Re: WHO MAKES THE BEST AMP?
The comments made about recommending older Mark Levinson amps warrants further clarification. Older amps were first made under the direction of ML the man (until 1983) and then for 20 years, by Madrigal. Under the Madrigal years many well reviewed and internationally awarded products were produced--amplifiers among them. Harman International purchased Madrigal for the Mark Levinson brand (and its use in automotive OEM applications) in the mid 90s and 4 years ago, they decided to shut down Madrigal and move production, design, etc. to Boston integrated into their Lexicon facility. All of the managment, creative staff and "ears" of the company did not make the move. The current Harman team called HSG is "rebuilding" the brand using all new people, most of whom are "new" to consumer high end audio and its particular design processes and the market it serves. It is a new design team, marketing and management.
In the last 4 years, HSG has produced <<one>> ALL new product, the No. 51. The other products they have "introduced" have either previously been introduced by Madrigal or were completely or partially designed by Madrigal designers prior to the closing of the company.
HSG has yet to introduce an all new amplifier which they have created from scratch. If you are speaking about ML amplifiers, it would be more accurate to refer to them as either Madrigal designed ML amplifiers or Harman designed ML amplifiers. Thus far, only the former exisits, in addition to the early MLAS designs of the 70s and early 80s.
As with any new company, it will take some years to reveal their true design capabilities and products' competitive value. Thus far, in the first four years of this "new" company, there is little evidence upon which to judge their products' performance and value to this community. The brand may live on, but we do not really know its future.
Last edited by utbaa; 06-22-2007 at 12:46 PM..