Derived from the same Pure Path design philosophy as the distinguished Mark Levinson 500 Series products, the No. 5206 preamplifier was created to deliver all the performance and quality expected from Mark Levinson with new affordability and exceptional value.
The foundation of the No. 5206 is its fully discrete, direct-coupled, dual-monaural line-level preamp circuitry, for which the Shelton design team has been awarded two patents. A unique single gain stage mated to a digitally controlled resistor network for volume adjustment maintains maximum signal integrity and widest possible bandwidth. Each of its four stereo line-level inputs—two balanced XLR and two single-ended, using custom Mark Levinson RCA connectors—has its own individual high-reliability signal switching relays. Like the No. 500 series components, the Main Drive headphone output employs a preamp output stage specifically designed with the current and power capacity to drive headphones directly, without a separate headphone amp.
A newly designed phono stage features a hybrid gain topology, mating key discrete components from the acclaimed 500 Series Pure Phono stage with low-noise pre circuits for high performance at a lower cost. Also, like the 500 Series, a hybrid active/passive RIAA equalizer employs precision resistors and polypropylene capacitors for exceptional accuracy and sonic clarity. The user can select MM/MC gain and optional infrasonic filter from the setup menu, while capacitive and resistive loading settings are easily accessed from the rear panel. Variable line-level RCA outputs allow system expansion and flexibility.
The No. 5206 delivers outstanding digital audio capability through the Mark Levinson Precision Link II™ DAC. The class-leading ESS Sabre Pro series 32-bit D/A converter with jitter elimination circuitry and a fully balanced, discrete current-to-voltage converter form the heart of the digital audio processing stage. Six digital audio inputs are provided: One AES, two coaxial and two optical S/PDIF, and one asynchronous USB for playback of high-resolution PCM (up to 32 bit/384kHz) and DSD (up to 11.2MHz) files. The No. 5206 includes MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology, which enables playback of MQA audio files and streams. A Bluetooth receiver equipped with aptX-HD enables the high-quality Bluetooth playback.
System integration and communication ports include Ethernet, USB, RS-232, IR input, and 12V trigger input and output. A newly designed, solid aluminum IR remote is included with the No. 5206. Finally, an internal webpage allows setup, import and export of configurations, and software updates using a PC and standard web browser.
Robust materials, lavish finishes, and bold geometry are hallmark attributes of Mark Levinson designs. The one-inch-thick, bead-blasted, black-anodized, solid aluminum front panels are machined and contoured to flow seamlessly into the sleek glass display, which itself is recessed into a bead-blasted, clear-anodized aluminum bezel. The iconic hourglass knobs redefined with a gently curved profile softly transitioning into a rounded front. With meticulous details, including, debossed top cover vents, screen-printed logo and legends behind the glass panel, and custom machined aluminum Standby and Menu buttons, and matching feet, the No. 5206 exudes elegance and style.
The No. 5206 is proudly designed, engineered, and precision-crafted in the USA.