Mark Levinson No. 585 Integrated Amp

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by musichal, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Fall by the house anytime - you get VIP status.
     
  2. IPADave

    IPADave AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You got me too! I couldn't understand how you almost casually stated that the left channel didn't work. I would have been a lunatic. Then your statement about connecting both speakers to the right channel had me thinking WTF. Yep, got me good.

    -Dave
     
  3. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Sorry, guys. This is what happens when I forget to use emojis. :oops:
     
  4. IPADave

    IPADave AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No blood, no foul. It's all good. :)

    -Dave
     
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  5. Donkey Face

    Donkey Face New Member

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    Musichal, I've really enjoyed following your story, thanks for the Laughs. The picture of the smashed box almost made my jaw hit the floor! I am glad the ML is all you ever hoped for, it's more than I could ever dream of. its Beautiful. I am new to this hobby, and I see a lot of not so fun posts, so I really wanted to thank you for keeping this enjoyable.
    Cheers!
    -DF
     
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  6. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    emphasis mine

    Go ahead and dream freely, because I felt the same way for many years. You just never know what the future may bring your way.

    As a rather shameless plug - if you ever subscribe to AK, you can read other stories I write in The Reading Room forum here. A few seem to enjoy them. Of course, other forums also appear for subscribers, most notably perhaps, Bartertown, where members buy and sell audio gear.

    Thanks for the kind words, and welcome to the audio world!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  7. Samac

    Samac Active Member

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    You got me real good too. I've been upset all week. Coming back here looking at the pic again and watching for updates. I even showed my wife and shared my pain and anger that that sweet amp would be handled in such a way. It was with a sense of relief that I read that you were only joking.:thumbsup:

    Yes, an excellent joke. I'm still grinning. Btw, I listened at length to the 585. You are indeed a fortunate man. Absolutely stunning looks, perfect functionality and sweet music. Congratulations.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  8. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    I need to make it more obvious when I'm just kidding... maybe just use jk. I had thought it was obvious - at least BigElCat seems to've gotten it. I would've been ranting bigtime if my box had arrived in that condition and left in the street, I assure you.

    Thank you for your concern and kind comments. And thanks all for taking my misstep well, maintaining your senses of humor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
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  9. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    When I purchased the Khorns from a guy in Tulsa, a hundred miles from Norman, neither I nor the seller had a truck to transport them. My do-it-all home renovator, Kyle, a metal-rock lover, jumped at the last-minute chance to transport them in exchange for a slightly water-damaged pair of nice-looking-and-sounding oak Fortes I had bought for back-up parts for my excellent walnut pair, for $350.

    The next day, he told me one of the old pair of small speakers he'd been using had fallen on the floor while he was connecting up the Fortes. He was doing this with his receiver playing, and the small speakers used spring clip connectors from which the speaker wire slipped out, with predictable results - a blown right channel. He said it caused the "A" speaker connection to quit working, but that he tried various combinations and with one speaker hooked up to "A" and the other to "B" he got it working again. We were on the phone, so I told him to check whether both speakers were connected to the Left channel.

    "Uh, let me see... yeah, how did you know?"

    I suspect he still listens to two left speakers. Yeah, that would drive me nuts, too, because I simply wouldn't listen to them that way - both channels might as well have been blown. I did tell him to take the lid off and check for a blown fuse... not sure whether he ever did.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
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  10. Do you give lessons? I am still in the dog house after last purchase, a Forte Model 3 that I snuck in the house, and perhaps rightfully so:

    "Where did that come from? When did you get that one? How? It's ugly! I don't like it! That thing is not going in the livingroom, riiiight?"

    And me going "shhhhhh" with clamping her lips together didn't improve my status. The questions continued except now she was miffed.
    I know how to dig a deep hole that I cannot get out of LOL

    Thanks for the enjoyable read.
     
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  11. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I just updated with a new integrated amp replacing a 1980's Luxman receiver (with blessings from the Mrs.)

    I was concerned that Claudia would not like the NAD tuner. Hell, even I find it ugly. But, she realizes the importance of a tuner in this setup so when I mentioned pulling it out of the console, she told me to keep it.

    And all this time, I thought she had better taste than me! :dunno:
     
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  12. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Well, I've been living with the No. 585 for four months now, and thought it time for a brief update.

    The only amplification I previously owned that has similar power output capability was an Adcom GFA-555, which was let down (imo) by the GTP-550 preamp I had paired with it (most buyers of the power amp likely used theirs with a different brand pre). The 585 impresses with its output capability, and even more so with its finesse. SQ of this integrated bests the Adcom pairing easily. As well it should, given the ask.

    Which means that this is the best-sounding amplification system I've ever owned, but better than that, it rivals the best I've ever heard, which was an ARC SP-11 preamp with a pair of M300 tube mono-block power amps, a $15k rig 23 years ago - driving Duntech Crown Prince speakers, it was a system I used daily for months. The ARC probably sounded better (aural memory being what it is, and aging ears are just two factors that muddy the waters) but the 585 certainly reminds me of that time, and that sound. This makes the ML my reference amp, my benchmark.

    Now I have a confession to make. When I anteed up for this costly beast (I know, cost is relative, but few enthusiasts would think the $12k new price anything but costly, and more than half that for a slightly used one still nothing to sneeze at), I certainly hoped to get what I think of as high-end sound quality, and am very happy with that, but the second-biggest reason I finally decided to spend so much (an exorbitant amount for me) was my infuriation with user interfaces of everything else I tried, or considered.

    I was purely sick of motorized volume pots specially designed to make it impossible to see their settings from across a room, and even worse, digital displays too small and/or dim to see from that distance. One can pretty easily find a brand new alarm clock that can be easily read from twenty feet away, for less than twenty bucks - less than ten with a bit of persistence. But audio gear with bright, legible displays requires thousands of dollars for those with poor vision like mine. The ML's red LED (I guess that's what it is) may be a little old-fashioned, but it is big, bright and easily read from my seat about fifteen feet away.

    Control-wise, the 585 requires one to scroll through inputs (in either direction, endless loop) for selection, but does allow the user to delete unused inputs, which helps a lot. The volume control is exemplary, with 0.1db steps - yes, a tenth of a db. So fine a range that it doesn't sound like discrete steps at all. It takes growing accustomed to the timing of how long to depress the button - not long. It begins slowly, then rushes upwards. Easy to get surprised with very loud music until you get the feel of it. They could have made the faster rise a little slower for my taste, but time has shown this to be only a minor annoyance initially, which becomes a non-issue with use. OTOH, I certainly would not hand the remote to just anyone, without explanation. Some wouldn't qualify even with explanation.

    And that's about it. I choose the input, I set the volume. Other than initial set-up, those are the only controls I use. I assume the bass and treble controls in sub-menus are functional, but all I've ever done with them is check that they were set for zero boost/cut. They were and still are set that way.

    I get great sound at low levels or high, with a muscular sense of ease. Detail, imaging, deep bass - all of its attributes. A powerful amp that sounds good with the first watt, imo, and when turned up merely gets louder with no change in character that I notice. I'm hitting around something I can't quite put into words here, but the presentation speaks for itself when heard.

    So, yes, I am happy with the purchase - and that is understatement. It's worth the price. I don't regret a penny. As long as it continues to work well, I'm highly pleased. I no longer wonder whether I'd like Brand X better, or become annoyed with the amp I use. It has become the foundation stone for my entertainment system - a trusted reference. If it begins having functional issues, I'd get it fixed, sell it, and remain mid-fi with an affordable low-price Yammie or Marantz, deciding that I can't afford to drive a Ferrari. The shipping alone would cost about as much as an AS-501, I think.

    I like the clear, crisp click of its relays with turn-on, or when simply switching sources - heard easily across the room (not through the speakers). I like that when you turn it on, the display reads "Mark Levinson" for a few seconds before reverting to the normal source and level information. Most of all, I like the sound. No, the display! Yeah, the sound! Display! Less filling! Tastes great!
     
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  13. Todd Dodds

    Todd Dodds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I was going to make a wise-crack about your need for a good display in order to hear something. But the more I considered the ability to adjust in 1/10th decibel increments...well, gosh, that would be handy and fun to monitor.
     
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