Leema Acoustics launches an Anniversary Edition of its classic Hydra II power amp

Review - Leema Hydra II

Leema Hydra II

Leema Acoustics launches an Anniversary Edition of its classic Hydra II power amp
L eema Acoustics, has launched a special Anniversary Edition of its Hydra II power amplifier, celebrating 10 years since its classic powerhouse amplifier made its debut.

The new Hydra II Anniversary Edition is a significantly upgraded version of the popular original. The enhanced amplifier has been sympathetically improved and updated by Leema Acoustics’ co-founder Lee Taylor, who has returned to the original design and refined it for even greater sonic performance. The amp retains all of the qualities that brought critical acclaim to the original version, with Taylor revisiting the key areas of circuitry that define character and sound quality delivery.

In addition to multiple internal upgrades, the Anniversary Edition also benefits from a number of aesthetic enhancements to include a new front panel with a machined and chrome-plated solid billet Leema Delta logo, and an ‘ANNIVERSARY EDITION’ badge.

The Hydra II Anniversary Edition is an intelligent, bridgeable stereo power amplifier incorporating many developments pioneered in Leema’s legacy reference-grade monoblock, the Altair IV. The Hydra II Anniversary Edition is both highly flexible and hugely powerful. Its dual-mono design uses two massive toroidal power transformers, one for each channel, together with a separate transformer for the control circuitry.

The highly refined output stage benefits from very low output impedance. This, coupled with a high current capability, ensures vice-like grip and precise control of loudspeakers, even at very high levels. Full LIPS® implementation (Leema’s proprietary communication system) allows for flexible integration with other Leema Acoustics products.

■ Anniversary Edition upgrades in detail

Internally, the amplifier features upgraded printed circuit boards with twice the amount of copper to further reduce the resistance of PCB traces and improve power delivery. All relevant capacitors have been upgraded to Nichicon’s high-quality audio-grade MUSE Series and the PCB-to-speaker-terminal wiring is Leema’s Reference 2 cable which features 16 woven cores plus multi-strand high-purity copper with individual strand silver-plate.

All transistors are hand-selected and precision-matched in amplifier sets for optimal performance and the lowest distortion. The power amplifier transformers are Noratel ‘xtra quiet’ units, ensuring perfect power delivery without undesirable hum or excessive heat-generation.

In a further nod to the amplifier’s Anniversary Edition status, Leema has included a number of additional documents. Each amplifier will be supplied with a passport-style system of documentation integrated into the manual, where three key stages of production are signed off by the engineer responsible along with the inclusion of the unit’s measured results.

■ Primary differences in the Hydra II Anniversary Edition:

• All printed circuit boards significantly upgraded to higher-spec copper and gold: twice the weight of metal on the board

• All relevant capacitors upgraded to high-quality ‘Nichicon’ audio-grade types

• All transistors hand-selected and precision-matched in amplifier sets for optimal performance and lowest distortion

• Power amplifier transformers upgraded to Noratel ‘xtra quiet’ low-noise/low-temperature-rise spec, with silicon-steel belly band magnetic shielding.

• Amplifier cable to terminal wiring is now the recently launched Leema Acoustics’ Reference 2 speaker cable: 16 woven cores, multi-strand high-purity copper with individual strand silver-plate

• Terminal and PCB output wiring uses silver solder

• Custom front panel with machined and chrome-plated solid billet Leema Delta logo and ‘ANNIVERSARY EDITION’ badges.

• Each amplifier will have an individual passport, with each stage of assembly signed off by the production engineer responsible.

• Each amplifier will include a duplicate of the production testing and measuring result documentation signed off by the test engineer.

• Amplifiers will now be supplied in a re-usable cloth bag with printed Leema logo. Packaging inserts are upgraded to 100% recycled high-impact black cellular foam. Entire packaging is now 100% recyclable.

■ Specifications

• Output power non-bridged mode: 148W rms 8 Ohms/Ch; 292W rms 4 Ohms; 320W rms 2 Ohms/Ch

• THD: 0.004%

• Noise: < -100 dB

• Frequency response: 5Hz - 80kHz (+0/-3 dB)

• Number of balanced inputs (XLR): 1

• Number of un-balanced inputs (RCA): 3

• Pre-out outputs: 1

• Thermal protection: Yes

• LIPS® system: Master or slave

• Dimensions: 440x320x110mm

• Weight: 18Kg

■ Price and availability

The Hydra II is available now priced at £4,795 and is offered in black or silver

Note: the upgraded version will be available alongside the standard version which sells at £3,795




Header

From CSUtil: Header

Register

Complete your registration for our Hi-Fi Alerts service by entering an (optional) two further interests below.

Interest?

1.
 
2.
 
3.
 
 
Register
 

Please check your emails for your first Hi-Fi Alert.

Finish