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Mark Levinson No. 431
1 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
Description: <ul> <li>Dimensions : 17.75"w × 5.91"h × 20.1"d</li> <li>Frequency Response : Within 0.1dB from 20Hz - 20kHz</li> <li>Input Connectors : two 3-pin XLR balanced input connectors</li> <li>Input Sensitivity - 2.83V Output : 130mV</li> </ul>


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User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by tdavism3 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 19, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I have listened to several of the older generation Levinson products in the past, including the 334, 335 and 336 amplifiers. While each of the amplifiers had admirable attributes, I found them to tend towards the dry, analytical side of the equation and did not sufficiently involve me in the musical experience. I also thought those amps were a poor match for my AP Virgo II speakers. Fast forward about 6 years, I replaced my beloved Virgo IIs with the new Virgo III. Given the difference in the sonic signature between the two speakers (largely due to the new tweeter), I thought my formerly stalwart Pass X-150 (or the newer X-250.5) probably was not the best choice for this speaker. Thus, I embarked on a search for a better match. I considered just about everything from a BAT VK-300 to a Pass X-350.5 to Rowland 201s. After a couple of months of searching and trying to listen, I stumbled on the ML site. Having previously ruled out ML amps, I am not sure how I ended up on their site. Nonetheless, when I started reading about the newer 400 Series and reading the glowing reviews of the 436, I became somewhat intrigued. I purchased a demo 431 without the benfit of an audition. I figured that, at the price I was offered, I could sell the 431 for close to what I paid for it, so there was little downside.

Sometimes, great things happen by accident. At first, I was somewhat skeptical of this puny looking amplifier. Having been somewhat envious of the exterior design of the older 300 series (they sure looked good and man were they ever heavy), I was skeptical of this slim design. Besides, there are none of the trademark Levinson external heatsinks. Don't get me wrong, the 431 weighs about 100 pounds and is beyond solid in terms of build quality. However, it does not have the same eye catching design and heft of the older amplifiers. On the flip side, the amp now can fit on my audio rack as opposed to its own amp which is a big-plus in the WAF category.

The combination of the Virgo III with the 431 simply is incredible. I feel as though I can walk onto the stage with the performers. The amount of detail the amp is able to convey is incredible and the fact that it can convey all of this information while maintaining a high degree of musicality is mind bogling. I find myself listening to music more now than I ever can recall in the past. I realize Levinson products are not for everyone, but with the right speakers and associated equipment they can be simply amazing! Believe me, in the past, I was a certified ML basher. However, the 431 has sold me. It is that good. I can't say that I will not "upgrade" in the future, but I can say that this amp is special and an oustanding value. If I do upgrade it will not be to replace the 431!

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $4800.00

Purchased At:   Local Dealer

Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

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