Mark Levinson No. 27.5 Amplifiers

4.82/5 (11 Reviews)


Product Description

100W/Ch.@8 ohms, 200W/Ch.@ 4ohms


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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eli72 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 10, 2010

Bottom Line:   
A powerful and extremely musical amplifier. I also own the 23.5 they sound very much alike with the 23.5 being a little more powerful in the bass. The difference can be heard when connecting the amps to demanding floor speakers like the Dynaudio Confidence 5 which I own.
However when connected to a bookshelf speaker like the Dynaudio 1.3SE the 27.5 can sound a bit more refined and sweeter, it's a difficult comparison since they are so alike. For large demanding tower speakers the 23.5 is a better choice.
The 27.5 has tremendous power, don't be fooled by the 100 watt rating, this amp can drive anything and will never heat up. Bass is tight with slam and authority, vocals are natural, the highs are smooth never sounding bright, they have plenty of air.
Both these amps, the 27.5 and the 23.5 are considered one of the very best of Mark Levinson even surpassing the newer models in musicality. They are very rare and hard to find on the used market, took me several months to find them. I have owned many amplifiers to name a few Proceed HPA 3, Krell KAV 500, Krell KSA-200S, Aragon 8008BB and Acurus. I have also heard many high end amplifiers at local audio stores, I have never heard a better sounding amplifier than the Mark Levinson 23.5 and 27.5

I was considering buying a newer Levinson amplifier like the 334 or 335 however the 3xx series is known to have problems with capacitors, many of them need service. I also read that the 3xx series sound inferior to the 23.5 and 27.5 this was mentioned by owners who had both models.

If you see a 23.5 or 27.5 grab it, you won't be disappointed. The built quality is outstanding, these amps should last a lifetime. The 27.5 and 23.5 are classic legendary Mark Levinson amplifiers.

My Equipment:
Dynaudio Confidence 5
Dynaudio Contour 1.3SE
Proceed AVP2
Meridian 508.24
DH Labs Air Matrix cable
Monster M1 Speaker cable
Mark Levinson 23.5
Mark Levinson 27.5

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2008



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by aurokaos a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 6, 2007

Bottom Line:   

I have a long history of tests with solid_states and tubes equipments since I was 15yo (now I`m 37). I ended up trying most of the ML equipment. The recent ones (33X and 43X) do not stand the ML name, although the 43X are much better than the ugly 33X series (with except for the 33 and 33H).
In my opinion, the best ML amplifiers are the ML2, 23.5 and 27.5. The ML2 is "high maintenance"... due to its pure class A design. The 23.5 and 27.5 have similar sound, the 23.5 is a little more "violent" although not as refined as the 27.5.
Since the limited requirements (Magnepan 1.6) the best choice is the 27.5.

Put simply, the 27.5 is uncolored, dynamic, pitch and tonal perfect and brings you much closer to being there at an accurate performance. Despite the far more "mismatched" nature and cost of the rest of my system, the 27.5 raises the quality of my system and listening/vision experience. I love the tube sound and the power of solid state at the same time. I listen to jazz, classic, electronic, and south american music. With except to early immortal Pink Floyds (piper.., set the control.., ummagumma, atom...) I`ve abandoned rock and embraced Mozart and Aphex Twin, Beethoven and Cuban music, Stravinsky and Frank Zappa, Chopin and John Zorn ?? LOUD Heresy ? Well, so do I, considering my system.

My system (the transport is dead, brothers, AMEN).
QBIC - mini computer (transport/sampler/CD/DVD player) with SPDIF/DVI outputs
California Audio Labs ALPHA DAC (24bits/96KHz)
Rotel RC995 pre (XLR outputs)
Transparent Audio cables on the analog paths
Mark Levinson ML 27.5
Magnepan MG1.6 QR
Home theater is done with a CANON projector (8 feet diagonal wall screen!!).
no subwooferfor music but for home theater is necessary....

In the future I plan to switch to Magnepan MG3.6. I will get a ML23.5 for the bass section and keep the ML27.5 for the midrange/trebles. A fancy tube active crossover (probably Marchand electronics) will dope the sound to ultimate sweetness.

Given this and the unbelievably low retail price of the 27.5 on the used market, this classic amp recommends itself. It will last forever...

Do not let the 100W fool you. My Maggies are 4Ohms and the 27.5 produces 200W on a 4Ohms load (but would be more than 300 if measured with the cheating TDH models of the competitors).. The 27.5 can drive 2Ohms (a friend`s Rotel power amp 200wx2 smoked twice driving Magnepans 4Ohms.. sparks fire smoke and smell trice....) and can be bridged to reach Saturn5/Apollo11 powers... 2 bridged 27.5 can lift the ceiling of your house even if using unefficient speakers (Apogee, Magnepans...).

Suggestion: if you look for an used 27.5/23.5 watch for discoloration on the heatsinks. It is a sign of long use on an unsufficiently ventillated environment.
Do the test by yourself. Go to radioshack and buy a black heatsink. Put on the stove and observe...


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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ricky_NY a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 11, 2004

Bottom Line:   
ML27.5 is good sounding power amplifier, but it is not as good as Goldmund Mimesis 28. I have A/B tested these two amplifiers (Levinson 27.5 and Goldmund Mimesis 28). Goldmund is much more natural with more detail, better transparency and better bas control and definition. I have tried it with rock, jazz and classic music and result was the same. I have not heard big Levinson monos which are better then 33x series.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eugene a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 13, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Mark Levinson No.27.5 continues to be one of the most musical solid state amps around. Other amps have come and gone (Krell KSA-200s, FPB300, Pass X250, Levinson No.335, etc.), but the 27.5 remains in my system.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $2000.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by chris shaver a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 9, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I first "upgraded" from a new Rotel 125 watt amplifier to an eleven year old Levinson ML-9. I was in heaven when i heard the balance, tonality and detail. No harshness just beautiful music. And the 100 watt rating was simply a minimum. I sold that ML-9 because it was heating up my entire room and I was concerned about fire (no lie touching the heat sinks would burn your fingers). Well after one year of listening to a stock Mccormack DNA 0.5 I began to long for the old Levinson. The DNA was a great amp at its price point but lacked real bass snap and could get pretty harsh at higher volumes. After listening to the newer Levinson models, eg. 331,333 I was not that impressed and wanted to get back into the older models. I saw the 27.5 on ebay and had promised myself that if I could swing it I would not hesitate. This amplifier is the best I have ever heard. In any shop, store, or home there has never been a more musical amp to my ears. I get excited to turn on the 27.5. The bass is deeeeep, tight and tuneful. The 27.5 bests the ML-9 in bass, soundstage, tonality and pacing. The sound comes from behind the speakers, as attested to in another review. Also, this amp paces the music perfectly. Ever wonder why it is so easy to tap your feet at a live musical event but not as easy when listening to a home stereo. Get a 27.5 and rediscover the impact and involvement of a live musical event. I cannot seem to get the amp to overheat either. And finally for anyone who may be about to fall for the 100 watt rating... This amp has ten output devices per channel, dual mono construction (dual transformers each as big as a coffee can) and four capacitors each about the size of a Budweiser tall boy. Thus, the amount of current the amp can source for difficult musical passages is about four times that of a mid level amplifier. When it comes to these things weight does matter and at 85lbs the 27.5 is solid. If you can audition one of these pieces of art do yourself a favor. Nothing I have heard compares to a Levinson...
MY SYSTEM:
VMPS Super Tower II SE's (very modified)
Parasound CD/P 1000 (upgraded boards and D/A's)
Mccormack Micro Line Drive (active mode)
Goertz and Tara Labs cables

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   ebay




Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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