High End Munich 2019: Mark Levinson Strikes Again

Right now, in the audiophile marketplace, who is bigger, bolder, more ubiquitous, or more iconic than Harmon Luxury Audio’s Mark Levinson brand?

That is a tough question. Because the Levinson house sound has become such an obvious benchmark of today’s high-end sound; and, Levinson’s black and brushed aluminum styling seems fresher, and more classic than ever.

That is what I was thinking when I first spotted the new Mark Levinson № 519 streaming, disc and digital audio player.

I also thought how the № 519 is one more example of today’s move away from elaborate separates and their tendency to expand and colonize our domestic spaces. The $20,000 USD № 519 is an audiophile-grade machine that features a 32-bit precision DAC with ESS converter, three selectable filters, and seven power supplies. It plays CDs and MP3 burns. Both silver-disc formats have recently re-discovered their cache and are making comebacks in an audiophile environment that is rapidly becoming more format-diverse. In response, we are seeing a new wave of audio products featuring CD-disc drives in the same box as streamers.

In addition to playing discs, the Mark Levenson № 519 is Roon-Ready and MQA certified. It has six digital inputs including balanced, coaxial, optical, and USB asynchronous. It includes an analogue volume control and a headphone amp. It has Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Rhapsody/Napster, and internet radio built in. It includes Blue Tooth with APTX. And, it is designed and built in the USA.

Mark Levinson

RnRmf's picture

Unless there's an update to this player, it was debuted back in 2016, doesn't play SACD, and has ESS chips that are a generation or two behind recent ESS offerings.