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Mark Levinson No. 380
6 Reviews
rating  4.17 of 5
MSRP  3995.00
Description: Stereo Line Preamplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: December 23, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Let me begin by saying that it is extremely difficult to evaluate high quality 2 channel audio components living in the midwest. Having only the 380S to demo from my dealer, I chose the 380 for economics, but was curious that the specs for both were exactly the same!

My understanding of the Levinson performance heiracy went like this -- No380 is So-So, No380 Excellent, No32 Out of this World. Having lived with the 380 for 4 years, I was extremely happy with it, but curious about what I might be missing based on everything I was reading. This preamp is built like a tank, sounds very transparent and is without question a great value, particularly if you can find one used. The bass, treble, and midrange and all very full with no emphasis on any particular area. What early shortcomings I felt were improved as I upgraded interconnects. Like most Levinson components, it works best with balanced interconnects. I found the Nordost Valkyrja and Acoustic Zen cables to work particularly well.

Don't get me wrong, the No32 is clearly superior to the 380 as well as the No380s, particularly in its ability to be customized. I also believe having lived with it briefly that the 380S is slightly better than the 380. To echo Jimmy's comments below, as an owner of a No32, be very happy with a 380 the laws of diminishing returns continue. Believe your ears and not your eyes.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $3600.00

Purchased At:   Dealer in Michigan



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Niels Jonker a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 12, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is the pre-amp in the 2-channel Music side of my system. It has been in the system for about 6 months now, and I simply love it. To my ears, it is very transparant and natural sounding, it really pleases me. It is nice when you sit down and listen to the music, not the CD player or Amp. The ML is the first preamp I have had that does that for me.

Controls are simple and straight forward, I like the user interface. I am not using the supplied remote, it is 'different', and a bit too different for my taste. I use a Phillips Pronto in stead.

The sound of this amp is very natural to my ears, I don't think it is all that colored. If anything, it is perhaps a touch darker than netral, which is fine by me, as my room is very bright, and my speakers have some bright tenedencies. Detail is great, you hear everything your input produces, which is sometimes a curse, cause some CD's are just not recorded well. On a good recording with a good player that is not already dark, rhis pre-amp does magic.

I did find the 380 to be picky about equipment it interacts with. I now use a Sony SCD-1 as the source, a Mark Levinson 335 as the power amp all hooked up with balanced Magdrigal CZ-gel cables, running to NHT 2.9 speakers on AudioQuest speaker cables. The pre would not play nice with my Sony TA-E9000ES Power Amp, nor with the SCD-1 when using $2 unbalanced cables. I never used to be an expensive cables kind of guy, but on this system I hear the difference. I use a cheap Sony MD deck to record MD's (Digital from SCD-1). The MD deck is connected to the 380 as well over unbalanced inputs and $20 AudioQuest cables; the MD deck clearly sounds inferior to the SCD-1. Same goes for some of the cheap CD players I have hooked up as a test; the 380-335-NHT combo reveals any and all quality issue in your chain or in recordings. In other words, be prepared to go all the way, or don't bother with this amp.

In my experience, a great sounding system is all about the match. The 380, 335 and SCD-1 seem to be a fantastic match. I am done upgrading for quite a while...

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by David white a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I have been a long time fan with mark but after i try chord and compare them So I find that Mark are just the band name but the sound quality has been drop. Chord is much better detail, smoother and tranperent. when I switched back to mark, it become dark and hard sound, even alittle less open. You should try others products before you buy

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nicole Kim a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Madrigal sticks to its black finish for pre-amp. (But No. 32 has a different view.)
Personally I favor its design.
And its sound is comfortable, sharp and neat, feeling of wide stage.
Compared with Gryphone's, I prefer Mark Levinson's sound color. Madrigal persue low coloration but there is a little coloration even with the most high-ends.
I am very impressed with the tonal balance and the clear sound it produces.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Jimmy James a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 23, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I had the 380 for less than a year before getting a once in a lifetime deal on a demo 380S. The 380 in the $3000 price range is a no brainer. It trounced the ARC LS9. In my opinion the ARC LS3 trounces the LS9. Built like a tank. Excellent back plane. The underside power cord thing is weird but managable. They do it for a reason. Madrigal does everything for a reason. Just harder to upgrade. I recommend the Synergistic power cords and they can be had with a right angle IEC plug to mate to the Lev's. As a 380S owner, be happy with the 380. The laws of diminishing returns is especially true here. Do not pay retail even for a new one.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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