(May 10, 2019) Harman’s Mark Levinson brand is no stranger to the world of true high-end audio gear, boasting a model lineup punctuated by quality materials and lavish design qualities. Today, the company unveiled an all-new product aimed squarely at enthusiasts desiring the ultimate in performance from both streaming and disc-based sources: the № 5101 Network Streaming, Super Audio CD Player, and Digital to Analog Converter.
"The № 5101 is a very exciting new product. There are high-end CD players on the market though few that support the SACD format and feature integrated streaming," said Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy & Planning, HARMAN Luxury Audio. "The Mark Levinson level of industrial design and ground-breaking engineering that has gone into this player are remarkable, and we expect the № 5101 will redefine expectations for integrated audio media players."
In line with its luxury roots, the № 5101 carries a refined physical presence, punctuated by black anodized 1” thick solid aluminum front panels, a smooth display glass, debossed top cover vents, and robust aluminum feet. Internally, the player’s beefy innards – the power supply, transformer, and control PCBAs – are locked within a steel cage for isolation from the digital and analog pathways. And the disc transport is isolated for clean playback, using steel standoffs floating on a PVC and styrene-butadiene rubber substrate shielded by steel; attention to detail and built-in design is exceptionally impressive.
On the physical media front, the № 5101 can playback a range of disc types, including CD-A, CD-R, CD-RW, and SACD, with support for FLAC, WAV, AIFF, OGG, MP3, AAC, and WMA formats. Additionally, music can be sourced from a USB stick.
Streaming-wise, owners can connect to an NAS drive and DLNA/UPnP devices using onboard Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
Of course, the № 5101 is also a DAC, which allows it process digitally sourced music obtained through coaxial and optical S/PDIF inputs. Levinson says the № 5101 uses the most up-to-date ESS PRO Sabre 32-bit D/A converter with “jitter elimination circuitry and a fully balanced, discrete current-to-voltage converter directly descended from the № 5802 and № 5805 integrated amps.” The resulting signal is given the ultimate of treatments, with individual regulators guaranteeing dual monaural operation.
The № 5101 isn’t quite ready for primetime yet, with a projected shipping timeframe of Q4 2019. It will carry a price tag of $5,500.[/prbreak]
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