What is the best way to handle buying a piece of junk component?

About 2 years ago, i invested several thousand dollars into a Mark Levinson 5101 CD player. It was part of their latest line of components.

After approx. 2 years of constant calls to their tech support, along with new firmware updates, this product still remains a POS.

The streamer along with their MusicLife App works approx 25% of the time. The other 75% of the time the app says ‘Empty Directory’ and the 5101 unit locks up, causing me to crawl behind my rack and unplug it and plug it in again.

Their tech support is average at best, and completely tap dance around the issue.

So I’m basically out $5,000.00.

Has anyone else been ripped off buying inferior audio components?

They won’t allow you to send the unit to them for repairs?

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Nothing to repair…the unit is FAD (Functioning As Designed). They are aware of the issues and nothing is being resolved.

And to add insult to injury, I used to insert a disc, sit down into my chair and press play (like one would expect).

Now with the latest firmware update, I insert a disc, and it starts playing immediately. I questioned tech support and they actually told me 'that is the point of a cd player, to play cd’s).

“Full control via Mark Levinson 5Kontrol app”
Does the Levinson app work?
“Streaming and transport control via the Music Life app”
I do not know what platform either of these apps runs on, Apple or Android?
Apps usually run best with the latest OS on the device, have you tried to reboot the control device?
Sometimes you have to ditch your device if its OS is at end of life and buy an up to date device.

I hear ya… tried it on Android (mine), Apple (son), and even there latest tablet… all perform with the exact same issues.

Burned $2k on Elrog 300B tubes, worked for a bit nore than 6 months, failed just outside of warranty.

Time for curbside

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Sell it on. The depreciation can be well worth the additional cost of aggravation.


I think the worst piece of equipment I ever had was a Carver CD player, their first one with the digital time lens. It spent more time in the shop than in my rack. I don’t remember how many times it was in for repair over two years. Ultimately, they finally replaced the motor with one that had twice the number of poles as the original. I was told they did that because the original motor would sort of stop between poles and the player couldn’t figure out what to do so it mistracked; badly. I eventually sold it and bought something else.