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24-bit Digital Architecture And Hdcd® Compatibility; Fully Balanced Design; Balanced Volume Control - Madrigal Audio Mark Levinson 39 Operating Manual

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24-bit digital architecture
and HDCD

Fully balanced design

Balanced volume control

In short, the Mark Levinson Nº39 establishes a new standard for performance and
practicality among high end CD players and should be auditioned by anyone who
desires the finest in digital audio.
All digital filtering and processing maintains a true 24-bit throughput capability,
providing greater digital resolution than any existing source component. Even the
most stringent requirements of professionals can easily be met with this design.
In addition to true 20-bit capability (24 bits in the digital domain, filtered to the
20-bit resolution of the digital to analog conversion stages), the Nº39 also incor-
porates High Definition Compatible Digital
the resolution available from HDCD encoded 16-bit CDs. The High Definition
Compatible Digital
format retains much of the resolution inherent in professional
twenty bit recordings by encoding this information more efficiently within the
sixteen bit space available in the Compact Disc format.
The Nº39 is fully balanced in both the analog and digital domains. Information
from the disc and the single-ended digital inputs are immediately converted to
balanced signals before any further routing or processing of the signal. Conver-
sion to analog is accomplished in two opposing polarity 20-bit converters per
This approach maintains the integrity of the signal, reducing the opportunities for
music-destroying noise and digital artifacts to enter the signal path.
The Nº39 incorporates a fully balanced analog volume control similar to the one
used in the Mark Levinson Nº38 and Nº38S preamplifiers. When activated (by
turning on the variable output function under
Nº39 may be attenuated in precise 0.1 dB steps through most of the range. Com-
bined with the low output impedance of the Nº39, it then becomes possible for
the CD player to drive a power amplifier directly from either its balanced or its
single-ended outputs. When the variable output function is turned off (as would
be the case if you had analog sources that required control as well, necessitating
a preamplifier), the volume control circuitry is removed from the signal path to
eliminate what would otherwise be a redundant volume control in the system.
decoding to take full advantage of
), the output of the
setup: sound


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