The History of Mark Levinson
1972 saw the introduction of Mark Levinson’s JC-1 preamplifier, a concrete, functional symbol of Mark Levinson’s approach to audio reproduction. It evidenced a signature blending of vision and science. It was the beginning of a series of groundbreaking audio components that reinforced America’s reputation in high end audio design.
Indeed, the JC-1 taught even hardcore audiophiles that tube components had no lock on aural truth. As the JC-1 evolved into the ML-1, it was joined by the ML-2 monophonic power amplifier. Mark Levinson then introduced the ML-3 power amplifier, a massive and ultra-stable dual-mono design that precisely controlled even the most difficult loudspeakers of its day.
By the mid ‘80s, despite innovations such as a fully modular preamplifier and extraordinary open-reel tape decks suitable for demanding studio recording sessions, Mark Levinson Audio Systems found itself in difficult financial straits. However, the Mark Levinson tradition of hand-crafted excellence was rescued by Madrigal Audio Laboratories, Mark Levinson’s “sister company” distributor. Key personnel regrouped to continue design and production. The reorganization brought needed fiscal discipline and an expanded engineering staff.
The timing was propitious. The audio industry was moving rapidly towards the digital CD as a prime music source. Although certainly not the first digital-to-analog converter to appear, Mark Levinson’s classic No. 30 reference processor was instantly hailed as the new sonic benchmark, an achievement that signaled digital’s “coming of age.” The following year, the No. 31 reference CD transport completedMark Levinson’s desire to offer the finest digital playback system. It, too, was hailed as a milestone in design, execution, and sound quality.
With the Mark Levinson name firmly established as a first tier supplier of components for the home enthusiast, Mark Levinson broadened its reach with a relationship with Lexus, Toyota’s luxury car division. Working closely with Lexus engineers, Mark Levinson leveraged its experience and the expertise of other automotive divisions of its parent corporation, Harman International, to provide audio performance that fully complemented the Lexus driving experience.
Today, more than three decades after the company’s inception, Mark Levinson continues to expand the horizons of audiophiles at home and on the road as well as those of home theater enthusiasts with components and systems that define accuracy, reliability, and enjoyment.
Mark Levinson. Since 1972. The same name. The same enduring standards. The same extraordinary level of satisfaction.
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