Mark Levinson No.35 D/A processor Review System

Sidebar 2: Review System

While the No.35 was auditioned over a period of several months with a variety of associated equipment, the bulk of the final listening was done in a system consisting of a Rowland Consummate preamplifier, Krell KSA-250 power amplifier, and WATT/Puppy loudspeakers.

Interconnects were Kimber AGDL coaxial digital link between transport and processor, TARA Labs Master RSC interconnect from No.35 to preamp, and Cardas Hexlink from preamp to power amp. TARA Labs RSC performed the loudspeaker cable duties. All of the interconnects named were unbalanced; auditioning of balanced interconnects between the No.35 and the Rowland, and also of both AES/EBU and ST digital links, was also done and will be discussed.

The transport for the bulk of the early observations was the C.E.C. TL 1; other transports, including Levinson's own No.31, were also used. The system's front-end was powered through an MIT Z-strip and MIT Z-2 power-line filters. The latter were used for the D/A processors and transports; when two processors were being compared, each was plugged into its own Z-2 to provide isolation. MIT power cords were used for the transports (except for the Pioneer DP-65 CD player, which lacked a detachable power cord) and power amp (the latter plugged directly into the wall). Standard power cords were used for the No.35 and for the other processors.

The No.35 does appear to need warm-up. Accordingly, no serious listening was performed until the 35 had been used for many hours.—Thomas J. Norton

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