High-end audio manufacturer Harmon recently unveiled its forthcoming Mark Levinson No. 519 Audio Player. With unconfirmed pricing landing close to $15,000 U.S., the Connecticut born No. 519 player is definitely a niche product meant for systems that dabble in relatively rarified air.
“We created the Mark Levinson No. 519 to be nothing less than the optimal digital music playback component for the way today’s listeners access their music,” said Jim Garrett, Director of Marketing and Product Management, Harman. “The No. 519 lets music lovers enjoy music from nearly any source experience whether it’s the latest high-resolution streaming audio format, their CD collection or even from their mobile devices.”
Harmon designed the No. 519 to be the “heart” of an audio system by offering users access to nearly every conceivable audio format. That means it can playback material sourced from streaming music services, network storage, compact discs, Bluetooth devices, and Hi-Res digital files. This is made possible by feeding its DAC with an onboard slot-loading CD player and a range of wired and wireless digital audio inputs including USB asynchronous streaming, Gigabit Ethernet, Balanced, Optical, Coaxial, Wi-Fi, and aptX powered Bluetooth.
The player’s powerful DAC incorporates an ESS Sabre32 Reference Converter and Hi-Res digital decoding up to 24-bit, 192 kHz from PCM and double-speed DSD. In addition, the player ships with an onboard Linux computer and a large front-panel color display with full Apple and Android app controlled functionality. Owners will find direct access to Spotify Connect, TIDAL, QOBUZ, Deezer, Rhapsody, Napster, Internet radio, and podcasts. In addition, the company’s proprietary Clari-Fi music restoration technology can make older, compressed, music tracks sound better.
On the output side, the No. 519 features a discrete, direct coupled, dual-monaural signal path offering balanced and single-ended analog outputs, along with balanced, optical and coaxial digital outputs. It also offers front-side headphone connectivity and an integrated digital volume control that negates the need for a separate pre-amplifier unit when paired with an amplifier or active loudspeakers. In addition, a selectable low-pass filter allows unbalanced outputs to be used for subwoofer duty.
The No. 519 is available in black 6000-series aluminum housing with attractively appointed silver trim. Expect to see it hit the market sometime during July 2016.
Image Credits: Harmon International Industries