Mark Levinson No.333 power amplifier $8495 Review

August 7, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“An area where the No.333 excelled was dynamics. I never got the sense that I was running out of headroom, even on high-level, percussion-heavy recordings. Yet, perhaps more important for a high-power amplifier, the Levinson remained transparent at very low levels. Often, the designer’s need to use multiple pairs of transistors to obtain the combination of high output voltage and output current results in a murkiness at low levels. This wasn’t the case with this amplifier: in the performance of the Brahms Horn Trio on Stereophile’s Serenade CD, there is a magical moment when horn soloist Julie Landsman (first chair of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) and violinist Sheryl Staples (associate concertmaster at Cleveland) are playing the slow movement’s theme triple-pianissimo. When I made the recording at the 1995 Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, I tried to capture the full dynamic range of the live sound, which meant that this elegiac passage peaks at no more than –50dBFS. Yet with the Levinson driving the B&W Silver Signaturess, you could easily hear the slight unevenness in the violin tone that results from the player not using vibrato and drawing the bow very slowly across the string. This is one transparent amplifier.”

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