As many AVguide readers may know Mr. Mark Levinson was the founder of not one but three high-end audio companies: Mark Levinson Audio Systems, Cello, Ltd. and Red Rose Music. Now, however, Mr. Levinson has moved on to launch a new firm, called Daniel Hertz, which may be the most ambitious effort in Levinson’s storied career. Daniel Hertz will focus on building ultra-high performance speakers, amplifiers and source components. Levinson says of Daniel Hertz components that they “will likely be my final statement in audio."
Below, we present the text of the press release announcing the debut of this promising new brand.
Neuchatel, Switzerland, 28 October 2009—Audio legend Mr. Mark Levinson has returned to his roots in high-performance audio with his new Daniel Hertz products. The company's beautiful M1 loudspeakers ($75,000/pair) and Swiss-built M5 Telikos power amplifiers ($6,000 each) enjoyed a pre-launch preview party at Real Mastering, Inc. during October's Audio Engineering Society convention at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Other Daniel Hertz loudspeakers will soon arrive—models M2, M7, and M3 subwoofer—all of them, like the M1, made at the Petrof piano factory near Prague.
With a sensitivity rating of 100dB/1W/1M/8 Ohms, the large high-efficiency M1 loudspeakers are the first to combine the dynamic linearity and punch of professional loudspeakers with the sonic transparency of the best audiophile products. Conservatively rated at 200Watts/channel, M5 Telikos power amplifiers are "especially refined in the milliwatt region," according to Levinson.
Also due soon are Daniel Hertz Swiss-made M6 1 MegOhms Preamplifier, so called because its ultra-high input impedance places essentially no load on source components, and the Swiss-made M9 SSD PC Media Center. The M6 includes a high performance USB input stage for direct connection to the M9 and other computers. Projected retail prices are: M2 loudspeakers, $25,000/pair; M3 subwoofer, $18,000; M7 loudspeakers, $17,000/pair; M6 1 MegOhms preamp with inboard DAC, $8,000. Price for the PC Media Center will vary with storage capacity options. Daniel Hertz will offer DH Silver One interconnect cables at $120/ft. (terminated) and DH Premium 500 speaker cables at $100/meter (unterminated).
The AES preview party took place with several engineers, photographers and journalists in the main room at Real Mastering in Mamaroneck, NY, less than an hour north of downtown Manhattan. Those in attendance were treated to an assortment of recordings mastered by Rob Fraboni using his proprietary new signal processing technology, RealFeel™, in preparation for private sessions with EMI and Capitol Studios executives the following night. Those present heard an unprecedented level of realism from Fraboni's recordings, including up-close-and-personal blues performances by Keith Richards from the Grammy award-winning album "Timeless," and the John Handy Award-winning Hubert Sumlin recording, "About Them Shoes." Capitol engineers were dazzled by what they heard and by what they saw. The M1's are both sonically impressive and visually stunning. "All agreed that they had never heard music reproduced at this level of quality before," Fraboni reported.