Leema liberates the DAC

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Leema liberates the DAC
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Leema Acoustics has launched the Libra, its most advanced DAC/preamp to date, featuring 24-bit/384kHz playback over USB, upgradeable DAC modules, Bluetooth and DSD. The Libra DAC/preamp, a fully featured high-resolution digital hub, combining advanced digital technologies with a broad complement of connectivity options. The Libra is the latest addition to Leema Acoustics’ flagship Constellation series and has the same precision-machined casework as the award-winning Tucana amp and Antila CD player. The high-resolution Libra DSD DAC has been designed for today’s (and tomorrow’s) HD audio world and is fully future-proofed. The Libra can playback DSD 64, DSD 128, DXD and 384kHz PCM via USB (and Libra’s I2S inputs). DSD64 is also supported via all S/PDIF and AES/EBU inputs.

Upgradeable DAC modules
Leema Acoustics’ new fully balanced Quattro Infinity dual-mono DAC modules are field-replaceable; should conversion technology improve in the future, the modules can be upgraded, giving long-lasting flexibility throughout the product’s lifespan. The Quattro Infinity modules also feature user-selectable output filters for maximum flexibility with higher sample rate sources.

The Libra offers three coaxial and three optical inputs, each capable of accepting 24-bit/192kHz audio. For high-end partnering equipment, the Libra also offers some more esoteric options, including two I2S inputs via RJ45 connectors. With fully programmable pin-allocation on one of these inputs in software, any high-end source with an I2S interface can easily be accommodated. Source components with professional standard AES/EBU outputs can also be connected: the Libra offers two input connections via XLR sockets. Leema's M1 USB module provides a connection for computer audio replay from Windows (driver software included), Macintosh and Linux machines. This interface is fully asynchronous, allowing the Libra to precisely regulate the data rate coming from the computer and deliver low jitter levels. This feature, together with full galvanic isolation using cutting- edge spinning-electron technology, ensures that music delivered over USB is as good as current technology will allow.

Libra also offers three analogue inputs, each of which can be individually configured as unbalanced, via RCA Cinch connectors, or fully balanced via XLR connectors. The entire signal path, both digital and analogue, is fully balanced from the digital data stream to the balanced analogue outputs. Flexibility features again in the output section. The Libra is able to operate either as a conventional source component with fixed output level, or as a high-end preamplifier with full analogue volume control on-board. Outputs are provided via unbalanced RCA/Cinch connectors and balanced XLR connectors.
For added flexibility the Libra also has an optional Bluetooth wireless interface, allowing high-quality music replay from suitably equipped tablets, smartphones and other compatible devices. A high-quality headphone amplifier is also included.
The Libra DAC/preamp is priced at £5,995 and available now. It will be on demonstration at the Bristol Sound & Vision show later this month.