Mark Levinson No. 5805
Mark Levinson No. 5805
Mark Levinson No. 5805

Mark Levinson No. 5805: Stylish integrated amplifier

Mark Levinson No. 5805 has the dimensions characteristic of a large amplifier, but with increased depth (507 mm) and a very impressive weight (28.1 kg). The amplifier looks stylish: the matte black body is set off favorably by the red indicator, handles with an hourglass profile and parts made of glass and brushed aluminum. In the Mark Levinson #5805 amplifier, the fully discrete amplifier section uses direct coupling to a Class AB output stage rated at 125 watts into an 8 ohm speaker impedance. And it produces almost twice as much power into a 4 ohm load. A transformer with separate output windings for each channel is designed for at least 500 VA. This is enough to make the amplifier “stable” into a 2 ohm load. The voltage gain topology, which is taken from a Mark Levinson #534 level power amplifier design, is coupled to an eight-transistor output stage, two of which operate in class A. The output stage bias is automatically adjusted based on temperature, which I think is important. Low output impedance is declared – about one tenth of an ohm over the entire frequency range.

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But what is most impressive is the completeness of its capabilities. Mark Levinson No. 5805 has four analog and digital inputs. Digital inputs include USB 2.0, coaxial S/PDIF and two TosLink S/PDIF. Analog inputs include one balanced input (XLR), two unbalanced line inputs (RCA) and two phono inputs (MM or MC – both RCA, but only one of them can be used at a time).

Digital inputs support PCM up to DXD level (32/384) and DSD up to 11.4 MHz (4xDSD), the latter option via PCM (DoP) or regular DSD. Seven filters can be selected for PCM processing and four filters for DSD. PCM offers user selectable upsampling to 352.8/384 kHz. Upsampling is also available for DSD up to 4x. Model #5805 can decode and play MQA encoded audio. Mark Levinson No. 5805 supports Bluetooth aptX-HD, transmitting lossless audio content and providing high-quality sound. However, despite the fact that No. 5805 is capable of pairing with any Bluetooth device, it will only be able to receive audio content from devices that support aptX-HD.

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There’s also a bypass mode for home theater and an Ethernet port for control – but not for music. By using the Ethernet port to connect your machine to a network, you can adjust settings using a web browser. Alternatively, this can be done using the remote control or from the front panel of the amplifier. The output set is typical for an integrated amplifier: speaker connections complement configurable preamp outputs (RCA) and a standard headphone jack. There is no separate headphone amplifier – only a powerful preamplifier, to which headphones are connected.

The preamp circuitry is based on Mark Levinson’s discrete direct-coupled dual mono architecture. The volume control uses a resistor network connected to a single preamplifier gain stage, rather than the traditional boost-and-cut volume control. The volume can be adjusted in fairly small steps of 0.5 dB.

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Mark Levinson notes that the phono preamp stage is similar to the successful circuit used in the 500 Series preamplifiers. But there, everything is assembled using discrete components, while here, to reduce cost, multiple integrated circuits are used. The RIAA correction cascade is also hybrid: partly passive, partly active. The cartridge loading is more flexible than most built-in phono preamps: MM mode, which is spec’d to have 39dB gain, is loaded at 47k. But there are four capacitive load settings. MC cartridges, for which 69 dB gain is available, can be loaded from 37 to 1000 ohms. There is a switchable rumble filter and a ±3 dB pickup channel balance control.

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The Mark Levinson No. 5805’s control system is feature-rich, including variable inputs, so you can adjust the volume of different sources and set them to maximum volume. The Mute feature can be configured to mute the sound rather than turn it off completely. “Taper” allows you to select the speed at which the volume changes when you turn the knob. There is an auto shutdown feature that turns off your amp after 20 minutes of inactivity. There are three standby modes to choose from. The first consumes only 7 W of electricity, thereby meeting EU environmental regulations, the other supports an active control system to receive commands from the remote control, and the third consumes 70 W and is recommended for use if you do not want to wait for the amplifier to warm up before you get optimal sound.

Specifications Mark Levinson No. 5805 

Output power 2 x 125 W (8 ohms), 2 x 250 W (4 ohms)
Minimum load impedance 2 ohms
Frequency response pre-section: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (± 0.03 dB), 2 Hz – 210 kHz (+ 0.1/- 3 dB); end section: 2 Hz – 20 kHz (+ 0/- 0.2 dB), 2 Hz – 100 kHz (+ 0/- 3 dB)
S/N ratio pre section: 96 dB (20 Hz – 20 kHz, A- weighted), end section: 103 dB (20 Hz – 20 kHz, A-weighted)
Input impedance 20 kΩ (XLR), 10 kΩ (RCA)
Output impedance 0.098 Ω (20 Hz – 10 kHz), 0.11 Ω (20 kHz)
Harmonic distortion pre-section: 0.01% (1 kHz), 0.03% (20 kHz); end section: 0.035% (1 kHz, 125 W, 8 ohms), 0.18% (20 kHz, 125 W, 8 ohms)
MM/MC phono stage RIAA equalization accuracy: ± 0.3 dB (20 Hz – 20 kHz), subsonic filter: switchable, 20 Hz, 1st order (6 dB/octave), MM cartridge mode: resistive load: 47 kOhm, capacitive load: 20, 70, 120 or 170 pF (selectable), gain: 39 dB; MC cartridge mode: resistive load: 37 to 1000 ohms (selectable), gain: 69 dB
DAC 32-bit ESS Saber chip (PCM support up to 32-bit/384 kHz, DSD up to 11.2 MHz, MQA)
Filters 7 choices for PCM, 4 choices for DSD
Upsampler upsamples PCM up to 352.8 kHz/384 kHz and DSD up to 11.2 MHz, switchable
Bluetooth receiver supports aptX-HD audio codec
Bypass mode for home theater HT processor pass-thru mode
Inputs balanced XLR, 2 unbalanced RCA, RCA phono input for players with MM cartridge, RCA phono input for players with MC cartridge, 2 optical, coaxial, asynchronous USB (PCM up to 32 bit/384 kHz, DSD up to 11.2 MHz (DoP or native DSD), MQA)
6.3 mm headphone outputs, line RCA (adjustable)
Other switching RS-232, Ethernet (LAN), second USB port for connecting a USB drive for software updates, IR input, trigger connectors (input and output)
Speaker output 2 pairs of gold-plated screw terminals
Power supply massive toroidal transformer (500 + VA), 4 electrolytic capacitors per channel (each capacitor has a capacity of 10000 uF)
Remote control
available Power consumption 500 W (maximum), 240 W (both channels at 1/8 rated power), 70 W (Normal standby mode) , 7 W (energy-saving standby mode), less than 0.4 W (eco standby mode)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 438x145x507 mm
Weight 28.1 kg

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