80s Levinson Gear - Best Repair/Refurbish?

Hey ’Goners, here’s the question: I have an ML-26 preamp, an ML-12 preamp, and an ML-23 power amp, all in need of various amounts of repair/refurbishing.

I’m in the Chicago area but there may be nothing local.

I’d appreciate suggestions for the best spot to have all this work done. I think the gear is worth it.

Thanks for the advice!
Ag insider logo xs@2xjji666

Is there anything to be said for the Levinson authorized repair centers?  Or does it not matter with gear of this vintage?
Audio Classics says they don't repair Levinson.  Any other suggestions or are my options limited to their authorized repair centers?  I definitely want it done right, refurbished to last a long time...
Historically, the issue with Levinson is that they will not release schematics or a parts list to non-authorized repair depots.
Got it.  That's frustrating.  I can understand that for anything under warranty or even anything of a certain recent vintage.  But I don't see why they don't let anyone repair something they sold in 1980.  Anyway, just looking for the best recommendations for anyone who has had vintage ML gear repaired or refurbished.  Anyone?  
 Was looking at a used Levinson and researched repair/recap costs cost eventually would need it.   The two places With known Levinson knowledge and experience are George Meyer in LA and Pyramid in Texas.  George Meyer ball-parked service and recap at $1800 to $2500 (cause was never serviced) could be more or less :-).  Pyramid on their website talks about 30 hours needed to service a the amp ai was looking at so guess same price range.  Thats not including packing and roundtrip shipping of the heavy unit.  I passed, for $$$$$ purchase and recap cost would rather go with a newer amp.
BTW I am in Chicago area too.  Not aware of any local places.  You can try Deltronics or Midwest to see if they would tackle it.
Wow, thanks for the information.  I mean, you can find working Levinson 23s for less than $1800 to $2500 but I suppose they would eventually have the same issues.  Still, that seems disproportionate to the value.  Yeah, I can't afford $2600-$5000 to have these pieces serviced.  Ouch.  
pyramid talks about the various levinsons on the site.  Its good reading.  The 23 is the 30 hour unit discussed.   Its a bear to work on.
I see what you mean. Here's a quote from Pyramid:

"So the bill for overhauling the No23 or No23.5 typically runs about $3000, maybe a fifth of the replacement cost."

So is a refurbished ML 23 worth $15,000 or at least competitive with a $15k amplifier?  That seems hard to believe, or they wouldn't be going for around $2000.
Pyramid Audio, TX. I spoke to them yesterday regarding my ML no. 334 amplifier. 
They have engineers on hand to answer questions and the ability to make repairs. 



consult Pryamid Audio.  Keep us posted on your decision.

Happy Listening!
I've talked to Pyramid.  They appear to be very knowledgeable and professional and willing to answer questions in detail.  So I appreciate that.

The bad news is there is no free, or even affordable, lunch with these ML-23s.  They told me the minimum amount I might get lucky enough to spend on the repair is about $2k and it goes up from there. 

I certainly believe them, but it does open up the question of whether to do it.  I mean, I bought the amp for about $1400 and while I have seen asking prices as high as about $2500, it is an open question as to whether that is the best way to spend $2000.  While I have no plans to sell the amp, I also wonder if I couldn't get something better for that same amount.  Or just stick with my other amps until I'm looking for a place to flush some cash...
       I recently had my Levinsom 33H amplifiers recapped and some boards replaced.   I used EBC Electronics in Manville, NJ.  I had a very good experience  and I'm thrilled with the repair.  Costs will probably be less also.   Good Luck!   Paul is a good guy.
How much did the 33H repair cost?  EBC Electronics isn't listed as 1 of 4 authorized service centers so I am curious to find out how they were able to obtain the replacement boards.  It will be a great news for ML owners if this place is capable of repairing older ML gear for less money 
I talked with George Meyer about 23.5 and received similar answer to the one you received from Pyramid.  I researched the heck on the 23.5 and not sure you can use the 33H as an example for costing.  The 23/23.5 is point to point wired or wired to the chassis (my understanding, may have terminology wrong).  The amp has to be disassembled to get at the parts.  Thats why its so expensive to work on.  The 23.5 I was looking at, $3900 and said would not come down.  Thats $7000 amp cost after servicing.  They all going to need it eventually.  I read even after servicing, things sometimes happens.  Would rather put the money towards a different amp.
Www.soundsclassic.com Rockford!

 Brought them my sunfire amp while back.
small mom n,pop family place.

i would suggest sending directly to Levinson for proper work and a new parts warranty.

if not hit sounds classic in Rockford, worth the drive.
  Couple hours from Chicago,
we drove from south burbs, dr.opped off, drove back in 2-3 weeks, flawless work, explained everything they did. Pricing descent.

had some stripped screws on my b stock sunfire signature 600 power trans  former, it was moving and would kick around when moving it around,...... They replaced all screws, and installed a 1/2 rubber pad between the top of transformer and top cover.


great place, unsure if will fix Leginson, not sure why they wouldn’t, top tier place. don’t be shocked if u drive. There, it’s a small little place, but the work is great.
im thankful I went there, sunfire is perfect!

call em!
I appreciate all the suggestions.  Luckily (said ironically) I don't have any 4 figure budget at the moment to repair anything (I have to see what I have left after April 15) and so I can see what opportunities come along.  

It sounds like the ML-23 and 23.5 are uniquely expensive to repair.  I suppose in auto terminology, the amp is "totaled" in that the repair costs exceed its market value.  So this is not about rational financial decisions, it is about desire for this one amp.  Hmmm...

Better buy a ML-3 the predecessor which wasn’t cramped into a too tiny chassis. They just found out about CAD/CAM designing in 1986 at Madrigal and experimented with it to put all the stuf from a huge ML-3 chassis into the No.23. A ML-3 is easy to service a No. 23 is a nightmare.
Best ML amp is the ML-2 even Nelson Pass used it as a reference.


@ jji666, How does the Levinson Gear repair cost compare to purchasing new equipment or some newer preowned Levinson Gear or some other brand?

What kind of warranty comes with the Levinson Gear and what happens if it has issues after that time? I had a similar issue when I had my 20 year Ayre Amp repaired. I had concerns about how long it would last and my retailer suggested I sell it for my piece of mind (I did). Your repair will need to completely inspect your Levinson Gear to determine what repairs are needed. He probably will charge for this regardless of what you decide.

Do you see anything interesting in these listings?

Please click on the above link:


This is a 3.5 year old thread but I haven't done anything yet - I have newer gear of similar quality that works fine and I've been using that.

If I recall correctly, the repair price quoted from a Levinson authorized repair center for the ML 23 was about $2800. That was for repair and complete refurbishment, whatever that means.  But while not warranteed it would likely work for decades more after that. 

Now, that's maybe $500 more than working ML 23s are selling for.  But I wouldn't buy any of those that haven't been refurbished because they are nearly certain to cook themselves to death at some point.  I've read and heard it's basically inevitable due to their build.  

Even so, I question the logic of spending $2900 to get something that I could only sell for $2300 or so since most folks wouldn't even trust I had it refurbished.  

My ML 26 still works just fine other than the tape outs don't work and I suspect were intentionally disconnected.  I don't know what the cost to refurbish that one would be.  

In terms of that link, it seems like lots of the Levinson amps from that era have had issues and are starting to crap out.  And the 2 "fully serviced" amps may not have been by an authorized dealer, so not sure if they would fully qualify as original Levinson amps.

I'm in no hurry. Would probably sell them for the right offer as I am more about reliability than vintage quality at the moment.