Mark Levinson Nº 52
The Nº52 is unquestionably the finest Mark Levinson preamplifier ever. This dual-monaural preamplifier isolates the critical analog audio circuitry from the control section with a two-chassis approach to provide the purest signal paths possible.
“The Nº52 features seven analog inputs – three balanced XLR and four unbalanced RCA – as well as a dedicated phono input configurable for moving-magnet (MM) or moving-coil (MC) operation. Two sets of pre-outs are duplicated in both XLR and RCA jacks, while an additional auxiliary pair of XLR and RCA outputs is configurable, for fixed or variable output with independent source selection. This function allows the auxiliary output to function as a third pre-out, a pass-through full-range subwoofer output or a record output.
The Nº52 comes with a unity-gain SSP mode that integrates the connected sources into a home theater system while still maintaining optimal and independent stereo operation for music. System controls include Ethernet, Mark Levinson’s proprietary ML Net, and 12V trigger and IR control ports, as well as a USB connector that can facilitate software updates. Additionally, the included remote control also operates both the Nº52 and other connected Mark Levinson components.
The peerless craftsmanship of Mark Levinson is evident in every aspect of the Nº52. Within the control section, mirror-imaged DC power supplies and AC regeneration circuitry optimize power for the cleanest, most stable signals possible. Individual DC power cords supply power to the audio section in the second chassis to prevent extraneous noise from passing into the DC power signals, while communication and control signals are sent along a dedicated third cable to the audio section. The audio chassis is also configured in a mirror-image, left/right design with isolated, independent PCBs for volume control and for main and auxiliary signal paths. The communication signals are contained in a shielded central compartment, as is each channel of the phono input. Heavy aluminum extrusions and thick aluminum plates solidify the chassis and provide an optimized foundation for the audio circuitry.”