Mcintosh Vs Mark Levinson Amplifiers

Norvan Martin
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Audiophiles and home theatre enthusiasts alike love to argue about what sounds better: the top-of-the-line Mark Levinson equipment, or the equally high-end McIntosh.

Mark Levinson’s amps are very rarely used in competitive auditions. Consequently, it is not easy to compare apples-to-apples between Mcintosh and Mark Levinson.

McIntosh amplifiers produce mild and smooth mids and highs while Mark Levinson amps are better for subtle audio production as they offer good detail at low volume.

Mcintosh Vs Mark Levinson Amplifiers Comparison Table

CriteriaMcIntoshMark Levinson
Brand ReputationMcIntosh is a highly respected brand known for its premium audio and home entertainment equipment.Mark Levinson is renowned for producing high-end audio components, especially amplifiers, with a focus on luxury and performance.
Sound QualityMcIntosh amplifiers are celebrated for their rich, warm, and detailed sound reproduction.Mark Levinson amplifiers deliver an uncompromising and transparent audio experience with exceptional clarity.
Build Quality/DesignMcIntosh products feature a distinctive design with a signature blue glow and robust build quality.Mark Levinson amplifiers are known for their sleek and elegant design combined with meticulous build quality.
Product RangeMcIntosh offers a range of amplifiers, preamplifiers, and audio systems for various applications.Mark Levinson focuses on high-end amplifiers and audio components with an emphasis on uncompromising performance.
PricingMcIntosh products are positioned in the high-end price range, reflecting their premium quality and brand heritage.Mark Levinson amplifiers are priced at a premium level, catering to audiophiles seeking the highest quality audio reproduction.
FeaturesMcIntosh amplifiers often come with advanced features, including patented technologies for enhanced performance.Mark Levinson products boast advanced technologies and features for audiophiles who demand the best in audio quality.

Read on to learn more. You can also check out a similar guide below:

Byrson vs McIntosh Amplifiers

Mark Levinson Amps Vs Mcintosh Amps

The biggest debate in high-end audio is which brand of amps reigns supreme: Mark Levinson or McIntosh.

Mark Levinson amp

They can sound very similar, but it’s wise to be aware of some key differences before deciding which one you want to buy. The main difference between them is that McIntoshes are all made in America, unlike Mark Levinson.

Mcintosh Amps

Mark Levinson makes very high-quality audio products, which are very expensive as well. But for this luxury, you will get what you pay for. an audiophile-quality amp or preamp that gives an unparalleled listening experience with your favorite songs.

The catch here is that not everyone has the cash flow for these amps due to their price tags, making it impractical for most people to own them.

Is Mark Levinson Worth It?

The first thing to consider when deciding if a Mark Levinson system is right for you is the cost. Luxury items always come with a high price tag, so be sure to take this into account before making any big purchase decisions.

You can find used Mark Levinson for sale online but they will still cost several thousands of dollars so if this is your budget you will be able to enjoy the incredible sound quality.

Mark Levinson is a high-end audio manufacturer that has been operating out of the United States since 1974. They sell their products directly to consumers and through authorized dealers but offer no special deals for retail shops.

Who Makes Mark Levinson Audio?

Mark Levinson Audio Systems, was established in 1972 by Mark Levinson, who assumed leadership of the company in 1977 after teaching himself to assemble high-quality audio systems.

In 1979, he launched his first product from a small office near Wall Street in New York City. It was a phono preamplifier for moving magnet cartridges called A Phono Module.

The company was renamed “Levinson Audio Systems” and moved to Woodinville WA in 1983 where it began extensive research into digital signal processing (DSP) for use in sound reproduction systems.

Since then, the engineering team at LEVINSON has been responsible for many DSP breakthroughs that have become industry standards which include their proprietary 32-bit floating-point architecture and patented Time Domain Jitter Eliminator (TDJ).

Levinson has always been committed to the principles of reference-level audio. Mark Levinson stated, “The actual difference in sound quality between a Mark Levinson system and any other two-channel hi-fi system under $50,000 is so great that it’s pointless to waste time comparing them.”

Audiophile Debate: Levinson 585 vs Mcintosh Ma8000

Levinson 585
Levinson 585
Mcintosh Ma8000
Mcintosh Ma8000
  • The Mark Levinson 585 is a $100k integrated amplifier, while the Mcintosh ma8000 is a $50k integrated amplifier. This would be one difference. The price differential of $50K between the two amps.
  • The Mark Levinson 585 has less power than the Mcintosh ma8000.
  • Another difference would be that Mark Levinson offers balanced inputs, while Mcintosh offers unbalanced inputs.
  • The Mark Levinson 585 has a pair of balanced inputs, while the Mcintosh ma8000 does not.
  • The Mark Levinson 585 offers unbalanced outputs, while the Mcintosh ma8000 does not offer any balanced or unbalanced outputs.
  • Mark Levinson uses both RCA and XLR jacks for digital in whereas the Mcintosh only has an XLR jack for digital in.
  • The Mcintosh ma8000 features a currently unavailable “auto-form” feature where it can be used with either class A, AB, or D operation without having to reconfigure the amps.

Mark Levinson 331 Vs Mcintosh

The difference between the two is that Mark Levinson 331 provides better sound quality than Mcintosh. As for Mcintosh speakers, they are known not only for their function but also for their classic look.

Mark Levinson 331

They can make someone’s home look classy, and transform a room into a place where people can purr with delight.

Taking the brand factor out of the equation, one should consider other aspects before deciding on Levinson 331 or Mcintosh. For example, price. On average, Mark Levinson’s equipment costs twice as much as Mcintosh’s equipment.

In addition to that, these two brands have different target audiences. Mcintosh speakers are mainly aimed at music enthusiasts while Levinson is catered to people who want great sound quality no matter what they’re watching or listening to.

Mark Levinson 5805 Vs Mcintosh

The difference between Mark Levinson 5805 and Mcintosh lies in that single connector on the front panel.

Mark Levinson 5805

The former runs on unbalanced “single-end” signals whilst the latter uses balanced interconnects for all its channels throughout the circuit path; even on headphone output.

That difference means that three of its five line-level inputs are occupied by RCA connections, but also allows for superior noise rejection, not something to be sniffed at with an amplifier of this price.

The Mark Levinson 5805 does sound as good as it looks (and as it is priced). The review unit under test has been given a make-over with modern high-end components – such as the outstanding addition of Audio Research’s D300 power supply and REF Phono Stage.

Mark Levinson No 585 Vs Mcintosh Ma8000

The Mcintosh MA8000 is a power amplifier with 8 channels of amplification driving up to eight speakers.

The Mark Levinson NO585 is a preamplifier and 5-channel power amplifier (4 main channels and one subwoofer channel) but cannot be used as an 8-channel amp.

The MA8000 has multiple input options that include a direct connection from the source, balanced input for optimized sound quality, and an asynchronous USB Type-B port for direct digital connectivity with modern computers.

This great variety of inputs makes the MA8000 very versatile and allows it to work well in effortlessly multiple systems.


Mark Levinson’s amp slightly edges out Mcintosh’s amp. Both are great products that will provide you with outstanding performance if you’re willing to shell out the money for them. However, many people will be perfectly happy with an entry-level sound system or with their factory car stereo system.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin