Mark Levinson No 533H Multi-Channel Amplifier

October 11, 2010

Andrew Robinson posted a review of the Mark Levinson No 533H Multi-Channel Amplifier ($) at Home Theater Review. Normally I don’t put much stock in their "reviews", but Andrew Robinson is an experienced audio journalist and has credibility. His conclusions:

One cannot discuss the No 533H in a vacuum, for it occupies a place in the market that is rife with competition. On the high-end of the spectrum the No 533H can be compared to the Krell Evolution 403e, a fine amplifier and one that Home Theater Review Associate Editor, Ken Taraszka, raved about back in March of 2009. He loved it so much he bought it and uses it as his reference amplifier to this day. The 403e has more power than the No 533H, making it better suited for hard to drive loudspeakers; however it costs more than double the No 533H's asking price, not to mention it's about as big as a Volkswagen. Still, despite the lower power rating of the No 533H compared to the Krell 403e, the two have a lot more in common than you would think. Both possess tremendous bass performance, an open and natural midrange mated to a airy top end, though I'd argue the Krell's top end seems a bit more focused compared to the more organic sounding Levinson. Other high end stereo amps from Mark Levinson include the pricey No 53s and the Krell 402e…

As with any high-end product, and believe me the No 533H is decidedly high-end, there are those who will say, "Yeah, but I can get the same thing for under a grand." Well, yes and no. You can definitely find three channel amps that cost less than a thousand dollars but I wouldn't go so far as to call them the same. Comparing the No 533H to, say, an Emotiva MPS-2 priced at $1,699 is a bit like comparing apples to oranges because of price and channels, but many today are looking for more budget conscious products that offer good bang for the buck. Emotiva is high on that list.

You can read the full review here.