Maria - Daniel Hertz amplifier

Daniel Hertz presents

Maria

a paradigm shift in audio amplification
personally designed by Mark Levinson

 

 

Cello Audio Palette Mark Levinson

Maria is disruptive because it has natural sound, performance and advantages that are achieved exclusively by the new Daniel Hertz technology. Maria brings out the best in all high quality speakers regardless of size or cost.

While there have been revolutionary advances in video, mobile phones and computers since the 1970's, the entire industry is using audio technology from that era. Daniel Hertz spent 15 years developing new semiconductors, electronic architecture, and software that replace the old technology.

Like the iconic Mark Levinson LNP-2 Preamplifier and Cello Audio Palette, Maria sets a new sonic standard with minimalist design and astonishing quality of finish equivalent to the finest watches and cameras.

ML2

1974 - LNP-2 Preamplifier

Cello Audio Palette Mark Levinson

1985 - Audio Palette

Maria Daniel Hertz Amplifier

2022 - Maria

As legendary audio journalist Bert Whyte said about Mark's work in 1972, Maria is, "monetary considerations aside... the premier choice."

 

Story

“My associates and I have done everything possible to make the Daniel Hertz Maria the best it can be, refusing to compromise design, quality and performance.

 

Those of you who are fortunate to have one, will treasure it the way musicians value their favorite instruments, and for the same reasons.”

 

Mark Levinson

Three Maria models

The Daniel Hertz Maria Signature Edition is a limited production high performance amplifier, hand made in Venice, Italy with artisan materials and craftsmanship never used before in an audio product.

Maria sets a new standard of excellence in sound quality and design, with many exclusive advantages for those who refuse to compromise their music.

 

Maria is available in three versions: Maria 50, Maria 200 and Maria 800, all with the same mirror finish black Perpex chassis. Different sets of  internal modules determine 2 or 4 channel operation, and the output  power per channel.

 

All three models include the same main motherboard, Mighty Cat IC  with the embedded DH Might Cat software suite and fully  programmable signal flow. All the advantages are included in all three  models including C Wave Technology, speaker tuning, and digital to  analog conversion with no separate DAC.

Maria 50

Price: 8000€
Specification
  • 2 channels
  • 50WPC RMS @ 8 ohms
  • 100WPC @ 4 ohms
  • The actual power is higher – Maria 50 is conservatively rated and puts out substantially more power than it's rated 50WPC.
Benefits to the customer

Maria 50 meets the needs of the most demanding music lovers with typical dynamic range requirements.

 

Upgrade Policy

Maria 50 is not upgradable to the Maria 200.

Maria 200

Price: 15.000€
Specification
  • 2 channels,
  • 200WPC RMS @ 8 ohms,
  • 400WPC @ 4 ohms.,
  • The Maria 200 is upgradable to the Maria 800
Benefits to the customer

Maria 200 is a high power, living product that can grow as your needs change, with no financial loss to you.  Maria 200 is the last amplifier you will buy.


Upgrade Policy

Maria 200 is upgradable to Maria 800 for the difference in cost. Upgrades are done by the  factory or a factory authorized technician. Customer pays shipping to and from the factory or service  center.  Full factory new warranty is effective from the date of upgrade.

Maria 800

Price: 30.000€
Specification
  • Like the Maria 200 but with 4 channels,
  • 200WPC  RMS @ 8 ohms
  • 400WPC @ 4 ohms.
  • The Maria 800 has active crossovers for driving bi-amplified speakers with no additional electronics
  • It can also be configured in bridge  mode operation to put out 800WPC in stereo (2 channel) mode.
Benefits to the customer

Maria 800 meets the needs of those who want uncompromised performance from the most advanced bi-amplified speakers.

The Daniel Hertz Maria amplifier is named in honor of Mark Levinson’s mother, Maria Hertz Levinson, who in 1966 sold her cello to get the money to buy him the Italian double bass c. 1680 that he plays today. Mother’s love is a category of 1.

FEATURES

Elegance, Efficiency
and Integration

Maria is a single chassis that contains all the electronics and software required to obtain uncompromised performance from the best speakers, which are by definition bi-amplified.

Maria contains, in one chassis:

  • Preamplifier with 3 analog and 3 digital inputs
  • WiFi Receiver
  • Embedded DH Mighty Cat Audio Software Suite
  • Active Crossovers
  • C Wave Technology
  • Speaker Tuning
  • Headphone Jack
  • Headphone Tuning
  • Power Amplifiers x 4 Channels
  • Regulated Power Supplies (90-250V)
  • DH Speaker Connectors
  • DH Speaker Connector Tightening Tool

Quality and simplicity

Maria is a minimalist, elegant design with unparalleled performance, ease of use, and unique advantages. In a world that pushes mediocrity and complexity, Maria stands for uncompromised quality and maximum simplicity.

Build

Maria is built with proprietary new Daniel Hertz technology on the inside, and a new type of chassis on the outside that embodies the uncompromised excellence of Maria’s performance and sound quality.

Sound

The sound of Maria is lightning fast, extremely smooth with no “electronic” sound, and has astonishing punch, dynamics, deep bass, imaging and detail. The sound of Maria is unavailable at any price from “high end audio” amplifiers using old technology.

C Wave

DH patent-pending C Wave technology offers the sound and feeling of pure analog audio from all sources including digital content, opening the door to streaming with natural sound previously impossible to obtain.

New technology

The new Daniel Hertz amplifier technology, including main motherboard, power supplies and output stages, enables the most natural sound with stunning dynamics, punch, detail and imaging, with no electronic sound, beyond the limitations of typical “tube” and “transistor” equipment. Many engineering advances and refinements add up to maximizing the benefits, to obtain a unique listening experience unavailable any other way.

Digital to analog conversion with 384kHz native resolution, no separate DAC

The exclusive Daniel Hertz Mighty Cat Class D amplifier IC (integrated circuit) converts digital audio to analog with no separate DAC, providing native resolution of 384kHz. Some 384kHz DAC’s alone cost 25,000 euros. The DH Maria offers resolution second to none, in a highly integrated design with the most elegant signal path that eliminates sources of coloration and degradation.

All preamplifier functions

The main functions of a preamplifier include input selector, precision volume control, optimum input parameters, optimum output parameters, high linearity, low distortion, low crosstalk, low noise and high headroom (no clipping). Maria includes the functions of the most expensive preamplifiers – and much more - with maximum performance, reliability, and ease of use.

¼” headphone output on the front panel

A ¼” headphone jack is provided on the front panel on the right. A polished stainless steel knob screws into the front panel so the jack is covered when not in use. The DH Maria’s embedded software includes headphone tuning capability to optimize the performance of any headphone.

1 megohms analog inputs

1 megohms analog inputs The DH Maria has 3 analog inputs that can be used to connect any device with analog outputs such as a phono preamplifier, analog tape deck, digital recorder, analog tuner, cassette deck, or a CD, SACD or DVD player with analog outputs. The 1 megohms input impedance (first introduced by Mark Levinson with his company Cello, Ltd. In the 1980’s) virtually eliminates loading of the input signals to obtain the cleanest possible sound. Maria is optimized not only for reproducing digital content, but also pure analog material and analog recordings that have been digitally remastered and then produced in LP format. (many so-called “analog” LP’s are digitally mastered). Maria faithfully reproduces all content regardless of the format.

Digital inputs and WiFi

3 digital inputs are provided: USB, Coax and WiFi (with a module that also offers high resolution Bluetooth). Macs and PC’s are hard wire connected via the USB input; professional equipment often uses coax; and any device with WiFi or Bluetooth – computers, phones, tablets and mobile phones – can use the wireless input provided by the receiver module on the rear panel. The WiFi module can connect directly to a WiFi enabled device, or via a router. Connecting the module to a router enables the device to simultaneously access the internet and play through Maria. Sound quality with WiFi is superb, similar to hard wired.

Daniel Hertz Speaker Connectors designed and made in house

DH speaker connectors, made in house, go beyond “high end audio” standards. Instead of adding soldered speaker connectors like typical cables, DH speaker connectors sandwich the bare speaker wire between two brass plates that are tightened with a DH tightening tool made of stainless steel and Delrin, for unimprovable quality of connection that never degrades. The threaded brass rod connects to the power amplifier output stage inside the chassis, where it is fastened with brass nuts, only millimeters away from the speaker wire, for the shortest possible signal path.

The Secret Sauce

In partnership with Intersil (now Renesas), a major US semiconductor company, and a team of top-level engineers, Daniel Hertz developed a proprietary semiconductor called Mighty Cat, a visionary idea from founder Mark Levinson.

 

Mighty Cat is a high-performance Class D amplifier IC (integrated circuit) with internal blocks that run the embedded, exclusive Mighty Cat software suite that is part of what makes DH disruptive.

 

Mighty Cat is the “brain” of Maria and all DH amplifiers. Mighty Cat has fully programmable architecture which enables a new level of performance, precision and flexibility in music reproduction, as well as many conveniences and practical advantages.

 

Mighty Cat enables re-programming and updates at any time in the future, making it a living product.


The Holy Grail - the sound and feeling of pure analog audio from digital content.

DH C Wave Technology (Continuous Wave Technology) is the result of 20 years of research and development by Mark Levinson and a team of experts in audio and health fields. C Wave is the highly innovative, disruptive and proprietary technology that the world has been waiting for: a way to get the enjoyment and musicality of pure analog audio from all digital sources including streaming, movies, and internet audio. Imagine Youtube music sounding like the best pure analog high speed open reel tape recordings.

C wave technology
Pure analog  Continuous waveform
Analog

C Wave is a subtle, highly engineered, patent pending  process, not a sound effect or gimmick. Pure analog audio  is based on a continuous waveform, digital audio is  based on a sampled, non-continuous waveform. The  human brain senses the difference and responds to digital  audio with a fatigue reaction that interferes with the  listening experience.

PCM digital audio  non-continuous waveform
Digital

C Wave fills in the spaces with original musical  information, so the brain responds more like to pure  analog (red line).


C Wave is embedded in all daniel hertz amplifiers  including maria, so all sources – music, movies,  internet – even digitally mastered LP records – are  improved on the fly.

Mighty Cat Embedded Software Suite

Mighty Cat is accessed via a DSP port on the rear panel which connects to a Windows PC running the master control software program. When you hear the refinements enabled by Maria’s embedded software suite, you won’t want to listen without them.

 

The blocks in the Mighty Cat software suite allow control over every aspect of the signal flow, and enable selection of active crossover frequency points, slopes and curves; fine tuning of loudspeaker frequency response in 0.1dB increments; C Wave technology; headphone tuning; selection of overall dB gain, and dB gain of each function; and much more.


DH technology is used in other premium audio applications such as car sound for Ares Design of Modena, Italy.

Maria or....

WiFi Receiver

DAC

Preamplifier

Active Crossover

Mono amp 1

Mono amp 2

Mono amp 3

Mono amp 4

Plus
• AC cables
• Interconnect cables
• Heat
• Weight
• Furniture to put them on
• Electrical cost

Maria is a single chassis solution that provides all the functions of a DAC (digital to analog converter), preamplifier, power amplifiers x 4 channels, headphone output, with embedded fully programmable DH Mighty Cat software that includes active crossovers, patent pending DH C Wave Technology, speaker tuning,and more.

GALLERY

SPECIFICATIONS

All Maria models

Input Impedance - 1 MOhm

Frequency response - 5 Hz - 30 kHz

Amplifier resolution - 384 kHz PWM, 3ns

AC Power - 90V - 240 V

Height - 110mm (22.0'')

Width - 430mm (16.9'')

Depth - 330mm (13.0'')

Weight - 6kg (13 lbs)

Fuse - 15 A

Digital inputs: Bluetooth, digital coaxial, USB Audio 2.0, WIFI


Bluetooth (wireless) - 24, 48 kHz

Digital Coaxial - 24 bit, 192 kHz

USB Audio Class 2.0 - 24 bit, 192 kHz

Analog input - stereo RCA 3x

WIFI

 

Outputs Analog: RCA, headphones, speakers


Record Out - RCA (fixed level)

Headphones - 1/4"" Jack

Maria 50

two channels @ 50WPC minimum @ 8 ohms, 100WPC @ 4 ohms;

Maria 200

two channels @ 200WPC @ 8 ohms, 400 WPC @ 4 ohms;

Maria 800

4 channels @ 200WPC @ 8 ohms, 400 WPC @ 4 ohms.

Let's talk about your new amplifier:

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Dr. Daniel J. Levinson and Maria Hertz Levinson



On the right, Dr. Daniel J. Levinson and Maria Hertz Levinson, parents of Mark Levinson, in Berkeley, California, c.1945. Because the name Mark Levinson is owned as a corporate trade name by a large company, Mark used Daniel (his father’s first name) and Hertz (his mother’s maiden name) to name his new company Daniel Hertz. Mark is free to use his personal name in association with his designs and work in audio.


Heinrich Hertz, the first to demonstrate the electro-magnetic wave in 1888, is a relative of Mark through the Hertz family. In his honor, the term for cycles per second (cps) was named Hertz (Hz, kHz, MHz, GHz).


Daniel (1920 1994) was a psychologist , one of the founders of the field of Adult Development psychology, and the author of a number of influential books in the field of psychology. He was assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University for 16 years, and a professor of psychology at Yale University for 24 years.
Maria Hertz (1916 2017) was born in Austria. She left with her family after the Nazi invasion in 1938 and moved to the U.S. in 1939 to pursue her studies. She had a long career as a research and clinical psychologist and worked (along with Daniel and others) on the well-known books The Authoritarian Personality and The Seasons of a Man's Life.


In 1966, Maria sold her cello to raise $250 to buy the old Italian double bass (c.1680) that Mark found in Spain when on tour with jazz pianist Paul Bley, and still plays today.


Daniel and Maria imparted their love of jazz and classical music to their sons Mark and Doug.