For those audiophiles out there with cash to burn, Harman has released a slew of new high end products that while still pricey, these beauties manage to bring the audio technology from super high-end luxury products in to something more reasonably priced.
The new Mark Levinson N˚500H power amplifiers (above) are audio beasts. I sat in a meeting room and listened to them power audio through a set of speakers. Between the Harman speakers and the Mark Levinson N˚500H power amplifiers, it felt as if you were sitting in a concert hall – minus the annoying crowd. I especially appreciated that the bass produced by the system wasn’t body jarring the way so many high-end systems are. Also, you’ll notice that the Mark Levinson N˚500H’s design is especially unique. It screams metro-sexual audiophile with money to burn. It also kind of resembles a high-end desktop tower. I think men will love to use this system as a show piece in their living room and women will want to hide it.
The new circuitry design used in the N˚500H Series amplifiers is the key to their amazing performance. CFA design uses a circuit topology that emphasizes current-mode operation, which is inherently much faster than more conventional voltage-mode operation. With CFAs, amplifier gain may be controlled independently of bandwidth, a major advantage over conventional VFA topologies. By embracing new technology with Mark Levinson’s traditional passion for excellence, the N˚500H Series amplifiers combine truly impressive output capabilities with Mark Levinson’s characteristically high power efficiency. Other features of the N˚500H Series include reliable high power in four different channel configurations that provide ideal solutions for any type of system, independent power supply components for each channel to maximize isolation and improve imaging, isolated chassis and signal grounds that minimize noise and optimize sonic detail even at lower listening levels, and balanced and single-ended inputs. Furthermore, custom home systems integrators will appreciate the N˚500H Series’ Ethernet and 12-Volt trigger control capability, allowing for easier integration into home networks.
There are four amplifier models in the N˚500H Series all offering different numbers of channels. The N˚531H (300 Watts) = 1 channel, the N˚532H (600 Watts) = 2 channels and the N˚533H (900 watts) = 3 channels. They all feature extremely low Total Harmonic distortion (<0.5%) excellent signal-to-noise ration, and frequency response from 10 Hz to 20 kHz. The N˚535H is rated for 1,000 Watts and offers five balanced XLR inputs per channel, five unbalanced RCA inputs per channel, and five pairs of loudspeaker outputs with banana-plug sockets per channel. All N˚500H Series amplifiers feature an Ethernet 10Base-T port, a 3.5mm mono mini-plug trigger input, a 3.5mm mono mini-plug trigger output, and a 3-pin IEC standard power connector.
Being touted as future proof, Harman has also announced the Lexicon BD-30 Blu-Ray player with support for just about everything including BD-Live, BonusView, DVD, upconverted DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD and USB. The BD-20 features Anchor Bay’s award-winning Video Reference Series technology for the best 1080p picture possible.
In the world of speakers, Revel has the new Ultima Rhythm2 Powered Subwoofer to show off. This 18 inch subwoofer can supply 2,400 watts RMS and up to 5,600 Watts at peak. It also promises to perform at high output levels without any distortion.
The second new subwoofer from Revel is the Performa B150 which features a 15 inch transducer with integrated high-power amplification, and 1,200 watts RMS.
The Revel Performa B150 raises the performance bar, both in terms of low-distortion output capability, as well as in accurate, uncolored sound quality. Its 15-inch woofer and 4-inch voice coil are integrated with a 36-pound motor system and a true 1.5-inch linear excursion, resulting in the capability to provide enormous amounts of low-distortion bass. . Distortion is extraordinarily low without resorting to servo-feedback, thanks in part to the B150 woofer’s symmetrical magnetic field, flux stabilization ring and copper shorting ring. This is combined with an integrated amplifier which produces 1,200-Watts RMS continuous power and an extraordinary 2,800 Watts of peak power, providing the B150 with substantial headroom to avoid low-frequency distortion. Furthermore, Revel has engineered-in advanced protective circuitry that allows the B150 to reproduce natural bass with maximum dynamic “punch”. For the custom home systems integrator, this means they can reliably build home theater and music systems that can accommodate anything film sound can dish out, with a subwoofer that can hold its own mated with the finest loudspeakers available.
For those of you who are minimalists, or rather have your gear be hidden. Harmon also has special speakers that are designed to be built in to your wall. Once installed, you can paint over them and have them fit in perfectly with your decor.
There is no word on pricing yet for any of these products, but we’ll update this post as soon as pricing becomes available.