Leema Acoustics launches an upgraded Anniversary Edition of Hydra II power amp

Better inside and out

by Mark Hodgkinson Jan 27, 2018 at 9:05 AM


  • Hi-Fi News

    Leema Acoustics launches an upgraded Anniversary Edition of Hydra II power amp
    Leema Acoustics, the Welsh high-performance audio specialist founded by two ex-BBC sound engineers, 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 original, says Leema. The enhanced amplifier has been improved and updated by Leema Acoustics’ co-founder Lee Taylor, who has returned to the original design and refined it for better sonic performance.

    In addition to multiple internal upgrades, the Anniversary Edition also sports a number of aesthetic enhancements that 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 a bridgeable stereo power amp incorporating many developments pioneered in Leema’s legacy monoblock, the Altair IV. The Hydra II Anniversary Edition’s dual-mono design uses two massive toroidal power transformers, one for each channel, together with a separate transformer for the control circuitry.

    The output stage benefits from very low output impedance, says the manufacturer and this, coupled with a high current capability, ensures what they describe as a ‘vice-like grip’ and precise control of loudspeakers, even at very high levels. Full LIPS implementation (Leema’s proprietary communication system) allows for integration with other Leema Acoustics products.

    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, promising 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.

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

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