Leema Acoustics launches the Libra, its most advanced DAC/preamp to date, featuring 24-bit/384kHz playback over USB,
upgradeable DAC modules, Bluetooth, DSD and more! (£5,995)
Leema Acoustics, the internationally respected hi-fi manufacturer founded and run by two ex-BBC sound engineers, has launched the Libra DAC/preamp, an astonishingly featured packed high-resolution digital hub, combining highly advanced digital technologies with an incredible 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.
Designed and built by Lee Taylor and Mallory Nicholls (Leema), Libra’s simple-yet- elegant looks conceal a staggering array of class-leading technologies. The new Libra crystallises Leema’s decades of experience in digital audio for professional studios worldwide.
The high-resolution Libra DSD DAC has been designed for today’s (and tomorrow’s) HD audio world and is fully future-proofed (see below). The Libra offers extreme high resolution playback including: DSD 64; DSD 128, DXD and 384kHz PCM via USB (and Libra’s I2S inputs). DSD64 is also supported via all S/PDIF inputs (coaxial and optical) and AES/EBU inputs.
Future-proof: upgradeable DAC modules
The new high-resolution DAC/preamp is thoughtfully future-proof, too. It contains Leema Acoustics’ new fully balanced Quattro Infinity dual-mono DAC modules which are fieldreplaceable; should conversion technology improve in the future, the modules can be upgraded, giving long-lasting flexibility throughout the product’s lifespan. The advanced Quattro Infinity modules also feature user-selectable output filters, for maximum flexibility with higher sample-rate sources.
The Libra boasts a class-leading range of connectivity options for the digital age, bringing the latest digital audio engineering to a wide range of connected devices. The Libra offers three coaxial and three optical inputs, capable of accepting high-resolution 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 3 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 available via industry standard XLR connectors.
Leema’s class-leading M1 USB module provides a connection for computer audio replay from both 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 incredibly 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.
Analogue preamp, too!
Of course, Libra is more than just a high-resolution DSD DAC. Libra offers three separate 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 audio component with fixed output level, or as a high -end pre-amplifier with full analogue volume control on-board. Outputs are provided via unbalanced RCA/Cinch connectors and balanced XLR connectors. Libra is also a full LIPS controller (see below) and can control Leema Acoustics’ range of power amplifiers directly.
Bluetooth, headphone stage and more…
For added flexibility in the digital age, the Libra also has an optional Bluetooth interface, allowing high-quality music replay from suitably equipped tablets, smartphones and other compatible devices, quickly, easily and wirelessly. For personal listening, a very high-quality headphone amplifier is also included, further enabling the Libra as the ideal single-box D/A conversion solution.
LIPS is an acronym of Leema Intelligent Protocol System. It is a communication bus that enables Leema Acoustics components to communicate with other units in the range. The communication enables simple control of power on/off from one unit, right up to the control of all functions in a Leema Acoustics system, comprising up to 15 individual components.
S/PDIF coaxial inputs: 3x (24-bit/192kHz and DSD64)
S/PDIF optical inputs: 3x (24-bit 192kHz and DSD64)
I2S Inputs: 2x via RJ45 connectors (24-bit/384kHz, DXD, DSD64 and DSD128); one I2S input has a fully programmable pin allocation
4 AES/EBU inputs: 2x via XLR connectors (24-bit/192kHz and DSD64)
Asynchronous USB: 1x (24-bit/384kHz, DXD, DSD64 and DSD128)
Bluetooth interface: optional
Headphone amplifier: high-quality unit
USB: (fully asynchronous – Windows and MacIntosh)
USB isolation: full galvanic
Price and availability
The Libra DAC/preamp is priced at £5,995 and is available now.