Power Amplifiers

Mark Levinson No533H Three Channel Power Amplifier


Design And Setup of the Mark Levinson No533H Three Channel Power Amplifier

The No533H is part of a line that includes the No531H monoblock, No532H stereo amplifier, and No535H five-channel amplifier. Shipped in a well-padded box, the unit has a set of handles on the rear to help move it around. Weighing in at 90 lbs. and feeling very solid, the build quality of the No533H is never in question. One of the first things to notice are the massive heat sinks set in the middle of the case. Offering 300 watts per channel into 8 ohms, there is a lot of heat that needs to be dissipated when driven at full power and the case is designed to handle that. There is also no fan or other active cooling that would produce noise. These heat sinks do the job of keeping the unit cool and allowing silent operation.

For each channel there are balanced and unbalanced inputs, and a pair of binding posts with the Mark Levinson "Hurricane" speaker cable connectors. Beyond their distinctive look the connectors make it easy to lock onto bare wire or spade lugs without needing a binding post wrench. They also accept standard and locking banana plugs without issue. Additionally there are 3.5mm input and output trigger jacks, a standard grounded IEC connector, and a 10Base-T Ethernet jack.

One may wonder "Why in the world do I need Ethernet in my amplifier?" There are two main reasons for Ethernet on the No533H: A dealer can connect to a clients system remotely, connect to the amp, and verify that everything is working correctly; and it can integrate with a Mark Levinson controller. With a compatible Mark Levinson controller, the status of the No533H or other amps is automatically checked and if it reports a fault, is over temperature, or has another issue is can then be shut down automatically. Errors that occur in the amplifier are logged in the device so you can read them through the integrated web server, making troubleshooting easier.

The No533H was connected to a Marantz AV7005 with balanced cables and to Definitive Technology Mythos STS speakers and a Mythos Nine center channel. With the Marantz the hot and cold pins on the XLR connectors are reversed from what they are on the No533H; swapping the speaker cables will account for this (red into black, black into red).