Leema Acoustics has launched the Libra DAC/preamp, an “astonishingly featured- packed high-resolution digital hub, combining highly advanced digital NOLIDLEEMAtechnologies 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 said to be fully future-proofed. 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.

The new high-resolution DAC/preamp contains Leema Acoustics’ new fully balanced Quattro Infinity dual-mono DAC modules which are field-replaceable; should conversion technology improve in the future, the modules can be upgraded. The advanced Quattro Infinity modules also feature user-selectable output filters, for maximum flexibility with higher sample-rate sources. 

The Libra boasts loads of connectivity options plus 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 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 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”.

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.

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.

For added flexibility in the digital age, the Libra also has an optional Bluetooth interface and a headphone amplifier.

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.

The Libra DAC/preamp is priced at £5,995 and is available now.

 

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