With Mark Levinson products, there is never any sort of clue in the name. So, № 519? It’s a high end audio streamer that can play CDs. Or a high end CD player that can access streamed content either on the local network or from on-line suppliers such as Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify and Deezer.
So far, we have had limited listening time. Running through Naim’s Statement pre-power, it’s an interesting alternative to the NDS steamer. Normally, our NDS is run with twin 555 power supplies but, with one of the 555s on loan, our one was in ‘mid range’ mode. Base level would be with the XPS DR.
Against this, even with the №519 fresh from the box, it was evident that there are qualities in each that are denied the other. Within a few minutes of play, the №519 announced that there was an update available. Applying this (via a simple click on the iPad followed by a substantial wait) had the unit return to life sounding noticeably better. Hard to be sure if this was warm-up or upgrade!
For sure the №519 is an extremely fine piece of kit that is capable of extracting lovely stuff in the middle of familiar pieces of music that we don’t recall hearing like quite that before. The next week or two will be interesting!
The matching №585 integrated amplifier is warming up in readiness.