Mark Levinson Shows New Pre-Pro
The No. 502 is Mark Levinson's latest surround preamp-processor. The single-chassis design replaces the dual-chassis No. 40. It's HDMI 1.1 compliant, and doesn't handle the new lossless codecs (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio), but that may not be a concern if your BD or HD DVD player passes a high-bit PCM signal. Pointed questions about the upgrade path went unanswered. The bleeding-edge Gennum 9351 video processors mustered a squeaky clean picture, with proprietary deinterlacing and edge correction and 1.6 gigaflops of processing power. Yes, 1080p and 24p are provided for. Along for the demo ride were the No. 433 three-channel amp, the No. 432 two-channel amp, and fabulous Revel Ultima2 speakers. Two years in development, the 502 will ship in the second quarter. Price: a mere 30 grand.