Leema Acoustics is based in Wales and was founded by two ex-BBC sound engineers. I really do love their stuff, and the Hydra II is glorious. So, how have they improved on it for this special Anniversary Edition?
Hydra II Anniversary Edition
Lee returned to the original design and refined it for even greater sonic performance whilst retaining all the qualities that brought critical acclaim to the original version.
About the amp
The Hydra II Anniversary Edition is both highly flexible and hugely powerful. Its dual-mono design uses two massive toroidal power transformers, one for each channel, together with a separate transformer for the control circuitry.
The highly refined output stage benefits from very low output impedance. This, coupled with a high current capability, ensures vice-like grip and precise control of loudspeakers. Full LIPS implementation (Leema’s proprietary communication system) allows for flexible integration with other Leema Acoustics products.
Anniversary Edition upgrades
All relevant capacitors have been upgraded to Nichicon’s high-quality audio-grade MUSE Series. Additionally, the PCB-to-speaker-terminal wiring is Leema’s Reference 2 cable. This cable 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. For those into this kind of thing, the transformers are Noratel ‘xtra quiet’ units. These ensure perfect power delivery without undesirable hum or excessive heat-generation.
Everyone loves certificates with their limited or special editions, don’t they? Well, Leema has included a number of additional documents with the Hydra II Anniversary Edition.
Each amplifier will be supplied with a passport-style system of documentation integrated into the manual. These are signed off by the engineer responsible at three key stages of production. Also, these will include the unit’s measured results.
Finally, as well as all the internal upgrades, the Anniversary Edition also benefits from a number of aesthetic enhancements.
I have to also add how impressed I am with Leema’s commitment to the environment. Their amplifiers will now be supplied in a re-usable cloth bag with printed Leema logo.
Also, their packaging inserts are now 100% recycled high-impact black cellular foam. This now makes the entire packaging 100% recyclable. Da iawn, Leema!
Hydra II Anniversary Edition specifications
- Output power non-bridged mode: 148W rms 8 Ohms/Ch; 292W rms 4 Ohms; 320W rms 2 Ohms/Ch
- THD: 0.004%
- Noise: < -100 dB
- Frequency response: 5Hz – 80kHz (+0/-3 dB)
- Number of balanced inputs (XLR): 1
- Number of un-balanced inputs (RCA): 3
- Pre-out outputs: 1
- Thermal protection: Yes
- LIPS system: Master or slave
- Dimensions: 440x320x110mm
- Weight: 18Kg
Price and availability
The Hydra II Anniversary Edition is available now priced at £4,795 and is offered in black/silver.
Note: the Anniversary Edition will be available alongside the standard version that sells for £3,795