Has Mark Levinson Missed a Trick with their 5000 Series?

Feb 14, 2020
38
17
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75
Portsmouth, UK
#1
Last year I arranged a home trial of the new "sensibly priced" 5805 integrated amp, although I'd go for the 5802 digital only version myself as I use no analogue sources.

It's a great amp and includes a good DAC. However, they also offer the new 5101 "Network Streaming SACD / CD Player". So, if you want an all digital ML system, the minimum box count is 2. With the 5101 and 5802, you have digital streaming from Tidal, Qobuz, etc, internet radio, CD player and SACD player - all for a (for Mark Levinson) fairly reasonable price.

However, let's take a closer look. Many of us will have had in the past the excellent No 39 or 390S CD Player / Processor - possibly ML's best selling item of all time - I'm guessing but quite likely - and rightly so. This excellent box of 1990s ticks offered a CD player, inputs for 2 Aux digital sources and a variable output via an analogue volume control. I bought one of these over the Wadia equivalent because of the analogue control compared with Wadia's digital one. Then all I needed was a simple power amp.

Looking at what's offered with the 5000 series, shouldn't we ask:

Why do we need 2 identical DACs in our 5000 system (the 5101 and 5802 / 5805 both have DACs)?

Why doesn't the 5101 include an analogue volume control?

Why isn't there a 5000 power amp?

ML are obviously aiming these products at the cost-is-an-object customer who wants the excellence of ML equipment. I resent having to pay for 2 DACs, I don't need analogue, so also resent having to pay for a preamp section if it's just to adjust the volume.

So, the trick that I think ML has missed is this - add a volume control to the 5101 making it an updated 39 / 390S (adding maybe a couple of hundred to the price) and offer a simple power amp (saving a couple of thousand from the 5802 price). Then we wouldn't be forced to pay for 2 DACs, and we could choose from a range of amps from ML, or even keep our existing one. Then the 5000 range would be a much more attractive and even more affordable proposition.

One could argue an alternative case - for a "Streaming SACD/ CD player TRANSPORT" with no DAC or Aux inputs and that would be great matched with the existing 5805 or 5802 integrated, whilst also saving a bundle of unnecessary electronics.

I'd seriously be in the market for either of those combinations, but I'm baulking at a 5101 + 5802.

What d'ya think? Peter
 
Feb 14, 2020
38
17
10
75
Portsmouth, UK
#3
The current ML and the old ML are 2 very different companies. comparisons are meaningless
The history of the Mark Levinson company is irrelevant to the point being made. It would apply equally to any company introducing a new range of products at a price level aimed at less well heeled buyers than their existing customer base. I applaud ML for offering this range - just the specs of the individual products seems wrong if they want to temp these new customers into parting with their cash. Peter
 
Feb 14, 2020
38
17
10
75
Portsmouth, UK
#5
OK Here's whats relevant...the new ML stuff sucks and very few care about it.....
Does it suck? I've seen only very good reviews of the amps. Do you know something different? Or is it that you don't believe the new owners of the brand are well intended? I'm genuinely interested on your take. Thanks
 
Feb 14, 2020
38
17
10
75
Portsmouth, UK
#6
Sorry to new readers of this thread. My previous 2 posts were in reply to other postings from someone who has realised his idiotic comments and has quietly deleted them. This leaves my posts looking rather forlorn and irrelevant. Perhaps you can use your imagination to guess the gist of the deleted posts?

In principle I think it wrong that posts can be deleted once they have been replied to - standard with most forums. Peter
 

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