Leema Quantum series makes high-end hi-fi more affordable
High-end hi-fi brand Leema Acoustics has unveiled its first new audiophile offerings for more than a decade, with the Quantum range essentially repackaging the company's flagship Constellation series in a more affordable – relatively speaking – form factor.
Founded in 1998 by former BBC engineers Lee Taylor and Mallory Nicholls "as a means of further exploring the fanatical interest in audio reproduction," Leema Acoustics began with micro monitors called the Xen that were initially available to audio pros only, but subsequently found their way to the listening rooms of audiophiles.
Hi-fi components followed from 2006, starting with an integrated amplifier and expanding to include a CD player, power amp, and music server. Back in February of this year, the Welsh company announced a more affordable Quantum series of separates comprising the Electron CD player, Positron music streamer, Neutron DAC/pre-amp and Graviton power amp. Those last two are now the first out of the Quantum gate.
Leema notes that though the casework has been simplified, a single transformer has replaced the multi-transformers and the board assembly has also been reworked, since many of the new gear's custom-made PCB components are the same as those in the Constellation line, this allows "economies of scale to directly benefit the new Quantum range."
The Neutron boasts a 24-bit/192-kHz ESS USB digital-to-analog converter, a Burr-Brown analog volume control, 13 inputs – including RCA, balanced XLR and a switchable MM/MC phono stage to meet the needs of vinyl enthusiasts – and outputs like fixed-level record, sub ports and a dedicated headphone amp.
Of note in the Graviton is "what could be the biggest toroidal power supply ever seen at its price point." The Class A/B stereo power amp offers 150 watts per channel into 8 ohms or 260 watts into 4 ohms, with six matched Toshiba output transistors per channel for "high instantaneous current delivery for superior transient capability and long-term reliability." Bi-wiring is supported by dual binding posts, and there's line-level loop-through outputs for bi-amping.
"Quantum takes much of the Leema Acoustics’ Constellation product design, yet simplified to meet a more affordable price point," said co-founder Lee Taylor. "However, no compromises have been made where it really counts: the onboard phono stage is cloned directly from the award-winning Essentials Phono, USB is handled via an XMOS interface rather than the Leema M1 module, signal switching is via gold-palladium relays, not solid state, plus volume is regulated via an analog resistor ladder; Leema Acoustics has used this method for nearly 25 years."
The Neutron and Graviton can be had as a pair for £2,800 (which converts to around US$3,570) or purchased individually for £1,500 a pop. Each unit is available in a brushed black or silver finish.
Source: Leema Acoustics