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Mark Levinson 390S CD Transport Upgrade


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Why do we upgrade equipment?

Almost any Hi-Fi component can be upgraded to higher performance using our techniques and components. The two things go together – the know-how and the right component. Over the last 30 years, we have developed our knowledge of where the biggest problems lie and how to overcome them to unleash better performance from a given piece of equipment.

Mark Levinson Nº390S Upgrade

The Mark Levinson Nº390S was the successor to the Nº39 CD Processor and to this day, still delivers superb performance. Produced at a time when DVD was emerging and gaining huge popularity (why buy just a CD player when you can have something that plays video discs too?), it had to have something special.

The Nº390S featured two digital inputs, RCA and XLR analogue outputs, HDCD compatibility and was one of the few players to feature a multi-bit Sigma/Delta capable of upsampling. Whether playing a CD, or decoding an external digital signal sample depth is increased to 24 bits and sample rate increased to 352.8kHz or 384kHz (input rate dependent) before conversion to an analogue signal. Finally, to top off this huge feature set the Nº390S incorporates a fully balanced analogue volume control.

Our upgrades build on the strengths of the player. Everything you love about the sound remains – it just gets so much better.

Internal wiring

Most of the Nº390S circuits are hard wired together, so the amount of internal wiring is minimal. For the power, we’ve managed to squeeze in PowerKord-100 to connect from the IEC socket to the transformer. The minimal amount of signal wiring is left untouched as we feel the additional cost in replacing such small runs is better spent elsewhere.

Component Upgrades

36 component upgrades/changes are made across the DAC module, analogue output section and system control PCB. Upgrades include Kimber Kap capacitors and Russ's favoured audio grade Panasonic capacitors which give a smooth and detailed sound. The player is completely disassembled to gain access to key areas of upgrade. The transport mechanism is also re-calibrated to ensure smooth running and accurate playback.


To clean up and give the power supply an upgrade SuperFuses and a Silencer mains filter are fitted.


For the majority of the capacitor changes, we use Russ's favoured Panasonic Audio Grade caps. Where possible, we will endeavour to use the superb Kimber Kaps.

Different Model?

If you don't have exactly the same model as listed above, but a very similar unit, then it's highly likely that the same or similar upgrades will apply. But we can't guarantee that until we have the unit here for inspection. Get in touch and let us know what you have.

How the service works

Equipment upgrades are proving hugely popular. During peak times there may be a wait of several weeks before we can carry out the upgrade. So before we get your equipment here, it must be booked in so we can ensure a speedy turnaround of the upgrade. Once you have placed your order, we will contact you to arrange a suitable week and getting the equipment here.

In Person
For those of you who are local enough or if you fancy a trip to the lakes, you can drop off your equipment personally and then collect it when it’s complete or we can ship it back to you.

By Courier
We can arrange a courier collection of your equipment for an additional cost. We currently use UPS.
To make things easier, we can offer several collection options.

1. We can arrange a specific day for the courier to call and collect your equipment. Someone will need to be available all day at the collection address as we’re unable to arrange a time slot for collections.

2. Dropping off at a UPS Access Point. UPS use a network of local shops to deliver and collect parcels from and to. We can either post you a collection label or email you the label (you will need to print the label at home/work). Securely box up your equipment, affix the collection label to the outside of the box and take it to your preferred Access Point where you will be issued a receipt. UPS Access Points can be found here (link opens in a new window), simply enter you postcode to find your nearest one.

Exclamation IconEquipment condition.
It’s important to note that this service is specifically aimed at upgrading equipment in good working condition rather than repairing or servicing. Why? Well, these are two very different processes. Our upgrades look at improving existing parts – like capacitors, for example – and we have an awful lot of knowledge and experience of doing this. As many of these parts do wear over time, replacing them can have the added benefit of actually making the equipment more reliable and longer-lasting, but that is an added bonus rather than the central aim, which is to improve performance.
When it comes to servicing and repair, however, the specific knowledge of individual pieces of equipment that is required, along with access to the original electronic schematics, makes it unwise for anyone other than the manufacturer or authorised service agent to carry out this type of work. 
The upgrade comes with a 2 year warranty, including all parts that we've used. This excludes failure of components beyond the work we have carried out. We therefore ask that the equipment you send for upgrade is in good working order.
Please note this is just an upgrade modification, it does not include the Mark Levinson CD transport.
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