Harman’s Mark Levinson brand has a new series of integrateds launching and the debut at this year’s Rocky Mountian Audiofest started bright and early Friday morning. Scheduled during the last timeslot of the press-dedicated pre-opening hours, the morning’s Earl Grey had yet to fully take hold.
Drawing on the success of the ML 500 series, the new 5000’s actually take a significant step down the price ladder to $8,500 for the class AB 120 watt (into 8 ohms) 5805 and $7,000 for the 5802. The two new numbers are just the beginning for the new series and consumers can expect 3 to 4 models to roll out in the next few years according to sources at the event.
The new all-for-one-and-one-for-alls pack a hefty plate of options all feeding into the newest ESS 32 bit Sabre chipset. Digital niceties include full MQA unfolding, DSD and even bluetooth. Both new amps include a class A headphone amplifier via front panel jacks and a revised atheistic with elements that “keep true to the Mark Levinson DNA”.
Two open-top models were set on a rotating display in the first floor room adjacent to the main hall, with one working 5805 demo attached to a pair of Revel F228be ($10k/pair). The experience turned out to be a mighty fine projection of high fidelity. Nuanced detail and punchy bass appeared to suffer no lack of power or refinement for the first formal listen of the show.
Most of the internal elements for the two amps are the same. The 05 includes a MM/MC phono stage and more digial inputs for its $1,500 bump in price. Accessible dip switches allow for manual load calibration settings on the back faceplate. Expect availability to kick off early next year.