Mark Levinson H-Series Amplifiers FAQ 1. What are the published power ratings for the H-series amplifiers? Model No 531H No 532H No 533H No 535H 8 300W 300W 300W 200W 2. Why are the 4 and 2 power numbers not published (in the manual or on the website) like past Mark Levinson products? Publishing these numbers would require the products to undergo major design and feature changes due to ever changing regulatory requirements. These changes would not be in line with our customers’ expectations and the typical usage of the H-series amplifiers. 3. What kind of continuous power can I expect when driving a 4 load? Model No 531H No 532H No 533H No 535H 4 450W 450W 450W 300W 4. Why does the output power not double when the load is halved (sometimes called “doubling down”) like on other Mark Levinson amplifiers? The H-series amplifiers were designed to supply bursts of high power (into all loads) that far exceed the rated power of the amplifier. The rated power of an amplifier is considered a continuous output power rating. A continuous output power rating is what a customer can expect the amplifier to output for an extended period of time (anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes depending on the manufacturer). This number is good for comparing amplifiers to some extent, but is not indicative of audio playback which is very dynamic with a low average level. The H-series amplifiers were optimized to get the most of audio playback and not designed to meet a traditional “double down” specification. 5. Are the H-series amplifiers capable of driving 2 loads? Yes, the H-series amplifiers are capable of driving 2 loads. The H-series amplifiers have over-current protection to shield against potentially damaging loads or incorrect wiring. 6. How much power is required for each H-series amplifier? Model Standby No 531H 3W No 532H 3W No 533H 3W No 535H 3W *All channels driven On (idle) 45W 85W 130W 145W 1/8th (8)* 240W 475W 715W 775W 7. What do the power requirements translate to in BTU/hr? Model Standby No 531H 10.3 No 532H 10.3 No 533H 10.3 No 535H 10.3 *All channels driven On (idle) 153.6 290.1 443.7 494.9 1/8th (8)* 819.1 1621.2 2440.3 2645.1 8. Why are the power draw requirements for full power output not listed? Full power (rated power) is not indicative of how the product is used. Movie soundtracks and music are dynamic and have an average output level that is well below that of the peak output. For short periods (usually a few seconds at most) of time the amplifier might be putting out near its rated power, but over time 1/8th output power is considered the worst case scenario for audio playback. 9. How much average current is required for each H-series amplifier (1/8th output power only)? Model No 531H No 532H No 533H No 535H 100Vac 2.4A 4.8A 7.2A 7.8A 120Vac 2A 4A 6A 6.5A 230Vac 1.1A 2.1A 3.2A 3.4A 10. Are there any rack mounting options/accessories for the H-series amplifiers? Yes. Middle Atlantic has a rack mount kit designed for each of the H-series amplifiers. The part numbers are: RSH4A5XXW MARK LEVINSON #531H RSH4A5XXW MARK LEVINSON #532H RSH4A5XXW MARK LEVINSON #533H RSH4A5XXW MARK LEVINSON #535H Website Link: http://www2.middleatlantic.com/RSH/mainRSH.asp 11. How much ventilation/space is required when using the H-series in a rack? a. General Recommendations These amplifiers are convection-cooled with no fan support, so extra spacing in a rack is highly recommended. In general, it is best to leave at least one rack space between H-series amplifiers in a rack. b. No 531H Exceptions i. If necessary, the No 531H amplifiers can be placed in a rack without extra spacing. If possible, place surround channels on the bottom of the rack. ii. If a system uses a combination of No 531H amplifiers with other H-series amplifiers, then leave a space between the No 531H amplifiers and the other H-series amplifiers. c. No 532H Exceptions i. If used to power the front left and front right speakers of a system, then leave one space above and below at all times. ii. If the amplifiers are going to be used to power surround speakers (in a typical home theater environment), then one rack space between amplifiers is not necessary. iii. If the surround channels of the system are set in “party mode” (in which the music will be used at high levels for more than 2 hours continuously), then leave one rack space between amplifiers. 12. What does the “VA rating of a transformer” mean? Typically, the VA rating of a transformer is the Volt-Amperes that a transformer will output that will eventually cause its temperature to rise a certain amount (usually an increase of 60 C) and stay there indefinitely. Simply put, the VA rating is a number that represents the thermal capabilities of the transformer and thus its physical size. 13. What are the VA ratings for the transformers used in the H-series amplifiers? a. No 531H The No 531H uses one transformer with a VA rating of 425VA. b. No 532H The No 532H uses two transformers with a VA rating of 425VA. c. No 533H The No 533H uses two transformers: Transformer 1 = 425VA Transformer 2 = 840VA d. No 535H The No 535H uses two transformers: Transformer 1 = 575VA Transformer 2 = 850VA (Note: All 425VA transformers are the same across all H-series amplifiers.) 14. Why do the 43x transformers have a higher VA rating than the H-series transformers and, why are they so much larger? A bigger VA rating means a physically larger transformer. The only relevance this VA rating has to an amplifier designer is that you know that the transformer is capable of putting out its VA rating (power) forever with no issues. The VA rating does not tell you how much power you can put out for a few seconds or even a few minutes. The H-series transformers were designed with the understanding that audio has both a dynamic component and a much lower average component. These transformers are more than capable of supplying the dynamic and average power needed to meet even the most demanding audio tracks. 15. Does a larger transformer improve stability into lower impedance loads? No. The transformer and subsequent power supply have nothing to do with an amplifier’s stability into lower impedance loads; they only have an impact on an amplifier’s capability into lower impedance loads. The H-series amplifiers’ power supply is more than adequate to supply the power needed into lower impedance loads. 16. Why are there no extremely large electrolytic capacitors in the power supply? The H-series amplifiers have plenty of secondary capacitance in the power supply; it was just done in a different way. Instead of having a few large capacitors, there are several smaller capacitors that provide the needed storage to supply the amplifiers. This method allowed for the capacitors to be physically closer to the amplifiers themselves which helps with transients where power is needed immediately. It also allowed for a more common design amongst various H-series models creating a very consistent sound from model to model. 17. What are some of the traditional Mark Levinson features in the H-series? a. b. c. d. e. f. The H-series amplifiers have many output transistors. The No 531H, No 532H, and No 533H have 16 output transistors per channel. The No 535H has 12 output transistors per channel. Large amounts of capacitance per channel Curved traces The No 531H and No 532H are true mono-block designs. Convection cooling Fully differential; balanced audio comes into the unit and stays balanced all the way through. 18. What are some of the non-traditional Mark Levinson features in the H-series? a. b. c. d. e. f. The No 533H and No 535H are semi mono block designs. These models have channels that share a transformer across multiple amplifier channels. This lends itself well to multi-channel environments where one channel might need more power at times than others. Each channel has a switch that selects either the RCA input or XLR input. These amplifiers employ a current feedback design. (For details, see the H-series white paper.) While still heavy, the H-series amplifiers are not nearly as heavy as other Mark Levinson amplifiers. These amplifiers range in weight from around 53 lbs (~24 kg) to 99 lbs (~45 kg). The No 535H does not have the traditional Mark Levinson hurricane binding posts. The H-series amplifiers do not have Link 2 capabilities.