Mark Levinson Gurus: Vintage Three Mile Island

I love my 23.5 but have been trying to purchase 20.5's or 20.6's for my Magneplanar Tympani IVa's -- mainly to have as many gigantic black boxes as I can to gaze happily upon in my living room. Sort of an anti-WAF design statement.

The dual chassis design alone is enough for me to justify the extra expense, but I would really appreciate hearing from any of you if you think there are significant sonic differences in these amps.

My one reservation if I sold the 23.5 would be the drop in power from 200 to 100 WPC for the Maggies, but perhaps the fully class A design would make that insignificant -- or even sound more powerful?

Or maybe the Vintage Levinson three mile island: TWO 23.5's, bridged, for the bass and a pair of 20.6 monoblocks for the mids/highs?

Any advice, especially within the context of my Tympanis and SP-11 MK II would be greatly appreciated.

Happy New Year.
I love all the great vintage equipment you're using! Are you the original owner of all these classic pieces, or did you acquire them later, as a collector? I can only imagine how the Tympani's sound, I longed for a pair back in the mid 80's when all I could afford were B&W DM110 monitors. I've never forgotten the sound in that dealer's showroom. I can't advise on your mega-wattage options, I only use one amp per system, myself. I would love to see your living room, though!
No no, clearly what you need to do is get yourself a set of the older original Maggie 3-panel jobs and some external X-overs, and TRI-amp them, using a separate monoblock for each panel for a grand total of 6 amp towers plus 6 speaker panels, not to mention the X-overs, and then make sure to use networked speaker cables all around with 6 more big 'ol boxes hangin' off the garden hoses...(nothing "sort of" 'bout this design statement!)
Delighted to see such enthusiasm for the anti-WAF design statement!

SC53, I am not the original owner of them, but I also longed for Tympanis and Levinson amps when they were out of my price range, so last year I assembled the retro high end system of my college daydreams.

And Zaikesman, I agree, triamped would be even better!

If anyone has any suggestions for fire hose sized speaker cables and especially -- the sonic and power differences between the Class A/B 23.5 stereo and the Class A 20.5 and 20.6 monoblock amps please let me know.
CW, you must get some large Tube Traps, and various room treatments placed all around. I recommend Argent Room Lenses, since they work, are tall and black, and don't blend in with any type of decor. Also they must stand in specific areas of the room, regardless of how inconvenient.

The Mothra Research cables are the largest and most outrageous I've seen. Truly monstrous.

Also you might try covering all windows in the listening room with acoustical treatments. That is usually the final straw in the WAF department.
Twl, I though that Mothra Research thing was just a joke! That can't be for real? Can it?

Are you the proprietor of Mothra Research?

For those of you who haven't seen the ads, these cables, although hard to find, are truly monstrous -- even shocking in their size.

Since this seems to be turning into the anti-WAF fantasy thread, how about a museum like pedestal about 5 feet high, crowned with a VPI TNT V or a late model Oracle, with a couple of tonearms, a large plexiglass cube as a cover, all conspicuously lit from overhead with low voltage halogen lights.

I have also found that late 70's studio reel to reel machines, connected to a digital timer, integrated tube amp and a pair of mini monitors, makes a great looking "alarm clock" by the bed. I dont know about you, but screechy clock radios just make me want to hit the snooze alarm and go back to sleep, but Beethoven played from an original master tape through a single ended triode amp somehow manages to gently get me out of bed.

How is that for anti WAF?

Maybe 2.5 pairs of Tympani IVs for surround sound, each out at least 6 feet from the rear walls of course.

Nothing beats the beauty of car whose trunk is chock full of amplifiers, with the back seats removed to accomodate monitors.

Obviously there is no car audio -- regardless of price -- that can match the sound or finish of a pair of Wilson Puppies. And your wife can always stow her luggage by her feet!

As originally requested, however, I sure would appreciate it if any knows the sonic and power differences between the 23.5 and the 20.6 monoblocks.
Max, the Mothra cables are a joke. And no, I'm not the proprietor, although I do wish I'd thought of it first!

I love the idea of a TT on a halogen lit pedestal!

I can't be of any help at all with the question about the ML amplifiers.
23's the sound: neutral, fast, sweet & delicate midrange, opened high, defined and powerful and control bass. Transparant, hugh soundstage. Chassis warm to the touch.

20's the sound: warm, dark, a bit slower, heart felt midrange, stunning authority and control bass, although not as defined bass as No. 23's. Signatured sound. Don't need a pan for breakfast just put some oil or butter on the chassis and throw in the eggs.
6chac thanks

"heart felt midrange and stunning authority" sound good on the 20s although two space heaters in the middle of the room might not be the best thing in the Summer.

Funny how some people say 100 class A watts are at least equivalent to 200 A/B watts, but feedback generally suggests that the 23.5 is the real workhorse powerhouse.

Compared to other opinions I have solicited, you were gentle on the sonics of the 23, compared to the 20.6.

But it still sounds great to me.

Don't try bridging the 23's as they will destroy your per and spks. I have 2X23's not the .5 versions and I use them as left channel and right channel on my Infinity betas. This way they act as mono blocks but drive only the channel they are placed by. I have heard the 20.6s and 20.5s and if I could afford them I would buy them without hesitation. I use to own ML2's, the original monos, and sold them for the power of the 23's but I wish I could change this. Even those 25WPC class A sounded better then my 23's so imagine the 100
WPC 20.'s. Love to be in your shoes, you really can't go wrong. If you end up selling the 20.5 or .6s you might end up making a profit.

How do you wire your 23's to achieve that?

Thanks for the feedback.

One more vote for the Class A watts pack more punch than Class A/B, but the score is still surprisingly divided!

Any other experts on the Levinson amps?