U.S. Debut of Mark Levinson Discrete 5.1 Surround Sound System In All-New 2006 Lexus GS Sedan

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02/01/2005 Torrance, CA

Mark Levinson, premium audio system provider for Lexus automobiles and SUVs, introduces its “next generation” entertainment system to the U.S. in the all new 2006 Lexus GS luxury sport sedan. This groundbreaking system introduces Lexus owners to a discrete 5.1 home theatre entertainment experience optimized for playback of music, music videos, and movies in the luxurious, mobile environment provided by the 2006 Lexus GS.

“The Mark Levinson audio systems in Lexus vehicles are highly regarded,” said Denny Clements, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “And this cutting-edge surround system blends perfectly with our intentions to make the new GS best in every category.”

This first Mark Levinson Premium Surround System, designed specifically for the 2006 Lexus GS, is a high performance home theatre on wheels. A product of over three years of engineering and development, the system improves on every aspect of the original Mark Levinson Premium Sound System introduced in 2001. This 14 speaker, 330 watt* system features:
· Discrete 5.1 multi-channel playback via a 7.1 speaker topology
· Mark Levinson Surround (MLS) audio software optimizes discrete 5.1 playback for Multiseat listening and provides a surround sound experience for stereo source material.
· Full digital transmission from the digital source to the discrete output topology power amplifiers
· Proprietary metal cone midrange and tweeter transducers
· 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS decoding of DVD Video, DVD Audio and DVD-R discs

“Our latest generation of Mark Levinson systems for Lexus will advance the scope of sonic performance and features available yet remain true to our original mission to recreate the emotional response evoked by the original musical, and now cinematic, event,” said Phil Muzio, Director Acoustic Systems at Mark Levinson. “I’m proud to be unveiling the first domestic Mark Levinson Premium Surround System in this stunning 2006 GS.”

Mark Levinson Premium Surround Systems, featuring discrete 5.1 surround sound, were launched in the 2004 Toyota Crown Royale Saloon and 2004.5 Crown Majesta in the Japan market. A glimpse of this new Mark Levinson system, while under development, was provided in the Lexus IS 430 Project Car.

*All channels driven, 20-20kHz, with no more than 0.1% Total Harmonic Distortion.

· 14 Speakers- four 25mm tweeters, five 65mm midranges, four 16cm woofers, one 25cm subwoofer.

· 11 Channels, 330 watts- The all new Mark Levinson Processor/Amplifier in the GS will produce a total power output of 330 watts, all channels driven, 20-20kHz @ less than 0.1% Total Harmonic Distortion. 

· Discrete 5.1 Surround Sound reproduced by a 7.1 Channel Surround Sound Speaker Architecture- separate side and surround channels provide a greater sense of envelopment and depth for front and rear seat passengers.

· Mark Levinson Surround (MLS) Audio Software- optimizes discrete 5.1 playback for Multiseat listening in a 7.1 channel speaker architecture and provides a surround sound experience for stereo source material such as CD and FM. MLS is the only expression of surround sound which has been designed and optimized specifically for the challenges and characteristics exhibited by an automotive passenger cabin.

· All Digital Signal Path from the Disc to the Mark Levinson Discrete Topology Power Amplifiers- Fragile audio signals are often transmitted from the front to the back of the car in an analog format. The analog medium is subject to sonic degradation from noise and magnetic interference within the car as well as numerous conversions processes between analog and digital. To avoid noise pickup and unnecessary and potentially degrading conversion steps, the ML Premium Surround System transmits digital via SPDIF (Sony Philips Digital Interface Format), and 24 bit word lengths are supported.

· Media Compatibility- CD, CD-R, DTS 5.1 CD, DVD Video, DVD Audio, and DVD-R discs.

· Format Compatibility- 2 channel Stereo (analog and PCM), 2 channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 (from DTS 5.1 CD, DVD Video and DVD Audio discs)

· Proprietary Metal Cone Midrange and Tweeter Transducers- Metal cone geometries offer greater cone rigidity and lower mass. Neodymium magnet/motor structures provide higher magnetic flux levels in a smaller and lighter transducer package. The sonic benefits of both technologies are:
o Lower distortion-Higher Resolution
o Greater Sound Pressure Levels-Natural Dynamics
o Extended Frequency Response-Harmonic Richness and Musicality

· 25cm/10″ Subwoofer with a Cast Basket and 100 watts of Power- A cast basket subwoofer has been designed and utilized for the first time in a Mark Levinson/Lexus system. This highly rigid, yet lightweight structure is the optimal environment for the high-energy low frequency reproduction required of a subwoofer. A cast basket improves performance due to its:
o Non resonant properties reducing distortion-Higher Resolution
o Thermally conductive aluminum casting reducing heat buildup in the motor assembly for increased power handling capacity-Natural Dynamics
o This all new, GS subwoofer is driven by 100 watts of Mark Levinson low distortion power.

· Source Dependent Tone Controls- your favorite tone settings retained for individual sources

· Source Dependent MLS- your favorite MLS setting retained for individual sources

· ASL- volume and tone adjustment for on-the-road system optimization, asymmetrical for surround sound sources

· ML3 Hardware highlights- switching power supply, 24 bit ADC and DAC, triple DSP farm, discrete output stages

· The GS Voicing- over 1000 man hours of laboratory and on road voicing of the Mark Levinson Premium Surround System for the particular acoustic characteristics of the GS passenger cabin.

Credit: Lexus USA

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