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Mark Levinson

About Mark Levinson
A Sound That Speaks for Itself

As any true audiophile will attest, the Mark Levinson name is synonymous with audio purity. So when we design a piece of equipment, perfection isn’t the goal but the starting point.

Our engineers spare no expense sourcing the best materials from around the world, and they only release new products when they exceed all expectations. That’s why the whole industry looks to us to raise the bar and then set it again. But we don’t have to tell you that—you can experience it with every note.

 
 
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For The True
Audio

Connoisseur
Stereo Pre-Amplifiers
Nº326S
"With a single-chassis design, the N°326S achieves separation of audio circuit, control circuit, and power supply sections similar to that of the dual-chassis N°32. The internal structure of the N°326S separates these sections, while a steel shield box protects the power supply and other circuits against electrostatic and magnetic interference. Filtered AC power is routed outside audio circuit sections, providing audio circuits with the quiet, shielded environment essential for superior sound.

Like most high-performance audio components, the N°326S relies on clean, noise-free AC power to deliver maximum performance. Unfortunately, most AC power does not meet these standards. Common household appliances such as refrigerators, TVs, and computers often contaminate AC power lines with line noise, spikes, and other irregularities that make it difficult for audio circuits to perform up to their full potential.

To compensate for this, the N°326S offers a series of highly effective noise suppression and isolation techniques that begin filtering AC power for noise as soon as it enters the chassis. Audio and control circuit sections use independent power supplies, each with its own low-noise toroidal transformer. The audio circuit power transformer includes a Faraday shield between the AC power line and low-voltage secondaries for improved isolation."
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Nº52
"The Nº52 features seven analog inputs – three balanced XLR and four unbalanced RCA – as well as a dedicated phono input configurable for moving-magnet (MM) or moving-coil (MC) operation. Two sets of pre-outs are duplicated in both XLR and RCA jacks, while an additional auxiliary pair of XLR and RCA outputs is configurable, for fixed or variable output with independent source selection. This function allows the auxiliary output to function as a third pre-out, a pass-through full-range subwoofer output or a record output.

The Nº52 comes with a unity-gain SSP mode that integrates the connected sources into a home theater system while still maintaining optimal and independent stereo operation for music. System controls include Ethernet, Mark Levinson’s proprietary ML Net, and 12V trigger and IR control ports, as well as a USB connector that can facilitate software updates. Additionally, the included remote control also operates both the Nº52 and other connected Mark Levinson components.

The peerless craftsmanship of Mark Levinson is evident in every aspect of the Nº52. Within the control section, mirror-imaged DC power supplies and AC regeneration circuitry optimize power for the cleanest, most stable signals possible. Individual DC power cords supply power to the audio section in the second chassis to prevent extraneous noise from passing into the DC power signals, while communication and control signals are sent along a dedicated third cable to the audio section. The audio chassis is also configured in a mirror-image, left/right design with isolated, independent PCBs for volume control and for main and auxiliary signal paths. The communication signals are contained in a shielded central compartment, as is each channel of the phono input. Heavy aluminum extrusions and thick aluminum plates solidify the chassis and provide an optimized foundation for the audio circuitry."
 
Amplifiers
 
Nº531H
The Nº531H and Nº532H are both true mono-block designs with independent power supplies for each channel and are rated at 300W per channel into 8 ohms. The transformers and power supply designs deliver unsurpassed dynamics and transient responses for today’s demanding audio formats and provide stability with even the most difficult to drive loudspeakers. Fully differential circuitry ensures that balanced input signals stay that way throughout the signal path and traditional Mark Levinson “Hurricane” binding posts offer secure termination to the loudspeaker.

The four amplifiers in the No500H Series are the definition of truly outstanding performance in their respective categories. Drawing from the Mark Levinson heritage, while utilizing a new, straightforward, balanced, current-feedback design creates a new series of amplifiers that must be listened to in order to be fully appreciated. The final result is impressive even for the Mark Levinson high standard of excellence.
 
Nº532H
The Nº531H and Nº532H are both true mono-block designs with independent power supplies for each channel and are rated at 300W per channel into 8 ohms. The transformers and power supply designs deliver unsurpassed dynamics and transient responses for today’s demanding audio formats and provide stability with even the most difficult to drive loudspeakers. Fully differential circuitry ensures that balanced input signals stay that way throughout the signal path and traditional Mark Levinson “Hurricane” binding posts offer secure termination to the loudspeaker.

The four amplifiers in the No500H Series are the definition of truly outstanding performance in their respective categories. Drawing from the Mark Levinson heritage, while utilizing a new, straightforward, balanced, current-feedback design creates a new series of amplifiers that must be listened to in order to be fully appreciated. The final result is impressive even for the Mark Levinson high standard of excellence.
 
Nº533H
The Nº533H shares the same basic amplifier module as the Nº531H and Nº532H but is a semi-monoblock design. With power supplies that can be shared across multiple channels, this design lends itself well to multi-channel environments where one channel might need more power at times than others. All other features of the Nº533H are identical to the Nº531H and Nº532H and the common design creates a consistent sonic signature for use in multiple amplifier system configurations.

The four amplifiers in the No500H Series are the definition of truly outstanding performance in their respective categories. Drawing from the Mark Levinson heritage, while utilizing a new, straightforward, balanced, current-feedback design creates a new series of amplifiers that must be listened to in order to be fully appreciated. The final result is impressive even for the Mark Levinson high standard of excellence.
 
Nº535H
As the first five-channel amplifier from Mark Levinson, the Nº535H sets the bar high. Using a semimono-block design like the Nº533H, the Nº535H can deliver 200W per channel into all five channels simultaneously. Twelve output transistors and large amounts of capacitance per channel ensure that this amplifier is more than capable of delivering realistic dynamics and transients with audiophile-grade detail and response for even the most demanding audio tracks.

The four amplifiers in the No500H Series are the definition of truly outstanding performance in their respective categories. Drawing from the Mark Levinson heritage, while utilizing a new, straightforward, balanced, current-feedback design creates a new series of amplifiers that must be listened to in order to be fully appreciated. The final result is impressive even for the Mark Levinson high standard of excellence.
 
Nº53
"The Nº53 is the first-ever switching power amplifier from Mark Levinson. Despite their numerous advantages – increased efficiency, more power, compact dimensions, decreased weight and less heat dissipation than their linear counterparts – switching power amplifiers have generally been viewed with skepticism from the audiophile community due to the technical limitations inherent in switching designs and assumptions about the resulting sound quality. The Nº53, however, is the end result of an extensive R&D effort to find ways to emphasize the advantages of switching power amplifiers while overcoming their weaknesses, creating a landmark product truly worthy of the Mark Levinson Reference designation. The Nº53 is rated at an impressive 500 Watts into 8 ohms, measures merely 21"" H × 9"" W × 21"" D and weighs only 135 lbs — certainly playing up the strengths for which switching power amplifiers are known. It is capable of generating phenomenal power levels into virtually any speaker load to support both instantaneous and continuous demands. More impressive still, the Nº53 accomplishes this feat without the slightest change in performance capability while maintaining a constant, thermally balanced operating temperature. Unlike most switching amplifiers, the Nº53 has superbly efficient power management capabilities, so its operating temperature does not change no matter how hard or long the amplifier is driven. Switching power amplifiers are so named because they switch the output devices on and off in very rapid succession, mimicking the input signal. One set of output devices drives the positive half of the waveform, and a separate set drives the negative half. The result is less power being wasted as heat, because the workload is essentially cut in half. Unfortunately, it also creates some significant design challenges in terms of how to manage the switching noise – the noise created from the output devices constantly turning on and off – as well as a phenomenon called “dead bands.” Traditionally, these have been the two contributing factors to switching power amplifiers’ reputation for inferior sound quality. However, Mark Levinson has raised the bar by breaking through these barriers with the Nº53.

The Nº53 removes switching noise without affecting the audio with the introduction of the new patented and proprietary Interleaved Power Technology (IPT) which, among other things, raises the switching frequency of the Nº53 to an extremely high 2MHz. The advantages of this are twofold: First, it pushes the fundamental switching noise and its harmonics far above the limit of human hearing, so that they have no direct affect on sound quality; second, it allows for easier removal of the switching noise from the signal by using much gentler filters, having no negative effect in the crucial audio band. The result is a frequency response that is ruler flat across the entire audio spectrum and is only a few dB down at 100kHz – impressive for any power amplifier, but staggering for a switching design.

The Nº53 has also overcome the “dead band” problem. Dead bands are silent gaps in the audio output, created when the output devices driving the positive half of the signal and the negative half of the signal are both turned off. This generally occurs at every “zero crossing point,” whenever the audio waveform crosses over from positive amplitude to negative amplitude or vice versa. This is a constant phenomenon – in a 20kHz audio signal, this point occurs 40,000 times per second. It becomes a problem, however, because even the best output devices are not able to turn on and off instantaneously, so the result is a number of “dead bands” of signal every second. Obviously, the larger the gap, the more detrimental to the audio signal. Many designs minimize dead bands by ensuring that both output devices are off for as brief a period as possible. Unfortunately, this increases the potential for the output devices to be on simultaneously, which can damage or destroy them. The Nº53, on the other hand, was designed using a patented technology that allows both sets of output devices to be on simultaneously for short periods of time, to completely eliminate dead bands without damaging the output devices or reducing their life expectancy. In other words, this solves the dead band problem and maintains the Nº53’s long-term reliability.

Power amplifiers’ challenge and goal is to amplify the incoming audio signal without distorting it and effortlessly drive a wide range of loudspeaker impedances at any volume level with the forcefulness and grace that reference-quality sound reproduction demands. The Nº53 is designed toward that end. The chassis is a compact vertical design consisting of three separate internal compartments to provide shielding and isolation of the different circuitry – the power supply in the bottom, the four amplifiers in the middle and the control circuitry in the top. The power supply is completely isolated and shielded from the rest of the amplifier to reduce interference from magnetic fields and high current devices. The extremely low-noise toroidal transformer features an oversized 2.8kVA transformer with four 47,000µF low-ESR capacitors. The middle section’s four amplifiers, featuring a pair of coils each, are arranged symmetrically and mirror-imaged to maintain separation. Working together, the four amplifiers raise the effective switching frequency from 500kHz to 2MHz to produce the best sound quality known from a switching amplifier. The control circuitry has its own independent regulated power supply and is shielded from the rest of the amplifier to keep it from interfering with the audio circuits."
 
Integrated Amplifiers
Nº585
The foundation of the No585 is its fully discrete, mirror-imaged, dual-monaural analog circuitry featuring individual signal switching relays for each of its four stereo inputs: one XLR and three RCA. Volume controls use discrete 15-bit R-2R ladders and low-noise analog switches for the widest possible bandwidth and maximum signal integrity. The fully-differential Class AB power stage includes an oversized 900VA toroidal transformer with individual secondary windings for the left and right channels. Each elegantly simple amplifier channel utilizes twelve output transistors and multiple smaller local capacitors that allow them to be placed physically closer to the amplifiers for greater transient response when power is needed immediately. This robust architecture results in a conservative power rating of 200W per channel with stability into 2 ohms. System integration and expansion are possible using the stereo RCA preouts which can operate full-range or with an included switchable, second-order, 80Hz crossover filter allowing for seamless integration into 2.1-channel systems with powered subwoofers.
 
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