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cd20r & dpa32r VS mark levinson no 39

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by real batman, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. real batman

    real batman
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    anyone got any experience of the mark levinson no 39 and compared it with a tag based system? cheers dudes
     
  2. johnson

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    Hi,
    I can't honestly say that I've compared them directly, but I would seriously doubt the TMA gear could match the ML.
    Regards
     
  3. real batman

    real batman
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    thanks simon , guess i,ll have to try a demo....
     
  4. Stevesky

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    From looking at the technical spec of the ML 39 try a CDT20R with a DPA with 192kHz DAC's and the sync link connected. Measurement wise this combination should be slightly better than the 39. Of course when spending this level of money best to have a long audition of both to decide what's best for you. The CDT20R was always a superior piece of kit to the CD20R and nowadays can be picked up for very sensible money.
     
  5. johnson

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    Hi, Dont get me wrong, I really like the TMA gear.I have lots
    .
    It's just if I had a Lotto win ML would be among my prime purchases.

    Just look on tgheir website at the galleries for each individual product.

    The detail in box pics just show the type of attention to deatail that I have never seen.

    Regards
     
  6. real batman

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    stevesky , ive got the cd20r and dpa32r but not the cd20tl that would be another option but as simon says the ML kit has a kind of kudos and pedigree that is quite tempting... i,m guessing i should raise £900 for the cd and pre which only leaves a small outlay for the ML 39 ( would use the in built pre ) straight into my audiolab 8000m,s for now :thumbsup:
     
  7. Kevinc

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    I've not heard the 39 in a long time, but as described in the thread "dpa 32r question", a few months ago I auditioned the Levinson 390s and the Wadia 861SE at my local dealer here in California (used with B&W802s the same as mine) against my old TAG CD two box combo, and concluded that the Levinson was relativey underwhelming vs the Wadia, but that the Wadia was not significantly better than my existing TAG pair. I therefore bought the DVD32FLR and AV32R and in my opinion in my setup (using Bryston amplification and the 802s) the TAG pair gives jaw droppingly better results than the 309s or 861se. The proud American in me was hoping that the great fit and finish of ML's kit would translate into superior sound, but it didn't... Your own ears must however be the deciders!
     
  8. real batman

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    thanks kevin , what bryston are you using? i looked into changing my power and these came up a few times in conversation... i just need a little more grip than im getting with my audiolab,s
     
  9. Kevinc

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    The 4BSST dual mono - 300Wpc of no-nonsense good value for money power, and a 20 year warranty. Works well with my 802s in my view.
     
  10. alexs2

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    Brystons,as KevinC has said,are well priced,well made and very good sounding amps,with a guarantee that few if any will match.

    Others you could look at(with varying prices) could include Krell,Parasound and Theta,but in value terms I think the Brystons are probably the best overall.
     
  11. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Yes the ML's are fantastic to look at with great build quality. They sound good to me but I've never heard them aat the same time as the TAG 250's or Brystons.

    I have heard the TAG and Bryston's at the same time and both sounded superb and I could not tell the difference. The only "downside" (if you coudl call it that) to the Bryston's is their looks, but apart from that I would certainly recommend them :thumbsup:
     
  12. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    "the look"?????? Remember we tested the 6BSST vs the 250x3R.
    Both have aluminium fronts both do black or silver and the Bryston has a nice flat front plate just like the rest of the TAG range. I would say either unit looks better than the other really...... One thing is for sure the Bryston is a lot heavier.... I have a soft spot for Brystons, they are good amps and every bit as good as TAG 250x3R amps. As the Bryston range has something for everyone some might say they are a better bet for most installs.....Oh and that warrenty was also for pro installs as well, the BBC have never paid to get a Bryston fixed....(as far as I know) and a brace of 14BSST's powering each BB5XBD is one of life's better moments.....
     
  13. Kenny Glasgow

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    Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder :rotfl:

    I'd have Brystons in my set no probs :smashin:
     
  14. Kevinc

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    I'm also happy with the looks of my silver and black Brystons. While I'm not a huge fan of the publication (OK I get it because it only costs $12 year), I'd also say read Stereophile's May 2005 review of ML 431 200+wpc@8ohm/ 400wpc@4ohm dual mono amp which here in the US costs twice as much as a 4BSST (the review is free on the Stereophile website I think). While Stereophile gushed for a page about the amazing build quality it turned out that their review sample was defective. Also, the working sample amp barely met their "stress test", suggesting that in spite of all that metal the heat sinks are relatively poorly specified. A Bryston has never had a similar problem in their tests to my knowledge. Interestingly one of the most positive things they said about the "sound" of the ML amp in the review [I paraphrase and am biased so read the review] was that it it did some of the same things that a Bryston 14BSST does...

    Anyway you pay your money and take your choice... it's all in the ears of the beholder. When I did my front end testing my dealer insisted on also slotting in a pair of ML 33H monoblocks. They're gorgeous, they're huge, they get hot enough to toast muffins on even when they're not doing anything and they cost a small fortune, but to my [biased?] ears there didn't seem to be any significant difference from a 4BSST driving the 802s. But maybe there would have been if I upgraded to the B&W 800s (though in that case I'd just get a bigger, cooler running, Bryston)? Anyway, what do I know... after all my dealer was shocked that I couldn't hear a difference when he swapped in a pair of $18,000 Transparent Audio speaker cables, so my ears are clearly very very bad... :smashin:
     
  15. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    $18,000 :eek: I would have loved to hear his justification for that :D
     
  16. alexs2

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    Just to divert this slightly,he obviously should have used Kimber's Black Pearl instead!

    Back on track...I must admit to loving the look of much of the Levinson products,but my favourite(not so much for it's cosmetic appeal)is the old 20.5 amp(s),which still have some of the best bass around.
     
  17. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    The CD / pre-amp was beautiful with the thin magnesium(?) tray :thumbsup:
     
  18. Nic Rhodes

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    I love these metal trays as well, gives a great feel to the product. Pity their not used when we play CDs but makes me feel good :). The Linn one is lovely too on the CD12.
     
  19. Kevinc

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    Without wanting to go further off track these were Transparent Audio's "Reference MM" speaker cables (see http://www.transparentcable.com/products/audio/ref_mm_spkcable.html if you want to read their, er, cable theory(?!) :D In fairness to my excellent favorite local dealer he didn't try to sell them to me (he knows my "Canare/Belden" views on cables!).

    Back on track I also love the look of ML products, including the great CD drawer. I was very much hoping to find the 390s a state of the art CD player/processor/pre-amp and was deeply surprised to find how much better a CD player I find the TAG DVD32FLR/AV32R pair in my system.
     
  20. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I also tried the DVD32FLR briefly in a demo,and thought it was very good,although a bit lacking in detail maybe,but there were other problems in the demo,with the 100x5 power amp not really having the guts for the speakers concerned,which may have accounted for the sound.
     
  21. Kenny Glasgow

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    Kevin

    A lot of people find it hard to accept how good the TAG combination is :mad:

    Reviewers will always have their allegencies and their prejudicies.

    I too am a fan of the Canare/Belden school thanks to Mark Grant :thumbsup:
     
  22. The_Speculum

    The_Speculum
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    What's that "Canare/Belden school" thing?
     
  23. Nic Rhodes

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    school of quality cables and plugs.
     
  24. Kenny Glasgow

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  25. The_Speculum

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    Wouldn't it be more appropriate to use with TAGMclaren equipment cables from manufacturers such as Van Den Hul or Nordost?...
     
  26. Kenny Glasgow

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    Spec

    vdh and Nordost are good cables but so are Mark Grant's offerings :thumbsup:

    I used to buy Kimber cables and again, they are very good, but for the money nothing can touch the Canare/Belden combination :smashin:

    I you buy you wont be disappointed :cool:
     
  27. Thunder

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    No, as they perform no better than Belden and Canare alternatives which cost a fraction of the price ;)
     
  28. The_Speculum

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    hmmm...I'm curious...what about speaker cables?... Is there any equivalent to the Canare/Belden school?
    Is Canare for audio only and Belden for video only?
     
  29. MartinFXDX

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    Yes good question.

    I've been wondering about that for some time. I know there are many who propose a DIY solution with the use of Cat 5 cable twisted in a weave but I thinking of something more like a Mark Grant speaker cable. Nicely terminated and giving a good performance based on measurement and scientific principles without the hype and associated cost. I guess just like Mark Grant's interconnects!

    Any thoughts?
     
  30. Kevinc

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    I don't want to start an avalanche/debate/argumnent here and a search of this forum will throw up lots of ideas for speaker cables but as I said in another thread, unless the laws of physics have changed significantly thanks to the pioneering work of Professor Kimber et al since my Physics degree, I would suggest that consistent with the thoughts of Udo and others you'll find that for speaker cable just keep the conductors round and multistrand and sufficiently big to carry the current and keep the length reasonably short and you shouldn't go far wrong. As I recently suggested in that other thread, if you don't believe this why not try buying a cable like Canare's 4S11 Star-Quad speaker cable (which has 4@14 gauge conductors which is enough for most bi-wiring and if used doubled up for single-wiring effectively adds up to 11 gauge) and compare it with expensive designs? Let your ears be the judge. The cost is relatively so low that you've got hardly anything to lose if you throw them out (you could probably sell them on eBay). Here's a guy who provides them here in the US and wraps them with techflex to make them look expensive: www.heartlandcables.com

    Anyway, as I said I don't want to start an avalanche or a cable debate here: a lot of good TAG owners on this forum are very happy with straightforward cables like Canare's and others with some very expensive designs. I'm not saying "all speaker cable is the same" but for the same gauge and normal lengths I don't think you'll find much difference between designs except possibly for those that introduce boxed "networks" in the circuit which are obviously theoretically capable of causing changes eg rolloff which may or may not make up for other problems in a system/room. Personally I'd rather use TMREQ to fix such problems than a speaker cable. However, you have to buy something you are happy with and if you can hear a difference buy whichever one you prefer and enjoy it! All I'm saying is you can do a comparison very cheaply if you want and which might save you a lot of money to buy lots of nice new iPod Nanos etc... Now where did I put my credit card?
     

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