Mark Levinson No. 32 Preamplifiers

No. 32

Reference Preamplifier

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
Carl11529   AudioPhile [Mar 16, 2014]

ML 32 replaced Cello Audio Suite in my system, while power amplifiers remains to be Cello Encore 150 (at least for now). Though I had thought that Cello preamp with amps will be best match in terms of impendence matching (1 mega ohm etc), I prefer the matching of ML 32 and Encore 150. The Audio Suite is somewhat "framed" in forming the presentation of music in a certain euphonic way. Overall ML32 provide a more solid and nuanced sound, and no less musical than Suite. ML 32 is musically very involving, unlike some ML preamps I auditioned which were somewhat detached. Both ML 32 and Suite are legendary and wonderful. I wish I could keep both but not all our wishes could be satisfied...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
gasterus   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 24, 2008]
Weakness:

No that i can think of.

Bought the ML32 to replace my aging Krell KRC3 preamp. Bought the dealer's demo unit. All i can say that it is definitely in a different class from my KRC3 preamp. I can hear so much more detail through the 32, imaging is 3D with excellent holographic resolution. Soundstaging is also much wider and deeper than the KRC3. The 32 can throw so much detail at you without sounding harsh, the upper frequency is so natural and liquid sounding. It short, this is one of the best sounding preamp i ever heard. I'm glad i make the decision to go with the ML32. Even with its high price tag, it is worth every penny.

Associated equipement:
Krell 350mc power amp
Krell SACD player
Transparent Super cables
Magnepan 3.6R speakers

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Don Howden   AudioPhile [Aug 28, 2003]
Strength:

Too numerous to mention. It just does everything right!

Weakness:

Let's face it, although glorious, this is no small ticket! Although solid state, the controller box does run a bit hot, even in standby.

For me the most valuable consideration in evaluating a piece of audio gear is that it be uncolored. In other words, I do not want the component to impart any characteristic into the source material that wasn't in the source originally. On this front the 32 shines brighter than any preamp I've heard. Silent passages are pitch black while the sound is simply glorious. Excellent dynamics! I love the way in which the 32 can be configured. There are endless ways you can do it but the menus are easy to use. I've added the ML Phono Amp to the 32 and have found it to be equal to the rest of the 32. This is probably the least appreciated accessory component I have ever come across. If you love vinyl you've got to hear this thing perform! Also, the way in which you can adapt the phono amp to your cartridge is amazing!

Similar Products Used: Sonic Frontiers Line 3
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
hugos7   AudioPhile [Dec 21, 2002]
Strength:

There are so many, ML I think is master of creating Pre Amps, My second favorite was the No.26S yet there is no comparison to No.32. Detailed Sound. Sound stage, S/N ratio, Bass detail and control, functionality, design, I think I am going to keep this one for a long time.

Weakness:

None that I have experienced so far.

Why do I need a preamp when I am using Elgar +, where I can do a direct connection to the power amps. Simply put the No.32 lights up the harmonics in the system. I have tried endless combination, I mean it is more detailed and balanced and it "does" sound more musical using the No.32. I am also using a Turntable, Tape Recorders, and Turner which I enjoy and need. Dead quite is correct, yet it is so vivid that every note on the music is so real, detailed and dynamic that your jaws just drop. The top end is detailed yet never harsh, middle is just like a dense fluid flowing yet not heavy, there is just so much more information flowing through. This is the only preamp that I have used that brings the detail in bass for my great power amps. The functionality is so thoughtful, that after all the gain settings are done it is ready to go for all my sources. Absolute silence on my speaker twiters during silent passages. This is my favorite componet among all my audio gear, I must say.

Similar Products Used: Jeff Rowland :Coherence 2 Audio Research :Ref2 Cello: Encore1M ML:380S , No.26S Current System: B&W Nautilus 800 Signeture DCS Elgar Plus, Purcell Krell FPB 650M Monoblocks Estoteric POs
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bill_C   AudioPhile [Mar 21, 2002]
Strength:

As if it''s not there- allows music to rush forth limitlessly. Pure, silent.

Weakness:

has a deep soundstage and a more recessed image; I prefer this to forward presentations although others may differ.

I''ve always found the preamp to be the weakest link. Not any more. The No. 32 is tonally neutral and conveys the wide dynamic range of music like a reference tube preamp but with the speed quiet and slam or solid state. Dead silent. Has a wide deep soundstage and a more recessed presentation but that''s a choice, not a coloration. Reference grade all the way.

Similar Products Used: CJ, CAT, Rowland, Sonic Frontiers, BAT, Pass, Wavac, Ayre, Goldmund, Krell, other Levinson, VTL, Accuphase, Meridian, Wadia, Burmester you name it.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Adam B   AudioPhile [Mar 20, 2002]
Strength:

Upgradable, awesome sound quality, technically innovative, specs well (!), and well built.

Weakness:

None

There is a lot said (mostly negative) about expensive high-end products. And, for the most part, I''m also somewhat critical. That is until you consider the ML 32 Reference preamp. This isn''t just another well-made prestigious hi fi product. The ML32 offers some truly extraordinary innovations. This includes AC power regeneration (far more advance than the PS Audio stuff) that allows the internal components to operate at technically ideal conditions. It also separates all noise potential components into one chassis, with the critical signal-handling components in another. Finally, you have an extrodinary amount of connection capability, as well as optimizing features for each input. For example, you can tell it to add an addition 6DB of gain for your DAC input only. You can also add phono modules (balanced or single-ended) and receive an amazing amount of unique adjustments that can be carried out from your remote - an analog person''s dream. For you "spec" maniacs, I believe the ML 32 currently provides the best "technical" performance that Stereophile magazine has every measured. The product is well build and software upgradable as well. The sound quality is truly incredible. It is crystal clear and non-fatiguing. I I upgraded from an ML38S (reference preamp for Stereophile) and noticed small but important improvements. And, as a Preamp, it will drive any amplifier flawlessly.

Similar Products Used: ML 38S, Krell KCT, Sonic Frontiers Line 3
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Flavio Dias   Audiophile [Oct 11, 2000]
Strength:

I changed my 380S by the Mark Levinson Reference 32 few months ago. It is incredible how much music I was losing to hear in the past. The 380S is the best preamp of this world, but the 32 is out of this world.
Clear, correct, transparent it is pure music. A High Definition soundstage.
It has much more value than his price (a high price).
It is the equipment closest to reality I have heard.
The Mark Levinson 32 is associated with the wonderfull 33H and the terrific REVEL SALON. Digital source is the Wadia 7 transport and Mark Levinson 360S D/A processor, also the Wadia 9 D/A processor as an alternative. It is my dream system.

Weakness:

None

Listen and dream. I have no word to describe dreams.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Randolph Fenton   an Audiophile [Aug 18, 1999]

The news at the moment is all about less rather than more. My No.32 now partners my 33h monos to produce the most transparent window for sources that I have ever experienced. Fast, Open, layered, colourful. The 32 does not appear to obscure the source. My old 380s sounds mechanical and compressed by comparison. The 380s is an acclaimed product! When Madrigal first the reference amps, they were drawing a line in the sand. "This is everything we know about building amplifiers," they said. But they weren't prepared for the public's response to their Reference statement. The same is case for the 32 preamp.
The very idea of a £14,500 preamp must seem absolutely ridiculous. If that is the case then one should steer clear of the Mark Levinson No.32, or else risk having another tidy hypotheses shattered into tiny little pieces as was the case for the No.33h.

The nicest aspect about the 32 is that its sounds better than any other pre-amplifier I've ever heard, but that it doesn't sound like any pre-amplifier at all. It sounds like no pre-amplifier. It sounds as much like music itself.

"Let music be without dissimulation" could be the prime directive of musical reproduction as quoted for the Mark Levinson No.33H. The 32 joined the 33h in fulfilling that commandment better than any other electronic component I've ever heard. You can't come any closer to the sound of "no pre-amplifier" than one of these.
The 32 carries a price sticker that leaves most people gasping but if you can afford them, I suggest you try them. If you can resist them, you have far more self-control than I do.
Fabulous build quality combined with performance to match. I suspect that my pre-power electronics are settled for life!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Dave Borda   Audiophile [Sep 19, 2000]
Strength:

State of the art sound due to revolutionary design.

Weakness:

None.

The No.32, when associated with a great source, reference speakers and cables, and an equal caliber of amplifier, will re-create reality. Music most people never thought even existed from recordings is allowed to flow through unimpeded and in a completely relaxed and natural manner. This is a revolution in preamplification by design and in execution. It will spoil you for anything less. My recent upgrade to Transparent Reference Cables also has a great deal to do with hearing real music in my home..yes I have owned just about every high end cable in existenceand they are definately worth the money.

My associated gear is a Mark Levinson No.336 amp, Dunlavy SC-V reference monitors, a Sony SCD-1 and Transparent Reference cables all around.

Similar Products Used: Audio research Ref 2, AR LS-25, Mark Levinson No.380S, BAT VK-5i.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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