Karma-AV is now shipping the Mark Levinson № 526 dual-monaural preamplifier.
Designed as the complete preamplifier for enthusiasts of all music formats, the № 526 is a 12-input dual-monaural design featuring Pure Path circuit topology, a class-A ‘Pure Phono’ stage, a 32-bit DAC and a class-A Main Drive Headphone output.
Designed and engineered at Harman’s Engineering Centre of Excellence in Shelton, Connecticut, USA, the Mark Levinson № 526 offers a signal path that is supposedly fully discrete, fully balanced and completely dual-monaural, with a discrete, balanced R-2R ladder volume control designed to maintain the highest level of sonic purity, resolution, transparency and dynamic range.
Karma-AV says that through its engineering, Harman has provided installers with a package that provides connectivity to accommodate any analogue and digital music source. This presents music lovers with the choice of two balanced and three single-ended analogue audio inputs, stereo phono inputs and six digital inputs, supported by the Mark Levinson ‘Precision Link’ DAC and HARMAN Clari-Fi music restoration technology.
The Mark Levinson № 526 offers high-resolution digital decoding up to 32-bit, 192kHz from PCM and double-speed DSD.
Harman has also incorporated its proprietary ‘Precision Link’ DAC, which includes an ESS Sabre32 Reference converter for superlative musical accuracy, promising 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 № 526 incorporates HARMAN Clari-Fi music restoration technology, which rebuilds musicality and detail lost in the compression process.
In addition, the № 526 is equipped with a ‘Pure Phono’ stage, which operates in class-A throughout, offering a fixed-gain MM section with five capacitive cartridge-loading settings, and an MC section with three gain settings and 10 resistive cartridge-loading settings. An infrasonic filter intelligently compensates for rumble and warping.
The № 526 preamplifier delivers its signal to balanced (XLR) and single-ended (RCA) stereo outputs, as well as a 1/4in (6.3mm) Main Drive Headphone output integrated with the front panel metalwork – a first for Mark Levinson. The Main Drive Headphone amplifier circuit drives up to 32-ohm headphones in class-A by employing the main output circuit rather than a secondary signal path.
Mark Levinson says that the № 526 is built to the finest standards of materials, fit and finish, featuring a 6000-series aluminium housing in black with silver trim. It can be controlled from the front panel, from the remote control supplied and via a comprehensive range of system integration connections. Like all Mark Levinson products, the № 526 is designed and handcrafted in the USA.