Mark Levinson at THE Show Newport 2016

The Harman Luxury Audio Group had several rooms at THE Show Newport this year. One of them was featuring Mark Levinson electronics, starting with a No. 519 audio player ($20,000), which can play CDs, networked storage, streaming services, high-res digital inputs, and Bluetooth wireless sources. Next in the signal chain was a No. 526 dual-mono preamp/DAC ($20,000) that can accommodate up to 24-bit/192 kHz PCM and double-speed DSD with pure class-A operation and fully balanced signal path. Two No. 536 monoblock power amps ($15,000 each) completed the electronics, providing 400 watts into 8 ohms or 800W into 4 ohms with class-AB operation.

Each amp was powering a JBL K2 S9900 3-say speaker ($43,000/pair in rosewood, $55,000 in a premium finish). These beauties include a 1″ magnesium compression tweeter, 4″ magnesium compression midrange driver, and 15″ pulp-cone woofer to achieve a specified frequency response from 48 Hz to 50 kHz (low-frequency extension to 33 Hz) and a sensitivity of 93 dB/W/m with a nominal impedance of 8 ohms.

JBL-K2-Closeup
The JBL K2 S9900’s tweeter and midrange are both compression drivers with waveguides to control dispersion.

I listened to a variety of music on this system, and it sounded wonderful—clean and clear with lots of air and no hint of congestion in any frequency range. It was a truly beautiful sound, as it should be for a system price of $125,000!