The Mark Levinson 519 Audio Player combines wireless and wired streaming from networked libraries and streaming services, CD player, and connections for USB drives, digital audio inputs, and Bluetooth with aptX.
The Mark Levinson 519 is a complete, modern digital audio player for today's music lover. It combines wireless and wired streaming with a slot-loading CD player, plus connections for USB drives, additional digital inputs, wireless Bluetooth aptX, and HARMAN Clari-Fi music restoration technology; all in an uncompromising package featuring Mark Levinson Pure Path system design in a 6000-series aluminum chassis. The 519 sports a large, full-color TFT display, comes with a matching remote control, and can be controlled with iOS and Android apps, all major web browsers, and a host of system integration connections including RS-232, IP control, and more. Like all Mark Levinson products, the 519 is proudly designed and handcrafted in the USA.
The 519 is now Roon Ready.
Roon is a rich and engaging way to browse, organize, and listen to music. Artist photos, credits, bios, reviews, lyrics, tour dates, and composers are located automatically, then interconnected by links to build a surfable digital magazine about your musical taste. Going beyond a personal music collection, Roon lets a user explore millions of tracks on TIDAL through the lens of the user's collection. Roon is also a multi-room, multi-user networked audio platform, it offers features such as bit-perfect playback, DSD and PCM upsampling, multichannel support, and Signal Path display. Because the N 519 is Roon Ready, it requires no configuration to work with Roon; just connect it to your network.
The N 519 is now also an MQA certified "Full Decoder" which enables playback and authentication of MQA audio files and streams (MQA Core decode, render, MQA stream decode and authentication). The N 519 enables full MQA playback while streaming MQA files from Tidal or Roon, playback from a USB drive, via DLNA, or an MQA encoded CD. MQA is an innovative award-winning British technology capable of "delivering the sound of the original master recording". The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download.
Mark Levinson Pure Path Circuit Design
Since 1972, Mark Levinson has been dedicated to the uncompromising art of sound, with the guiding principle of musical purity above all else. To achieve that goal like never before, Mark Levinson engineers scoured company archives, ultimately developing a circuit-design philosophy called Pure Path. On a conceptual level, its hallmark principles include a discrete, direct-coupled, fully balanced, dual-monaural signal path that delivers unrestricted, uncompromised sonic purity.
Far from merely arranging high quality components in an intelligent manner, Pure Path is the meeting of science and art: Mark Levinson engineers are tasked to create the best possible measured AND subjective performance. To quote Albert Einstein: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
Pure Path highlights in the 519 include folded cascodes, the acclaimed Mark Levinson Precision Link DAC, and Main Drive Headphone amplifier output.
Stream, Spin, Connect
The 519 ushers in a new generation of music access and enjoyment with Mark Levinson. Far from merely a network player, the 519 is a complex, yet easy-to-master unit containing a complete, embedded Precision Stream Linux computer running a custom Mark Levinson version of the operating system to deliver outstanding headroom for flawless performance, regardless of configuration.
In addition to its ability to browse, access, and play music from a variety of connected sources, the 519 is also a complete Mark Levinson digital preamplifier and DAC, which is able to directly connect to amplifiers or active loudspeakers without need for a preamplifier for those seeking to create a concise music system.
The 519 plays from network-connected devices and drives including MQA and NAS, using its Ethernet wired and Wi-Fi wireless connections. It contains a slot-loading disc drive for enjoying disc collections of standard Redbook and MP3 compact discs. A full complement of digital inputs enables connection of external digital music sources, including an asynchronous USB connection for streaming high-resolution PCM, DSD, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, APE, AIFF, and WMV files from computers; and a Bluetooth receiver with the aptX AAC high-quality codec enables convenient, instant wireless music connection from virtually any handheld, tablet, or computing device. Two additional USB ports enable local connection of hard drives and thumb drives. With all of these methods for accessing and playing music, the 519 is truly the music player the world has been waiting for.
In addition to robust support for virtually all methods of playing music from local and networked sources, the 519's Precision Stream also contains a wide range of embedded streaming music services. Built-in Spotify Connect, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Rhapsody/Napster, plus thousands of internet radio stations and podcasts deliver hundreds of millions of tracks in standard and even high-resolution formats, on demand*. And because the 519's Precision Stream is a powerful internet-connected computer built on a 1GHz ARM Cortex multicore 32 bit processor with 4GB each of RAM and flash, its feature and content portfolios will continue to grow over time. Mark Levinson is committed to delivering continued feature and content expansion over the player's lifespan. The 519 is updateable over its network connection, and by inserting a USB drive containing software updates - a familiar and intuitive process that has been painstakingly crafted to be easy to understand and complete.
Additional enhancements include support for up to 8TB USB hard drives, support for Mac OS formatted hard drives, faster network discovery, an added Wi-Fi signal strength indicator and improved user experience with streaming services.
Analog Mastery: The Folded Cascode
Mark Levinson components are designed around a Pure Path amplifier circuit concept that makes heavy use of a circuit design element called a cascode. Originally created for improving the bandwidth of vacuum tube circuits in radios, Mark Levinson engineers deploy cascodes in Pure Path circuit designs to both improve bandwidth and enhance linearity. A cascode combines two transistors so that they operate as a single composite device that functions like a single transistor, using the wanted characteristics of each component transistor, and rejecting the unwanted characteristics.
Mark Levinson engineers began their design of the gain stage with pairs of JFETs (junction field-effect transistors), chosen for their low noise and high gain. JFETs achieve these characteristics in part by being large, and with their large size comes nonlinear gain - or distortion. To mitigate this, BJTs (bipolar junction transistors) were added to the circuit. The BJTs exhibit very low input impedance and very high output impedance, which translates to excellent bandwidth and linearity. By creating a cascode of the JFETs and BJTs, they created a design with the best characteristics of both sets of devices.
Engineers than connected the output of the cascode to another transistor of the opposite "gender." Current flows through it in the opposite direction to "turn around" the direction of the signal current. This special connection is called a Folded Cascode and it is a hallmark of the Pure Path circuit: high gain with low noise, wide bandwidth, and excellent linearity.