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NYIAS 2015: Lexus with Mark Levinson

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Finding an actual Harman-branded display at the NYIAS was like finding a unicorn. For the record, it was our second. Unicorn, that is. I’ll get back to that later. But for now, we have Lexus and the Mark Levinson sound system.

Seriously — we were shocked. Alex figured that Lexus would be a natural for this kind of thing, but after a cursory exam of the floor and several dozen blank stares later, we actually stumbled onto someone that actually knew something. Better still, someone that knew how to demo it.

Her name was Shauna and I thought she was just marvelous. Upbeat, smiling, curious and completely open with the edges of her knowledge, Shauna guided Alex and I through the system we found in the Lexus LS 460L

$1,580 is peanuts in today’s high-end audio world. Not so much when you add in the $80k base sticker price of the ultra-premium LS 460L, but the point is, this is one of those “duh!” kind of upgrades on a lux cruiser — I can’t think of a single reason not to opt in, based on the price alone.

The fact that the 19 speaker, 450watt 7.1 surround system was perhaps the best-sounding at the show shouldn’t hurt, either.

Shauna came prepped with a demo disc, an shtick, and an effervescent delivery — what we heard was tight bass, see-through midrange and a detailed top-end. Not bad at all. My ten-year-old BMW wishes it was this coherent.

She’d been told that this system “rivaled systems that cost more than $150k”, which is a load of horseshit, but given what was on display, I forgave the blatant hyperbole that the Mark Levinson team was shoveling out.

The actual details on the system (other than power and speaker count and the fact that everything is DSP’d) were as thin as everywhere else, unfortunately, but the proof in the pudding was in the eating, and this was an all-you-can-eat buffet of goodness.

There are M&L systems available for most Lexus models.

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About Scot Hull (979 Articles)

Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.