Mark Levinson H-Series Amplifiers FAQ

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.