About the LEAK Stereo 130
Classic look. Contemporary sound.
Classic look. Contemporary sound.
The British company LEAK Audio was a huge name in Hi-Fi from 1934 to 1979, when they all but disappeared from the market. Now they're back with the LEAK Stereo 130, an integrated amplifier that pays visual homage to their old-school roots. Inside the rugged and attractive chassis are carefully chosen components that make analog and digital sources sound great.
The Stereo 130 delivers 45 watts of clean power per channel for driving a pair of speakers — it pairs particularly well with LEAK's sibling brand Wharfedale.
My hands-on experience with the LEAK Stereo 130
When we set up a demonstration at our headquarters building, we aim to build a great-sounding system, first and foremost. When it came time to test the LEAK Stereo 130, we had the benefit of visual appeal, too. The attractive silver faceplate on the amp matched the LEAK CDT CD transport, and we chose the elegant walnut outer chassis for both components. We completed the vintage-look system with a pair of JBL L82 Classic speakers. For analog sources, we offered a brace of turntables — the belt-driven Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB in walnut, and a striking silver direct-drive Technics SL-1500C.
As someone who grew up in the 70s, I must confess I got an extra layer of tactile satisfaction from using the chunky rotary source selection and volume knobs. There's something so cool about being able to use modern sources, including Bluetooth, but still enjoy clean, classic styling. As for the sound, the Stereo 130's 45 watts were plenty to drive the JBL speakers. The L82 Classics feature an 8" woofer, and those of us who listened to the demonstration really felt the amp brought out the full dynamic range the speakers can reproduce. A few of us sat and listened to Herbie Hancock's classic Headhunters album on vinyl, and we thrilled to the dizzying array of futuristic sounds Hancock was wringing out of his electric piano, clavinet, and synthesizers — all rendered in a broad, enveloping soundstage by the LEAK amp and our speakers.
If you like modern convenience with a rock-solid old-school feel, I can't recommend the LEAK Stereo 130 highly enough.
Connections for your components
The Stereo 130 has a superb ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC inside that makes digital sources sound their best. There are two coaxial digital inputs on the back of the unit, plus a Toslink optical input for connecting a CD player, TV, or similar device. A USB Type-B input lets you connect a computer. Coaxial and Toslink outputs let you pass the signal to another digital component. Built-in Bluetooth with high-quality aptX streaming gives you convenient playback from your phone, tablet or computer.
Analog music fans have plenty to work with, too. There are two sets of auxiliary RCA inputs, and a dedicated phono stage for connecting a turntable with a moving magnet cartridge. A single set of RCA preamp outputs let you upgrade to a more powerful amp while still using the Stereo 130's preamp and DAC. And if you like to listen privately while working, there's a 1/4" headphone jack on the front panel.
- 45 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz)
- 65 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms (20-20,000 Hz)
- powerful, efficient Class AB amplification
- total harmonic distortion: 0.005% (30 watts, into 8 ohms)
- signal-to-noise ratio: 108dB
- built-in Bluetooth® with aptX audio coding for a better-sounding connection to compatible devices
- built-in phono stage for turntables with moving magnet cartridges
- premium ESS Sabre32 Reference ES9018K2M DAC supports high-res digital files up to 32-bit/384kHz
- digital inputs: 2 Toslink optical, 1 coaxial (handles signals up to 192kHz)
- digital outputs: 1 Toslink optical, 1 coaxial
- USB Type-B input for connecting to a computer (PCM files up to 384kHz, DSD up to 11.2MHz)
- 2 sets of stereo RCA aux inputs
- phono input for connecting a turntable with a moving magnet cartridge
- 1 set of stereo RCA outputs
- 1/4" headphone jack on front panel
- one pair of binding post speaker terminals
- USB Type-A input for software updates
- 12-volt trigger input and output
- detachable power cord
Dimensions and warranty:
- 12-15/16"W x 5-3/4"H x 13-5/16"D
- weight: 18.3 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # LEKIASTR130WLN
What's in the box:
- Stereo integrated amplifier
- 6 AC power cord
- Remote control
- User Manual
- USB and DSD Setup Guide
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More details on the LEAK Stereo 130
Features & specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||45|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||65|
|Minimum Impedance||4 ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||108|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||Yes|
|Total Analog Inputs||2|
|Optical Digital Inputs||2|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||1|
|Preamp Outputs||Stereo RCA|
|Removable Power Cord||IEC 3-prong|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
Stereo Integrated Amplifier: The Leak Stereo 130 is a high performance, high-fidelity 2-channel integrated amplifier designed to be the perfect match to a wide variety of both analog, digital, and wireless audio sources. It is rated at 45 watts (RMS) x 2 channels into 8-ohms, or 65 watts (RMS) x 2 channels into 4-ohms.
High-Performance DAC: To accommodate the modern-day music enthusiast fully, much effort has been made to ensure the Leak STEREO 130's digital circuitry delivers the level of quality one might expect of a high-performance standalone D/A converter. Utilizing the acclaimed ES9018K2M Sabre32 Reference chip with ESS Technology's 32-bit HyperStream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, the LEAK STEREO 130 offers ultra-low noise, high dynamic range of digital audio files with a sampling rate of up to 384kHz (PCM) and DSD256.
Dedicated Headphone Amplifier Circuit: The LEAK STEREO 130 uses a dedicated amplifier circuit with current-feedback technology for the headphones output. Equal in performance to some standalone headphone amplifiers, the design offers high-speed output signal transition thanks to a high slew rate. The result is a dynamic, detailed and engaging performance with all manner of headphone types. The unit is equipped with a front-panel 1/4" headphone jack for connection of your headphones. The headphone output can be adjusted up to 4.5V for connection of a variety of headphones. Connecting headphones will mute the audio signal to your connected loudspeakers.
Audio Controls: The Leak Stereo 130 offers independent Bass & Treble control that can be adjusted from -6 to +6dB. There is also a Balance control that allows you to adjust the sound output balance of the left and right speakers. In addition, there is a Direct mode which bypasses the integrated amp's Tone controls to reduce noise and electronic interference in order to reproduce the purest sound possible.
Bluetooth Audio Streaming: The Leak Stereo 130 integrated amplifier offers built-in Bluetooth 4.2 with support for wireless audio streaming (A2DP) and control (AVRCP). You'll be able to wirelessly stream stored music, music apps, and other audio content from your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, and laptop to the integrated amp. You'll also be able to control Play/Pause and Previous/Next Track functions from the included IR remote. In addition to supporting Bluetooth's standard SBC codec, the Leak Stereo 130 is compatible with Qualcomm's aptX codec for "CD-quality" (16-bit/44.1kHz) wireless audio streaming from aptX compatible source devices (including some Android smartphones and tablets).
Note: You can pair multiple Bluetooth source devices with the Leak Stereo 130, but only one device can be connected and used for playback at a time.
USB-B Input: The Leak Stereo 130's USB-B input allows connection to your Windows PC (Vista-up) or Mac (OS X 10.6.4-up) computer for playback of stored digital music files on your compatible laptop or desktop computer through the integrated amplifier. A Windows PC will require the installation of a USB driver. A mac computer does not require the installation of a separate USB driver. The unit supports playback of PCM (44.1kHz to 384kHz), DSD64 (2.8MHz), DSD128 (5.6MHz), and DSD256 (11.2MHz) music files. System Requirements include -
- Windows Vista and up , or Mac OS 10.6.4 and up
- Intel Core 2 @ 1.6GHz or similar AMD processor
- 1GB RAM
- USB 2.0 Interface
Note: There is also a rear-panel USB-A input that is used for service and firmware updates only. The USB-A input does not support media playback.
Digital Inputs & Outputs: The Leak Stereo 130 is equipped with two optical (toslink) digital inputs and one coaxial (RCA) digital input that support 44.1kHz to 192kHz digital audio sampling frequencies. It also features an optical (toslink) and coaxial (RCA) digital output to connect to a higher quality external DAC.
Note: The digital inputs and outputs do not support Dolby Digital, DTS, or any other multichannel surround format.
Line-Level Inputs & Outputs: The Leak Stereo 130 integrated amplifier features two analog line-level stereo RCA inputs. It is also outfitted with a stereo RCA pre-out that allows you to use the Stereo 130 as a preamplifier and connect it to a separate power amplifier.
MM Phono Input: The Leak Stereo 130's has a built-in Moving Magnet (MM) phono pre-amplifier which allows for direct connection to a turntable record player so you can enjoy your classic vinyl collection. A ground terminal is offered to reduce any hum or noise.
Binding Post Speaker Output Terminals: The Leak Stereo 130 integrated amplifier is outfitted with 5-way binding post terminals for connection of a pair of 8-ohm or 4-ohm loudspeakers. These 5-way binding posts will accept bare wire (up to 12AWG), pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single or dual).
Simple Control: The Leak Stereo 130 offers simple front-panel controls, plus comes with an IR remote for wireless operation of the stereo integrated amplifier. The IR remote uses two "AAA" batteries (not included).
- Front-Panel: Front-panel controls include Power, Volume, Input, Bass, Treble, Balance, & Direct.
- IR Remote: The IR remote provides Power, Volume, Input, Play/Pause, Previous/Next Track, and Direct. The Play/Pause and Previous/Next track functions are only supported when Bluetooth is selected as the source input.
12V Trigger: The Leak Stereo 130 features a 12V Trigger Input (3.5mm) which allows the integrated amplifier to turn on at the same time as a connected source device or amplifier with a 12V Trigger Output. There is also a 12V Trigger Link (3.5mm) that allows you to daisy-chain the 12V Trigger Input signal to another component with a 12V Trigger Input, so the system can turn on at the same time.
Auto Standby: The Leak Stereo 130 will automatically go into Standby mode if there is no audio signal or no operation for a set period of time. You can set the Auto Standby time to 20 minutes or 1 hour.
Protection Mode: The Leak Stereo 130 is protected by a thermal switch which interrupts the AC power supply if the amplifier is grossly overloaded for a period of time. It is fully protected against gross overload and short-circuit protection.
Note: The unit does not protect against high or extreme temperatures. Make sure to install the Leak Stereo 130 in a well ventilated area.
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