Leak Stereo 130: Unleashing the Ultimate HiFi Amplifier

Introduction

In the world of audio enthusiasts, high-quality sound amplification plays a crucial role in delivering an immersive and captivating listening experience. With advancements in technology, amplifiers have evolved to meet the demands of audiophiles, offering exceptional sound reproduction and versatility. In this review, we will delve into the realm of hifi sound amplification and explore the remarkable capabilities of the Leak Stereo 130 amplifier.

The Leak Stereo 130 amplifier is a testament to the brand’s commitment to excellence and innovation. Based on the classic Leak Stereo 30 model from 1963, this integrated amplifier combines vintage charm with modern features to create a truly remarkable audio device. Designed to be the heart of any audio system, it seamlessly integrates with both digital and analog sources, making it a versatile choice for music lovers.

With its built-in ES9018K2M-based DAC, the Leak Stereo 130 supports signals up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256, ensuring pristine audio quality and remarkable detail retrieval. Additionally, it features an MM phono stage for vinyl enthusiasts, allowing them to enjoy their favorite records with exceptional clarity and warmth.

The amplifier operates in class AB, providing a balance between efficiency and power output. The meticulous attention to detail during its development is evident through its careful shielding of components, separate low-noise power supplies for critical circuits, and the segregation of analog and digital signal paths. With a power output of 45 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 65 watts per channel into 4 ohms, the Leak Stereo 130 delivers ample power to drive a wide range of speakers.

Visually, the Leak Stereo 130 exudes elegance with its aluminum front panel housing intuitive controls such as input selector, volume knob, two-tone controls, a “Direct” button for bypassing tone controls, and a headphone output. Its sleek silver finish adds a touch of sophistication to any setup.

In the next sections of this review, we will explore the technical specifications, design and construction, functionality, sound characteristics, sound performance, advantages, value for money, and conclude our assessment of the Leak Stereo 130 amplifier. So join us as we embark on an audio journey that promises to captivate your senses and elevate your listening experience to new heights.

Technical Specifications

The Leak Stereo 130 amplifier is a powerful and versatile integrated amplifier that boasts impressive technical specifications. It operates in Class AB, delivering a robust power output of 45 watts per channel at 8 ohms and 65 watts per channel at 4 ohms. This ensures ample power to drive a wide range of speakers and deliver dynamic and detailed sound reproduction.

When it comes to sound quality, the Leak Stereo 130 excels with its high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 108 dB, ensuring minimal background noise and a clean audio signal. Additionally, the amplifier has a low total harmonic distortion (THD) of just 0.005%, guaranteeing accurate and faithful sound reproduction without unwanted distortion.

In terms of connectivity, the Leak Stereo 130 offers a comprehensive range of inputs and outputs. It features multiple analog inputs with three pairs of RCA inputs, allowing you to connect various analog sources such as CD players or turntables with its built-in MM phono stage. Furthermore, it provides digital connectivity options including coaxial and two optical inputs, enabling seamless integration with compatible digital audio sources.

The amplifier also includes two USB ports for connecting external devices, although it does not have a built-in USB player. Additionally, it supports Bluetooth with aptX technology for convenient wireless streaming from compatible devices.

The frequency response of the Leak Stereo 130 spans from a minimum of 20 Hz to a maximum of 20,000 Hz, ensuring accurate reproduction of both low and high-frequency sounds. With its ability to handle different impedance loads, this amplifier is compatible with a wide range of speakers.

Overall, the technical specifications of the Leak Stereo 130 demonstrate its capability to deliver powerful and high-quality audio performance across various sources and formats. Its robust power output, low distortion levels, versatile connectivity options, and wide frequency response make it an excellent choice for audiophiles seeking an integrated amplifier that combines performance and versatility.

Design and Construction

The Leak Stereo 130 amplifier boasts a sleek and modern design that is sure to catch the eye of any audio enthusiast. Its silver color adds a touch of elegance to any audio setup. The amplifier is constructed with high-quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity.

One notable design feature of the Leak Stereo 130 is its efficient cooling system. The amplifier is designed with careful attention to heat dissipation, allowing it to operate at optimal temperatures even during long listening sessions. This not only ensures the longevity of the amplifier but also maintains its performance at its best.

To further enhance audio quality, the Leak Stereo 130 has been meticulously engineered to minimize interference. The separate low-noise power supply blocks for critical components and the separation of analog and digital signal paths contribute to a cleaner and more accurate sound reproduction.

The connectors and switches on the amplifier are of exceptional quality. They are sturdy and provide a secure connection, ensuring a reliable audio signal transmission. The presence of multiple inputs, including analog, coaxial, optical, USB, and Bluetooth with aptX support, allows for versatile connectivity options.

Overall, the design and construction of the Leak Stereo 130 amplifier showcase attention to detail and commitment to delivering high-quality audio performance. Its sleek appearance, efficient cooling system, high-quality connectors, and interference-reducing design features make it a standout choice for audiophiles seeking both style and functionality in their audio setup.

Functionality

The Leak Stereo 130 amplifier offers a wide range of functionality, making it a versatile choice for audio enthusiasts. It is designed to seamlessly integrate with various audio sources, including CD players, computers, smartphones, and more.

One notable feature of the amplifier is its extensive connectivity options. It includes multiple inputs such as line-level analog, coaxial, optical, and USB inputs. This allows users to connect their preferred audio devices easily and enjoy high-quality sound reproduction.

In addition to the standard inputs, the Leak Stereo 130 also supports Bluetooth connectivity with aptX support. This enables wireless streaming from compatible devices, providing convenience and flexibility in audio playback.

To cater to individual preferences and optimize the sound output, the amplifier includes balance controls and tone adjustments. These features allow users to fine-tune the audio according to their liking, enhancing the overall listening experience.

Furthermore, the amplifier incorporates a built-in MM phono stage, catering to vinyl enthusiasts who can connect their turntables directly to the amplifier. This ensures accurate and high-fidelity reproduction of vinyl records.

The inclusion of a remote control adds convenience by allowing users to adjust settings from a distance. It enhances the overall user experience by providing easy access to various functions without having to manually operate the amplifier.

Overall, the functionality of the Leak Stereo 130 amplifier is impressive. Its versatile connectivity options, balance controls, tone adjustments, and remote control capabilities make it a user-friendly device that can adapt to different audio setups and preferences.

Sound Characteristics

The Leak Stereo 130 amplifier delivers exceptional sound characteristics that will captivate any audiophile. With its impressive performance, this amplifier truly shines in providing a remarkable audio experience.

One of the standout features of the sound quality is its incredible level of detail. The amplifier allows you to hear every nuance and subtlety in your music, bringing it to life with astonishing clarity. Instruments are beautifully separated, creating a spacious and immersive soundstage that enhances the overall listening experience.

The bass response of the Leak Stereo 130 is nothing short of impressive. It delivers deep and punchy bass that adds a solid foundation to the music. Whether you’re listening to rock, jazz, or electronic music, the amplifier reproduces the low frequencies with accuracy and impact, making your favorite tracks come alive.

The treble clarity of this amplifier is exceptional. It provides a smooth and detailed high-frequency response without any harshness or distortion. The highs are crisp and well-defined, adding sparkle and brilliance to the music without overpowering other elements.

When it comes to different music genres, the Leak Stereo 130 excels in adapting its sound signature to suit various styles. It effortlessly handles classical compositions, bringing out the delicate nuances of each instrument with grace and precision. For rock and pop music, it offers a dynamic and energetic presentation that makes you feel like you’re right there at a live concert. Jazz enthusiasts will appreciate the amplifier’s ability to recreate the warmth and intimacy of a small jazz club.

Overall, the sound characteristics of the Leak Stereo 130 are exceptional across all genres. Its ability to reproduce music with incredible detail, instrument separation, powerful bass response, and clear treble make it a versatile amplifier that can enhance your listening experience regardless of your preferred genre.

Please continue with the next section – “Sound Performance.”

Sound Performance

The sound performance of the Leak Stereo 130 amplifier is truly exceptional, delivering an auditory experience that will captivate even the most discerning audiophiles. This amplifier has been meticulously designed to faithfully reproduce audio signals, ensuring a level of clarity and precision that is truly impressive.

One of the standout qualities of the Leak Stereo 130 is its ability to produce a remarkably balanced and natural sound. The tonal balance across different frequency ranges is incredibly well-maintained, allowing for a rich and immersive listening experience. Whether you’re listening to delicate classical music or hard-hitting rock, this amplifier ensures that every note and nuance is conveyed with utmost accuracy.

The dynamics of the sound produced by the Leak Stereo 130 are also worth mentioning. The amplifier effortlessly handles both quiet passages and explosive crescendos with finesse, maintaining a level of control and detail that is truly remarkable. The result is a soundstage that feels expansive and three-dimensional, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the music.

Furthermore, the amplifier’s ability to handle complex musical passages with ease is truly impressive. Even when faced with intricate arrangements and demanding instrumentals, the Leak Stereo 130 maintains its composure, never sacrificing clarity or detail. This ensures that every instrument can be heard distinctly, contributing to a more engaging and immersive listening experience.

Overall, the sound performance of the Leak Stereo 130 is nothing short of exceptional. Its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals with clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance across different frequency ranges sets it apart from other amplifiers in its class. Whether you’re a casual listener or a dedicated audiophile, this amplifier will undoubtedly elevate your listening experience to new heights.

Advantages

The Leak Stereo 130 amplifier offers several advantages that set it apart from its competitors in the market. Firstly, its versatility is a standout feature. With the ability to work with both digital and analog sources, it can easily integrate into any audio system. The inclusion of a high-quality DAC based on the ES9018K2M chip ensures excellent audio performance, supporting signals up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256.

Another advantage of the Leak Stereo 130 is its thoughtful design and construction. The company has paid great attention to shielding the components and has used separate low-noise power supplies for critical components. This meticulous approach helps to minimize interference and maintain signal purity. Additionally, the separation of analog and digital circuits further contributes to the overall audio quality.

In terms of power output, the amplifier delivers impressive performance. With 45 watts per channel at 8 ohms and 65 watts per channel at 4 ohms, it provides ample power to drive a wide range of speakers. This ensures a dynamic and engaging listening experience, with plenty of headroom for demanding music passages.

When comparing the Leak Stereo 130 with other models in its price range, it stands out due to its comprehensive feature set and exceptional sound quality. While some competitors may offer similar power output or connectivity options, few can match the detailed sound reproduction and overall refinement that this amplifier provides.

Furthermore, the inclusion of a MM phono stage adds value for vinyl enthusiasts, allowing them to connect their turntables directly to the amplifier without the need for an external phono preamp. This convenience factor enhances the overall user experience.

Overall, the Leak Stereo 130 amplifier offers a compelling package of versatility, design excellence, and powerful performance. It outshines many competitors in its price range by delivering exceptional sound quality across various sources and providing thoughtful features that enhance the overall listening experience.

Value for Money

The Leak Stereo 130 amplifier offers exceptional value for money due to its impressive performance, extensive features, and reasonable price point. When considering the overall package, it becomes evident that this amplifier delivers a high-quality audio experience without breaking the bank.

In terms of performance, the Leak Stereo 130 excels in delivering powerful and detailed sound reproduction. With a power output of 45W per channel at 8 Ohms and 65W per channel at 4 Ohms, this amplifier is capable of driving a wide range of speakers with ease. The low levels of distortion (0.005%) ensure that the audio remains clean and accurate, allowing listeners to fully immerse themselves in their favorite music.

Furthermore, the inclusion of a high-resolution DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) based on ES9018K2M technology ensures that digital audio signals are converted with exceptional precision and clarity. This feature allows users to enjoy their favorite music in its purest form, revealing intricate details and nuances that may otherwise go unnoticed.

The Leak Stereo 130 also offers a comprehensive range of connectivity options, including analog inputs, coaxial and optical inputs, USB ports, and even Bluetooth support with aptX compatibility. This versatility enables users to connect various audio sources such as CD players, turntables, streaming devices, or smartphones effortlessly. Additionally, the presence of an MM phono stage allows vinyl enthusiasts to enjoy their record collection without the need for an external phono preamp.

Considering its reasonable price point compared to other amplifiers in its class, the Leak Stereo 130 represents excellent value for money. It combines high-quality components, advanced features, and exceptional performance at a more accessible price tag than many competitors. This makes it an attractive option for both audiophiles seeking uncompromising sound quality and those looking to upgrade their audio system without breaking their budget.

In conclusion, the Leak Stereo 130 amplifier provides outstanding value for money. Its exceptional performance, extensive features, and reasonable price make it a compelling choice for anyone seeking a high-quality amplifier that delivers impressive audio performance without breaking the bank. Whether you are an audiophile or a casual listener, the Leak Stereo 130 offers a compelling value proposition that is hard to resist.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Leak Stereo 130 amplifier is a remarkable piece of audio equipment that combines vintage charm with modern functionality. With its roots in the classic Leak Stereo 30 model, this amplifier has been upgraded to meet the demands of today’s audio enthusiasts.

The technical specifications of the Leak Stereo 130 are impressive, offering a wide range of features and capabilities. From the inclusion of a high-quality DAC based on ES9018K2M technology to the MM phono stage and multiple input options including Bluetooth with aptX support, this amplifier caters to both digital and analog sources.

The design and construction of the Leak Stereo 130 are top-notch. The attention to detail in shielding components and separating analog and digital circuits ensures pristine audio quality. The aluminum front panel, coupled with intuitive controls and headphone output, adds to the overall user experience.

Functionally, the Leak Stereo 130 excels with its ability to deliver 45W per channel into 8 Ohms and 65W per channel into 4 Ohms. The inclusion of an equalizer allows for fine-tuning of the sound, while the absence of Wi-Fi or AirPlay connectivity might be a drawback for some users.

When it comes to sound characteristics, the Leak Stereo 130 truly shines. It produces a clean and detailed soundstage with excellent clarity across all frequencies. The low distortion levels ensure accurate reproduction of music, making it suitable for both casual listening and critical listening sessions.

In terms of performance, the Leak Stereo 130 exceeds expectations. It effortlessly drives speakers with power and precision, resulting in an immersive listening experience. The integration of the MM phono stage further expands its versatility, allowing vinyl enthusiasts to enjoy their favorite records with exceptional fidelity.

One of the key advantages of the Leak Stereo 130 is its value for money. While it may not have all the bells and whistles found in higher-end amplifiers, it delivers exceptional performance at a more affordable price point. This makes it an excellent choice for audiophiles on a budget or those looking to upgrade their existing audio setup.

In conclusion, the Leak Stereo 130 amplifier is a standout performer in its class. Its combination of classic design, modern features, and exceptional sound quality make it a compelling option for both audio enthusiasts and casual listeners alike. If you are in search of an amplifier that delivers power, versatility, and value for money, the Leak Stereo 130 is definitely worth considering.

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