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What better way to mark an important birthday than with a new turntable? That's exactly what luxury US hi-fi brand Mark Levinson has done, revealing to the world what it considers to be the first deck to be worthy of the brand's name.

It's developed the No.515 turntable in partnership with VPI Industries, and the deck is designed and built in the USA, with its global launch taking place at CES 2017 in Las Vegas this week.

There's nothing basic about the design: it is based on a vinyl-wrapped and highly damped MDF and aluminium sandwich main chassis, supported by machined Delrin and aluminium feet with a vibration-damping polymer.

The hefty aluminium platter rotates on an inverted bearing, which uses a stainless stell shaft spinning in a phosphor bronze bushing "for maximum rotational accuracy".

A high-torque AC synchronous motor is mounted to the chassis and housed in its own mechanically isolated enclosure. The platter is driven by a pulley and triple belt drive system for "smooth, quiet operation" at 33 and 45rpm.

A 3D-printed tonearm with integral headshell and stainless steel counterweight is mounted to a rigid, aluminium arm base with adjustable vertical tracking angle. A stainless steel record weight and platter mat complete the set-up.

Mark Levinson says the No.515 turntable was designed to complement the company's Pure Phono stage included in its No.526 and No.523 preamplifiers.

The deck will be available with or without a factory installed moving coil (MC) cartridge this summer, with prices starting at $10,000 for the non-cartridge version.

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