Leema Hydra II Anniversary Edition power amp launched

Leema Hydra II Anniversary EditionLeema Acoustics has launched a special Anniversary Edition of its Hydra II power amplifier. To mark its 10th birthday, this powerhouse amplifier has been treated to some tasty upgrades.

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

Leema Hydra II Anniversary EditionThe Hydra II Anniversary Edition has been sympathetically improved and updated by Leema Acoustics’ co-founder Lee Taylor.

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

Leema Hydra II Anniversary EditionThe Hydra II Anniversary Edition is an intelligent, bridgeable stereo power amplifier incorporating many developments pioneered in Leema’s legacy reference-grade monoblock, the Altair IV.

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.

Leema Hydra II Anniversary EditionThe 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

Leema Hydra II Anniversary EditionThe amplifier features upgraded printed circuit boards with twice the amount of copper to further reduce the resistance of PCB traces and improve power delivery.

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.

Documention

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.

Anniversary style

Finally, as well as all the internal upgrades, the Anniversary Edition also benefits from a number of aesthetic enhancements.

Leema Hydra II Anniversary EditionHere you’ll notice a new front panel with a machined and chrome-plated solid billet Leema Delta logo. Naturally, there is also an ‘ANNIVERSARY EDITION’ badge.

Eco-friendly

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

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