As any true audiophile will attest, the Mark Levinson name is synonymous with audio purity. So when we design a piece of equipment, perfection isn’t the goal but the starting point.
Our engineers spare no expense sourcing the best materials from around the world, and they only release new products when they exceed all expectations. That’s why the whole industry looks to us to raise the bar and then set it again. But we don’t have to tell you that—you can experience it with every note.
In 1972, Mark Levinson cracked the code of pure audio playback with hand-built stereo components that overcame every known limitation on sound reproduction. Since then, we’ve created a class of our own by consistently releasing the best sounding, longest lasting, most intuitive audio/video components in the world—products that are just as gorgeous as they are meticulously crafted. That’s the level of audio excellence you see in every Mark Levinson component today.
After working in various recording studios and, as legend has it, creating the sound mixer for the Woodstock Music Festival, Mark Levinson began hand-crafting high-end stereo components. His first product, the LNP-1, was a rack-mounted system with two large VU meters and a high performance op-amp module. And with every subsequent product, the legend grew.
The LNP-2 established the concept of high-end audio. A Low-Noise Preamplifier, It proved that solid-state circuits could not only meet, but also dramatically exceed the performance of tube electronics. Its peak-reading VU meters could capture the first quarter of a 20kHz waveform and today is regarded as the cornerstone of the ultrahigh-end audio component industry.
Though slimmer in design than its predecessor, this Flat Preamplifier achieved even higher sonic quality. Its iconic, low-profile design became a fundamental element of later Mark Levinson preamplifiers.
A critical link connecting audio sources to the loudspeaker, Mark Levinson unveiled their version of the power amplifier in 1977 with the ML-2: a Monaural component that truly matched the glory of the music. Due to its unparalleled sound quality and outstanding speaker driving capability, the ML-2 was soon adopted as a reference amplifier by a number of leading audio magazines and loudspeaker manufacturers.
By 1980, the potted-module type of circuit design had reached its ultimate potential and was replaced with the ML-7: new kind of two-channel preamplifier. Widely regarded by the audiophile market as the new Mark Levinson standard of excellence, the ML -7 quickly set a new bar for sonic excellence and three-dimensional imaging.
When purchased by Madrigal audio laboratories, Mark Levinson was able to combine staffs to bolster already world-class industrial-design and product-design teams. The partnership was directly responsible for some of the brand’s seminal products, like the Nº20 Monaural Power Amplifier, the Nº26 Preamplifier, and the Nº30 Reference DAC Processor.
Soon after Madrigal bought Mark Levinson, the company began developing the new 100-watt-per-channel Nº20 Monaural Power Amplifier. The Nº20 Series offered flawless operation and perfection in sound quality that more closely resembled tube amplifiers than the existing solid-state systems on the market.
The revolutionary Nº26 changed the way Mark Levinson approached electronics by designing a primary circuit as a single unit. This dual-mono layout provided outstanding channel separation, and allowed listeners to hear characteristics that were hidden in other existing music systems.
The Nº28 Preamplifier included a cutting-edge, balanced circuit design to reduce common-made noise, and a special optical encoder that ensured precise channel balance. This advanced volume control mechanism became an important technology of later Mark Levinson preamplifiers and one that further widened the gap between Mark Levinson and the competition.
The classic Mark Levinson Nº30 Reference Digital Processor was instantly hailed as the new sonic benchmark and an achievement that signaled digital’s coming of age. The companion Nº31 Reference CD Transport completed the company’s goal to innovate the finest possible digital-playback system. As a combination, the Nº30 and Nº31 were heavily praised as milestones in innovative design, technical execution, and sound quality, while exemplifying the company credo: better sound through real engineering.
In the fully balanced Nº38 Preamplifier, a single circuit handled not only the main volume control, but also balance and level-trim controls. This simplified signal path resulted in acoustic improvements, superior usability, and influenced many future products from Mark Levinson.
Operating in a fully balanced configuration, the Nº33 power amplifier was a huge technical development. Producing the highest power ever from a Mark Levinson product, it was deemed a new pinnacle of sonic achievement and became the basis for the forthcoming Nº300 Series.
The first reference preamplifier, the Nº32 was designed without compromise to offer the ultimate in sonic performance. The reference designation is reserved for those Mark Levinson products that meet specific criteria, including the very highest level of performance, in terms of both subjective sound quality and objective measurement. In essence, reference products define the state of technical art and the sum of the brand’s knowledge and design skills—they embody an unswerving quest for perfection.
For years, Mark Levinson was unable to find an auto partner that shared the same exacting standards for perfection and had the right acoustic architecture for a Mark Levinson signature system--until Lexus. The first car that came out of our exclusive partnership was the Lexus LS 430. Since then, the same engineers who fine-tune and perfect world-class Mark Levinson home systems have spent thousands of hours customizing each sound system to the unique interior architecture and acoustic character of every Lexus model.
The Nº326S borrowed technology from the Nº32 Reference Preamplifier for a richer timbre and a wider sound stage, while adding a clean and quiet power-supply circuit that was isolated from the audio circuits. Astonishingly neutral and truthful to the source, the Nº326S adds very little coloration to the music, and shines in two areas that typify Mark Levinson’s strengths: soundstage dimensionality and spatial precision. It’s the type of preamplifier that makes you forget about everything but the music.
A milestone for the brand and the industry, the Nº53 reference monaural power amplifier offered more power, increased efficiency, compact size, lower weight, and reduced heat dissipation when compared to any non-digital system. It was the first product that proved to audiophiles that a switching system could hold its own against linear systems.
The new Nº52 Reference Dual-Monaural Preamplifier, unveiled in concept as a 40th Anniversary model at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is considered the zenith of Mark Levinson preamplifiers. To ensure the highest signal purity, the all-analog, true dual-monaural, two-chassis design separates critical analog audio circuitry from the control section. In addition, the Nº52 offers a Surround Sound Processor input that allows multichannel home theater system integration, while maintaining optimal stereo operation for analog music sources.