At CES, Harman's Mark Levinson brand announced and demonstrated the new N° 526 dual-mono preamplifier, which features a hi-res DAC and an integrated photo stage. The preamp has five analog ins, six digital ins (including asynchronous USB and AES/EBU balanced), and an MM/MC photo input. The DAC supports 24-bit/192-kHz PCM and double-speed DSD, and the N° 526 includes Harman's Clari-Fi music restoration technology to improve the sound quality of compressed music files. The N° 526 will be available in May; pricing has not yet been announced.
At CES, HARMAN's Mark Levinson previewed the forthcoming N° 526 Dual-Monaural Preamplifier with high-resolution DAC and integrated Phono stage. The complete preamplifier for enthusiasts of all music formats, the N° 526 combines five line-level analog, MM/MC phono, and six digital inputs with the acclaimed Mark Levinson DAC and HARMAN Clari-Fi music restoration technology in an uncompromising package featuring Mark Levinson proprietary system design and a 6000-series aluminum chassis.
"With the Mark Levinson N° 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," said Jim Garrett, Director of Marketing and Product Management, HARMAN. "The N° 526 delivers the ultra-high-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."
Designed and engineered at HARMAN's Engineering Center of Excellence in Shelton, CT, USA, the Mark Levinson N° 526 delivers musical experiences with extraordinary fidelity, enabling tremendous emotional involvement. Its proprietary Mark Levinson signal path is fully discrete, fully balanced and completely dual-monaural, with discrete, balanced R-2R ladder volume control to maintain the highest level of sonic purity, resolution, transparency and dynamic range.
The N° 526 offers connectivity to accommodate all analog and digital music sources. 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 N° 526 also has two balanced analog and three single-ended analog audio inputs. The Mark Levinson N° 526 offers high-resolution digital decoding up to 24-bit/192-kHz from PCM and double-speed DSD. Its DAC incorporates an ESS Sabre32 Reference converter for superlative musical accuracy with exceptional resolution and dynamic range. Six digital audio inputs, including asynchronous USB, AES/EBU balanced, Toslink optical and coaxial unbalanced, feed the digital signal path. For listeners whose libraries contain older or lower resolution content, the N° 519 contains HARMAN Clari-Fi music restoration technology, which rebuilds musicality and detail lost in the compression process.
The N° 526 provides both balanced and single-ended analog outputs, which can be configured with optional low-pass filtering for integration of subwoofers. Adding to its versatility, the N° 526 features a front-panel headphone output with the ability to directly drive high-performance headphones.
The N° 526 is built to the absolute finest standards of materials, fit and finish, featuring a 6000-series aluminum housing in black with silver trim. The N° 526 can be operated from its front panel, included remote control and via a comprehensive range of system integration connections. Like all Mark Levinson products, the N° 526 is designed and handcrafted in the USA.
The Mark Levinson N° 526 Dual-Monaural Preamplifier with DAC will be available in May 2016.
• Mark Levinson Previews No 519 Digital Audio Player at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Harman Showcases Mark Levinson No 536 Mono Amp at HomeTheaterRevew.com.