THE concept of an integrated amplifier is fast changing. Once, it used to denote a preamp and power amp built into the same case. These days, integrated amps are increasingly becoming digital centres, a banquet of analogue and digital circuity that aspires to keep the product relevant years into the future. One such integrated amp is the spanking new Mark Levinson No 585.
The No 585 is a high-current, balanced Class AB amp that delivers a beefy 200 watts per channel into eight ohms (350W into half that load); it also has a digital-to-analogue converter on board that will accommodate a range of digital sources up to a resolution of 32-bit/192kHz (via an ESS Sabre chip). Yes, it does computer audio, with DSD over USB. An Ethernet port allows access to servers.
Six digital and four analogue inputs are offered, including USB, optical, coaxial, XLR and RCA for enhanced flexibility. A subwoofer output is provided with a selectable 80Hz high-pass filter, enabling use in a 2.1 system.
According to owner Harman, “in an industry first, the No 585 incorporates Harmam’s Clari-Fi processing, which applies proprietary signal enhancement techniques to restore the sound quality of any compressed file format.” So your MP3 audio files get a unique boost, without addition of equalisation, bass boost or other degrading effects.
The No 585 is the first of a new generation of products designed at Harman’s new state-of-the-art engineering facility located in Shelton, Connecticut.
This industrial beast of a truly all-in-one amp, available in December, retails for a princely £10,500. Just think of everything it has in one box… and that price tag may seem almost reasonable!