Mark Levinson Repairs

I own a Mark Levinson # 331 Power amp and recently the right output channel failed. I called ML service dept to get a quote for repairs and and was shocked when i was told they don't do repairs on this amp anymore and even if they did there are no parts available. They also told me that a 3rd party service center would not be able to help either because they will not have the schematics and they will not give it out to anyone. this was more shocking as based on this information the amp will never be fixed, i do blame myself for not doing research on this company policies prior to buying the amp if i did i would not be in this situation. I own several Mcintosh equi[tment that cost the same or less and older than the ML 331 and i have had them repaired at Mcintosh or my local tech shop i even bought the service manual for one of the amps. 

Does anyone here has the same issue and if so how did you get your amp repaired, any suggestions will be appreciated FYI when the amp was working it was excellent quality sound so the equipment is good just the service sucks !

Thanks for reading.   


DTC ….. 

To say that Samsung ultimate ownership has no impact in Levinson is like saying I don’t have my head in the sand.   
I work in international Mergers and Acquisitions.  I have worked for Samsung and LG.  I mostly work for Asian companies buying companies in the US and Europe. Have done a lot for Japanese and Chinese companies as well.  
All Korean companies impart their Asian business methodologies and philosophies on western companies they acquire.   It may not be obvious - but the first thing they do when acquiring a company is put in their own Chief Financial Officer.   That persons job is to not just manage finances but cut out waste.  Every Asian company believes that western companies are filled with waste !!   They cut it to improve profits.    So while they may not say - let’s reduce our customer service - they do say - we see our customer service department has 8 people and we believe we don’t need more than 5. 
  They will cut anything and everything until they are convinced it is hurting sales. 

if you like the amplifier (this is not the most complicated device) - it can be repaired ... an experienced craftsman does not necessarily need a circuit - some resistor may have burned out ... Yes - capacitors often dry up with veterans and you will not find the same ones for sale ... BUT - they were made during the dinosaurs - technology has gone ahead and you can choose an alternative (the sound can change - but this is also a plus - you can adjust the sound even better for your room ...).
For example, I specially bought an ML DAC - it was completely checked on test stands, the capacitors were replaced ... I am very pleased with the sound - thick analog ... modern DACs are most often sterile, they give an unnatural sound ... Look for the master (this applies to any components in this hobby ) .

markny - I never said that Samsung ownership has no impact on Harmon Kardon and thus Levinson. I simply said the Harmon Kardon is a pretty well respected company.

The issue with 3xx series amps is that they used specialized filter caps that ran at very near tolerance. Those caps eventually fail. Those caps are no longer available, although there have been some replacements available from other sources. But experience has shown that many of the replacement caps also fail. There is a design issue with the amps and a supply issue for the caps. A $2,000 repair with parts you do not trust is a bad business decision. There is more to this than just that Samsung is cheap. Not having replacements parts is a pain, but it is not unique to Levinson and Harmon Kardon and Samsung, as in my Thermador/Bosche example.

That said, I will never buy a Samsung appliance because I do not trust their service. But Samsung phones are all I buy.


EDIT : Samsung bought Harmon Kardon in 2017. This issue of getting Levinson 3xx amps repaired predates that purchase, for the reasons stated above.

The filter caps for the 331 were made by Philips. Some people have used replacement caps from CORNELL DUBILIER that some say are as good if not better than the original Philips ones. I am not sure if these are still available. But, from what I know, it is a major job to dissemble the unit enough to replace the caps. If you find someone to repair a 331 make sure to have a discussion about what caps are being used. It does matter.

I said this before and I am going to say it again.  I do not know if it is worth repairing a 25-year old amplifier. Obviously, you have to get an estimate to repair your current Levinson 331 amp. Are the needed parts available and will the Tech be able to ensure that all the other parts are working correctly to ensure it continues to sound great?  

The availability of the original caps are a concern and, if not, what is the impact on the sound quality if other caps are used.  Some of the posts above said the Techs are available but are they skilled enough to repair a 25-year old power amp?   I do not know.

Your Mark Levinson 331 power amp is 25-years old and maybe it is time to replace it. I suggest you review this repair with the above repair shops and ask for their opinion and the cost to repair including a complete check of the entire amplifier. After this, you should be able to make a decision.  please keep us posted.  Thanks.