Best of the Best 2013: Electronics: Analog Audio: Mark Levinson No. 52
The $30,000 Mark Levinson No. 52 (818.893.8411, www.marklevinson.com) is the 41-year-old brand’s new flagship preamplifier. The component features a dual-monaural, two-chassis design to keep the audio circuitry isolated from the controls, digital circuitry, and power supplies, thus ensuring the purity of the audio signal paths. Three balanced XLR inputs pair with four unbalanced RCA ones, as well as a dedicated phonostage for turntables using either moving-magnet or moving-coil phono cartridges. The options are, in short, enough to connect the No. 52 with just about any combination of audio source and power amplifier.