Harman Debuts Mark Levinson Audio Player, Pre-amp at CES 2016

Harman is showcasing two new Mark Levinson audio components at CES 2016: the № 519 Audio Player and the № 526 Dual-Monaural Preamplifier with high-resolution DAC and integrated Phono stage.

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HARMAN is previewing two new high-end Mark Levinson components at CES 2016: the № 519 Audio Player and the № 526 Dual-Monaural Preamplifier with high-resolution DAC and integrated Phono stage. During CES, Harman is located off-site at the Hard Rock Hotel.

№ 519 Audio Player 

The № 519 is a high-end source component designed with the ability to play back audio from streaming music services to networked storage to CD to high-resolution digital inputs and Bluetooth wireless. In addition, it includes headphone connectivity and integrated digital volume control.

“We created the Mark Levinson № 519 to be nothing less than the optimal digital music playback component for the way today’s listeners access their music,” says Jim Garrett, director of marketing and product management, HARMAN. “The № 519 lets music lovers enjoy music from nearly any source experience whether it’s the latest high-resolution streaming audio format, their CD collection or even from their mobile devices.”

Designed and engineered at HARMAN’s Engineering Center of Excellence in Shelton, Conn., the № 519 provides a full complement of wired and wireless digital audio inputs and as well as an integrated slot-loading CD player. The integrated high-resolution DAC has nine digital inputs including USB asynchronous streaming and mass storage, Gigabit Ethernet, Balanced, Optical, Coaxial, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless featuring aptX technology.

The unit offers high-resolution digital decoding up to 24-bit, 192kHz from PCM and double-speed DSD. Its DAC incorporates an ESS Sabre32 Reference converter. It contains an embedded Linux computer, and accommodates Spotify Connect, TIDAL, QOBUZ, Deezer, Rhapsody or Napster and a large library of internet radio stations and podcasts. For listeners whose libraries contain older or lower resolution content, the № 519 contains HARMAN Clari-Fi music restoration technology, which rebuilds musicality and detail lost in the compression process.

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The № 519 features a proprietary Mark Levinson discrete, direct coupled, fully balanced, dual-monaural signal path offering balanced and single-ended analog outputs, balanced, optical and coaxial digital outputs and a high-performance headphone outputs integrated into the front panel. Digital volume control enables usage as a standalone music playback device connected directly to a power amplifier or active loudspeakers without the need for a separate preamp, and selectable low-pass filtering enables the unbalanced outputs to be used for subwoofer integration. The unit is also the first Mark Levinson component to include a headphone output with the ability to directly drive high-performance headphones.

The player features a 6000-series aluminum housing in black with silver trim, and can be operated from its large, front-panel color display, included remote control, Apple iOS and Google Android apps. It will be available in July 2016.

№ 526 Dual-Monaural Preamplifier 

The Mark Levinson № 526 Dual-Monaural Preamplifier with high-resolution DAC and integrated Phono stage combines five line-level analog, phono, and six digital inputs with the Mark Levinson DAC and HARMAN Clari-Fi music restoration technology in a 6000-series aluminum chassis.

“With the Mark Levinson № 526, music lovers can enjoy the best possible sound from all of their music, whether listening to their treasured LP collection, discovering new music using streaming services, or enjoying high-resolution digital music,” says Garrett. “The № 526 delivers the ultrahigh-end sound quality and faithfulness to the music that every Mark Levinson product is renowned for, in a component that is forward-looking and complete.”

The unit’s proprietary Mark Levinson signal path is fully discrete, fully balanced and completely dual-monaural, with a with discrete, balanced R-2R ladder volume control.

The № 526 offers connectivity to accommodate any analog and digital music source. Its ultra low-noise phono stage accommodates low-output moving-coil as well as moving-magnet cartridges and has selectable gain and resistive and capacitive loading settings as well as a selectable high-pass filter for reducing infrasonic rumble. The pre-amp also has two balanced analog and three single-ended analog audio inputs. It offers high-resolution digital decoding up to 24-bit, 192kHz from PCM and double-speed DSD. The DAC incorporates an ESS Sabre32 Reference converter. Six digital audio inputs including asynchronous USB, AES/EBU balanced, Toslink optical and coaxial unbalanced feed the digital signal path. The component also has HARMAN Clari-Fi music restoration technology for low-res content.

The pre-amp provides both balanced and single-ended analog outputs, which can be configured with optional low-pass filtering for integration of subwoofers. It also features a front-panel headphone output with the ability to directly drive high-performance headphones. It will be available in May 2016.

About the Author

Jason Knott
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Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

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