Mark Levinson No5105 Turntable Lab Report

Lab Report

Measured directly through the No5105's hardened steel bearing (a pre-loaded affair with captive ball, sintered brass bushings and minimum of oil lubrication) – rumble turns in at an impressively low –70.6dB (DIN-B wtd, re. 1kHz/5cm/sec). Through-groove rumble is lower still at –71.3dB, and –72.3dB with the aluminium/brass record weight in place, courtesy of the 6.5kg alloy platter and relatively stiff fibre mat providing an ideal mix of damping and isolation. The platter is driven via a precision-ground 1.2mm2 square-section belt from a DC motor solution, again, offering sufficient torque to bring the LP up to speed within 7 seconds but not so torquey as to introduce noise into the playback chain. Absolute speed was running imperceptibly slow at –0.09% in our sample but the very low-rate speed drift commonly seen with DC motors was absent here [see sharp peak in Graph 1, below]. Peak wow and flutter was also suitably 'under control' at 0.08%.

The custom 10in high-gloss black carbon fibre tonearm tube includes a bonded solid aluminum headshell with integrated finger lift, a combination that contributes to a medium/high 16g effective mass that suits the low compliance Ortofon Quintet MC. The arm's main bending/twisting modes are deferred to an impressively high 170Hz, 226Hz and 290Hz [see waterfall, Graph 2] but amplitude and duration, especially of the high Q break at 525Hz (possibly linked to a flexure of the headshell) is also moderately 'energetic'. The cluster of modes and harmonics from 700Hz-1.6kHz are associated with the arm rest, lift and fine wire bias outriggers. Otherwise the massive bearing assembly shows minimal friction (<10mg) and zero play – all beautifully engineered but might benefit from some additional damping. PM


Wow and flutter re. 3150Hz tone at 5cm/sec (plotted ±150Hz, 5Hz per minor division)


Cumulative tonearm resonant decay spectrum, illustrating various bearing, pillar and ‘tube’ vibration modes spanning 100Hz-10kHz over 40msec

Turntable speed error at 33.33rpm 33.30rpm (–0.089%)
Time to audible stabilisation 6-7sec
Peak Wow/Flutter (Peak wtd) 0.03% / 0.05%
Rumble (silent groove, DIN B wtd) –71.3dB (–72.3dB with clamp)
Rumble (through bearing, DIN B wtd) –70.6dB
Hum & Noise (unwtd, rel. to 5cm/sec) –59.5dB
Power Consumption 4W (1W standby)
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight 438x154x395mm / 34kg
Prices £5799 (£6499 with Ortofon MC)

Harman International Ind.
Northridge, CA, USA
Harman Luxury Audio Group (UK)
01223 203200