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  1. #1
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    Peabody's New Crown Jewel

    I am a hopeless disc spinner so when I received an opportunity to purchase a player I could only normally dream about I stretched to make it happen. Interestingly, the player has digital outputs but no inputs. This upcoming week I will be taking possession of a Mark Levinson #512 N512 CD/SACD Player | Mark Levinson The unit will be giving me SACD playback in my main system for the first time. The unit is new from Levinson with full warranty but sold as B-stock which afforded me the opportunity to own something of this level. The #512 will be replacing my trusty T+A. Not much else to say at this point but I will post after some listening.
    Mark Levinson #512
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  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Errgg ... envious once again -- just as for your Pass Labs amp & preamp.

    My SACD collection is small but as a classical music fan it has the potential to grow a lot. My old Sony SD-CE775 multi-disc player is simply doesn't have what it takes to deliver the sound implicit in the medium. There are are two or three players in the $1000 range the might deliver but that is more that I care to spend at this juncture.

    There was time when I doubted that SACD really sounded any better that good CD but I was convinced otherwise when got some hi-rez downloads (from HDTracks). Right now my best sound comes from these hi-rez downloads and my Schiit Bifrost DAC.

  3. #3
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    A friend of mine does the Hi Rez downloads and says they are really good. Can you play the Sony through your DAC? I have no SACD's. I do have a Telarc Jazz sampler in my cart I need to get on the way though.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
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    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    A friend of mine does the Hi Rez downloads and says they are really good. Can you play the Sony through your DAC? I have no SACD's. I do have a Telarc Jazz sampler in my cart I need to get on the way though.
    I can play the Sony through my DAC but only the CD layer in case of SACD discs -- the CD layer through the DAC are significantly better than the SACD stereo layer direct from the player.

  5. #5
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    Congrats on the latest audio gem. Are you going to be using the balanced XLR outputs as primary output?
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  6. #6
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    I will definitely get XLR from CD to preamp, then the system will be balanced throughout except for turntable.
    Mark Levinson #512
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    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
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  7. #7
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Man I went and looked up what they go for retail and man you should not need to go any further than that unit the rest of your life as far as cd/sacd go. I am real interested in knowing how this unit compares to what you had before knowing that they are so separate in the price category. I really have never talked to anyone who has listened to a Mark Levinson cd player much less one at that price!! Let us know how it sounds so we can all wish from a far.

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  8. #8
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    I know that's right.

    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07 View Post
    Man I went and looked up what they go for retail and man you should not need to go any further than that unit the rest of your life as far as cd/sacd go. I am real interested in knowing how this unit compares to what you had before knowing that they are so separate in the price category. I really have never talked to anyone who has listened to a Mark Levinson cd player much less one at that price!! Let us know how it sounds so we can all wish from a far.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  9. #9
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I hate you!!!, First a Pass amp and now this!

    Just Kidding, Congrat's and enjoy!!
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
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  10. #10
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    I took possession of the #512 tonight. What a slab, solid and weighs more than some amps I've seen although specs say only 33lbs. It comes double boxed, you get a real screw driver just to deal with the screws on the remote for battery, a pair of white gloves come in the box. Large remote with back light, with the curve bottom sort of reminds me of a boat.

    The 512 will take me some time to put into words, initial impression, very transparent, I can't imagine any detail being left on the disc not revealed, the sound is very engaging, it's able to be dynamic while not at all aggressive, the sound is agile, so quic and precise while keeping musical and coherent. It seems to give the listener a sense of sitting some rows back from stage opposed to front row.

    The only disc player I've owned where the button to open the tray is on the left of the tray instead of right, actually, the only one I've seen. The fast forward locks on opposed to stopping when you lift your finger, I don't like that but will learn to live with it.. Looking forward to spinning more discs. I also have a couple SACD's on the way, what year is this .
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
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    PS Audio Quintet

  11. #11
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    I took possession of the #512 tonight. What a slab, solid and weighs more than some amps I've seen although specs say only 33lbs. It comes double boxed, you get a real screw driver just to deal with the screws on the remote for battery, a pair of white gloves come in the box. Large remote with back light, with the curve bottom sort of reminds me of a boat.

    The 512 will take me some time to put into words, initial impression, very transparent, I can't imagine any detail being left on the disc not revealed, the sound is very engaging, it's able to be dynamic while not at all aggressive, the sound is agile, so quic and precise while keeping musical and coherent. It seems to give the listener a sense of sitting some rows back from stage opposed to front row.

    The only disc player I've owned where the button to open the tray is on the left of the tray instead of right, actually, the only one I've seen. The fast forward locks on opposed to stopping when you lift your finger, I don't like that but will learn to live with it.. Looking forward to spinning more discs. I also have a couple SACD's on the way, what year is this .

    Congrats my man! I want to come this week to take a listen, but have people over to remove the pool in the back yard if its not raining. If so, I may slide over with a few SACD's.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MF XRAY v8 /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/ Creek OBH MK 2/Canton Vento 830.2

  12. #12
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    I took possession of the #512 tonight. What a slab, solid and weighs more than some amps I've seen although specs say only 33lbs. ...
    It certainly looks like a very robust unit ...

    Briefly checking out the user manual, I note that it supports connection to network via Ethernet; it seems to be DHCP compliant which means you can play media supplied by compliant server, (which includes any computer with Windows Media Player). Curiously the manual mentions that the computer have Windows 2000 or Windows XP -- huh?!? Well I'm sure it works with newer versions too.

    Inside, the power supply looks really massive. It has a built-in RFI/EMI filter in the AC connector -- something every component should have. I'm glad to say my Schiit Bifrost DAC has one too, as did ancient Assemblage 1.5 DAC. But if every design had one I suppose it would punish the cable and power conditioner market unduely ...
    Last edited by Feanor; 05-02-2013 at 04:12 AM.

  13. #13
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Well he should seek out to see if they have an update for windows. But I doubt if Peabody will go that route.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MF XRAY v8 /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/ Creek OBH MK 2/Canton Vento 830.2

  14. #14
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    I am a hopeless disc spinner so when I received an opportunity to purchase a player I could only normally dream about I stretched to make it happen.
    Congratulations! It's always fun to hear deeper into your favorite music.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Interestingly, the player has digital outputs but no inputs.
    Neither did my former GamuT CD-1. The speed at which computer based streaming has taken hold was not imagined in 2008. The current 519, however, has a wide range of digital inputs. I confess that since I went that route, I cannot imagine returning. The flexibility and convenience is addictive.

    You may well find yourself taking advantage of the network input.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Yeah the only negative about this new unit at all is that if you go the music server route in the future at some time you re really going to have to look at the better dacs out there if you want your music out of your computer to sound anything like the Levinson

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  16. #16
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    From what the manual says the Ethernet is for stupid stuff, it doesn't mention being able to play music delivered via that connection. It seems a waste for what it does do. Streaming is catching on and I suppose the potential for best sound source some day as that's where the highest rez is available, although currently in small quantity.

    I I don't really want to start a new thread but are you all aware of:
    Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to get fifteen hand-selected tracks of high-resolution recordings to challenge your system for only $4.98!

    To purchase the sampler, click here.

    Each week on The Hub we're posting an article on a Featured Artist from our sampler, giving you more info on their career and their track featured on our sampler. Read these to get another taste of what you'll be listening to with your purchase. Click here to see our Featured Sampler Artists section.
    Mark Levinson #512
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  17. #17
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    I read my earlier post and pretty much described the character of the 512, it's a very engaging and involving listen. I have hesitated to come back because as good as the 512 was there was something that still bothered me, a bit of excitement not there, like when I first got my Pass gear I listened every spare moment but that extreme draw wasn't there with the 512, had I hit the wall of diminishing returns? No, indeed, I use an aftermarket power cord, a transparent but it didn't reach my Quintet, so I got a brilliant idea to just plug a power strip into the Quintet then my cord can reach the strip, logic told me the Quintet cleans the power, ti goes clean through the strip and then through my power cord to my player, I've been doing this for some time, even with my old player. Just Saturday I got the idea to plug the power cord into the wall just to see what happens, wow, did that bring it home, a higher level of transparency, as if I thought that was possible, wider sound stage and it was like the music woke up. I tried my preamp to the wall but it sounded better direct to Quintet. Lesson learned those regular power/surge protecters can be degrading to your power even if it's clean first. I can't explain it, and I'm really amazed at how sensitive I was to it but my enjoyment of the 512 now is peak. I have still yet to get XLR's for the 512. The 512 is so quick and distortion free, notes from stand up bass just flow with each note being separate and distinct, no blurring, violin, like on Beethoven's violin concerto on Mercury Living Presence SACD has so much textural richness an emotion I just get carried away. Reviewers called the 512 polite, maybe to some but it's not quite accurate, it has a bass response low and detailed with good weight but it isn't sledge hammer like, same with treble, it's extended but so smooth you would never be fatigue, it's really an inigma things like the rim shot on SVR's Couldn't Stand the Weather has all the snap, nothing is sluggish, it's just the epitomy of listenable and fatigue isn't in the vocabulary. A recording of the full bodied piano is something to behold. I put on a CD by one of my favorite Synth Metal bands from Netherlands, the 512 doesn't do magic, it didn't make it an audiophile recording but it unraveled the complex music to where every detail, instrument and voice could be heard taking the listening experience to a new level. I am very pleased with the 512 and just in shock that something as simple as where you plug it in could have hindered that.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
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    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
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  18. #18
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I is surprising to see that make that big of a difference. But those cheap power strips are a waste to be anywhere near audio gear. I use one next to my quintet but is is for other things not my audio equipment or music server computer, they all get the cleaned up power from the quintet. I would say you would be better off to buy another after market cord that is long enough to reach the quintet and that would be the best case if you want to have the clean power and protection of the quintet. I would think it would be ok to temporarily plug the levinson into the wall but I would be afraid that anything wrong with the incoming power could hurt it.

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    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
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  19. #19
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07 View Post
    I is surprising to see that make that big of a difference. But those cheap power strips are a waste to be anywhere near audio gear. I use one next to my quintet but is is for other things not my audio equipment or music server computer, they all get the cleaned up power from the quintet. I would say you would be better off to buy another after market cord that is long enough to reach the quintet and that would be the best case if you want to have the clean power and protection of the quintet. I would think it would be ok to temporarily plug the levinson into the wall but I would be afraid that anything wrong with the incoming power could hurt it.
    It's not clear to me why more, (or all), components don't have built-in RFI/EMI filters -- except for the usual reason that it saves the maker a very few bucks.

    My current Schiit Bifrost and my former Assemblage 1.5 DACs both had such filters. See the Bifrost which has such a filter built in to the AC input at the upper left of the picture ...


  20. #20
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    You would figure PS Audio would have them on their stuff since they are one of the bigger manufacturer of power cleanup devices out there but I am not sure which of their units does. I know that the power stabilized quite a bit after i installed the Quintet into the mix. But you are right in today's world I would think it would be automatic to see a filter on most high end devices. But then that would steal profits away from companies selling separate power conditioning devices. Don't know any other reason than profits as to why this is the case.

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    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
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  21. #21
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    Harley plugging a strip into the Quintet is a waste of a Quintet outlet, as I have found. I suspect more audio gear has EMI/RFI protection than we realize, it just isn't something they put in the feature list. One of my pieces mentioned having it in the owner manual, I can't remember now if it was the Pass amp or 512, I'm wanting to say the Pass. If so, the upgrade power cord from Clarus still helped raise the sound quality.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  22. #22
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Thats a good thing that the power cord helped. Studying electronics as a younger adult alowed me to understand how a simple thing like a power cord or a cleaned up power supply to components would allow the electronics to work like they should and have nothing that takes away from the experience. The more I learn about how electrons flow and how these components use electronic energy to "do their thing" just makes me grow as an audiophile and alows me to better myself as a student of electonics and also as a person trying to get the most out of thier system

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
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    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
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  23. #23
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    I got my XLR's in from Anticable, I have to say I didn't expect a big difference here but boy was I wrong. I inserted the XLR and left the RCA in place so I could A/B with the push of a button, obviously there had to be a bit of adjusting for volume but it only took me one brief back & forth to tell there was no contest and the XLR were worth the money. Maybe it's this particular gear, or perhaps I didn't recognize the significance of the difference on prior gear. Now I am fully balanced from CDP to preamp to power amp. My system has now taken a step up in realism, vocals seem more human and in the room, the bass is different, less bloom but more detailed and physical. I know I've probably said something similar in the past regarding other set ups but I am thrilled with what I am hearing now.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  24. #24
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Very good. I tried the Balanced XLR from my Nuforce to my Pass when I first got it and I thought it was kind of shouty sounding in my opinion but I was not using the quality of cable that you are speaking of. I just thought that it did not have the balance of sound that was as good as the RCA, but I have not tried it since I have upgraded to the NuWave DAC. Maybe some day when I have the time to listen I will try the XLR cables again to see how they do now. It could be just that the BLue Jeans XLR cables just do not have synergy with my gear and something like the Anti-cables could in fact work good and give me more of the good things I am hearing now in my system.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



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