If you’ve never seen this unit in person prepare to be in awe. Too bad America doesn’t build audio equipment like this anymore. This thing is ridiculous in both size, weight, and design.
In 1993 this reference unit cost a staggering $8495. To buy a transport nowadays of this quality you’d have to drop close to $20k. CD’s haven’t changed much since that era, so there would be few benefits to buying a current reference unit, unless you’re into burning your own MP3 CD’s.
On the back you will find a highly regarded ST Glass Fiber interface of the 150MHz variety. If you are lucky enough to have a DAC with this sort of input be sure to use it. There are also Toslink, Coax and XLR digital connections.
Flanking the unit you will notice two large power supplies in their own housing. It’s essentially a 3 piece transport with all pieces attached together. I challenge you to find a similar unit in design and extravagance. Shipping weight is a staggering 62 lbs.!
Here is a great quote from Stereophile (Google the model number to read the full review) “As with other aspects of the No.31's performance, the transport's features, user interface, and functionality are unprecedented. The No.31 operates like no other CD transport” “Needless to say, the No.31 is extraordinary visually, functionally, and tactilely. The unit's feel, operation, features—in fact, the user's experience—are far beyond that of any other transport. The No.31 was a joy to use. The top-loading design, motorized lid, and damper make disc changing a little slower than drawer-type transports, but never to the point of inconvenience”.
Functionally the unit is in perfect working condition. All buttons operate as they should, the mechanism works almost instantly, and tracks to perfection. Switching between tracks is remarkably fast and you can hear the speed of the disk change as you go to the outer tracks. This fast switching is due to the fact that they use a low mass CD damper.
The display is bright and clearly legible. The motorized top opens without hesitation and is super solid feeling and sounding. The power button in the front has a wear mark on it (see pic).
Cosmetically the unit is not perfect by any means, although it looks really good and most people would be pleased. It has a few rub marks on the edges and a ding here and there. The rubber on the bottom of the feet has deteriorated and is replaced by stick-on pads.
All buttons on the remote works as they should. The remote has some damage near the battery cover from corrosion caused by leaking batteries. Very common with aluminum remotes.
The unit will be double packed in a Mcintosh box (best in the industry).
Here are some specs: Single-play CD transport
Outputs: One AES/EBU on XLR jack (110 ohms), one S/PDIF on RCA jack (75 ohms), one HP ST-Type optical (AT&T–compatible), one EIAJ (Toslink) optical.
Additional inputs and outputs: Slave in and slave out (for communication with other Mark Levinson digital products).
Dimensions: 19.375" W by 5.56" H by 13.726" D (14.426" H with lid open).