Do you really think Mark Levinson, a man well into his 70's, can intentify the differences between tape masters and hi res digital in blind testing? No and he'd never be fool enough to try and prove his claims. Lots of opinions out there but very few will be able to back them up.
I'm with you on sensitive speakers and low wattage SETs. I'm ok with 96dB and above. Currently listening to a 2 wpc amp.
I had a well known 300 wpc amp and was thinking I needed new speakers. Put my speakers on the market. A guy came over to listen to them and brought his own SET amp and DAC. After 5 minutes I told him that I would honor my offer to sell to him but after he was done listening, the speakers were off the market. the amp went on the market and sold next day.
If the first watt sucks, there is no need for any more watts.
Those first Mark Levinson products - the JC1 head amp and the JC2 preamp were designed by John Curl. The ML1 preamp and the two power amps - the ML2 class A 25 watt Mono’s and the ML3 200wpc - were designed by Tom Colangelo. Mark Levinson used his wealth to hire top notch engineers for his products.
This has been known for over eighty years. See articles below George Augspurger was an engineer for JBL in the 1950's. In my opinion, a high powered amplifier that can drive lower impedances will never be a proxy for a speakers lack of true efficiency.
@recklesskelly When did I claim to be to a marketer or businessman? My role in audio is as a consumer. But I agree with your depiction of Mark as a marketer. Being successful in this industry takes great marketing. Engineers can design a circuit that will deliver 500 watts with less then .5% distortion but its marketing that makes it "warm" or "bloom" or have "air". Well marketers, critics, and a whole lot of golden eared internet fanboys.
The fact remains none of these guys blind test. I have alot more respect for the wine industry. To be a master of wine you have to correctly identify regions, varietals and vintages purely on taste. Fewer then 500 have passed the exam since its inception in 1953. Thats less then the number of people that summit Everest every year. The truth is we have a natural tendency to overstate our own skills, and don't like to admit how much psychology and social cues play into our opinion. It would be cool if they had audio testing standards based on listening skills, but then we'd probably end up concluding that most of this stuff sounds the same no matter how much we'd like to justify price with performance.
Mark's observations are his own subjective opinions. His previous experience founding an audio company and now running a division at Harmon havent given him some ungodly perceptive skills. If anything those skills are worse now then when he was younger. The guy put a big amp in a pretty box. His most impressive accomplishment imo was keeping Kim Kottrall happy for a few years.
Mark Levinson himself was blessed with an excellent name for anyone trying to sell high end audio products.
Lexus cars use Mark Levinson branded audio gear, but does he actually still own the rights to the Levinson brand name?
The fact that loudspeakers turn most of the energy fed to them by the amp into heat is quite unfortunate.
It’s easy to forget that the voice coil inside your loudspeaker can often get up to several hundred degrees centigrade.
"Being successful in this industry takes great marketing."
Very true. Think about a company like McIntosh.
Do you for one second think they would still be relevant in the marketplace if they decided to ditch the glossy black faceplates and sexy blue meters?
And it's not just the audio industry, it holds true for every industry.
@recklesskelly no thanks. That’s what caused the belly ache in the first place.