Mark Levinson No.560 Digital Audio Processor

Harman's Mark Levinson line is celebrating 40 years in business by announcing a completely new line of audio products, all in empty box prototype form at CES. Pictured here is the No.560 Digital Audio Processor with can function as both DAC and digital preamp. The 560 has 10(!) digital inputs on the back (though the prototype on display had only a blank panel) including two HDMI 1.3 inputs with "DSD-direct" input capability.

The No.560 is slated for release by the end of the year for a retail price of $6k.

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tmsorosk's picture
#560

WOW only 6 large , is that a miss print?

fy415's picture
Only 1.3?

 

Strike 1: HDMI 1.4 was released in 2009--and Mark Levinson is still on 1.3? By the time this product is released, it would be more than three years behind.

Strike 2: There are many, many Proceed users out there who are still hurting from the abandonment of that brand--such a nice product line (the AVP2 pre/pro is superb), with little to no support and upgrade opportunities. Those who have not forgotten will never buy another ML product again.

VandyMan's picture
Only 1.3?

 

 

This is an audio processor not a pre-pro. HDMI 1.4 would bring no benifit. I'm waiting to hear what audio formats it can handle.

fy415's picture
  Thank you for the

 

Thank you for the clarification, VandyMan.

I'm no expert on HDMI, but version 1.4 has audio return channel functionality, which version 1.3 doesn't. What this is exactly, and whether it will benefit surround and non-surround sound processors, I cannot say. Take a look for yourself:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#Version_1.4

I have to admit, being behind in technology isn't nearly as important as assuring the customers that there will be upgrades available as technology evolves.

The article states that this unit "can function as both DAC and digital preamp". Does this mean that the volume control is in the digital domain (not so good), or is it done in the analog domain (ideal), like was done in the ML no. 40, AND the Proceed AVP2?

We'll find out, I suppose. But I (among many) definitely won't buy.

 

soulful.terrain's picture
I'm curious

 

Are ML products actually ML products, or is this a Harmon Kardon product in a ML enclosure?

I've been wondering this ever since Madrigal was bought out by HK.

tmsorosk's picture
ML

Levinson products certainly sound much better than HK stuff. Take the tops off both and you'll soon see. 

fy415's picture
soulful.terrain and tmsorosk,

soulful.terrain and tmsorosk, ML is owned by Harman International, so, technically, ML products are Harman products in Harman enclosures. While both Harman/Kardon and ML are both owned by Harman International, I don't think anyone they're stupid enough to damage the ML name further by taking an existing product from a different brand off the shelf and covering it up with their own enclosure. 

Oh, wait, that is exactly what the kind folks at Lexicon did--they took an Oppo Blu-$Ray player--chassis and all--literally designed a Lexicon enclosure around it, then added $3000 to the price. For those who aren't familiar with this, here is a useful link:

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/transports/high-definition-dvd-players-hd-dvd-blu-ray/lexicon-bd-30-blu-ray-oppo-clone

To be fair, for the extra $3000, you do get a Lexicon enclosure. Fabulous deal, isn't it? By the way, Lexicon doesn't sell Blu-Ray players anymore.

And who owns Lexicon and Mark Levinson? Harman International.

tmsorosk's picture
Lexicon

    Good point fy415. The out cry from all corners of the audio community exposed the Lexicon BD30 for what it was, so if Levinson was rebadging there products I'm sure we would have heard about it many times over and from many different sources. 

    Unfortunately many audio manufacturers use transports, sub chassis and sometimes complete chassis from other manufacturers with little modifications to sell as there own. There was much speculation about the BD30 and whether it was lightly or heavily modified, many claimed it was much better sounding than the Oppo.

                                                                              Regards  Tim

John Atkinson's picture
Made in America

I specifically asked where the new products were made, and was told in the US, though not in the company's Elkhart, IN facility where the ML brand is now based. By contrast, I believe the HK products are now sourced from overseas. It was also confirmed at CES that Classe (owned by Equity, which also owns B&W and Rotel) has moved all of its manufacturing into the Chinese factory where Rotel products are made.

fy415's picture
To be precise, " MADE " in America

Or, perhaps, assembled in America?

Going back to the Lexicon/Oppo fiasco, before the Lexicon-branded player was released for sale (and exposed as an Oppo), someone from Lexicon actually claimed that the player was made in the U.S.A. Hilarious, considering that Oppo players are made overseas. Far from hilarious if you bought into the Lexicon hype and ended up with some very expensive billet aluminum.

The phrase "made in America" doesn't mean much anymore--is there anyone that seriously believes that American car companies really make their cars in the U.S. the way that they used to? I believe there are actually laws/regulations that define exactly what  can be labeled as "made in U.S.A.," precisely because the word "made" no longer means what it used to.

So, ML can claim "made in America," but I'd like to know exactly what's made here--the circuit boards? The knobs? The electronic components? The cardboard box it's shipped in? Perhaps the more appropriate question is, What/how did continental U.S. labor contribute to the final, tangible, consumer end product? If you can get someone from ML to answer that, I'm all ears.

And any word on the volume control--analog, or digital?

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