The great thing about time in hifi is that what may have been a reference piece with a hefty price tag once, becomes a truly affordable piece of hifi heaven now. The No.36 is all about the music and not the number games we see touted everywhere. If you are not thwarted by those numbers, 24 Bit/192 KHz, 36 Bit/ 384 KHz etc and want something that will process any digital signal to its musical best and actually carries a legendary name plate, this is it. Imaging was totally square on in the middle when partnered with the right amps and speakers with an “weighty” soundstage. Unlike many newer DACs (within this price range) with double, triple digit numbers on almost anything on their spec sheet, the Levinson is about musical enjoyment and not so much extracting every bit of details but lacked the “soul” in the music. Pitch against the Estoeric D-03 DAC and just measuring on the musical enjoyment of both, you would be hard pressed to decide on one as the winner. But factor in the price and its a no brainer which one is the winner. Unless of course you have more Benjamins in your wallet than we do.
Cosmetically, it looks really good with minor scuff marks here and there but nothing major. We have the right angled AC cord that works fine but don’t think it is the original as the IEC “nose” is slightly longer. When plugged in (under the chassis) it lifts the rear footers by about 2-3mm. This is not a real major problem but we will include free of charge, a set of Sorbothane Isolation footers (set of 4) that you could place under the Levinson’s feet which will raise it by about 1/2 an inch and also provide additional isolation/ vibration control. We don’t have the original box but will securely pack this for safe shipping.