Digital audio never sounded so good
Decades of experience in digital audio for professional studios worldwide, crystallises in the fabulous new Leema Libra DAC.
Enveloped in the same precision machined casework as our famous Tucana and Antila products, the new Libra DAC’s simple but elegant looks conceal a staggering array of class leading technologies. The sheer quantity of input options alone is breathtaking:
Three coaxial and three optical inputs are present, capable of accepting high-resolution 24 bit 192kHz audio naturally, but these are joined by some of the more esoteric options, including two I2S inputs via RJ45 connectors. Featuring fully programmable pin allocation of one of these inputs in software, any high end source with an I2S interface can easily be accommodated.
For those who own sources with professional standard AES/EBU outputs, there are 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, meaning that the Libra precisely regulates the data rate coming from the computer, delivering incredibly low jitter levels. This feature, together with full galvanic isolation using cutting edge spinning electron technology, ensures that the music you have on your computer sounds as good as is technically achievable.
Since its early reveal at the Bristol show, Libra has been upgraded to provide DSD64, DSD128, DXD & 384kHz via the USB and I2S inputs. DSD64 is also supported via all SPDIF inputs (coax and optical) and AES/EBU inputs.
Libra incorporates our new fully balanced Quattro Infinity dual-mono DAC modules. These new modules feature user selectable output filter bandwidth for maximum flexibility with higher sample rate sources. They are also field replaceable. Should conversion technology improve in the future, the modules may be upgraded, thereby future proofing your investment.
Analogue audio has of course not been forgotten, with three separate 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, right up to the balanced analogue outputs.
For convenience, there is also a Bluetooth interface, making music replay from suitably equipped tablet computers or telephones, quick, easy and wireless.
Flexibility features again in the output section. 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 and can control Leema’s range of power amplifiers directly.
Finally a very high quality headphone amplifier is included, making Libra the ideal single box conversion solution.
The Leema Libra DAC… Digital audio as it always should have been.
HiFiNews HighlyCommeded Logo
“Overall, even when it is working purely as a digital converter, Leema’s Libra gives little or nothing away to its rivals at or near its price. Its special mixture of forensic levels of detail and an easy, organic >musicality is truly beguiling. It has the openness of a top piece of studio equipment with a natural ease and enjoyability that hi-fi enthusiasts crave.” Nick Tate, HiFi News
“The Libra extracts detail and information from the piece that has largely eluded my attention in the twenty three years since I first heard it. The brilliant balancing act is that the Libra makes the best of any given recording without ever stepping over into drastically altering it or putting its own spin on things.”
“Of course, if you stop messing around with early nineties dance albums and feed it something rather more intense- the 24/96kHz download of Blackstar for example, the Libra is simply superb. Once again, it decodes the material with the lightest of light touches and aside from the tremendous detail retrieval, it simply sounds natural, effortlessly balanced and decidedly real.”
“If you have a varied collection of material that spans different genres, tempos and styles, the Libra is the device you need to make it all sound good rather than the perfectly honed tool for a single job.”
“What is truly impressive is that the Libra has managed to balance all of this functionality with the effortlessness of the scales of its namesake. It simply delivers music with an honesty, accuracy and refinement that gives it tremendous all round ability. This is a specialised area of the market but the Libra does so much right, it deserves to be on anyone’s audition list for a DAC- or indeed a preamp at this price point.” – Ed Selley
“Usually the line stages of a product such as this aren’t as good as the digital, but that’s not the case here. The Libra’s analogue inputs sound a touch cleaner and subtler than the digital alternatives, displaying a pleasing degree of clarity and naturalness.”
Specification / Features
(See User Manual for full specification)
Analogue Inputs: 3 (configurable as Balanced or Un-Balanced)
Bluetooth interface: Yes
Headphone Amplifier: Yes (high quality)
S/PDIF Coaxial Inputs: 3 (24 bit 192kHz & DSD64)
S/PDIF Optical Inputs: 3 (24 bit 192kHz & DSD64)
I2S Inputs: 2 via RJ45 connectors (24 bit 384kHz, DXD, DSD64 & DSD128)
One I2S Input has fully programmable pin allocation
AES/EBU Inputs: 2 via XLR connectors (24 bit 192kHz & DSD64)
Asynchronous USB: Yes (24 bit 384kHz, DXD, DSD64 & DSD128)
USB: Yes (fully asynchronous – Windows & Macintosh)
USB Isolation: Full Galvanic