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Leema Xens

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Dazed, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. Dazed

    Dazed
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    Hello Peeps. I received my Leema Xen 5.1 setup, consisting of 5 Leema Xens and 1 SPLX10 subwoofer.

    After a week of pretty critical listening, albeit while the speakers are well within their “break-in” period, my thoughts are “you beauties”. They are by far the best speakers that I’ve ever owned, they should be, they are by far the most expensive speakers I’ve ever owned.

    Firstly, the Xens. They seem incredibly well engineered, the main body of the speaker is made from steel while the baffle is a very thick piece of maple. The baffle is connected to the main body of the cabinet by 16 tiny bolts while the backplate is also connected to the cabinet in the same manner. The back features two incredibly sexy sets of binding posts for bi-wiring.

    The Xens were delivered in three boxes of two Xens, a nice touch from Leema was that the third box which should have contained only 1 Xen also contained the carcass of a Xen featuring just the cabinet and a dummy baffle, in this carcass you can see some sort of what is probably sound damping material and a steel tube cross brace. They do look pretty “professional”, and they might not be to every bodies taste, but I think they look just groovy. Even Ms Dazed is coming around to them….hmmm. They are also tiny, obviously not tiny when compared to my previous Gallo NMs, but tiny compared to all of the other speakers I’ve ever owned, they measure 22cm tall, 14cm wide and about 20cm deep.

    The SPLX10 looks just as well engineered as the Xens, the design is one I haven’t come across before. The cabinet is made from the same high quality steel as the Xens, the design features a 10 inch, very serious looking driver. About 5cm in front of the driver is a piece of maple featuring the Leema logo. I think the design is called a “pressure zone cabinet” (?), it can also be used in a downward firing configuration. The rear (or top) features all the usual controls, power, function – full or low pass, volume, crossover and phase and the high and low level connections. The SPLX10 has a 250w amp.

    I’m driving the setup with a 2011, fully mcacc’ed up for my far less than perfect positioning. The speakers don’t seem to present a very difficult load for the 2011 despite their 6 ohm rating, even at pretty high volumes the amp barely gets hot, infact I think the Pioneer used to get hotter driving the Gallo’s – not sure why this should be, maybe I’m just imagining it.

    Blah Blah Blah. What about the sound I hear you ask. Just one word is sufficient – awesome. Just awesome. The sound just sort of exists, completely independent of the actual boxes themselves, I’ve heard people talking about a lack of boxiness, especially with my previous speakers the Gallo Nucleus Micros but these are on a different plain. The clarity and level of detail are breathtaking, I know it’s a cliché but I am actually hearing stuff I’ve never heard before. Last night I had a bit of a “late period” Radiohead and Mogwai session, at low(ish) SPLs and the insight was just superb, the bass was just so clean and pure, the soundstage so wide that I couldn’t actually bring myself to go to bed, just one more track, one more track. I’d only really heard about “holographic imaging” I didn’t really know what it meant. I do now. On heavier stuff, like Rammstein, Mad Capsule Markets, Will Haven etc the guitar “crunch” and “attack” (not “hi-fi” words I know) was just sublime, the closest I’ve ever heard to actually bashing out those oh so satisfying chops yourself. On more dance oriented material like Left Field the bass is just all enveloping and so, so sweet, effortless and yet fearsomely accurate. He-he, and I’m still only probably about half way through the recommended 70hr break in period.

    What about the sub? Well to tell you the truth you don’t actually hear it, it’s there of course but such is the level of integration that the sub has simply disappeared. Maybe it’s because I’ve moved the sub about a metre from my old subs position, maybe the 80hz crossover point lends itself to better integration than the Gallos 100hz (80hz is a far better and more satisfying crossover point than 100hz imo) I don’t know, as it stands I’m finding it difficult to talk about the subs strengths due to the amazing integration between the Xens and SPLX10.

    On multi-channel material the sound is just as good IMO, although to tell you the truth I was so busy enjoying LOTR The Two Towers that I simply forgot to really listen to what the Xens were doing. Needles to say however the imagery was transparent and very coherent, beyond anything that I’d previously heard.

    Is there a downside to the Xens, well yes. I’d really love to hear what these babies sound like with some top-notch amplification but that’s only the upgrade demon having a word (must….resist….must….resist)

    To use one word to describe my Leema owning experience – Chuffed.
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I'm glad that you like the speakers. I first heard them two years ago at the Bristol Show and after having returned several times for another listen I was well and truly hooked and wrote an enthusastic review at the time.

    I went back for a further listen last year taking a few other forum members with me just to make sure that my ears weren't playing tricks on me. They weren't, and one of the people (Juboy) was taken with them sufficiently to buy himself a pair of their floorstanding brothers.

    If anyone is going to Bristol this year, don't walk past the Leema room as you've never heard of them, go in and come out later with a big beaming smile.

    They aren't cheap but quality of this sort rarely is.
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Sound On Sound reviewed them here but I think that the design has been tweaked slightly since then.
     
  4. Dazed

    Dazed
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    Ian

    Thanks, it was your little review that turned me on to Leema.

    As far as I'm aware that review was for the Mk1 Xens, I think they've changed a few things, most visibly the baffle which is maple now rather than black - they were deemed to Industrial looking in that incarnation (although I quite like it, very metal). The only other, and probably more important change that I know about is they've changed the tweeter to one which extends to 30Khz!

    Edit - Nope they did change other things too, a new crossover and new back panel design were also included in the model revision
     
  5. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi Dazed
    Are the xens magnetically sheilded.
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  6. Dazed

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    Gonzo

    Yes they are magnetically shielded, afaik definitely no discolouration on my crt
     
  7. CYRUStheVIRUS

    CYRUStheVIRUS
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    can i ask what you paid for 5 speakers?
     
  8. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi Dazed
    Thanks for replying iam going to have a listen to them if there at bristol as iam not that happy with the musical side of my m&ks there great for movies but a bit hard for music.The problem i have is the speakers are close to my tv and to the walls from what ive read the xens seem to work best in that situation,can you buy just the front three is there a centre or do you just use a xen on its side .
    Thanx in advance Gonzo.
     
  9. Dazed

    Dazed
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    Cyrus - the list price for Leema Xens is £499 each so £2.5k for 5.

    Gonzo - Currently my sides are wallmounted, R&L are stand mounted and the centre is placed on its side on top of the tv. According to Mallory ("Ma" of Leema) this does affect the off axis response and it does sound slightly better when placed vertically, but it still sounds damn fine, damn fine. Hopefully I'm moving house soon so I'll try and wallmount or standmount the centre.

    If you're interested have a word with the Leema chaps -

    http://www.leema-acoustics.com/contact.html.

    I think they're very busy at the moment but I'm sure they'll get back to you
     

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