Mark Levinson No. 519 Audio Player Digital Streamer/Player/CD/DAC/Preamp

I couldn't make it over to the Hard Rock for the Levinson rollout, but Stereophile's Larry Greenhill was able to grab some photos and information to share:

The new No. 519 is intended to be an all-encompassing source for digital playback and will include not only a CD transport, but also Bluetooth, streaming, network playback, DAC, digital volume control and headphone amp. On the back are AES/EBU, SPDIF, optical and USB inputs as well as ethernet networking jacks. There are both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs as well AES/EBU, SPDIF and optical digital outputs.

The front faceplate consists of a large color display and inside is a TEAC custom modified CD player that runs no more than double speed in order to avoid a whirring sound when starting up. The connections can handle USB drives, externally streaming DSD, Bluetooth Audio, and Harman's Clafi-fy circuits with a complete, embedded Linux computer streaming the digital files. It comes with a remote but can also be controlled with IOS and Andros apps and plays up to 24-bit, 192 kHz PCM, double-speed DSD and most 2 channel formats.

Price will be $17,000 and the 519 is expected to ship in late spring.

Allen Fant's picture

Did ML lose its SACD playback capability?

Jon Iverson's picture

Apparently so.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

It seems that the company that built one of the essential parts for the best hybrid SACD mechanisms, which is manufactured by Esoteric, stopped making them. Esoteric bought as many of the essential parts that it could, assembled new transport mechanisms, and stockpiled them for its own use. But it did not have enough parts to build them for others. Hence dCS's choice to issue its new Rossini disc player without SACD capabilities, and to instead keep enough hybrid SACD mechanisms for use in Vivaldi transports.

There is one other company that makes hybrid SACD transports. It's the one found in Oppo players. Whether it is still making them, I do not know. For dCS, and probably for Levinson as well, its quality is not high enough.

Allen Fant's picture

Great, as always, JVS! Thank You for chiming in here on this important matter. We audiophiles do not wish to lose SACD capability. I feel the real beauty lies in someone / some company developing a way to utilize older SACD player parts with a modern application!

rick3803's picture

The ML No. 519 has been out for a while now but there isn't a review anywhere on the web - including Stereophile.It appears to be well constructed and poised at the top of the segment. Is Stereophile planning to review this amazing digital streamer at some point?