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  1. #1
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    Mark Levinson Turns to Opulence With Their New Reference Preamp (CES 2012 Coverage)

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    Because I know we all have a pair of No 53 monaural amplifiers from Mark Levinson sitting around the house, it's time we had a preamp to match it -right? Well, to those two well-heeled audiophiles that may stumble across this post I say "you're in luck" for Mark Levinson is set to release their newest, cost-no-object preamp in the two chassis No 52 Reference Dual-Monaural Preamplifier. Retail price? Try $25,000. But for the audiophile that has everything the No 52 is bound to be on the short list of reference contenders.

    Here's Mark Levinson's thoughts on their new, ultra high-end preamp:

    The № 52 is quite simply the finest Mark Levinson preamplifier ever. It is an all-analog, true dual-monaural design with a two-chassis configuration that separates the critical analog audio circuitry from the control section to maintain the purest signal paths possible.

    The № 52 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 № 52 offers a unity gain SSP (surround sound processor) output that provides the ability to integrate the audio sources that are connected to it into a home theater system, while maintaining optimal and independent stereo operation for music sources. The № 52 provides extensive control and system interface connectivity via Ethernet, Mark Levinson’s proprietary ML Net, 12V trigger and IR control ports. In addition, a USB 2.0 (A) port facilitates possible future software upgrades. The № 52 is supplied with a remote control that can also be used to operate other Mark Levinson components.

    The Mark Levinson № 52 is built to an extraordinary level of refinement. Its control section features mirror-imaged DC power supplies and AC regeneration circuits for remarkably 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.

    Like all Mark Levinson 40th Anniversary components, the № 52 is striking and elegant in appearance, with a rich, brushed metal black and silver faceplate accented by red illumination against a glass center panel.

  2. #2
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    I'm truly at a loss for words.

    So, when will Ken get his?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    `I am pretty happy with my current preamp, though the ML seems a good bit smaller it could free up some rack space for other things......

  4. #4
    Owner-Publisher Jerry Del Colliano's Avatar
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    I love the return to the 2 chassis design. The No. 32 had that.

    I don't care what the old model had in one chassis - TWO are better. They just are. Call it Spinal Tap logic if you will.

  5. #5
    Owner-Publisher Jerry Del Colliano's Avatar
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    This unit is supposed to come to market before the DAC preamps and other new designs.

    j

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