Madrigal Audio Audio/Video Preamplifier Owner`s manual

Owner’s Manual
Nº32
Reference
Preamplifier
R
Madrigal Audio Laboratories
WARNING: TO REDUCE THE RISK OF FIRE OR ELECTRIC SHOCK, DO
NOT EXPOSE THIS APPLIANCE TO RAIN OR MOISTURE.
CAUTION
RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK
DO NOT OPEN
CAUTION: TO REDUCE THE RISK OF ELECTRICAL SHOCK, DO
NOT REMOVE COVER. NO USER-SERVICEABLE PARTS INSIDE.
REFER SERVICING TO QUALIFIED PERSONNEL.
The lightning flash with arrowhead symbol, within an equilateral triangle, is intended to alert
the user to the presence of uninsulated “dangerous voltage” within the product’s enclosure that
may be of sufficient magnitude to constitute a risk of electric shock to persons.
The exclamation point within an equilateral triangle is intended to alert the user to the presence
of important operating and maintenance (servicing) instructions in the literature accompanying
the appliance.
Marking by the “CE” symbol (shown left) indicates compliance of this device with the EMC
(Electromagnetic Compatibility) and LVD (Low Voltage Directive) standards of the European
Community.
NOTICE
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to
Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful
interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency
energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to
radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular
installation. If this equipment does cause interference to radio or television reception, which can be
determined by turning the equipment on and off, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by
one or more of the following measures:
•
•
•
•
Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna;
Increase the separation between the equipment and the receiver;
Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected;
Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
CAUTION: Changes or modifications to this equipment not expressly approved by the manufacturer could
void the user’s authority to operate the equipment.
The information contained in the manual is subject to change without notice. The most current version of this
manual will be posted on our web site at http://www.madrigal.com.
Important Safety Instructions
Please read all instructions and precautions carefully and completely before operating your Mark
Levinson® preamplifier.
1. ALWAYS disconnect your entire system from the AC mains before connecting or disconnecting any cables, or when cleaning any component.
2. This product must be terminated with a three-conductor AC mains power cord which
includes an earth ground connection. To prevent shock hazard, all three connections
must ALWAYS be used.
3. AC extension cords are not recommended for use with this product.
4. NEVER use flammable or combustible chemicals for cleaning audio components.
5. NEVER operate this product with any covers removed.
6. NEVER wet the inside of this product with any liquid.
7. NEVER pour or spill liquids directly onto this unit.
8. NEVER block air flow through ventilation slots or heatsinks.
9. NEVER bypass any fuse.
10. NEVER replace any fuse with a value or type other than those specified.
11. NEVER attempt to repair this product. If a problem occurs, contact your Mark
Levinson® retailer.
12. NEVER expose this product to extremely high or low temperatures.
13. NEVER operate this product in an explosive atmosphere.
14. ALWAYS keep electrical equipment out of the reach of children.
15. ALWAYS unplug sensitive electronic equipment during lightning storms.
From all of us at Madrigal Audio Laboratories, thank you for choosing the Mark
Levinson Nº32 Reference Preamplifier.
4
A great deal of effort went into the design and construction of this precision
device. Used properly, it will give you many years of enjoyment.
Table of Contents
Special Design Features of the Nº32 Reference Preamplifier ....... 7
controller/preamplifier ........................................................................ 7
architecture ........................................................................................ 7
a note about nomenclature ............................................................. 7
AC regeneration ................................................................................. 7
dual mono design .............................................................................. 8
extraordinary isolation ........................................................................ 8
fully balanced design .......................................................................... 8
discrete attenuator ............................................................................. 8
Arlon 25N circuit boards ..................................................................... 9
multiple outputs ................................................................................. 9
extensive customization ...................................................................... 9
optional phono modules .................................................................. 10
Unpacking and Placement ....................................................... 11
unpacking ........................................................................................ 11
installing the batteries in the remote control ..................................... 11
placement ........................................................................................ 11
continuous operation ....................................................................... 11
ventilation ........................................................................................ 12
Operating Voltage ................................................................... 13
Warm up & break-in period ............................................................... 13
A Quick Start… ........................................................................ 14
Front Panel ............................................................................. 16
sleep timer ..................................................................................... 20
Rear Panel, Nº32 Controller ..................................................... 21
building a link cable ....................................................................... 23
tip polarity for external IR input ....................................................... 23
Rear Panel, Nº32 Preamplifier .................................................. 26
Remote Control ....................................................................... 31
Customizing Your Nº32 ........................................................... 34
setup overview ................................................................................. 34
the menu system .............................................................................. 34
configuring line level inputs .............................................................. 35
available input names .................................................................... 36
changing input names ................................................................... 36
input programming tip .................................................................. 37
factory default input names ............................................................ 37
using custom input names ............................................................. 37
naming an input “SSP” ................................................................... 37
naming an input “EQ” .................................................................... 38
setting input gain........................................................................... 38
setting input offsets ........................................................................ 39
setting record out .......................................................................... 40
configuring phono inputs ................................................................. 40
phono setup menu ........................................................................ 40
phono parameters ......................................................................... 41
continued next page…
5
6
teach ir ............................................................................................. 42
setting a mute level .......................................................................... 43
setting a maximum level ................................................................... 43
configuring the DC trigger ............................................................... 43
checking the software version .......................................................... 44
Using the Nº32 with Learning Remote Controls ....................... 45
using the teach ir menu ................................................................... 45
available ir commands ...................................................................... 46
Modes of Operation ................................................................ 47
normal operation ............................................................................. 47
the record select mode ..................................................................... 47
the balance mode ............................................................................ 48
balance control tip ......................................................................... 48
mono modes .................................................................................... 49
phono alignment tip ...................................................................... 49
polarity ............................................................................................. 49
reset defaults .................................................................................... 49
operating without a preamplifier ...................................................... 50
Using Surround Sound Processors ............................................ 51
the SSP must not come after the preamp .......................................... 51
the SSP must not come before the preamp ........................................ 51
the SSP must not be in a tape loop ................................................... 52
the SSP & the Nº32 ........................................................................... 52
noise in a/v systems .......................................................................... 52
Linked Functions ..................................................................... 54
display intensity ................................................................................ 54
standby link ...................................................................................... 54
volume link ...................................................................................... 54
select link ......................................................................................... 54
play link ........................................................................................... 55
record link ........................................................................................ 55
HDCD™ link ..................................................................................... 55
Care and Maintenance ............................................................. 56
U.S. and Canadian Warranty .................................................... 57
90-day limited warranty .................................................................... 57
five year extended warranty ............................................................. 57
Obtaining Service .................................................................... 58
Specifications .......................................................................... 60
Dimensions, Nº32 Controller ................................................... 62
Dimensions, Nº32 Preamplifier ................................................ 63
Special Design Features of the
Nº32 Reference Preamplifier
controller/preamplifier
architecture
The Nº32 employs an unusual two-chassis design that optimizes the
division of labor within the product. The traditional two-box approach
to preamp design places the power supply in a box by itself, with all
control and audio circuitry in the other box. In the Nº32 Reference
Preamplifier, the audio circuitry has primacy of place with a chassis of
its own, with power supply and control circuitry in a separate chassis.
Thus the display and user controls are effectively isolated from the sensitive audio signals. The only signals entering the chassis that handles
audio signals are the audio signals themselves and extremely pure DC
power.
a note about nomenclature
Within this manual, the chassis that contains the power supplies and
user controls will be referred to as the Controller; the chassis that contains the actual audio circuitry will be called the Preamplifier; when the
two-box system is being described, its name will be the Nº32 Reference
Preamplifier. This nomenclature is consistent with the engraved names
on the components themselves.
AC regeneration
The foundation upon which any audio component is built is the power
supply. Without an extremely clean, noise-free power supply, no audio
circuit can live up to its potential.
Unfortunately, we live in a world in which the quality of AC mains
power is increasingly in question. The modern conveniences upon
which we have become so dependent introduce line noise, spikes, and
various other irregularities. Everything from refrigerators to televisions
and computers inject their peculiar contaminations back onto the AC
line, making it increasingly difficult for a high performance audio component to live up to its potential.
In the Nº32, we solve this problem by becoming our own power utility.
Strange as this sounds, it is effectively true. There are two independent,
unusually high quality power supplies dedicated to the two audio channels. The DC power from these supplies is then used to power a special
power amplifier that is fully optimized for reproducing only one frequency: 400 Hz. This extremely pure 400 sine wave is then rectified, filtered, and regulated again to create extraordinarily pure DC power for
the use of the critical preamplifier circuits.
7
By creating our own dedicated 400 Hz AC power and then using that to
create “second generation” DC power for the audio circuitry, we keep
the contamination of the modern electrical grid at a safe distance from
the sensitive audio circuits we look to for our musical enjoyment.
dual mono design
As might be expected, the Nº32 uses a dual mono design that isolates
each channel from the other. In addition to separate power supplies for
the two audio channels (and additional, completely separate power
supplies for the control, display and communication circuitry in the
Controller), the Preamplifier chassis itself offers complete isolation between channels. In fact, there is a die-cast aluminum wall between the
two channels in the Preamplifier, separating Left from Right channels
physically as well as electrically.
The remarkable efforts to preserve isolation between channels in the
Nº32 deliver superior imaging specificity and accuracy, creating a vividly rich, three dimensional sonic image.
extraordinary isolation
In addition to the isolation between channels, isolation between inputs
in the Nº32 is unsurpassed. By using a discrete “T-switch” input switching along with special shielding and board layout, the selected source
effectively has the preamplifier “all to itself.” By effectively “unplugging”
inputs not being used, this design delivers better than 120 dB separation between even adjacent input connectors, ensuring that you hear
only the source you intend to hear, without even subtle contamination
from other active source components.
fully balanced design
As with other current Mark Levinson preamplifiers, the Nº32 Reference Preamplifier is fully balanced from input to output. In fact, even
single-ended inputs are converted to balanced upon entering the
preamp, and are handled in a balanced fashion thereafter. The rigorous
implementation of the balanced circuitry within the Nº32 conveys all
of the information present in the source signal to the power amplifier,
without the limitations of assymetrical single-ended designs.
discrete attenuator
The Mark Levinson Nº38 introduced revolutionary volume precision
and resolution to the world of high end preamplifiers, with the firstever 0.1 dB-step volume control. In the Nº32, this same approach is
taken to an even higher level in a discrete attenuator of Madrigal’s design that uses 66 surface-mounted, precision resistors per channel.
Used in combination, this balanced volume control gives us over
65,000 possible volume settings between zero- and maximum-attenuation. (Don’t worry, we don’t use them all.)
8
This design, implemented on an Arlon 25N printed circuit board with
local, discrete regulators, delivers greater transparency than any volume
control technology we have ever experienced. It also provides increments as small as 0.1 dB, allowing you to select precisely the correct
volume for any given recording, and to do so repeatably.
Arlon 25N circuit boards
Madrigal designs have long explored new technologies that better serve
the cause of music, some of which have been quite esoteric. For example, the single biggest difference between a Nº380 and a Nº380S is
the printed circuit board material used in the more costly “S” version
(cyanate ester).
In the Nº32 Reference Preamplifier, a new circuit board material is introduced to the Mark Levinson product range: Arlon 25N™. This new
material outperforms even the already-remarkable material used in the
Nº380S preamplifier in terms of its uniformly low dielectric constant
and other critical characteristics.
Interestingly, the benefits of Arlon 25N accrue only on circuit boards
that contain active devices (such as transistors). On a board such as the
input board, which contains only signal traces and high performance
switches, neither Arlon 25N nor cyanate ester have been found to improve performance. Thus, in such areas we use the highest quality FR-4
glass epoxy circuit boards which, while still being premium quality,
provide significant cost savings over the more exotic materials without
any performance penalty.
While in some ways it might be easier to simply use Arlon-25 everywhere, doing so would not yield good value. We understand that the
Nº32 represents a big investment for anyone to make in their music
system, and are careful to ensure that it is money well spent.
multiple outputs
The Nº32 Reference Preamplifier includes two pairs of main outputs
per channel: a pair of balanced outputs on high quality XLRs, and a
pair of single-ended outputs on Madrigal-designed RCA jacks.
The XLR and RCA outputs are buffered independently of each other,
and may be used simultaneously without degrading performance. The
XLRs are wired in parallel with one another, as are the RCAs, to facilitate biamping and other applications.
extensive customization
Although the Nº32 Reference Preamplifier may be used as it arrives
from the factory, without further setup or modifications, it may also be
customized rather extensively to suit the particulars of the system in
9
which it is used. For full information on this subject, please refer to the
section of this manual entitled “Customizing Your Nº32.”
For the purposes of this introduction, you should know that every input can be given alternative, custom names (e.g., “CD” instead of
“INPUT 4”), and that many details of the preamplifier’s operation may
be customized. For example, each input may be set up for its optimal
combination of gain (0, 6, 12, or 18 dB) and volume offsets (to ensure
that all sources are the same perceived volume when switching between
them, to within 0.1 dB). If you purchase the optional phono modules
(see below), they too may be extensively customized in their operation.
optional phono modules
10
The Nº32 Reference Preamplifier also has, as an option, two mono Reference Phono preamplifiers that can be installed within the Preamplifier chassis by your dealer. This phono preamp is itself fully balanced
(phono cartridges are inherently balanced, being push-pull devices that
do not reference ground). All active circuitry resides on Arlon-25 circuit boards (even more important here than elsewhere, given the tiny
voltages present in a phono section).
Phono loading and gain settings may be set independently for each of
the two included inputs, and remembered by the system. Even balance
may be fine-tuned to compensate for small errors in phono cartridges
(quite common), and remembered as you switch among inputs.
To fully optimize the functioning of your Nº32 phono preamplifier,
please see “Customizing Your Nº32” later in this manual.
Unpacking and Placement
unpacking
Unpack your Nº32 Preamplifier and keep all packing materials for future transport. Locate and remove all accessory items from the Accessory Box within the Controller shipping carton. Accessories include:
1 detachable AC power cord
1 Nº32 remote control
1 5⁄64" Allen key
2 multi-pin DC cables
2 AAA alkaline batteries
1 3⁄32" hex driver
Also included with your new Mark Levinson component is a pair of
knit, white gloves to assist you in the initial unpacking and placement
of your new purchase. Please accept them as a token of our appreciation for having purchased one of our products.
installing the batteries
in the remote control
Using the supplied 5⁄64" Allen key, remove the two screws in the bottom
end cap of the remote control (i.e., the end opposite the IR transmitter
lens). Insert the two alkaline batteries found in the Accessories box, being careful to follow the polarity indications given on the inside of the
battery compartment. Replace the end cap and the screws, using the
Allen key.
If at some point you notice that your remote control seems not to be
performing as well as it once did, its batteries are probably running low.
Check the batteries periodically, and replace batteries before they are
“dead.” (Fully discharged batteries are prone to leaking corrosive
chemicals—the greenish “gunk” you may have seen around battery terminals of other remote controls.)
placement
The Nº32 should be placed close to your source equipment, thus keeping interconnect cabling short. We strongly recommend mounting each
chassis of the Nº32 on its own shelf to allow for proper ventilation.
continuous operation
The Nº32 is designed for continuous operation—it is designed to be
connected to the AC mains at all times for the best performance. While
we also include a front-panel power switch that actually disconnects
the Nº32 from the AC mains, we recommend you use the standby button instead, which leaves the Nº32 warmed up and sounding its best at
all times.
11
ventilation
Caution!
12
Be sure to allow 3 to 4 inches of clearance above the Nº32 to allow heat
dissipation through air circulation. Drawings are included in this
manual to facilitate special installations and custom cabinetry (see “Dimensions”).
It is extremely important that all components in your
system be properly grounded. Do not defeat a threeprong AC cords with “ground-lifter” or “cheater”
adaptors, as doing so may allow dangerous voltages to
build up between components. The presence of these
voltages would pose a threat to both your person and
your equipment.
Operating Voltage
The Nº32 Reference Preamplifier is set at the factory (internally) for
100V, 120V, 230V, 220V, or 240V AC mains operation @ 50 or 60Hz.
(230V/50Hz only in European Union countries, in compliance with CE
regulations.) This voltage setting cannot be changed by the user.
Make sure that the label near the AC receptacle of the Nº32 Controller
indicates the correct AC operating voltage for your location.
If the voltage indicated on your Nº32 Controller is incorrect, or if you
wish to change the AC operating voltage of your Nº32 as the result of
moving to a different country than the one in which you purchased
your preamplifier, see your Mark Levinson dealer.
The Nº32 is easily powered by a normal 15-ampere AC mains line. If
other devices are also powered from the same AC line, their additional
power consumption should be taken into account.
Warm up &
break-in period
Although your Mark Levinson Nº32 Reference Preamplifier delivers
outstanding performance straight out of the box, you should expect to
13
hear it continue to improve as it reaches its normal operating temperatures and its various components “break-in.” It has been our experience
that the greatest changes occur within the first 25-50 hours, but that
the preamplifier will continue to improve in sound quality for about
300 hours, after which time it remains quite constant.
The only exception to this rule is if power is removed from the unit, allowing it to cool down. In this case you should expect a brief warm-up
period before the preamplifier’s sound quality is at its best. (Fortunately, you do not have to repeat the full 300-hour break-in period.)
A Quick Start…
We recognize that many people are understandably eager to begin listening to their new components, and that reading the manual is often
done (if at all) at a later time—perhaps while listening to music
through the new product itself. We strongly recommend that you read
this manual thoroughly, as the Nº32 Reference Preamplifier incorporates many unusual features which enhance its operation.
Fortunately, we can help you get some music up and running on your
system quickly, so that you may begin enjoying your new preamplifier
while reading more about it. The goal here is simply to make some music quickly. (The following procedure assumes that the rest of your system is already connected; e.g., power amplifier to speakers, etc.)
1
Turn off your associated components
This minimizes the opportunity for a momentary electrical surge
to disturb your system while making connections. If you have a
large power amplifier, allow its power supply to fully discharge before proceeding.
14
2
Connect the two DC cables between the Nº32 Controller
and the Nº32 Preamplifier; plug in the Controller; turn on
AC power on the front panel
The “Controller” chassis acts as both power supply and control panel
for the preamplifier, leaving the actual handling of the audio signal to
the dedicated “Preamplifier” chassis. Connect the DC cables first, then
plug the Controller into the wall (the IEC power connection is on the
rear panel of the Controller), then make sure that the power button
on the front of the Controller is pushed in. When power is first applied, the Nº32 will initialize, and set its output level to OFF.
3
Connect a source to any input, noting which you use
For example, connect the output of your CD player to the Left and
Right Input 1 XLR jacks on the rear panel of your Nº32 Preamplifier. High quality interconnecting cables such as Madrigal CZ Gel
will yield superior results, and are strongly recommended.
The Left and Right Main Out jacks on the rear panel of the Nº32
Preamplifier should be connected to the corresponding inputs of
your power amplifier. If your power amplifier has balanced inputs
and you have appropriate high-quality cables (with XLR plugs at
both ends), we recommend using the Balanced Main Outs. Otherwise, use the (single-ended) Main Outs from the preamplifier to
your power amplifier. Once again, high quality interconnecting
cables such as Madrigal CZ Gel will yield superior results, and are
strongly recommended.
5
Turn on your source component; turn on your power amplifier; select the appropriate input using the Select knob;
slowly raise the volume on the Nº32 to a comfortable level
Congratulations! You should now be able to enjoy your favorite
music while reading the rest of this manual.
15
1
2
3
4
polarity
5
mono
select
volume
MADRIGAL AUDIO LABORATORIES
REFERENCE CONTROLLER
Nº32
power
record out display intensity
6
7
8
setup
9
enter
balance
mute
10 11 12
standby
13
MADRIGAL AUDIO LABORATORIES
REFERENCE PREAMPLIFIER
Nº32
14
Front Panel
16
1
Select Knob
This knob is normally used to select among the various inputs of
the Nº32, with the resulting selections being shown in the display
window, immediately to the right of the select knob. It is also
used to select the input to be sent to the record outputs when the
record out button is engaged.
The select knob is also used during setup to select among various menu items available (the volume knob being used to actually
adjust those items).
For example, if you are using only two or three inputs on your
Nº32, you may disable the unused ones so that the select knob
selects only among connectors you are actually using. For more
information on customizing your preamplifier in this and other
ways, please see “Customizing Your Nº32.”
2
Polarity Indicator
The polarity (sometimes inaccurately called “absolute phase”) of
the output of the Nº32 may be inverted via the Nº32 remote control, in which case the red LED under the word polarity (within
the display window) will light as confirmation. A second press of
the polarity button on the remote control will restore the polarity
of the output to its original, non-inverted state.
3
Alphanumeric Display
This twelve-character display provides a wide range of information concerning the operation of the Nº32. The information displayed depends on what the Nº32 is doing. The information displayed is summarized below:
normal operation
balance
record out
setup
selected (audible) input name and volume setting
direction and magnitude of balance offset
“RECD” and Source to be recorded
setup menus and settings
In addition, this display will indicate any known fault conditions.
For example, it will also inform you if a DC cable between Controller and Preamplifier is not properly connected. When used
with Linked Mark Levinson power amplifiers, this display is used
to indicate the presence of a fault condition (if any) in the ampli- 17
fier. (Please refer to the owner’s manual of your amplifier for more
information.) For more detailed information on the preamplifier’s
use of this display, please refer to the following sections on the use
of the balance and record out buttons, as well as the section on
“Customizing Your Nº32.”
4
Mono indicator
The mono button of the remote control toggles between stereo
and mono operation of the Nº32. The LED under the word
mono on the faceplate, within the display window, provides visual
confirmation of being in the mono mode.
There are multiple mono modes available in the Nº32:
•
•
•
•
L+R (the factory default setting)
L only
R only
L-R
(For more detailed information on these mono modes, please see
page 48.)
To access the non-default modes, press and hold the mono button
for several seconds; subsequent clicks of the mono button will
move you through the options. Having selected the one you want
as your new default, simply let the Nº32 “time out” and revert to
its normal display. The mono button will now toggle between stereo and your preferred mono.
5
Volume Knob
This control is normally used to adjust the listening volume, and
does not effect the level of the signal being sent to the record outputs. When in balance mode, this knob is used to vary the relative output of the Left and Right channels. It is also used during
setup for various adjustments; see “Customization of your Nº32.”
6
Power Button
This button connects and disconnects the Nº32 from the AC
mains power. It is normally intended to be left engaged at all
times, unless you plan to be away from your home for an extended
period. By using the standby button rather than power to turn
the system on and off, the Nº32 can remain warmed up and
sounding its best at all times.
Should you disconnect the Nº32 from power for an extended period, either via this power button or by pulling its plug, it may
require a few hours to return to thermal equilibrium and optimal
performance.
18
7
Record Out Button
Pressing the record out button allows you to select the input to
be sent to the record outputs (using the select knob). Pressing it
again returns you to normal operation and turns of the record
out LED indicator. Note that the record outputs will be muted
when the Nº32 is in standby.
8
Display Intensity Button
Cycles among four levels of brightness (including “off ”) for the
display, allowing adjustment for various ambient lighting conditions. When “off,” the display will turn on for a few seconds whenever a setting is changed. When used in conjunction with certain
compatible Mark Levinson components, this button will control
the display intensity of all linked components. (For more information, see “Linked Functions.”)
9
Setup Button
Pressing the setup button places the Nº32 into setup mode, and
lights the LED indicator immediately above the setup button.
While in setup mode, the display is used to show a series of menu
choices that allow you to customize the Nº32 rather extensively, to
better suit your system’s needs and personal preferences. For more
information on this customization, please see “Customizing Your
Nº32.”
10 Enter Button
Used in conjunction with the setup button, the enter button
allows you to save changes made to the Nº32 while in setup mode.
For more information on this customization, please see “Customizing Your Nº32.”
11 Balance Button
Pressing the balance button allows you to adjust the relative vol-
umes of the left and right channels. While in balance mode, the display changes to show you the current relative balance of the left and
right channels, displaying the magnitude of the offset in decibels. If
you leave the balance mode with the balance “off-center,” the LED remains lit to remind you that the balance is not “even.”
19
12 Mute Button
Pressing the mute button will reduce the main output level of the
preamplifier by a user-modifiable amount, ranging from 1 to 60
decibels. Pressing the mute button a second time without adjusting the volume will return it to its previous setting.
If you adjust the volume with either the volume knob or the remote control while mute is engaged, the preamplifier will adjust
its volume from the muted volume and disengage the mute function. (This is to prevent an unpleasant surprise when, having increased the volume while muted, someone unmutes the system.)
The factory default setting of the mute circuit is -20 dB. (See “Customizing Your Nº32” for information on changing the factory default setting.)
13 Standby Button
The standby button toggles the Nº32 between normal operation
and standby, wherein the display is turned off, the outputs are disconnected, and all controls are inoperable. All critical circuitry remains powered-up during standby to ensure immediate, optimal
performance when you are ready to listen to music.
The LED above the standby button will blink slowly when the
Nº32 is in standby, indicating that power is still being provided to
the unit. (If the Nº32 is Linked to other Mark Levinson components which are also in standby, they will blink in unison.)
sleep timer
20
The standby button includes a special function that allows you
to use the Nº32 as the heart of the world’s most exotic sleep timer.
By pressing and holding the standby button for several seconds,
you will see the display change to SLEEP -OFF-; subsequent clicks
of standby will cycle through a list of sleep timer settings ranging
from OFF through four hours, in 30 minute increments.
Setting the sleep timer to 1hr 0min for example, will cause the
Nº32 to enter standby after an hour, and will also return the sleep
timer’s status to OFF (so as to avoid unintentional interruptions
of your music at a later time). You may use the sleep timer function as often as you like, but you will have to set it as you want it
to behave each time. The default setting is OFF.
14 Nº32 Preamplifier Power Indicator
This LED glows to indicate that the Preamplifer chassis is receiving DC power from the Controller, and blinks in unison with the
standby LED on the Controller chassis when the Reference Preamplifier is in standby.
1
right channel
DC power
2
3
control ports
RS-232
4
5
6
communications ports
PHASTLink™ compatible
master
slave in
amplifier
ir input
trig out
7
8
9
1
Nº25/S
DC power
ac mains
earth
left channel
DC power
trig in
Nº32 Reference Controller
s/n _______
10
RIGHT CHANNEL
LEFT CHANNEL
phono
ground
DC power
inputs
4
1
2
3
main outputs
Please see bottom panel for
additional information
5
2
7
3
1
DC power
8
8
refer to owner’s manual prior to
right phono
record outputs
1
6
2
7
6
opening the unit for any reason
left phono
2
1
5
inputs
4
3
record outputs
3
2
2
1
main outputs
1
MARK LEVINSON REFERENCE
PREAMPLIFIER Nº32
s/n
made in U.S.A.
Rear Panel, Nº32 Controller
21
1
DC power output for left and right channels
The Nº32 Controller acts as both the control center for your twopiece preamplifier and as the power supply for the preamplifier
proper. This architecture ensures that only pure DC power and
the audio signals themselves enter the chassis responsible for
preamplification.
Since the Nº32 Reference Preamplifier is a dual mono design, each
channel has its own power supply. Two separate DC power cables
are used to conduct the power from the Controller to the Preamplifier to avoid any possibility of interaction between channels.
Connect the supplied DC power cables between the Controller
and the Preamplifier. These cables are not directional.
2
Control Ports (PHAST™ compatible)
These ports are reserved for future use as PHASTLink™ communications ports. For more information, please contact your dealer
and ask about PHAST™ home automation systems.
3
RS-232 port
This port is used both for downloading new operating software
into your Nº32 Reference Preamplifier (should new features ever
be added, for example), and also for external control of the Nº32
by systems such as AMX™ and Crestron™. For more information,
please contact your dealer and ask about either AMX or Crestron
home automation systems.
right
left
analog output
analog output
balanced analog
output
balanced analog
output
control ports
REFERENCE DIGITAL PROCESSOR Nº30.6
PHASTLink® compatible
designed and manufactured in U.S.A.
MADRIGAL
by
S/N
digital outputs
balanced analog
output
balanced analog
output
digital inputs
communication
ports
master
RS-232
electrical
digital
dc in
1
2
3
PUSH
PUSH
PUSH
optical
4
5
6
optical
electrical
7
8
rec
monitor
rec
analog dc in
analog dc in
REFERENCE CD TRANSPORT Nº 31.5
designed and manufactured in U.S.A.
by MADRIGAL
main power
operating voltage, 5090 - 110VAC~
105 - 125VAC~
180 - 220VAC~
210 - 240VAC~
230 - 250VAC~
S/N
communication ports
digital outputs
aes/ebu
slave
out
slave
in
eiaj
st
spdif
WA R N I N G : B E F O R E AT T E M P T I N G
TO
OPERATE THIS DEVICE, REFER TO
OWNER'S
MANUAL FOR PROPER OPERATING
INSTRUCTIONS AND SAFETY
PRECAUTIONS.
right channel
DC power
control ports
RS-232
Nº25/S
DC power
communications ports
PHASTLink™ compatible
master
slave in
amplifier
ir input
trig out
ac mains
earth
left channel
DC power
trig in
Nº32 Reference Controller
s/n _______
RIGHT CHANNEL
LEFT CHANNEL
phono
ground
DC power
inputs
4
1
2
Please see bottom panel for
additional information
5
6
7
3
main outputs
1
2
3
DC power
8
8
refer to owner’s manual prior to
right phono
record outputs
1
2
2
PUSH
2 1
3
balanced
input
single ended
input
MONAURAL AMPLIFIER Nº 33H
S/N
WARNING: BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO OPERATE THIS DEVICE,
REFER TO OWNER’S MANUAL FOR PROPER OPERATING
INSTRUCTIONS AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. HAZARDOUS
VOLTAGE AVAILABLE INSIDE; DISCONNECT AC-MAINS CABLE
BEFORE OPENING UNIT.
operating voltage, 50 – 60
Hz:
● 100VAC ~
● 210VAC ~
● 120VAC ~
● 220VAC ~
● 240VAC ~
mains fuses: 100V and 120 V: JTD-15A
200V - 240 V: JTD-35A
● 200VAC ~
● 230VAC ~
No User Serviceable Components
For service, contact Madrigal Audio Laboratories or an Authorized Dealer.
Any modifications to this equipment will void all warranties.
MADRIGAL AUDIO LABORATORIES,
INC.
22
slave out
slave in
remote turn-on jacks
c o m m u n i c a t i o n s
p o r t s
PUSH
2 1
3
balanced
input
single ended
input
MONAURAL AMPLIFIER Nº 33H
S/N
WARNING: BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO OPERATE THIS DEVICE,
REFER TO OWNER’S MANUAL FOR PROPER OPERATING
INSTRUCTIONS AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. HAZARDOUS
VOLTAGE AVAILABLE INSIDE; DISCONNECT AC-MAINS CABLE
BEFORE OPENING UNIT.
operating voltage, 50 – 60
Hz:
● 100VAC ~
● 210VAC ~
● 240VAC ~
● 120VAC ~
● 220VAC ~
7
6
opening the unit for any reason
left phono
● 200VAC ~
● 230VAC ~
mains fuses: 100V and 120 V: JTD-15A
200V - 240 V: JTD-35A
1
5
inputs
4
3
record outputs
3
2
2
1
main outputs
1
MARK LEVINSON REFERENCE
PREAMPLIFIER Nº32
s/n
made in U.S.A.
4
Slave and Master Communicator Ports
These communications ports allow the Nº32 to “link” to certain
compatible Mark Levinson components. (See “Linked Functions.”)
After making or changing Link connections, cycle power on all your
Linked components to ensure that they “see” the change.
The Mark Levinson Linking system uses a Digital Audio Processor
as the Master of (and central clearinghouse for) inter-component
communications. Other components such as digital transports are
connected to the Master as “Slaves,” and can be “daisy-chained”
using their slave in and slave out jacks. As the ultimate destination of all source signals, the Nº32 Preamplifier must be the final
“Slave” in the chain. (In technical terms, it terminates the communications bus.) In turn, the Nº32 can also control one or more associated compatible Mark Levinson power amplifiers—hence its
“amplifier” communications port.
Thus, if the only other Mark Levinson Link-compatible component you have is a digital audio processor, connect its master port
to the Nº32’s slave port using a “straight-through” RJ-45 cable. If
there are additional Mark Levinson Link-compatible components
in the system, place the Nº32 at the end of the chain by connecting the last slave out port to the Nº32’s slave port. See the diagram (left) for clarification.
No User Serviceable Components
For service, contact Madrigal Audio Laboratories or an Authorized Dealer.
Any modifications to this equipment will void all warranties.
MADRIGAL AUDIO LABORATORIES,
INC.
slave out
slave in
c o m m u n i c a t i o n s
remote turn-on jacks
p o r t s
In short (you might refer to the diagram at left):
master (processor) → slave in (transport)
slave out (transport) → slave in (next transport, as needed)
slave out (last transport) → slave (preamplifier)
amplifier (preamplifier) → slave in (power amplifier)
slave out (power amplifier) → slave in (power amp, as needed)
The RJ-45 cable needed for the Link connection between source
components and the preamplifier may be purchased from your
Mark Levinson dealer. It may also be made to length using two RJ45 connectors and the appropriate length (up to 100 feet/30
meters) of RJ-45 (flat, eight conductor) cable.
RJ-45 cables and connectors are used throughout the world for
both telecommunications and computers, and are widely available
at low cost. The connectors are crimped on to the ends of the
cable such that pin 1 at one end is connected to pin 1 at the other
end. Such a “straight-through” connection is (counter-intuitively)
made by introducing a 180° twist in the cable between the two
ends, as shown below.
To Mark Levinson®
digital processor
building a link cable
Locking tab
To Nº32
180° twist
Locking tab
The power amplifier Link connection is made using a 6-conductor
Link cable. Connect the Nº32’s amplifier port to the slave in
port of a compatible Mark Levinson power amplifier.
Warning!
Connecting the communication ports other than as
described in this manual can damage the Nº32 and the
associated Mark Levinson components, and will void
those products’ warranties.
23
5
External IR Input
The Nº32 incorporates an infrared repeater input to facilitate a
wide range of installation options. If desired, the Nº32 may be
placed inside a cabinet or outside the normal line-of-sight in the
listening area, with the controlling IR signal being relayed to the
Nº32 by any of a number of commercially-available IR repeaters.
The specifications for this ir input call for a triggering voltage of
5␣ volts at no more than 100 milliamps of current, with the tip of
the 1⁄8" mini-plug having positive polarity, as below:
tip polarity for external IR input
–
+
5 volts @ less
than 100 mA
If you would like more information on the possibility of using an
infrared repeater with your Nº32, please contact your Mark
Levinson dealer.
6
DC trigger in and out
On a simpler level than PHAST, AMX, or Crestron, some systems
control whether a given component is on or off (actually, operating or in standby) by means of a simple control voltage.
If the appropriate 3-12V level “trigger” signal arrives at the trigger input of the Nº32, it turns on. When the Nº32 turns on, it
passes along a trigger signal to another component (say, a power
amplifier). In this way, it is possible (if you like) to set up a “daisy
chain” of components that can be controlled by one another (at
least to some degree.)
The Nº32 can produce and send from its trigger output either a
5V pulse (such as a momentary contact switch might make) or a
12V level signal (where the presence of 12V forces the unit out of
standby, and its absence forces it into standby).
7
Nº25/S power port
This port provides DC power in a plug-compatible format suitable for use with Mark Levison Nº25 and Nº25S outboard phono
preamplifiers, for people who wish to continue using their older
phono preamps. Connect the DC cable that came with your Nº25/
S to this power port rather than to the PLS-226 you would have
been using previously.
24
8
AC mains receptacle
This IEC-standard AC mains receptacle is used with the removable AC power cord to supply the Nº32 Controller with power.
Warning!
Prior to connection to the AC mains, please check the
voltage label on the rear panel of the Controller to
ensure that your unit conforms to the power supply in
your area.
Following the guidelines in the Quick Start section of this manual,
connect the power cord to this receptacle and the AC mains outlet
in the wall.
When power is first applied to the Nº32, the preamp will run
through an automatic initialization sequence which displays a
software identification code, and then enters standby.
For optimal sonic performance and longevity, the Nº32 is designed to remain powered at all times (the standby button merely
mutes the preamplifier’s outputs and turns off the display). There
is an initial break-in period of at least 25-50 hours before the
Nº32 achieves optimum performance.
Note:
If AC mains power to the Nº32 is interrupted, the main
output will be muted. When power is restored, the
initialization sequence described above will restore the
preamplifier to standby.
We recommend you allow the circuitry within your various system components to stabilize for 1 to 2 minutes before use after
such a power outage.
9
Earth ground connection
In some countries, there is no earth ground established when
plugging into the AC mains. If your AC mains does not establish
an earth ground, we recommend connecting this earth ground
connection to a known earth ground. Known earth grounds include water pipes that are known to run through the ground, and
copper spikes that are driven into the ground for this reason.
If you have any doubts, please ask your dealer for assistance.
10 Nº32 Controller serial number label
Please make a note of the serial number of your Nº32 Controller,
as well as the (different) serial number of your Nº32 Preamplifier
(see next section). We suggest writing both into the front of this
manual so you can find them easily should you need them, without having to pull the equipment off the shelf. While you are at it,
fill out and send in your warranty card so we can stay in touch
with you!
25
right channel
DC power
control ports
RS-232
Nº25/S
DC power
communications ports
PHASTLink™ compatible
master
slave in
amplifier
ir input
trig out
ac mains
earth
left channel
DC power
trig in
Nº32 Reference Controller
s/n _______
1
2
3
3
RIGHT CHANNEL
1
LEFT CHANNEL
phono
ground
DC power
inputs
4
1
2
Please see bottom panel for
additional information
5
5
3
main outputs
4
2
2
6
3
7
7
DC power
8
8
refer to owner’s manual prior to
right phono
record outputs
1
6
1
6
opening the unit for any reason
left phono
2
8
7
2
9
1
8
5
inputs
4
3
record outputs
3
2
7
2
1
main outputs
1
6
MARK LEVINSON REFERENCE
PREAMPLIFIER Nº32
s/n
made in U.S.A.
5 10
Rear Panel, Nº32 Preamplifier
26
Note: All left-channel inputs and outputs are on the left of the rear
panel as seen from the front, and all right-channel inputs and outputs
are on the right of the rear panel as seen from the front. This design
minimizes any possible confusion when changing connections once the
unit is installed, while also maximizing channel separation in this dual
monaural preamplifier.
1
DC Power Inputs (one per channel)
These keyed multi-pin connectors accept the supplied DC power
cables which should be connected between the Nº32 Controller
and the Nº32 Preamplifier. There is one cable per channel.
2
Balanced Inputs 1–3
Accepts right-channel and left-channel balanced signals from
source equipment with balanced outputs.
The pin assignments of these XLR-type female input connectors
are:
PUSH
2 1
3
Pin 1: Signal ground
Pin 2: Signal + (non-inverting)
Pin 3: Signal – (inverting)
Connector ground lug: chassis ground
Refer to the operating manuals of your balanced-output line-level
sources to verify that the pin assignments of their output connectors correspond to the Nº32. If not, wire the cables so that the appropriate output pin connects to the equivalent input pin.
To achieve the best possible results, we suggest using high quality
interconnecting cables such as Madrigal’s own CZ Gel-1 balanced
cables.
3
Single-ended Inputs 4-8
Accepts right-channel and left-channel (single-ended) inputs
from line-level source equipment such as tuners, CD players, and
tape decks.
To achieve the best possible results, we suggest using high quality
interconnecting cables such as Madrigal’s own CZ Gel-2 singleended cables.
27
4
Balanced Main Outputs
If your power amplifier is equipped with balanced (sometimes
called “differential”) inputs, it is generally best to use the balanced
outputs on your Nº32. A balanced signal from preamplifier to
power amplifier will offer the highest possible performance with
the best immunity from common-mode noise, such as radio frequency interference (RFI). The balanced output signal is made
available by way of precision male XLR connectors (requiring female XLRs on the preamplifier end of the interconnecting cable).
The pin assignments of these XLR-type male outputs are:
1 2
3
Pin 1: Signal ground
Pin 2: Signal + (non-inverting)
Pin 3: Signal – (inverting)
Connector ground lug: chassis ground
Refer to your power amplifier’s operating manual to verify that
the pin assignments of its input connectors correspond to the
Nº32. If not, wire the cable so that the appropriate output pin
connects to the equivalent input pin.
Connect the right-channel and left-channel balanced main outputs of the Nº32 to the appropriate balanced inputs of the power
amplifier.
5
Single-Ended Main Outputs
Single-ended (“unbalanced”) outputs using Madrigal-designed
RCA jacks are provided for compatibility with a wide range of associated components, including power amplifiers and electronic
crossovers.
If you use the single-ended outputs, connect them to the corresponding inputs of your power amplifier. Note that special features of the Nº32 enable it to be used optimally with a surround
sound processor as one of its inputs. We do not recommend having a surround sound processor follow the Nº32 in the signal
path. (For more information, see “Using Surround Sound Processors.”)
6
Balanced (XLR) Record Output
Connect these outputs to the right-channel and left-channel tape
inputs of your balanced-input recorder. Make a note of which set
of record outputs you used with which recording device. It is important to name the inputs you use and to associate the correct
record output with the appropriate recording device. By giving
the Nº32 this information, it can prevent accidental record loops
that might otherwise create disturbing feedback. (See “changing
input names” and “setting record out” on pages 36-39.)
28
These outputs are unaffected by the output level control on the
front panel of the Nº32, or by the source chosen to be monitored.
The record outputs will be disconnected when the preamplifier is
placed into standby, however.
7
Single-ended (RCA) Record Outputs
Connect these outputs to the right-channel and left-channel tape
inputs of your recorder. Make a note of which set of record outputs you used with which recording device. It is important to
name the inputs you use and to associate the correct record output with the appropriate recording device. By giving the Nº32 this
information, it can prevent accidental record loops that might
otherwise create disturbing feedback. (See “changing input names”
and “setting record out” on pages 36-39.)
These outputs are unaffected by the output level control on the
front panel of the Nº32, or by the source chosen to be monitored.
The record outputs will be disconnected when the preamplifier is
placed into standby, however.
8
Optional Phono Input Module Bays
The optional phono preamplifier modules for the Mark Levinson
Nº32 slide into place in this location (they are shown in place in
the illustration for clarity). These extraordinary phono preamplifiers are available with either XLR inputs or with RCA inputs; in
either case, the incoming signal from the phono cartridge is
treated as a balanced signal internally.
If you purchased your Nº32 without phono modules and decide
to add them at a later date, please contact your dealer. Although
not difficult to install, we require that a qualified dealer install the
phono modules to minimize any opportunity for electrical problems (such as static discharges resulting from working without
proper grounding, etc.).
Each of the two inputs of the Nº32 Phono Input Modules may be
programmed individually for different gain and loading settings.
Thus, if you have two cartridges on two arms (or separate tables),
you may set up one for your favorite moving magnet (e.g., 40 dB
gain, 47kΩ and 100pF loading), and the other for your favorite
moving coil (e.g., 60 dB gain, 100Ω and 0.01µF loading).
The built-in list of customization options include:
• Gain
(either 40 or 60 dB, for either MM or MC cartridges)
• Capacitive loading for MM
(0 pF, 50 pF, 100 pF, 150 pF, 200 pF, 250 pF, 300 pF, 350 pF)
• Resistive loading for MC
(3.3, 5, 7.7, 10, 33, 50, 77, 100, 330, and 47,000 Ω)
• Single-pole 20 Hz infrasonic filter
(switchable in or out as needed)
All phono settings may be accessed from the listening position, via
remote control. In addition, a set of “custom” terminals inside the
phono modules themselves allow you to use a custom resistor of
your choice in lieu of the extensive list of precision resistors we
provide.
29
Important!
As with any phono preamplifier, caution must be
exercised when making connections. Never connect or
disconnect your turntable with the volume raised. Never
raise the volume on an unterminated phono input. Set
the name of unused phono inputs to “Unused” to avoid
any possibility of accidental noise or other problems.
9
Phono Ground
Provided to provide a signal reference ground for your phono system and the preamplifier. This sometimes reduces the phono
cartridge’s tendency to pick up hum and other noise. We suggest
listening to phono both with and without this connection made
with the corresponding ground wire from your turntable—either
might sound better or quieter, and the only way to be sure is to try
it.
10 Nº32 Preamplifier serial number label
30
Please make a note of the serial number of your Nº32 Preamplifier, as well as the (different) serial number of your Nº32 Controller (see previous section). We suggest writing both into the front of
this manual so you can find them easily should you need them,
without having to pull the equipment off the shelf. While you are
at it, fill out and send in your warranty card so we can stay in
touch with you!
Remote Control
1
1
Infrared (IR) control signals are sent through this window. Aim
the remote control toward the Nº32 when using the remote. For
the best results, the remote should be within ±45° of a line that is
perpendicular to the faceplate of the Controller. At more severe
angles (nearly parallel with the faceplate), try bouncing the
remote’s signal off a wall or other surface instead so as to have it
enter the display window of the Controller at a reasonable angle.
2
3
4
display
setup
7
enter
6
mono
polarity
5
8
balance
9
mute
10
select
11
volume
IR transmission window
standby
12
2
IR Transmit Indicator
This LED lights when IR control signals are being transmitted. If
it fails to light while you are pressing a button, or if it seems to be
lighting more dimly than usual, you may need to change the batteries (see item 13).
13
3
Display Button
Duplicates the function of the display intensity button on the
front panel, cycling among four levels of brightness (including
“off”) for the display, allowing adjustment for various ambient
lighting conditions.
4
Setup Button
Duplicates the function of the setup button on the front panel,
allowing you to access menu functions of the Nº32 from your listening position. For example, if you have purchased the optional
phono modules, you can experiment with different phono loading
options while listening to music in your preferred chair. This flexibility makes it much easier to determine the correct values for
phono loading.
5
Enter Button
Duplicates the function of the enter button on the front panel,
allowing you to save changes to menu items in the Nº32 from
your listening position.
31
6
Mono Button
Pressing this button will toggle the Nº32 in and out of the mono
mode, having the same effect as pressing the front panel mono
button. Mono mode normally activates circuitry which combines
Left and Right input signals, and sends the resulting monophonic
signal to both Left and Right outputs. This circuit is particularly
useful when listening to older, monophonic source material, at
which time significant noise reduction may be realized.
There are multiple mono modes available in the Nº32:
•
•
•
•
L+R (the factory default setting)
L only
R only
L-R
(For more detailed information on these mono modes, please see
page 48.)
To access the non-default modes, press and hold the mono button
for several seconds; when the display starts blinking, subsequent
clicks of the mono button will move you through the options.
Having selected the one you want as your new default, simply let
the Nº32 “time out” and revert to its normal display. The mono
button will now toggle between stereo and your preferred mono.
32
7
Polarity Button
Inverts the polarity (sometimes inaccurately called “absolute
phase”) of the outputs of the Nº32. A second press of this button
will restore the outputs to their original, non-inverting polarity.
8
Balance Button
Duplicates the function of the balance button on the front panel
of the Nº32 Controller, allowing you to then fine-tune the relative
balance of the Left and Right channels from your listening position using the volume buttons, in 0.1 dB increments.
9
Mute Button
Toggles between normal output level and the user-programmable
mute function, reducing the level by 1 to 60 decibels (depending
on the user’s programming). The factory default setting gives a 20
decibel reduction in output.
10 Select Up and Down Buttons
These buttons provide remote selection of the various inputs of
the Nº32.
The select buttons are also used when accessing the setup menu
system in the Nº32. For more information on what you can do
with these menus, please see “Customizing Your Nº32” later in the
manual.
11 Volume Up and Down Buttons
Raises the volume at either low speed for fine adjustments or
higher speeds for larger changes. The Nº32 will slowly raise its
output for the first 1.5 seconds this button is depressed, then
move to higher rates of change.
Note that all volume and balance functions are disabled if a surround sound processor “SSP” input is selected. For more information on this special feature of the Nº32’s design, see “Using Surround Sound Processors.”
12 Standby Button
As you might expect, pressing this button toggles the Nº32 between standby mode and normal operation. The Nº32 disables its
outputs and controls when in standby, but its circuitry remains
active so as to be warmed up and sounding its best at a moment’s
notice.
13 Battery Compartment
Using the supplied hex wrench, remove this casting to access the
battery compartment when it becomes necessary to replace batteries. The Nº32 remote control uses two standard AAA batteries.
33
Customizing Your Nº32
setup overview
The Nº32 Preamplifier has many provisions for custom-tailoring the
system’s operation to match your preferences. The method for modifying any of these settings is to:
• press the setup button on either the front panel or the remote control to enter the setup mode, accessing the Nº32’s
menu system;
• navigate among different menu items using the select
knob or the remote control’s select buttons;
• change the value of the selected menu item using either
the volume knob or volume +/– buttons on the remote.
• move down a level within a menu, or save the change by
pressing enter on either the front panel or the remote
control. (You can avoid saving an unwanted change by
leaving the menu without pressing enter, by pressing
setup instead.)
This four-step process gives you extensive control over a wide variety of
setup options, and provides positive feedback that your changes have
been accepted and saved for future use.
34
the menu system
The complete Nº32 Setup menu is shown below for your reference:
No32 Setup
Set Inputs
Set Input 1
Name=INPUT 1
Gain= +6 dB
Offset= 0.0
Rec.Out=NONE
Set Input 2
(repeats previous menu)
Set Input 3
(repeats previous menu)
Set Input 4
(repeats previous menu, with +12 dB gain)
Set Input 5
(repeats previous menu)
Set Input 6
(repeats previous menu)
Set Input 7
(repeats previous menu)
Set Input 8
(repeats previous menu)
Set Phono 1
Name= PH/MC 1
Ph Gain= +60
Gain= +12 dB
Offset= 0.0
Bal= <-0.0->
20Hz HPF=ON
R Load=100
C Load=.01uF
Set Phono 2
Name= PH/MM 2
Ph Gain= +40
Gain= +12 dB
Offset= 0.0
Bal= <-0.0->
20Hz HPF=ON
R Load=47k
C Load=100pF
Teach IR
Mute = -20.0
MaxVol= 80.0
Trig.= 12v,L
Sw 1.07 1.02 (the software version numbers)
The Nº32’s extensive menu system allows you to customize the way the
preamplifier operates, to better suit the needs of your system and your
personal preferences. We will review the following information in more
detail in the coming pages, on an item-by-item basis. (Don’t worry, it
isn’t really as complicated as it seems when you take it one step at a time.)
configuring line
level inputs
Each line-level input may be customized in four ways:
• Name— the name of the input shown in the front panel’s
display when the input is selected; this may be one of a list
of predetermined names, or a custom name created by the
user.
• Gain— the amount of gain available for that particular
input, 0 dB (attenuation only), +6 dB, +12 dB, or +18 dB;
used to optimize the match between the output level of
any given source and the preamplifier’s gain structure.
• Offset— automatic volume adjustments implemented
whenever switching to this particular input, used to ensure
that all source play back at the same volume, even when
their outputs may be quite different; the range is ± 20.0 dB
in 0.1 dB increments.
• Record Output— used to assign a record output to this
particular input; options are NONE, #1, #2, #3.
To facilitate operation in complex multisource systems, the Nº32 is capable of displaying a wide variety of names for each of its eight (or,
with optional phono modules installed, ten) inputs. The available
names are listed below.
35
available input names
INPUT
UNUSED
SSP
EQ
DAT
VCR
CASS
RtoR
MD
CD-R
SAT
LD
CD
TUNER
AUX
DAC
TAPE
DVD
No30
No30.5
No30.6
No35
No36
No36S
No360
No360S
No39
36
changing input names
(custom name, may be edited letter by letter)
(any unused input, removes from the rotation)
Surround Sound Processor mode of operation
Equalizer mode of operation
Digital Audio Tape
Video Cassette Recorder
Cassette
Reel-To-Reel
Mini-Disc
Compact Disc-Recordable
Satellite
LaserDisc
Compact Disc
Tuner
Auxiliary
Digital to Analog Converter
Tape Player/Recorder
DVD player
Mark Levinson Reference Digital Audio Processor
Mark Levinson Reference Digital Audio Processor
Mark Levinson Reference Digital Audio Processor
Mark Levinson Nº35 Digital Audio Processor
Mark Levinson Nº36 Digital Audio Processor
Mark Levinson Nº36S Digital Audio Processor
Mark Levinson Nº360 Digital Audio Processor
Mark Levinson Nº360S Digital Audio Processor
Mark Levinson Nº39 CD Processor
To change an input name, use the setup menu:
•
•
•
•
press setup to enter the setup menu
press enter or turn the select knob to move to Inputs
press enter to move to Input 1
turn the select knob (or use the select buttons on the
remote) to move to whatever input you want to edit
• press enter (Note that enter will either take you down to
the next “lower” level in the menu, or if you are at the bottom level of the “branch” of the menu you are on, it will
allow you to edit that item. Having changed the item, you
can then save the change by pressing enter again.)
• choose the name you want from the list, using the volume
knob (or use the volume buttons on the remote)
If this seems a little complicated when you read about it, just try it on
the Nº32 itself, referring to the menu system on page 34. It really becomes intuitive quite quickly.
input programming tip
You can take advantage of a shortcut to the settings of the specific input to which you are currently listening. By pressing and holding the
setup button on either the remote control or the front panel for a few
seconds, you will be taken directly to the first menu item for that particular input (its name). You may change anything pertaining to that
input, and when you leave that level of the menu (by pressing setup
again), you will leave the menu system entirely.
factory default input names
The factory default names for the inputs are the somewhat generic INPUT 1 through INPUT 8. This makes it easy to tell what connectors
correspond to what input, but you may find the system easier to use
once you have customized the names to reflect the actual components
you have connected.
using custom input names
If none of the default names seems quite right for a given source, you
may create a name of your own choosing, up to seven characters long.
To do so,
• navigate to the NAME= level of the menu system, and
• if necessary, use the volume knob (or use the volume
buttons on the remote) to choose the name INPUT (or
whatever other custom name might have been entered);
• press enter to enter the single-character editing mode;
• use the volume knob to select each character in turn,
pressing enter each time to move to the next character;
• when you enter the seventh character, you are done.
(Blank spaces count as characters.)
naming an input “SSP”
Introduced in 1993, the Mark Levinson SSP mode provides a clean solution to the problem of integrating a state of the art two-channel system with a multichannel system. By routing the front Left and Right
outputs of the surround sound processor through the Nº32, and naming that input “SSP,” you can enjoy both systems without compromise.
If this scenario is important to you, please see the section entitled “Using Surround Sound Processors” later in this manual for more detail. In
brief, when the Nº32 accesses an input named SSP, it defeats the normal function of the volume control, going to a fixed gain (0 dB for balanced, -6 dB for single-ended) for that input. In so doing, it allows the
multichannel volume control to control the relative volumes of all the
speakers in the system, without having to be concerned about a nowredundant volume control in the Nº32. When you wish to listen to
your two-channel system, simply choose any other input on the Nº32
and place your surround sound processor in standby.
37
Important note:
naming an input “EQ”
Make sure that the volume on your surround processor
is turned down before changing the input name on
your Nº32 to SSP. When the preamp effects this
change, it abdicates its control over the volume of your
front left and right speakers, allowing the surround
processor to handle it instead.
The EQ name also deserves special mention: if your loudspeaker requires a dedicated equalizer for proper operation (or if you have any
other reason for using an equalizer much of the time), you may connect the outputs of the equalizer to an input named “EQ.”
By “recording” the source you wish to listen to (that is, selecting it on
the record path, e.g., when the record out LED is lit), and listening to
the EQ input (that is, selecting EQ with the main selector, e.g., when
the record out LED is not lit), you will be able to run all signals
through the equalizer prior to listening to them. This is usually preferable to simply placing the EQ between the preamp and the power amp,
as most equalizers perform best at a (fixed) line level—which is what
they will receive in this hookup.
Since, in this scenario, you would spend most of your time in the
record path (selecting the source to be equalized) rather than the
monitor path, we have enabled the volume control function in the
record path when the input selected on the monitor path is named
EQ.
38
Note:
setting input gain
When listening to the output of your equalizer, you
will not be able to select “EQ” on the record out path,
since that would set up a potentially dangerous
feedback loop. The “EQ” input is intentionally omitted
from record output list.
Each input in the Nº32 can be set for one of four gain settings: 0 dB, 6
dB, 12 dB, or 18 dB. The concept is to use as much gain as an individual source may require in order to drive the power amplifier to adequate levels, without introducing unnecessary gain that might result
in a distorted signal.
In the past, the Mark Levinson Nº26 and Nº26S preamplifiers offered a
single gain adjustment to effect this change globally; now, for the first
time, this setting can be optimized for each individual input. This helps
to make the Nº32 behave as though each input had the preamplifier “all
to itself.”
With some non-standard sources having outputs as high as 9 volts, the
last thing you need is gain in the line stages of the preamplifier. On the
other hand, a low output moving coil might need as much as eighteen
decibels of gain beyond the gain available in the phono preamplifier.
Being able to customize this setting by input gives you the flexibility
you need to fully optimize your system.
The factory settings for gain are usually fine, at +6 dB for balanced and
+12 dB for single-ended inputs. However, should you hear distortion
(indicating an overly high input signal), you may want to reduce the
gain on that input by 6 dB or more.
To do so, navigate to the Gain= item under the input in question. (See
the menu system on page 26.) Then press enter to edit the item, and
adjust it using the volume knob (or use the volume buttons on the
remote). You will hear the changes of 6 decibels per step. Save the
change by pressing enter. (For more detailed information on how to
navigate to this item, see the point-by-point description under changing input names.)
Similarly, if you have an unusually quiet source, try adding additional
gain before trimming the volume with the input offset adjustment.
Otherwise, you may find that you cannot turn up the quiet source as
far as it needs to go.
setting input offsets
Once you are satisfied that the gain settings are appropriate to your
source components (and remember, the factory defaults are usually
fine), you may also adjust for any small differences between the volumes of various sources by programming in a volume offset. For example, if you notice that your tuner seems several decibels louder than
all your other source components, you can have the Nº32 automatically
turn the volume down by a certain amount when you switch to the
tuner. (It will also turn the volume back up by the same amount when
leaving that input.)
To set the input offset, navigate to the Offset= item in the menu (see
page 34), press enter to edit the item, and make the change with the
volume knob (or use the volume buttons on the remote). You can
listen to the changes as they are being made, making it easier to get the
setting you want. For more detailed information on how to navigate to
this item, see the point-by-point description under changing input
names.
39
setting record out
The Nº32 gives you the ability to associate any of the three provided
record outputs with any of the eight line level inputs. This allows you
to organize your sources in whatever order you deem most convenient,
while using the record outputs with whatever might need them.
By telling the Nº32 which inputs are coming from sources that might
be using particular record outputs, the Nº32 can help you avoid record
loops (feedback loops) that would certainly be unpleasant, and potentially dangerous to your speakers or other components.
Thus, if you want to set up one or more sources as recording devices,
navigate to the source in question, press enter, and then turn the select
knob until the display reads Rec.Out=NONE. Then turn the volume
knob to change the setting from NONE to whichever record output
you plan to use for the physical connection to teh recorder’s input.
Press enter to save the change. (For more detailed information on how
to navigate to this item, see the point-by-point description under
“changing input names.”)
Note that the record outputs are muted when the Nº32 is in standby.
40
configuring
phono inputs
phono setup menu
Configuring your phono inputs is quite similar to configuring line level
inputs, with the exception that there are several more items that may be set,
including the “Ph Gain” of the phono preamplifier (as distinct from the
Gain of the line level preamplifier), the phono loading, and even a balance
offset that is unique to each phono input, to compensate for the small errors common in phono cartridges. The phono portion of the menu system
is reproduced below to refresh your memory on the available menu items.
Set Phono 1
Name= PH/MC 1
Ph Gain= +60
Gain= +12 dB
Offset= 0.0
Bal= <-0.0->
20Hz HPF=ON
R Load=100
C Load=.01uF
Set Phono 2
Name= PH/MM 2
Ph Gain= +40
Gain= +12 dB
Offset= 0.0
Bal= <-0.0->
20Hz HPF=ON
R Load=47k
C Load=100pF
(shows only if phono module is installed)
As you can see, much of it looks like any other input, but several
phono-specific items are added that may be adjusted to optimize the
phono preamp for your system.
As with the rest of the menu system, you navigate to these items using
the select knob and enter, alter their setting with the volume knob,
and save the changes with enter. (For more detailed information on
how to navigate to this item, see the point-by-point description under
“changing input names.”)
phono parameters
Name for the phono inputs may be either PHONO, or a custom name
(chosen one letter at a time and indicated by the flashing underlines
alternating with the current custom name), or UNUSED for an unused
input connector. (Recall that setting an input as UNUSED removes it
from the rotation of input shown when you turn the select knob during day-to-day operation.)
You may use custom names with the phono inputs, just as you would
with any other input. See page 36 for more details.
Ph Gain refers to the gain of the phono preamp. You may select either
40 dB for moving magnet cartridges and high output moving coils, or
60 dB for low output moving coils.
41
Gain is the gain of the line level preamplifier, just as with line level in-
puts. It may be set to 0, 6, 12, or 18 dB. You should alter this (if you
need to) only after setting the correct phono gain.
Offset is also identical to the offset used to avoid unpleasant shifts in
volume among line level sources, and occurs in the line level section of
the preamplifier.
Balance (Bal) is unique to the phono preamplifier, and should be used
to compensate for the small imbalances found in most cartridges. The
best way to do this is to play a monophonic recording in normal stereo,
centering the image between your speakers with the balance control.
Once you know the correct balance offset for a particular cartridge,
simply enter this number in that cartridge’s phono setup, and the
change will be made for you, automatically, whenever you listen to that
cartridge. Normal balance will be restored when you away from the
phono cartridge. Separate balance settings may be saved for Phono 1
and for Phono 2.
20Hz HPF is a 20 Hz high pass filter, sometimes called either an infra-
sonic or a subsonic filter. It is designed to reduce turntable rumble and
the cartridge/arm resonance which can often be stimulated by even
small warps in the record as it turns. You may either turn it on or off,
depending on whether it seems needed for a particular cartridge/arm
combination.
One way to determine this is to play a quiet passage of a recording at a
relatively high level with your speaker grilles off. Watch your woofers. If
they are moving in and out noticeably without there being a clearly
correlated low bass sound, you should probably engage the 20Hz HPF.
Otherwise, you are wasting both amplifier power and woofer excursion
on something you cannot hear directly; the indirect effect of modulating the woofer’s output with non-musical, sub-20 Hz information can
only be deleterious to the performance of the system.
R Load refers to the resistive load the phono preamplifier presents to
the cartridge. (Of course, any resistance in the phono cables is beyond
the preamp’s control and added to this figure.) This number is normally 47000Ω for moving magnet (MM) cartridges, and can range
from about 3Ω to 47kΩ for moving coils (MC).
Specifically, we include precision resistor values of 3.3, 5.0, 7.7, 10, 33,
50, 77, 100, 330, and 47kΩ, plus a set of terminals that may be used for
accessing some “other,” custom value of your choice. You would do so
by placing a precision resistor across these terminals located inside each
of the phono modules, tightening the screws down, and then selecting
other in the R Load menu item.
42
The best choice for resistive loading is whatever sounds the best with
your MC cartridge—you cannot damage a cartridge by playing at the
“wrong” resistance. With the Nº32, for the first time, you can make this
determination in real time, from your listening position, using the remote control to access this menu item.
C Load refers to the capacitive load the phono preamplifier presents to
the cartridge. (Of course, any capacitance in the phono cables is beyond the preamp’s control and should be added to this figure.) This
number is normally 0.01µF for moving coil (MC) cartridges, and can
range from about 0pF to 350pF for moving magnets (MM).
Specifically, we include precision capacitor values of 0, 50, 100, 150,
200, 250, 300, 350pF, plus 0.01 µF.
The best choice for capacitive loading is whatever sounds the best with
your MM cartridge—you cannot damage a cartridge by playing at the
“wrong” capacitance. With the Nº32, for the first time, you can make
this determination in real time, from your listening position, using the
remote control to access this menu item.
teach ir
Next in the menu system is the rather extensive “teach IR” section,
which has its own major section immediately following this one in this
manual. Please see that section for additional details. For now, it is
enough to know that the Nº32 can teach any of its infrared commands
to a learning remote control by broadcasting the appropriate code from
its display window. Even if you were to lose the Nº32 remote, you could
teach everything you need to another remote control (or order a replacement remote from us, of course).
setting a mute level
The Nº32 Reference Preamplifier also allows you to customize the magnitude of the change in volume caused by pressing the mute button.
The factory default setting is -20.0 dB, but you may select a value of
anything from -10.0 to -80.0 dB, in 0.1 dB increments. For example,
you may prefer to reduce the volume by 35 dB when mute is pressed,
so as to take a symphony orchestra playing at a realistic level down to a
level that allows comfortable conversation when someone enters the
room.
To change the mute level, press setup to enter the setup menu, turn the
select knob until Mute = -20.0 shows in the display, and then use the
volume knob to alter the mute level setting as you see fit. When finished, press enter to save your change. Pressing setup one last time
will return you to normal operation (leaving the setup menu).
setting a maximum level
You may also set a maximum volume level for the Nº32, a particularly
useful feature if the system is sometimes used by people who may not
be as careful as you yourself would be. (Teenaged children come to
mind.)
To change the maximum level, press setup to enter the setup menu,
turn the select knob until MaxVol = 80.0 shows in the display, and
then use the volume knob to alter the maximum volume setting as
you see fit. When finished, press enter to save your change. Pressing
setup one last time will return you to normal operation (leaving the
setup menu).
configuring
the DC trigger
You may wish to use the DC trigger output on the rear panel of the
Nº32 Controller to turn on some other component automatically when
the Nº32 itself is on. If so, you have two trigger options: either a 12V
level (constant) voltage that is present whenever the Nº32 is operational, and absent when the Nº32 is in standby; or a 5V pulse whenever the Nº32’s state is changed from one to the other (similar to the
output of a momentary contact switch). This menu item allows you to
choose which of these two options you want, given the needs of your
particular system.
43
If you are not sure what the receiving component needs for a trigger
signal, please ask your Mark Levinson dealer for assistance.
checking the
software version
Although we do not anticipate frequent software updates for the Nº32
(after all, it does not have to contend with the ever-changing standards
for digital audio decoding), it has been designed to readily accept new
software should it become available. For example, if we were to add
some new convenience feature to the Nº32 at a future date, your dealer
could easily download the new software from our web site to his computer, and from there to your preamplifier, all without having to open
the product up. In fact, if the rear panel RS-232 port is accessible, you
do not even have to disconnect the preamplifier from the system for
such an update.
The last item in the setup menu is a software version number that identifies what version of the Nº32 control software is running in the
preamplifier. Your dealer can inform you of the most current version of
this software, and you can compare that number to the one shown in
your display.
44
Using the Nº32 with Learning
Remote Controls
using the teach ir menu
The teach ir menu within the setup menu lists all of the custom infrared commands available for the various functions of the Nº32 Reference Preamplifier.
In every case where a “toggle” command exists, both the normal toggle
function and positive control commands for the multiple states are
provided. Thus, the mute key functions as a toggle between mute and
unmute; but we also provide go mute and go unmute, since these
positive controls increase the reliability of macros in learning remote
control such as Madrigal’s own IRIQ.
To access these commands,
1
press setup once to enter the setup menu
2
turn the select knob until “Teach IR” is displayed
3
press enter once to toggle into the edit mode (where you
can choose which “teach ir” command you want
4
move the volume knob to select the command you want to
learn
5
press enter to transmit that command from the left side of
the display window
The display window will change to <--SENDING to indicate where
the infrared codes are being emitted.
technical note:
The frequency of the infrared carrier upon which the
command are transmitted is 40kHz. This is the most
common carrier frequency of any used in remote
controls today, and should present no problem for any
learning remote control.
If your remote has difficulty learning the command
from the front panel of the Nº32 Controller, try varying
the distance, and shielding the remote control from
any flourescent lights in the area (which can interfere
with the learning process).
45
A complete list of the available IR codes may be found below.
available ir commands
46
The complete list of available IR commands is:
Teach IR
VOLUME UP
VOLUME DOWN
SELECT NEXT
SELECT PREV
INTENSITY
MUTE KEY
MONO KEY
POLARITY KEY
STANDBY KEY
ENTER KEY
SETUP KEY
BALANCE KEY
RECORD KEY
EXIT STANDBY
GO STANDBY
GO INPUT 1
GO INPUT 2
GO INPUT 3
GO INPUT 4
GO INPUT 5
GO INPUT 6
GO INPUT 7
GO INPUT 8
GO PHONO 1
GO PHONO 2
GO MUTE
GO UNMUTE
GO MONITOR
GO RECORD
GO BALANCE
EXIT BALANCE
DISPLAY OFF
DISPLAY DIM
DISPLAY HALF
DISPLAY FULL
Using these commands in conjunction with a macro-capable learning
remote control, you should be able to automate almost anything that
the Nº32 is capable of doing.
Modes of Operation
normal operation
The majority of time you spend with your Nº32 will be spent in normal operation. During normal operation, the display indicates the
name of the input you have selected and the listening volume (in decibels). The volume knob increases or decreases the volume in 0.1 dB
increments above 23.0 (and in 1.0 dB steps below this low level). The
select knob selects the source to be listened to at any point in time. In
short, in normal operation, the Nº32 acts precisely as you would expect
a preamplifier to act.
There are several refinements which may not be immediately apparent
to the casual user, however. When turned quickly by hand, the effect of
the volume knob will accelerate (i.e., yield a greater change per revolution of the knob) so as to reach your preferred volume more quickly.
Conversely, when the knob is turned slowly, the volume changes at
maximum resolution to facilitate fine adjustments and precise level
control (0.1 dB through most of the range).
However, if the volume knob is spun too quickly (as though it were a
flywheel), the rate of change will decrease again. This design helps
avoid accidental bumps of the preamplifier’s volume knob sending
potentially dangerous signal levels to your loudspeakers.
Lastly, the corresponding buttons on the remote control behave in a
similar fashion when in normal operation. If the volume +/- buttons
are held for more than approximately 1.5 seconds, the Nº32 infers that
you would like to change volume more quickly and accelerates the volume change.
the record select mode
When you wish to send a signal out to be recorded, push the record
out button once to enter the record select mode. In this mode, the
record out LED indicator is lit, and the display indicates the name of
the input currently being supplied to the record outputs (either
NONE or one of your defined inputs) on the left side and “RECD” on
the right side.
To select a different input for recording, simply turn the select knob
while the record out LED is lit. Note that the Nº32 will not allow a recording device to serve as its own source while monitoring itself, as this
would allow potentially dangerous feedback to be reproduced by the
loudspeakers. (See “setting record out” in the section on “configuring
line level inputs” for more details.)
47
The record outputs may be turned off by turning the select knob until
NONE is shown in the main display.
Turning off the record outputs eliminates even the possibility that the
input impedance of a recording device could have an effect on the
sound quality of the preamplifier. We recommend that record outputs
be turned OFF when not in use.
the balance mode
The balance mode gives you extremely fine control over the relative
volumes of the Left and Right channels, by changing the volume of one
relative to the other in increments of 0.1 dB, up to 20.0 dB. (Beyond
this point, the balance control will mute the output of the reduced
channel entirely.) Once set, this inter-channel difference in volume remains the same regardless of output level and selected input, until it is
changed again in the balance mode, or when AC power is interrupted
(in which case the balance is reset to 0.0, or “centered”).
To enter the balance mode from normal operation, press the balance
button. The balance indicator LED will light and the display will
change. When the balance is set to a neutral position, favoring neither
channel over the other, the display will show a double-headed arrow
and “0.0” decibels—that is, that the channels are balanced with respect
to one another.
48
Turning the volume knob (which serves as a balance control in balance mode) in either direction will change the balance in that direction. The display will reflect this by changing to the appropriate singleheaded arrow to indicate the direction of change and by showing the
number of decibels by which that channel has been increased (in tenths
of a decibel).
If balance is left in a non-centered position, the display will revert to
its normal operation after a few seconds, but the balance indicator
LED will remain lit as a reminder that the balance is not centered. Restoring the balance to its centered, 0.0 setting and leaving the balance
mode of operation will extinguish the balance LED indicator.
balance control tip
Precise balance control is essential for obtaining accurate soundstaging. Output imbalances due to asymmetrical placement of the
loudspeakers in the room are common, and degrade imaging accuracy.
To correct this problem, place the Nº32 in mono (L+R) mode and center the resulting image (which should be quite small) directly between
the loudspeakers, using the balance control. Differences as small as 0.1
or 0.2 decibels have been found to be significant. Try it.
Note that this “mono trick” can correct only for differences that occur
after the preamplifier in the signal chain, things like asymmetrical
placement of loudspeakers or slight mismatches in sensitivity between
speakers. If a particular recording is out of balance, you will have to adjust the balance more subjectively, in stereo, as you normally have done.
mono modes
The Nº32 supports several different types of monophonic modes.
• The factory default setting combines both the left and the
right channels equally, and sends the resulting signal to
both speakers. When selected, this type of mono will display a L+R designation in the display.
• You may also choose to send only the left channel to both
speakers, in which case L only will be displayed.
• You may also choose to send only the right channel to
both speakers, in which case R only will be displayed.
• Lastly, you may send the difference between the left and
right channels to both speakers, in which case L-R will be
displayed.
phono alignment tip
polarity
The L-R “flavor” of mono is particularly useful when aligning a phono
cartridge’s azimuth: play a mono test recording, listen to the L-R signal,
and adjust azimuth for minimum output. (“Left minus Right” in a
mono recording should equal silence; cartridges are never perfect in
this regard, but you can get surprisingly close with the good ones.)
The Nº32 allows you to invert the polarity of the music to which you
are listening with the press of a button. People vary in their sensitivity
to this aspect of the sound, and the difference frequently ranges from
subtle to inaudible, depending on microphone technique and other
factors in the recording itself. However, some recordings simply sound
correct in one position, and irretrievably wrong in the other.
We encourage you to experiment with the polariy feature to see what
you think works best for any given recording, understanding that the
recordings themselves are anything but consistent.
reset defaults
Important Note:
If necessary, it is possible to reset all of the factory default settings for
the Nº32 Reference Preamplifier so as to start again with a “clean slate.”
Resetting factory default settings causes any
customization of the preamplifier to be lost, including
custom names, gain settings, offsets, etc.
49
To reset all settings of the Nº32 to the original factory settings,
1.
Turn off power on the Controller
You may either unplug it from the ac mains or use the front panel
power button; standby will not do. Wait for a few seconds for the
power supply to drain.,
2.
Restore power while holding both the record out and setup
buttons.
This process takes a few seconds, as a guard against accidental restoration of factory defaults.
3.
Continue holding both buttons for about ten seconds after
the display reads “CLEAR SETUP?”
If you take your fingers off the buttons within these first ten seconds or so, the operation will be cancelled, leaving your current
settings unchanged. If you persist in holding the record out and
setup buttons, the display will show “FACTORY” “SETUP” “RESTORED” in sequence.
50
operating without a
preamplifier
It is also possible to operate the Controller without a Preamplifier being attached. This can be helpful if for some reason you need to set up
the system without having to actually listen to it (e.g., customizing the
names, phono loading for a known cartridge, etc.). The Preamplifier
may remain in its box while the Controller is preset to operate as it will
need to do when finally installed.
Normally, when you power up the Controller, it checks to ensure that it
can communicate with the Preamplifier properly. If either of both of
the DC cables has not been seated properly, the display will inform you
which one(s) need to be connected.
If you need to operate the Controller without the Preamplifier, power it
up while holding in the mute button. (This is easy to remember, since
your system will remain remarkably quiet until you connect and use
the Preamplifier.)
Using Surround Sound
Processors
The Nº32 Reference Preamplifier incorporates a special surround
sound processor mode which makes it uniquely capable of integrating
the highest performance audio with surround sound—that is, a dualpurpose music and movie system. In order to better understand the
value of this design, it is essential to understand a bit about the nature
of a surround sound processor.
One obvious and fundamental difference between stereo listening and
multichannel listening is the number of channels that must be controlled. When listening to two-channel stereo, one must have a two
channel volume control so both speakers increase or decrease in volume in concert with one another. Similarly, when listening to six- or
eight-channel surround sound recordings (whether movies or music),
one must have a corresponding six- or eight-channel volume control.
This simple fact has made combining a high quality two-channel
preamp with an outboard surround sound processor extremely difficult over the years. In fact, until the Mark Levinson Nº38 was introduced in 1993, it was virtually impossible to combine the two and have
the system work reliably well.
the SSP must not
come after the preamp
Dolby Pro Logic decoders incorporate a form of Dolby noise reduction
similar to the Dolby B one finds in cassette decks. This form of noise
reduction is level-sensitive. That is, Dolby noise reduction intentionally
treats strong signals differently than weak signals. In order to operate
correctly, the signal strength of the source must be “calibrated” to the
expectations of the Dolby noise reduction circuitry. (It is for this reason that one finds “Record Calibration” features on better-quality cassette decks.) It is therefore inappropriate to feed a surround sound decoder with the variable output of a preamplifier. Were you to do so, every change of the volume control on the preamplifier would cause the
Dolby circuitry to mistrack. In extreme cases, severe distortion can result as the Dolby circuitry overloads.
the SSP must not
come before the preamp
The next logical alternative might be to use the surround sound processor ahead of the preamplifier, sending its Left and Right outputs
through the preamplifier as a selectable Source. Sending the Right and
Left Outputs from a surround sound decoder to a pair of inputs on a
conventional preamplifier is also inappropriate, since any change of the
preamp’s volume control would then throw the carefully calibrated
51
output levels of the decoder out of adjustment, changing the volume of
the Left and Right speakers while leaving the Center and Surround
speakers unaffected.
One could attempt to restore the proper balance by marking a “calibrated” point on the preamplifier’s volume control and then using only
the Pro-Logic decoder to adjust the volume of the system, but this
method is both crude and imprecise, yielding inconsistent performance
at best.
the SSP must not
be in a tape loop
The last remaining alternative would seem to be to insert the decoder
“within” a preamplifier by hooking it up in a tape loop. Unfortunately,
this setup returns the Left and Right outputs of the decoder to the
preamplifier, where they can be inappropriately changed without
changing the Center and Surround outputs. It is therefore inappropriate to place surround sound decoders in a tape loop.
It would seem that there is no way to properly integrate a surround
sound processor with a preamplifier for a high quality, dual-purpose
system.
the SSP & the Nº32
52
The Nº32 solves this dilemma by virtue of a specially-designed surround sound processor interface. When you select the SSP name for a
particular input on the Nº32, the output level and balance controls are
defeated and the preamplifier operates in a “unity gain” mode, passing
through whatever signal enters that input without changing its volume
in any way. In fact, the display indicates that a line-level signal is being
“passed through” unchanged by showing “LINE” in the display where
the volume would normally be displayed.
Thanks to this design innovation, it is possible for the first time to correctly integrate a surround sound processor with a preamplifier, sending the processor’s Left and Right outputs through the Nº32 (and on to
the power amplifier for the main front speakers). Since the output level
of these channels cannot be changed by the Nº32 while in SSP mode,
the preamplifier cannot corrupt the careful calibration of the
processor’s output levels. And since the audio portion of audio/video
sources are fed directly to the processor’s audio input(s) at a line level,
input calibration cannot be disturbed by the preamplifier.
noise in a/v systems
In some cases, connecting your audio and video systems together can
result in noise, typically a 50/60 Hz or 100/120 Hz hum. The most
common cause for this noise is a “ground loop” caused by the presence
of two ground references in the system: one from the power company
and another from the cable-television company.
The simplest way of solving this problem is to break the cable
company’s ground by using an isolation transformer on the incoming
cable line, before it reaches your television or VCR.
If you cannot find a 75Ω-75Ω baluns (isolation) transformer, you can
easily construct one from the adaptors which probably came with your
VCR and television, as shown below.
Ground Isolation Adaptor
75Ω 300Ω
300Ω 75Ω
place in-line with your cable feed, prior to the system connection
The assembly shown above may cause some loss of video signal
strength and/or bandwidth, and should be used as a temporary fix. It is
useful in determining the cause of some video-related noise problems,
however, and costs only a few dollars. If it seems to correct a problem,
consult with your dealer regarding a long-term solution which does
not degrade video performance.
53
Linked Functions
The Nº32 has the ability to “link” several of its functions to certain
compatible Mark Levinson components (such as the Nº30.6 or Nº360S
digital processors, the Nº31.5 and Nº37 CD transport, or any of the
current Mark Levinson power amplifiers).
Note:
To take advantage of linked functions, you must
connect the Nº32 to the other, compatible Mark
Levinson components via their communication ports.
(See “Rear Panel” and “Setup and Installation.”) You
must also cycle power on all Linked components after
making or changing any of the connections, to ensure
reliable Linked operation.
There are several linked functions in the Nº32:
display intensity
54
standby link
Adjusting the display intensity on any Linked component will adjust
the displays in the other Linked components as well, keeping them all
at a consistent brightness level.
Placing the Nº32 into standby will also place the compatible Mark
Levinson digital processor, transport and amplifier(s) into standby,
except during a digital recording session (see record link section, below). Placing either digital component into standby will have no effect
on the Nº32, since you might well wish to continue listening to a different source component such as a tuner.
Taking a Linked Mark Levinson source component out of Standby will
also cause the Nº32 to come out of Standby.
volume link
select link
A remote control for a linked Mark Levinson transport can (when that
transport is properly Linked) control the volume and mute status of
the Nº32 via the Linking system, allowing the use of a single remote for
both transport and (basic) preamp functions.
Similarly, a remote control for a linked Mark Levinson transport can
(when that transport is properly Linked) select inputs on the Nº32 via
the Linking system, allowing the use of a single remote for both trans-
port and (basic) preamp functions. Pressing and holding the select button will toggle between switching digital inputs vs. switching analog inputs; simply clicking the button moves you to the next input in the
bank of inputs currently being controlled.
Note that for Select Linking to work, you must have named the associated digital processor properly to match the appropriate name from the
Name List. Thus a Nº30.6 should be named No30.6; a Nº360S should
be named No360S, and so forth.
play link
Placing your Mark Levinson transport in play will activate both the
corresponding Mark Levinson digital processor and the Nº32 if either
or both is in standby. In addition, the appropriate inputs will be selected on the digital processor and on the Nº32 (specifically, the input
which has an name of a Mark Levinson source component such as
Nº30.6, No360S or No39).
Similarly, activating a Linked Mark Levinson digital processor will select the appropriate input on the Nº32 (should you be using the processor with an unlinked DAT machine, for example).
record link
Placing the Nº32 into standby while your Mark Levinson digital audio
processor is in record mode and a Mark Levinson transport is in Record 55
Link mode will cause a warning to be displayed on the digital component. Both digital components will be prevented from going into
standby without explicit confirmation at those components that this is
what you desire. In this way, inadvertent interruption of a digital recording in process can be avoided.
After changing any of the Linked functions, cycle power on the Nº32 to
ensure that they take effect.
HDCD™ link
Linked Mark Levinson digital processors will implement the required
six decibel change in volume for HDCD recordings in the Nº32 automatically if they are both properly Linked and if their name has been
set to match the appropriate name from the Name List. Thus a Nº30.6
should be named No30.6; a Nº360S should be named No360S, and so
forth.
In fact, as long as the first four characters are correct, even custom
names will be recognized and operate properly. For example, you could
refer to a No30xyz and it would still be recognized as a member of the
Nº30 family. (Though why you would want to do so remains a mystery.)
Care and Maintenance
To remove dust from the cabinet of the Nº32, use a feather duster. To
remove dirt and fingerprints, we recommend isopropyl alcohol and a
soft cloth. Apply the alcohol to the cloth first and then lightly clean the
surface of the Nº32, going with the grain of the brushed aluminum.
Warning!
56
At no time should liquid cleaners be applied directly to
the Nº32, as direct application of liquids may result in
damage to electronic components within the unit.
U.S. and Canadian Warranty
90-day limited warranty
This Mark Levinson® product is warranted to be free from defects in
material and workmanship under normal use for a period of ninety
(90) days from the date of purchase. To extend the warranty of this
Mark Levinson product, return the warranty registration card along
with a copy of the original receipt of purchase to Madrigal Audio Laboratories, Inc., P. O. Box 781, Middletown, CT 06457.
five year
extended warranty
The extended warranty for this Mark Levinson product is five (5) years
from the date of purchase. During the warranty period, any Mark
Levinson component exhibiting defects in materials and/or workmanship will be repaired or replaced, at our option, without charge for either parts or labor, at our factory. The warranty will not apply to any
Mark Levinson component that has been misused, abused or altered.
Any Mark Levinson component not performing satisfactorily may be
returned to the factory for evaluation. Return authorization must first
be obtained by either calling or writing the factory prior to shipping
the component. The factory will pay for return shipping charges only
57
in the event that the component is found to be defective as above mentioned. There are other stipulations that may apply to shipping charges.
There is no other express warranty on this component. Neither this
warranty nor any other warranty, express or implied, including any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness, shall extend beyond the
warranty period. No responsibility is assumed for any incidental or
consequential damages. Some states do not allow limitations on how
long an implied warranty lasts and other states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so that the
above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you.
This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have
other rights which vary from state to state. This warranty is applicable
in the United States and Canada only. Outside of the U.S. and Canada,
please contact your local, authorized Mark Levinson distributor for
warranty and service information.
Obtaining Service
We take␣ great pride in our dealers. Experience, dedication, and integrity
make these professionals ideally suited to assist with our customers’
service needs.
If your Mark Levinson component must be serviced, please contact
your dealer. Your dealer will then decide whether the problem can be
remedied locally, or whether to contact Madrigal for further service information or parts, or to obtain a Return Authorization. The Madrigal
Technical Services Department works closely with your dealer to solve
your service needs expediently.
Important!
Return authorization must be obtained from Madrigal’s
Technical Services Department BEFORE a unit is
shipped for service.
It is extremely important that information about a problem be explicit
and complete. A specific, comprehensive description of the problem
helps your dealer and the Madrigal Technical Services Department locate and repair the difficulty as quickly as possible.
58
A copy of the original bill of sale will serve to verify warranty status. Please
include it with the unit when it is brought in for warranty service.
Warning!
All returned units must be properly packaged
(preferably in their original packing material), and the
proper return authorization numbers must be marked
on the outer carton for identification. If the packaging
to protect the unit is, in our opinion or that of our
dealer, inadequate to protect the unit, we reserve the
right to repackage it for return shipment at the owner’s
expense. Neither Madrigal nor your dealer can be
responsible for shipping damage due to improper (that
is, non-original) packaging.
Your dealer can order a new set of shipping materials for you if you
need to ship your component and no longer have the original materials. There will be a charge for this service. We strongly recommend saving all packing materials in case you need to ship your unit.
Specifications
The correlation between published specifications and sonic quality is unreliable. A list
of numbers reveals virtually nothing. All technical measurements must be subject to
qualitative as well as quantitative interpretation.
Measurements of the Nº32 yield excellent results by any standards. However, only
those specifications that apply to its actual operation are included here.
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
Power consumption:
Mains voltage:
150W maximum
100V, 120V, 220V, 230V or 240VAC
at either 50 or 60Hz (set at the factory)
Overall dimensions:
See “Dimensions”
Shipping weight:
Controller: 60 lbs. (27 kg)
Preamplifier: 46 lbs. (21 kg)
Preamplifier Inputs:
3 pr. balanced on XLR
5 pr. single-ended on Madrigal RCA
(optional) 2 pr. phono on either XLR or Madrigal RCA
2 Controller/DC cable connectors
1 ground terminal
Preamplifier Outputs:
2 pr. balanced main output on XLR
2 pr. single-ended main output on RCA
1 pr. record output on XLR
2 pr. record outputs on Madrigal RCA
Controller Connectors:
1 IEC AC mains recepticle
1 earth ground terminal
2 Controller/DC cable connectors
1 3.5mm “mini” jack for IR input
1 3.5mm “mini” jack for trigger out
1 3.5mm “mini” jack for trigger in
3 Mark Levinson Link communications connectors
1 6 pin RJ-11 RS-232 port
2 8-pin RJ-45 control ports (PHASTLink™ compatible)
Gain:
0, 6, 12, or 18 dB in the line stage
either 40 or 60 dB in the optional phono module
Volume control range:
80.0 dB
Gain resolution:
0.1 dB steps above 23.0 in display (-57 dB)
1.0 dB steps below 23.0 in display (-57 dB)
Input overload:
when gain is set to +18 dB:
when gain is set to +12 dB:
when gain is set to +6 dB:
when gain is set to 0 dB:
■
■
Input impedance:
Output impedance:
■
Maximum output (MAIN outputs):
■
■
THD + N:
Crosstalk, any input to any output,
input unterminated:
input terminated:
2V on XLR, 1V on RCA
4V on XLR, 2V on RCA
8V on XLR, 4V on RCA
16V on XLR, 8V on RCA
100kΩ
less than 10Ω on XLR
less than 20Ω on RCA
16V on XLR
8V on RCA
less than 0.001%
less than -120 dB
less than -140 dB
59
■
Residual noise
20 Hz to 20 kHz, input terminated:
■ Frequency response, 10 Hz-40kHz:
less than -120 dBV
±0.1 dB
For more information, see your Mark Levinson dealer, or contact:
Madrigal Audio Laboratories, Inc.
P. O. Box 781, 2081 South Main Street
Middletown, Connecticut 06457 USA
phone
fax
internet
60
(860) 346-0896
(860) 346-1540
www.madrigal.com
Dimensions, Nº32 Controller
19.5"
49.5cm
polarity
mono
select
2.75"
6.99cm
volume
MADRIGAL AUDIO LABORATORIES
3.03"
7.68 cm
REFERENCE CONTROLLER
Nº32
power
record out display intensity
setup
enter
balance
mute
standby
.275"
.699cm
1.875"
4.76cm
15.75"
40.01cm
1.875"
4.76cm
19.5"
49.5cm
1.7"
4.32cm
61
11.375"
28.89cm
7.675"
19.49cm
2.0"
5.08cm
1.58"
4.01cm
4.025"
10.22cm
9.525"
24.19cm
5.95"
15.11cm
12.96"
32.91cm
Dimensions, Nº32 Preamplifier
19.5"
49.5cm
3.99"
10.1cm
3.187"
8.09cm
MADRIGAL AUDIO LABORATORIES
REFERENCE PREAMPLIFIER
Nº32
0.18"
0.46cm
1.875"
4.76cm
15.75"
40.01cm
1.875"
4.76cm
(leave extra room
for cables, of course)
≈ 0.5"
≈1.2cm
1.71"
4.34cm
11.385"
28.92cm
7.675"
19.49cm
2.0"
5.08cm
1.875"
4.76cm
15.75"
40.01cm
1.875"
4.76cm
Madrigal Audio Laboratories, Inc.
2081 South Main Street, P.O. Box 781
Middletown, Connecticut 06457 USA
Telephone: (860) 346-0896
Fax: (860) 346-1540
www.madrigal.com
R
MADRIGAL AUDIO LABORATORIES
is a registered trademark of Madrigal Audio Laboratories, Inc.
a Harman International company
630349-2
© 3/1999 Madrigal Audio Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved.
Printed in U.S.A.