Mark Levinson lands lush No. 526 audiophile preamp, formidable spec caters for all content sources

posted on Wednesday, 27th July 2016 by Steve May

Hi-fi  Karma-av  High-end  High Res Audio 

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The Mark Levinson No. 526 dual- monaural preamplifier is now available in the UK through Karma-AV.  It's is a versatile 12-input dual-monaural design with a class-A ‘Pure Phono’ stage, 32-bit DAC and a Class-A Main Drive headphone output.

The US-made pre-amp offers a choice of two balanced and three phono analogue audio inputs, stereo phono inputs and six digital inputs; these comprise asynchronous USB, AES/EBU balanced, plus digital optical and coaxial audio inputs. 

The preamp supports high-resolution digital decoding up to 32-bit 192kHz from PCM and double-speed DSD. Harman Clari-Fi ‘music restoration’ processing is available for low bitrate content. There’s also an 80 Hz high-pass filter, for subwoofer integration.

Front On (1)

Rear (3)

Beneath the lid is a Mark Levinson Precision Link DAC with ESS Sabre32 Reference converter. The ‘Pure Phono’ stage features a fixed-gain MM section with five capacitive cartridge-loading settings, and an MC section with three gain settings and ten resistive cartridge-loading settings. An infrasonic filter is used to compensate for rumble and warping.

The Main Drive headphone amplifier circuit can drive up to 32-ohm headphones in class-A via the main output circuit.

Design-wise, the pre-amp uses a 6000- series aluminium housing in black with silver trim. System control is via the supplied remote, front panel or through system integration. The No 526 retails for £15,000.

Circuit Board

For more news stories about Karma-AV’s product portfolio, visit our partner page here.

 

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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