Mark Levinson No.5805 integrated amplifier $8500. Review

June 27, 2019 Comments Off on Mark Levinson No.5805 integrated amplifier $8500. Review

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“Once I got things tuned, the sound was great. On Monk’s own “Rhythm-a-ning”—one of the tracks with a more prominent rhythm section—soundstage depth was excellent, with Ware and Wilson eight or so feet back from the Monk-Mulligan plane. Every note of Ware’s bass had easily identifiable pitch—not the case on every vinyl system. Monk’s piano was suitably percussive. Wilson’s cymbals had energy but weren’t harsh. This recording, which I know very well, sounded like itself.

I encountered a small operational issue with the No.5805: Switching from one input to another could take a second or more. Todd Eichenbaum, Harman’s director of engineering for luxury audio, told me that such slow switching is necessary because of the Levinson’s direct-coupled design. “We need to allow extra time when changing inputs because the unit is direct coupled and DC needs time to settle. Speeding this up would result in pops when changing inputs. . . . [W]e’ve been tweaking software and our order of operations when changing inputs, and later software should be able to speed this up a bit.” This is another one of those how-much-does-it-matter issues. I found it annoying when trying to compare one input to another—the internal DAC to an external DAC, for example—but this matters far less when what you want to do is just listen to music.”



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