Mark Levinson Celebrates 40th Anniversary with its 'Finest Preamp Ever'
The No. 52 is an all-analog, dual-mono design with a two-chassis configuration that separates the critical analog audio circuitry from the control section to maintain pure signal paths. It provides a comprehensive complement of inputs including three balanced XLR and four unbalanced RCA line-level inputs, and a dedicated phono input that is selectable for moving coil (MC) or moving magnet (MM) operation. Two sets of XLR and RCA stereo preamplifier outputs are provided, along with an auxiliary pair of XLR and RCA outputs that can be configured for fixed- or variable-level output with independent source selection. This enables the auxiliary outputs to function either as a third preamp out, a pass-through full-range subwoofer output, or a record output.
The Mark Levinson No. 52 offers a unity gain SSP (surround sound processor) output that provides the ability to integrate audio sources connected to it into a home theater system, while maintaining independent stereo operation for music sources. The No. 52 provides control and system interface connectivity via Ethernet, Mark Levinson’s proprietary ML Net, 12V trigger, and IR control ports. In addition, a USB port facilitates possible future software upgrades. The preamp comes with a remote control that can also be used to operate other Mark Levinson components.
The No. 52’s control section features mirror-imaged DC power supplies and AC regeneration circuits for clean and stable power delivery and signal purity. Individual left and right DC umbilical cords are used to connect to the audio sections in the second chassis, and control signals are delivered via a third cable to keep them isolated. The audio chassis is laid out in a mirror image, left/right configuration with isolated and independent circuit boards for the volume, main and auxiliary signal paths, and extensive shielding for critical components. The chassis is constructed from heavy aluminum extrusions and plates.
The No. 52 has a black and silver brushed metal faceplate accented by red illumination against a glass center panel.
“We designed the No. 52 to be nothing less than the ultimate preamplifier,” said Jim Garrett, director of marketing and product management for Harman Luxury Audio Group. “It is engineered and built entirely without compromise to deliver extraordinary musical involvement and sonic accuracy and serve as the centerpiece of the finest music systems.”
The suggested retail price of the No. 52 preamplifier is $30,000.