Mark Levinson starts its 50th-anniversary celebrations with the limited-edition ML-50 amplifier package.
The Mark Levinson ML-50 is a limited edition amplifier package that’s said to echo “some of the most popular and important models of the brand’s storied history”. Naturally, the brand is also keen to state that it offers unparalleled audio performance capable of driving virtually any loudspeaker system regardless of cost.
The ML-50 model name itself calls back to the first Mark Levinson power amplifier – the ML-2 – produced from 1977 to 1986. The №20 power amplifier and its updated models, the №20.5 and №20.6, made between 1986 and 1995, inspired the sizeable front panel handles found on the ML-50. The №33 (1994-2003) and №33H (1997-2007) reference amplifiers sparked the idea of the outrigger feet that provide the solid foundation for the ML-50 chassis.
Additionally, the glass front panel and red backlit Mark Levinson logo on the ML-50 is lifted from the №53 reference amplifier built from 2008 to 2019. Meanwhile, we’re told that the №536 amplifier (2015-present) was the starting point platform for the ML-50’s audio performance.
Mark Levinson states that the power supply and audio circuits of the №536 platform have been enhanced to offer even higher performance. Firstly, we’re informed that a lower noise floor has been achieved by increasing the high-voltage supply (voltage gain and pre-driver circuits) capacitance by 50% (from 8,800uF to 13,200uF). Next, increased dynamic power with a 20% increase in the capacitance of the main high-current supply (169,200uF to 206,800uF) plus reconfigured Schottky rectifiers for a lower-impedance path from the transformer to the filter caps. Finally, distortion has apparently been lowered by doubling the output stage bias resulting in more than quadrupling the Class A power: 20W into 8-ohms. As a result, the overall Class AB power has also increased to 425W into 8-ohms.
Furthermore, a new vibration-damping, mechanically isolated foot design can be found at all four corners underneath the chassis of the ML-50. These feet also elevate the chassis for increased convection cooling in conjunction with the new twin-channel top panel venting and massive external heat sinks.
The ML-50 offers balanced XLR and single-ended RCA audio jack inputs and two sets of Mark Levinson Hurricane binding post speaker terminals. Advanced internal protection and monitoring should ensure reliable performance under demanding conditions, while Ethernet, serial, and 12V trigger connections provide complete external control.
The ML-50’s glass top cover showcases the circuit design and the optimized electrical layout that promises to extract every ounce of audio performance in the process. The internal LED lighting can be switched between red, white, and off.
The solid aluminium front panel features a large black glass panel insert flanked by a pair of silver machined aluminium handles and sports a red LED backlit Mark Levinson logo alongside a machined aluminium standby power button similarly garnished by a red LED illumination.
Each ML-50 amplifier package includes two monaural amplifiers and an accessory kit with two 3m power cords, a microfiber polishing cloth, white gloves, and owner’s documentation.
The Mark Levinson ML-50 amplifier package is limited to 100 globally and will be available in Q4 of 2022 for $50,000 per system pair.