Chatting with Mark Levinson


Here, Mark Levinson (left) speaks about love. I'm digging it; Home Theater's convergence editor, Chris Chiarella (center) takes notes.


Admiring the fluttering hand.


Those enormous, many-drivered speakers did an incredible job of "disappearing." Behind them, you see a few very special instruments and some of the softest, warmest light.


Here, I'm holding a prototype of the Daniel Hertz-designed "Genius," an integrated amplifier-D/A converter, to be used with the Burwen Bobcat. The Genius should be available in about 60 days, and will cost somewhere around $3000.


Me and Chris with some naked ladies in the background. "Turn around and smile," says ad manager, Christina Yuin. (She took all the photos, by the way.)

No problem.

Clay White's picture

Fascinating stuff. I have one problem. All photos except the first one are fine. Only the top 20% or so of the first one makes it. In that segment, there is piece of an abstract painting. Since I think the art people collect helps men understand them better, I wish I could see the rest of the painting.

mark levinson's picture

I very much enjoyed the visit from the group, and have a few comments.The physiology aspects of digital audio are under medical study and are not ready for discussion. Burwen Bobcat is being offered on its sonic merits. Steve, Chris and I listened to a wide range of recordings, including contemporary Brazilian music, jazz, classical violin, a recent recording of Lee Konitz at Birdland, a drum solo, old blues from the 1950's, a transcrition of an LP of Indian vocal music from the early 1960's, etc. In every case, everyone seemed amazed that the sound was so natural, like the best analog or SACD sources, yet the file was either lossless or MP3 files from a PC. I'm flattered to have Steve's blog talk about me, but the great news is how people feel about CD and MP3 with Burwen Bobcat. I think it would be a service to Stereophile readers if Steve would recount his listening impressions, as most people haven't heard recordings reproduced with Burwen Bobcat.

Buddha's picture

One of my top two listening experiences at any audio show was the Cello room at one of the early Stereophile shows. They played some recordings made by Mr. Levinson on a full Cello system, and the sound was superlative. I especially recall some unaccompanied vocals and a killer solo drum cut. (They were selling a collection of CD's of those cuts as a limited edition set of Mr. Levinson's recordings, but my budget precluded such an indulgence. I still regret missing out on those!)The dynamics were scary good - as good as live. The other cool thing about the room was that they'd switch over to a cheap pair of wedge shaped AR speakers and still the Cello equipment would shine through with its control and musicality. If your experience at Red Rose was anything like the Cello room from back in the day, then I envy your listening session!

Stephen Mejias's picture

Yes, Mark makes a good point: we did listen to several different types of music, and everything we heard did sound very attractive, warm," and comforting in comparison to without Bobcat. Big Bobcat offers three settings each for several different types of music: ""basic", vocal, jazz, pop," and classical."" I believe", for instance, with the Big Bill Broonzy track," Mark employed ""Vocal 2", which is meant to offer Normal image, richer bass and midrange, extended treble, wide frequency range, slightly more air and space," less shrillness and screech.""I'm not certain about all of those things", but with that particular track, I certainly noticed less shrillness and screech with slightly more air and space. And it was definitely easier and more fun to listen to because of it. The demo was too brief, however, to say that these differences will be invariably better.

Stephen Mejias's picture

>If your experience at Red Rose was anything like the Cello room from back in the day," then I envy your listening session!""Control"" and ""musicality"" are two very good words to describe what the system had to offer. Indeed.Now I'm curious to hear more about your other top listening experience", Buddha.