Re: Not sure what to buy (Levinson 502, Meridian G Series other)
I have a big confession to make: My original success and happiness with the Mark Levinson line made me lose a hobby. I never, ever liked dealing with stereo salesman, they never gave me accurate or complete information. I thought it was a chore. SO when I bought the ML 30/31 I was happy to just get the upgrades and did not really go back into the stores.
Of course when I was really happy with my two channel system the world went 5.1. After listening to the Proceed PAV sound processor, I was impressed and happy with it. I never let it process my front two channels when listening to two channel audio, but it gave me a good surround for music and Dolby Pro logic on Laser Disc sand some TV shows.. A five channel upgrade was released and bought it and thought it sounded great. At the time, about 1998, I had no heard anything better.
Then everything went nuts at ML. The Proceed DVD player sounded better than any DVD player I had heard. In fact the CD audio was close to the 31.5. WHEN IT WAS WORKING! ML like to do everything themselves, developing their own transports. Well, the DVD player was just awful and they couldn’t fix it. For four years, my unit was in their hands longer than mine. Their resolution was to send owners of the unit the Lexicon RT-10. Now that ML is part of Harmon Kardon, Lexicon is the new Proceed.
When my rear three channel amp failed, also a Proceed, it took eight months to get it back. My regular ML amp also failed and it then took a long time to get back. I traded them in for a Krell Ev. 600. At first Lexicon took over the repairing on ML products and they fired a lot of people. Then they got an outside source. Recently, they fired almost everyone again and moved the service to Long Island New York.
I was reluctant to buy another ML product so I ventured into the realm of stereo stores and salespeople again. There are only about 1/3 as much as there were in 1990. But they should have the theme from “Jaws” playing when you go into those stores!
An aside, I learned my lesson: The ML 40 was to be intergraded into the 30.6/31.5/32 setup. Here is where it failed badly. The linking never really worked and when one unit failed it stopped me from using ALL the others. I ALWAYS SHOULD HAVE USED LIKE A DID THE PROCEED: AS A STAND ALONE PROCESSOR, not as an intergraded part of my 2 channel unit.
ML called at their own volition to resolve the problems I had with the 40. They offered me a very reasonable trade in and I took it (after a saw, heard and used that unit and the Krell 707). I now live right near them.