I'm all for the underdog

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Oxfordian

Well-known member
Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the big movers, owned many in the last 40-odd years: Pioneer, Denon, Marantz, Monitor Audio, PMC etc etc.

As I'm the only poster on here that currently owns an Exposure and Leema, either I'm foolhardy or unique. You decide.

I like to champion the lesser known brands. The only thing they lack over the big brands is (pun intended) exposure.
Exposure are very much on my radar for my next upgrade, I've known about them for some years. Leema on the other hand are very new to me and not a brand I'd heard of until getting a demo last year which was impressive.

I think for many it is the uncertainty of going with the unknown that scare them, would I throw £4k on a brand I didn't know, not sure, I know that I would have to do a lot of research first.
 
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Revolutions

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You're both ;)

Leema deserve to do well with products like this pair.
All the inputs and output power that many could ever want.
I'm not saying £3,000 is nothing, but they might well hold off the urge to upgrade for years (if at all).
Comparatively good British value, for sure:
Could be the first and last time you'll ever see a white for right and red for left RCA socket for line in/out (on the power amp).
This looks great. More digital inputs than I’d use in a million years, but nice power for A/B & a great price. Will have to find somewhere I can listen to that.
 
Exposure are very much on my radar for my next upgrade, I've known about them for some years. Leema on the other hand are very new to me and not a brand I'd heard of until getting a demo last year which was impressive.

I think for many it is the uncertainty of going with the unknown that scare them, would I throw £4k on a brand I didn't know, not sure, I know that I would have to do a lot of research first.
If you use Companies House, Leema Electro Acoustics Ltd is almost dormant and was about to be struck off less than a year ago. The founders, Mallory Nicholls and Lee Taylor, were directors of another Leema company, Leema Engineering. But that was dissolved in 2014.

All very confusing, and not as transparent as, say, ATC or Linn. That’s not to say they are perfectly sound and trading from another name, but it’s certainly opaque to me.

Their website is copyright 2015, and has no trace of the recent products. Maybe I’m missing something?

 

podknocker

Well-known member
I read a lot of 'best buy British' on here and when I look a bit deeper, there are very few brands actually owned by British companies and/or making stuff in the UK. It's shocking and very confusing really. I think Cyrus is still a UK company and their kit is made in China. I get the feeling people think I'm a Cyrus hater, but that's not the case at all. They make great kit and I'm sure it sounds great, but their narrow and deep casework, with tiny calculator style displays are dated and can be bettered, by HIFI Rose for example. The RS520 is £3399 and it's a lot of money, but it gets you more than you would get spending this amount on Cyrus, or Naim. I do struggle to understand why many people are fixated with Cyrus, Naim and Linn, amongst others, when many other brands are offering much better kit. I've read and watched every RS520 review and it's a superb product and I intend to buy one. The RS520 is something Cyrus should be selling, at the same price and if they did, I'm sure I'd be wanting a Cyrus device. There's a lot of brand loyalty these days and it's almost like a cult, where other HIFI brands are dismissed as inferior or even considered subversive, threatening sales of these popular 'UK' brands. All companies need to start somewhere and It would be interesting to dig out first impressions and comments about the now highly esteemed brands like Naim and Linn etc. I love the fact there are other brands out there, underdogs or not and I think companies like HIFI Rose and Eversolo will prove to be successful brands, regardless of the negative and dismissive comments on a variety of forums. The guy and his team at HIFI Rose have made a few great HIFI devices and in a very short period of time. Cyrus have been around for decades and are churning out the same expensive box and display and I don't want to buy anything from Cyrus, with the RS520 available now. It is a better product and until 'UK' brands offer something similar, for the same cost, I will look at stuff from abroad.
 
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You're both ;)

Leema deserve to do well with products like this pair.
All the inputs and output power that many could ever want.
I'm not saying £3,000 is nothing, but they might well hold off the urge to upgrade for years (if at all).
Comparatively good British value, for sure:
Could be the first and last time you'll ever see a white for right and red for left RCA socket for line in/out (on the power amp).
Takes Leema a long time introduce their new products. It took them 2 years to introduce the Pulse IV.

These new products are certainly worth a demo.
 
Exposure are very much on my radar for my next upgrade, I've known about them for some years. Leema on the other hand are very new to me and not a brand I'd heard of until getting a demo last year which was impressive.

I think for many it is the uncertainty of going with the unknown that scare them, would I throw £4k on a brand I didn't know, not sure, I know that I would have to do a lot of research first.
Certainly don't need 4k to throw at a Leema & Exposure. The Elements range of amps are worth a listen at around £1800.
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
I read a lot of 'best buy British' on here and when I look a bit deeper, there are very few brands actually owned by British companies and/or making stuff in the UK. It's shocking and very confusing really. I think Cyrus is still a UK company and their kit is made in China. I get the feeling people think I'm a Cyrus hater, but that's not the case at all. They make great kit and I'm sure it sounds great, but their narrow and deep casework, with tiny calculator style displays are dated and can be bettered, by HIFI Rose for example. The RA520 is £3399 and it's a lot of money, but it gets you more than you would get spending this amount on Cyrus, or Naim. I do struggle to understand why many people are fixated with Cyrus, Naim and Linn, amongst others, when many other brands are offering much better kit. I've read and watched every RA520 review and it's a superb product and I intend to buy one. Ths RA520 is something Cyrus should be selling, at the same price and if they did, I'm sure I'd be wanting a Cyrus device. There's a lot of brand loyalty these days and it's almost like a cult, where other HIFI brands are dismissed as inferior or even considered subversive, threatening sales of these popular 'UK' brands. All companies need to start somewhere and It would be interesting to dig out first impressions and comments about the now highly esteemed brands like Naim and Linn etc. I love the fact there are other brands out there, underdogs or not and I think companies like HIFI Rose and Eversolo will prove to be successful brands, regardless of the negative and dismissive comments on a variety of forums. The guy and his team at HIFI Rose have made a few great HIFI devices and in a very short period of time. Cyrus have been around for decades and are churning out the same expensive box and display and I don't want to buy anything from Cyrus, with the RA520 available now. It is a better product and until 'UK' brands offer something similar, for the same cost, I will look at stuff from abroad.
People are fixated with Linn or Naim or Cyrus or any other UK brand you care to mention in exactly the same way that you are fixated on HiFi Rose RA520.

Out of curiosity, what is it that your RA520 has that a product from the UK doesn’t have, apart from a made in Korea badge?
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
I saw him! But what company are they trading from? And why is a website out of date in 2024?
Marketing department is asleep at the wheel, as per my earlier references to others. Their Facebook page is their go-to now, but hi-fi is dominated by boring, middle-aged men, who run a mile from things like Twit-Face. So are Leema an underdog or just a sleeping giant? Their products deserve to be better sellers, but these toys don't sell themselves. If they did, IotaVX would be in the best sellers list.
 

podknocker

Well-known member
People are fixated with Linn or Naim or Cyrus or any other UK brand you care to mention in exactly the same way that you are fixated on HiFi Rose RA520.

Out of curiosity, what is it that your RA520 has that a product from the UK doesn’t have, apart from a made in Korea badge?
My gripe on this thread is really with Cyrus and I think their kit is under specced, overrated and overpriced. I don't know what they spend their R&D budget on, but it can't be aesthetics and design, with the now 40 year old case etc. The HIFI Rose has HDMI, extensive and intuitive options via the large, clear display, which I've mentioned. I think the EQ options are great and although I think VU meters are a bit of a gimmick, there are loads of cosmetic options, if you like that sort of thing. It's also got the option of up to 4TB of internal storage, for all your FLACs etc. Cyrus will never give this option. You'd have to spend a huge amount of money on Cyrus stuff, to get anywhere near the power and spec of the RS520 and you'd still have several small displays to squint at with the Cyrus boxes. I sometimes think nobody else on here has actually watched any of the RS520 reviews and seen what the thing can do and how flexible and useful it is. It's also a 250WPC Class D amp by the way, not just a really great streamer. Try getting a really powerful and flexible streaming amp from Cyrus, for £3399 and be able to see the display from 12 feet away. The full width touch screen on the RS520 is amazing and nothing from Cyrus, or any other UK brand comes close. I also love the fact it doesn't have knobs and physical buttons, apart from the 4 at the top of the unit, for volume etc. I'm done with rotary volume knobs and dirty pots after my experience with the nasty Quad Vena 2 I had several years ago. My Audiolab Omnia is an improvement over this and there are no volume knobs to turn and go wrong. Never again. Cyrus and Naim are cumbersome, ugly and dated designs and it's nice to have a fresh perspective now and then. I think HIFI Rose are going to make roads in the HIFI sector and it will be interesting to see how UK, or 'UK' brands respond to better and cheaper products from a myriad of underdogs and upstarts. I'm not fixated with this device, but I do realise it's a better product than anything from Naim, or Cyrus. I'm not biased towards popular brands, just because they've been round for a while. I also like the streaming amps from NAD and I really like the M10 V2 and even the much cheaper C700 which would cover most bases for me. Their M66 and M23 are also a league above Cyrus and Naim. John Darko currently has these devices, with a pair of KEF R3 meta speakers and Cyrus or Naim rarely mentioned in his videos these days. There's better stuff out there.
 
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Oxfordian

Well-known member
My gripe on this thread is really with Cyrus and I think their kit is under specced, overrated and overpriced. I don't know what they spend their R&D budget on, but it can't be aesthetics and design, with the now 40 year old case etc. The HIFI Rose has HDMI, extensive and intuitive options via the large, clear display, which I've mentioned. I think the EQ options are great and although I think VU meters are a bit of a gimmick, there are loads of cosmetic options, if you like that sort of thing. It's also got the option of up to 4TB of internal storage, for all your FLACs etc. Cyrus will never give this option. You'd have to spend a huge amount of money on Cyrus stuff, to get anywhere near the power and spec of the RA520 and you'd still have several small displays to squint at with the Cyrus boxes. I sometimes think nobody else on here has actually watched any of the RA520 reviews and seen what the thing can do and how flexible and useful it is. It's also a 250WPC Class D amp by the way, not just a really great streamer. Try getting a really powerful and flexible streaming amp from Cyrus, for £3399 and be able to see the display from 12 feet away. The full width touch screen on the RA520 is amazing and nothing from Cyrus, or any other UK brand comes close. I also love the fact it doesn't have knobs and physical buttons, apart from the 4 at the top of the unit, for volume etc. I'm done with rotary volume knobs and dirty pots after my experience with the nasty Quad Vena 2 I had several years ago. My Audiolab Omnia is an improvement over this and there are no volume knobs to turn and go wrong. Never again. Cyrus and Naim are cumbersome, ugly and dated designs and it's nice to have a fresh perspective now and then. I think HIFI Rose are going to make roads in the HIFI sector and it will be interesting to see how UK, or 'UK' brands respond to better and cheaper products from a myriad of underdogs and upstarts. I'm not fixated with this device, but I do realise it's a better product than anything from Naim, or Cyrus. I'm not biased towards popular brands, just because they've been round for a while. I also like the streaming amps from NAD and I really like the M10 V2 and even the much cheaper C700 which would cover most bases for me. Their M66 and M23 are also a league above Cyrus and Naim. John Darko currently has these devices, with a pair of KEF R3 meta speakers and Cyrus or Naim rarely mentioned in his videos these days. There's better stuff out there.
A YT influencer not commenting on certain brands or products is not going to stop me from buying a product from those brands or any other brand.

I am sure that your much favoured RA520 is a damn good product, and I am sure that you will enjoy it once you have saved the pennies to buy one.

A lot of the spec’s are superfluous, 250w isn’t really needed, a 4tb internal storage would contain so many tracks you’d never have enough days in your life to listen to them all. Reading a screen from 12 feet away, well I prefer mine turned off, I’m not reading when I’m listen to music.

But my biggest issue remains, how good is the back up going to be should the worst happen a few years down the road when that warranty has expired, will you be able to get it repaired in the UK, will the unit have to go home or will it become a rather expensive doorstop?

The RA520 sounds a fine product, one that will be enjoyed by many, I just think that it’s not for me, at least until I understand the issue of service and repair better.
 
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podknocker

Well-known member
I think some people out there will find 250WPC of Class D really useful and as for storage, you could always use a smaller capacity SSD. It's an option I'm going to use and it's something not offered by many leading brands. I agree there are many YT influencers talking balls, but it's the future and it's up to people like you and I to discern the difference between the sponsored hype and the genuine enthusiasm and honesty.
 
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matthewpianist

Well-known member
There's a nice one-pager by Andrew Everard in the latest edition of Gramophone, where he challenges the need for having the latest version of something, and is very open about saying a new one isn't necessarily better than the old model, just different.

He cites the reason for new models or versions can be as much down to changes in component availability etc. as it is down to tangible improvements, and I think this is very much an issue with brands who source most of the internals from 3rd party suppliers.

It would be easy to accuse Rega of being lazy. The Brio has changed very little in about 15 years. Yes, the 2017 re-style added a headphone socket and some tweaks, but it's essentially the same amp as the Brio-R in most respects. Why? Because the design works, and it's still a fantastic affordable amplifier. Why mess with it?

Where Rega fall short is in affordable sources beyond turntables. They discontinued the Apollo CD player, and the DAC-R disappeared years ago with no replacement. They don't make a streamer of any kind either. I suspect it's because they stick to what they do best, amplification and turntables, and who can blame them?

At Bristol I was fascinated by the room housing Dual turntables and Advance Paris electronics. The top-end AP system on demonstration was excellent, and they also displayed some very interesting budget models - real Marantz/Denon/Cambridge competitors. I'd love to spend a bit of time with their CD player and integrated amp, but also with the £850 one-box. The Dual turntables are also of interest.

Marantz and Denon have become as lazy as any of the British makers - the 6007 range, for example, has been around quite some time now, and the 6000-series has only gently evolved rather than bringing substantial steps forward in sound.
 
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podknocker

Well-known member
I agree Rega should carry on doing what they do best, amps and turntables, but there are many people like myself really into cutting edge Class D amps and streamers. HIFI Rose see the market for these devices and I doubt they'll start making turntables and multiple amps with phono stages. It's horses for courses and I'm glad there's new stuff being developed. Rega, like many other companies, might feel the need to move into HIFI Rose territory, if and when streaming takes over the turntable and amp with phono stage market. Technology evolves and as I've mentioned before, I won't buy anything with a phono stage, moving parts, or 2 sets of speaker terminals. I'm sure there are people needing all the above, but I'm done buying stuff with features I won't use. My Omnia does everything, but most of the stuff it does will get wasted in my situation. It's a decent stopgap, until I can afford something more functional for my needs. I still have 250 CDs and not played any for well over 12 months now. I never thought that would happen, but as I said technology changes and so do people's needs.
 
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There's a nice one-pager by Andrew Everard in the latest edition of Gramophone, where he challenges the need for having the latest version of something, and is very open about saying a new one isn't necessarily better than the old model, just different.

He cites the reason for new models or versions can be as much down to changes in component availability etc. as it is down to tangible improvements, and I think this is very much an issue with brands who source most of the internals from 3rd party suppliers.

It would be easy to accuse Rega of being lazy. The Brio has changed very little in about 15 years. Yes, the 2017 re-style added a headphone socket and some tweaks, but it's essentially the same amp as the Brio-R in most respects. Why? Because the design works, and it's still a fantastic affordable amplifier. Why mess with it?

Where Rega fall short is in affordable sources beyond turntables. They discontinued the Apollo CD player, and the DAC-R disappeared years ago with no replacement. They don't make a streamer of any kind either. I suspect it's because they stick to what they do best, amplification and turntables, and who can blame them?

At Bristol I was fascinated by the room housing Dual turntables and Advance Paris electronics. The top-end AP system on demonstration was excellent, and they also displayed some very interesting budget models - real Marantz/Denon/Cambridge competitors. I'd love to spend a bit of time with their CD player and integrated amp, but also with the £850 one-box. The Dual turntables are also of interest.

Marantz and Denon have become as lazy as any of the British makers - the 6007 range, for example, has been around quite some time now, and the 6000-series has only gently evolved rather than bringing substantial steps forward in sound.
Think Andrew has confirmed what we've said for years, new doesn't guarantee better.

That's why the likes of Harbeth rarely upgrade their models. Once a good model always a good model, that's probably why the big brands keep going: Minimal upgrade, maximum exposure.
 
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podknocker

Well-known member
Think Andrew has confirmed what we've said for years, new doesn't guarantee better.

That's why the likes of Harbeth rarely upgrade their models. Once a good model always a good model, that's probably why the big brands keep going: Minimal upgrade, maximum exposure.
A new product, from a new company like HIFI Rose hasn't had many iterations to hone and refine the product. I think the HIFI Rose RS520 is an incredible achievement for such an early attempt. Just imagine how their products will improve when Class D and streaming really becomes established. I bet Harbeth made many mistakes before they realised a workable and quality product. That's where R&D plays an important role. There is no chance Harbeth made a perfect speaker on day one. It takes time and it's amazing to me the RS520 is nearly a perfect product that's come from nowhere. I'd never heard of this company until last year. New is better, if it's better.
 
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