The first ever turntable from Mark Levinson celebrates the 45th Anniversary of the brand. The № 515 turntable is also the perfect complement to the Pure Phono stage included in the recently released № 526 and № 523 pre-amplifiers. A premium-caliber turntable, the № 515 leverages superior technologies and craftsmanship from VPI Industries to deliver performance, features and appearance unique to Mark Levinson.
The № 515 is based on a highly damped vinyl-wrapped MDF and aluminum sandwich main chassis. The chassis is supported by machined Delrin and Aluminum Mark Levinson feet with a vibration-damping polymer core. The 20-pound Aluminum platter rotates on an inverted bearing, which employs a hardened stainless steel shaft spinning in a phosphor bronze bushing for maximum rotational accuracy.
The powerful high torque AC synchronous motor is mounted to a separate vinyl-MDF-Aluminum sandwich chassis and housed in its own mechanically isolated enclosure. A precision-machined pulley and triple belt drive system provide smooth, quiet operation. A custom-designed, low-distortion analog oscillator and discrete, class AB power amplifier deliver pristine power to the synchronous motor for accurate 33 and 45 RPM operation.
The № 515 also features a gimbal-mounted, 3D-printed tonearm with integral headshell, stainless steel counterweight, and discrete internal cartridge lead routing. The tonearm is mounted to a rigid, machined Aluminum arm base featuring on-the-fly adjustable vertical tracking angle. A custom designed stainless steel record weight and platter mat ensure maximum stability of playback.
“The № 515 is being released during a time of rapid growth and resurgence in turntable and vinyl record sales," said Jim Garrett, Senior, Product Strategy and Planning, Harman. “It celebrates our 45th anniversary and provides a first-class analog source for our new 500 Series.”
585.5 Integrated Amplifier
To complement the new № 515 turntable, Mark Levinson introduced the № 585.5 Integrated Amplifier with Pure Phono module. The № 585.5 is the second integrated amplifier in the Mark Levinson 500 series range: an upgrade to the award-winning № 585 which adds the brand’s Pure Phono capability and other new features while retaining the existing Precision Link DAC and analog inputs. In addition to the Pure Phono module, the № 585.5 also includes an upgraded remote control and new three-piece extruded, machined, and anodized aluminum top cover which replaces the current single-piece top cover of the original № 585 and matches the appearance of all other Mark Levinson 500 Series products.
“Combining the № 585.5 with our new № 515 turntable creates a compelling two-piece audio system at the most accessible price point within the 500 series,” explains Jim Garrett. “Our goal in designing all Mark Levinson components is achieving the highest levels of sonic purity. The Pure Phono module found in the № 585.5 is engineered to the highest standards, following our Pure Path design philosophy. This phono module uses fully-discrete, extremely low noise circuitry, newly designed from the ground up,” adds Todd Eichenbaum, Director of Engineering, Harman.
The Mark Levinson № 585.5’s phono stage is the same one found in the award winning № 523 and № 526 preamplifiers. The Mark Levinson Pure Phono stage features fully discrete, extremely low noise gain stages, with RIAA equalization implemented using a combination of active and passive filter circuits. Four gain settings, multiple resistive- and capacitive-loading settings, and an infrasonic filter are conveniently adjustable via the front panel or the remote control for powerfully optimizing the performance of virtually any turntable and cartridge.
In addition to the Pure Phono input (dedicated stereo RCAs with grounding post), the № 585.5 provides four analog inputs, and six digital inputs, including asynchronous USB, optical, coaxial, and AES/EBU (XLR), to accommodate a wide variety of digital music sources, including 32-bit/192kHz PCM, as well as native DSD and DSD over PCM via USB. The № 585.5 also incorporates exclusive Harman Clari-Fi music restoration technology, which employs proprietary signal-enhancement techniques to provide the best-possible sound quality from compressed digital audio sources.
The № 585.5 also provides a subwoofer output with a selectable 80Hz high-pass filter for use in a properly implemented 2.1-channel system, and includes Ethernet, RS-232, IR and 12V trigger ports to facilitate its use in audio/video installations with integrated systems control. Its high-current Class AB power amplifiers and analog circuitry utilize a robust 900VA custom toroidal transformer, and a dedicated SMPS power supply operates all the digital circuitry. Like the № 585, the № 585.5 is capable of driving even the most demanding exotic loudspeaker loads with ease, delivering 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms, and 350 watts into 4 ohms.
The № 585.5 is one of eight new Mark Levinson products released in the past 36 months, designed by the engineering team at Mark Levinson’s Engineering Center of Excellence in Shelton, CT.
The № 585.5 Integrated Amplifier with Pure Phono module will be available from authorized Mark Levinson dealers worldwide in Fall 2017 at a suggested retail price of $16,000. The original № 585 remains at the existing price point of $12,000. The № 515 turntable will be available either with or without a factory installed moving coil phono cartridge, and available in Summer 2017. Pricing starts at $10,000 for the version without phono cartridge.