14 September 2017
- Latest News / Press
Mark Levinson No 523 & No 524 UK Launch
Karma-AV introduces the Mark Levinson No 523 Analogue Preamplifier and No 534 Dual-Monaural Power Amplifier to the UK.

Completing a precision-engineered Mark Levinson dual- monaural signal path from input to speaker outputs, the latest Mark Levinson designs make the perfect amplification team...


Karma-AV is delighted to be adding two further Mark Levinson products to the expanded range available to UK audiophiles. Supplied individually to upgrade almost any system, the No 523 pure analogue preamplifier and No 534 dual-monaural power amplifier may be combined to create an exceptional pre-power partnership having matching Mark Levinson Pure Path discrete, dual-monaural signal path system topology from source input to speaker output.

No 523 preamplifier

With a discrete, balanced R-2R Ladder volume control, Class-A Phono stage, and Class-A Main Drive Headphone output, the No 523 preamplifier delivers an uncompromised performance regardless of analogue source. It offers five line- level analogue inputs: two balanced (XLR), and three single-ended (RCA) in addition to the Pure Phono (RCA with grounding pin) input. The preamplifier delivers its signal to balanced (XLR) and single-ended (RCA) stereo outputs, as well as a 1/4-inch (6.3mm) Main Drive Headphone output integrated into the front panel metalwork – a first for Mark Levinson. A selectable, fourth-order, 80 Hz high-pass filter enables seamless integration of subwoofers for full-range performance.

R-2R Ladder volume control

Replacing the venerable analogue potentiometer in the volume control, Mark Levinson engineers have employed an R-2R Ladder design, in which a string of resistors, all with identical resistance ®, form the side of the ladder, with another set of resistors having double the resistance (2R) forming the rungs. An R-2R Ladder is a highly accurate device and has no mechanical contacts to wear out. Because the No 523’s R-2R Ladder uses low-value, precision resistors throughout and operates in current-output mode, the bandwidth and transient response of the volume control are almost perfectly ideal and consistent regardless of the volume setting. In short, the R-2R Ladder solves all the problems inherent to potentiometer-based volume controls.

Mark Levinson Pure Phono stage

Newly developed for the No 523 and No 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 from the preamplifier’s front panel and remote control, optimising the performance of virtually any turntable and cartridge pairing.

System integration connectivity includes Ethernet/IP control, RS-232, USB for monitoring and configuration via web page, plus DC triggers and an IR input. The included machined metal remote delivers the robust feel and precise control befitting of a component of this preamplifier’s calibre.

No 534 Dual-Monaural Power Amplifier

Featuring Mark Levinson’s proprietary Pure Path circuit design, the No 534 Dual-Monaural Amplifier delivers 250 watts per channel into 8 ohms, operating purely in class A for most listening conditions, doubling to 500W into 4 ohms, with stable operation into 2-ohm loads. Between balanced and single-ended inputs, and four pairs of gold-plated binding posts complete with Mark Levinson Hurricane terminals, its Pure Path discrete, direct-coupled, highly linear, wide bandwidth, dual-monaural signal paths are designed for uncompromised sonic purity.

Gain-stage JFET pairs have high gain, low noise, low distortion, and because they are encapsulated in the same package, the two devices operate under nearly identical conditions. Capacitors used in critical filtering locations are film types, noted for their consistent performance regardless of temperature and frequency. Resistors in critical gain-setting and feedback locations use tantalum nitride thin-film elements, chosen for their exceptional stability and very low noise. In fine audio equipment, these characteristics make the sound even more revealing and effortless, free of the low-level nonlinearities caused by lesser resistive materials as they heat and cool under dynamic conditions.

Housed in a cold-rolled steel and 6000-series aluminum chassis, the No 523 and No 534 are designed and handcrafted in the USA.

Mark Levinson No 523 Dual-Monaural Analogue Preamplifier: :Typical retail price inc VAT: £16,000.00
Mark Levinson No 534 Dual-Monaural Power Amplifier Typical retail price inc VAT: £21,000.00
Availability: October 2017
Contact for publication: karma-av: 01423 358846, www.karma-av.co.uk
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