Alexandria XLFs have an impedance dropping to 2 ohms and a "schizophrenically" looking frequency response. I can think of many much cheaper speakers reviewed here at Stereophile that have much better measurements. and yet Mr. Atkinson ends his comments by saying "But overall, this is an impressively well-engineered design."

note that I'm not saying I disagree, I have myself perceived some sonic traits that seem to correlate with certain types of amplifiers but no topology/technology seems to be free from its inherent flaws. yet, many times there seems to be a double standard in some reviews, certain equipment receiving harsher critique, just because.

I'm at a loss on how to interpret all this.

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