Mark Levinson No.38S Dual Mono Preamplifier, Complete

$3,499

General:
Super neutral and clean sounding preamp from Mark Levinson, perfect for the audiophile that wants a preamp that introduces zero sonic signature. Clean precise gain is what you get from this unit.

The No.38S (versus the standard No.38) features more than three dozen refinements, all of which reportedly improve its sonic performance. The big change is the use of a four-layer printed circuit board in place of the standard No.38 two-layer board. 

Brand background:
We believe every piece of your audio system should be designed to bring you impeccable sound — with nothing added or taken away — so that the only thing between you and your music is the air in the room. 

Our world-class engineers spend hundreds of hours developing circuit paths that are free from distortion and power supplies that are specially shielded to eliminate any potential interference. This allows you to uncover the detail, nuances and intricacies within your music without distortion. Feel as if you are right in the room where the song was recorded. Discover an eye-opening listening experience that will take your breath away.

Ownership:
One single owner since new. 

Amplifier Recommendations:
Both solid state and tube should pair well with this unit.  No. 331, 332, and 333 were made to go with this preamp.

Connections:
2 balanced and 4 single-ended inputs. 1 balanced and 1 single-ended outputs. RJ45 to connect other ML components. Power IEC connection on bottom of unit requiring 90 degree connector.

General Sound:
Super neutral and clean sounding

Cosmetic Condition:
We rated this a 8 with little signs of use.  See our detailed rating description here. 

Working Condition and Technical Notes:
Working properly, fully tested in our lab and listening room. 

Included:
No.38S unit, power cable, remote, manual, original box with all packing materials.

Packing:
Will be packed using our highly developed in-house process and custom packing materials.  

Original MSRP:
$6495

Specs:
Please see our last photos or the complete owner's manual download link below.

Manual:
Mark Levinson No.38S Dual Mono Preamplifier

Dimensions:
15.75" (400mm) W by 14.3" (363.2mm) D by 3.84" (97.5mm) H. Weight: 35 lbs (16kg).

Age:
Model was built up to 2009

Reviews:
Stereophile written by John Atkinson in 1995

Recommended Cables:

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Best

Kimber Kable - BALANCED XLR Connectors - Better

Kimber Kable - BALANCED XLR Connectors - Best

Kimber Kable - Power Cords - Better

Kimber Kable - Power Cords - Best

The SkyFi Testing Process for Preamplifiers:
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure that there are no signs of heat stress or damage. Capacitors are checked for telltale signs of predictive failure including bulging, shrunken wrappers, or physical leakage. We also inspect the PCBs for discoloration from resistors or transistors that may have been running hot. On vintage units we often spot check select capacitors for value and ESR.

When we first power on a preamplifier we connect its RCA output to a Sencore PA81 Power Analyzer which simulates real world loading conditions and gives us an oscilloscope interface. The first order of business is checking that the volume control works smoothly throughout its entire range with acceptable channel balance. This is accomplished by feeding a 1KHz sine wave into one of the preamp’s line level inputs while monitoring the preamp’s output on an oscilloscope. We then switch to a 1KHz square wave to test the tone controls, loudness function, and filters where applicable. During this step we are watching for equal alteration of the test signal by both channels. This also helps us identify dirty controls that will need treatment. Once the basic line stage functions are verified, we test each input individually. This is especially important for devices that use relays to select their sources. If the preamp is equipped with a phono stage we test that as well. We use an inverse RIAA filter which allows us to feed a reference test signal into the phono input with the proper RIAA equalization and level. A square wave or sine sweep is used to verify that the device’s phono stage is faithfully reproducing the RIAA curve. If the preamp under test has balanced inputs and/or outputs these are tested as well.

We finish up our bench testing with a listening test with our bench amplifier and reference speakers. During this test we check for hum or hiss that may not have shown up in earlier testing. We also check that all of the tone controls and filters perform as expected. If the preamplifier has remote control functions these are also tested. Preamps with tube circuits or complicated power supply topologies are connected at our long term test rig for extended stress testing under real world conditions.

Item

Included

Original Box

Yes Included

Manual

Yes Included

Remote

Yes Included

Cables

Yes - Power Only

Physical Condition (Info Here)

8 / 10

Working Condition

10 / 10

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