I am in the market for some new monpblock amps and had the opportunity to hear a demo of Mark Levinson 436 vs the McInstosh 501. They were both played through a Mac C-1000 pre amp (SS) along with a Mac front end (MCD1000 and MDA1000). Speakers were the B & W 800d and Wilson WP 8. The only difference that I am aware of was the cables (it was difficult to see as the Mac equipment was all in a rack and access to the back was outside the listening room, where as the levinson amps was by the speakers).
I was startled to hear how much better the Mac sounded against the levinson. In just about every category,from top to bottom, soundstage, slam, resoluton, transparency, etc the Mac blew away the Levinson.
It was so night and day that I got to thinking if cables could make such a huge difference or perhaps if the dealer (while they carry both lines, Mac is their brand) was presenting a true side by side test?
Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.