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Leema Tucana II Anniversary - initial impressions + measurements

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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*For measurements skip to comment #44

I'm feeling tired. Seriously tired. What can I say. It's not an easy "job" to sit and listen to album after album via Leema Tucana II Anniversary. The amount of information that hits you is difficult to process for someone not accustomed to gear of this quality. And when I say hits you, I really mean it. It's not an amp that can play in the background without drawing attention to itself. This is not to say low level listening isn't its strength. Also not that there's anything bling and tizz about it that draws attention, it's the exact opposite it's the music that draws you in. What Leema does is it allows the music to capture your imagination and infuse you with energy. So much energy that you tire soooo quickly.

As with any gear I've listen to a fair amount of test tracks and tried different gear over the last couple of days. On top of that I've managed to complete 7 full albums. So here goes in case you are wondering in playing order Alice in Chains "Unplugged", Jeff Buckley "Grace", Tool "Aenima", Mad Season "Above", PJ Harvey "Dry", Beck "Sea Change", Miles Davis "Milestones". That number isn't particularly high for me over 3 days. For instance on Monday I've listened to 4 albums in a day.

So what are my thoughts?
 

Andrewjvt

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Jun 18, 2014
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insider9 said:
I'm feeling tired. Seriously tired. What can I say. It's not an easy "job" to sit and listen to album after album via Leema Tucana II Anniversary. The amount of information that hits you is difficult to process for someone not accustomed to gear of this quality. And when I say hits you, I really mean it. It's not an amp that can play in the background without drawing attention to itself. This is not to say low level listening isn't its strength. Also not that there's anything bling and tizz about it that draws attention, it's the exact opposite it's the music that draws you in. What Leema does is it allows the music to capture your imagination and infuse you with energy. So much energy that you tire soooo quickly.

As with any gear I've listen to a fair amount of test tracks and tried different gear over the last couple of days. On top of that I've managed to complete 7 full albums. So here goes in case you are wondering in playing order Alice in Chains "Unplugged", Jeff Buckley "Grace", Tool "Aenima", Mad Season "Above", PJ Harvey "Dry", Beck "Sea Change", Miles Davis "Milestones". That number isn't particularly high for me over 3 days. For instance on Monday I've listened to 4 albums in a day.

So what are my thoughts?

 
Don't know but please tell us
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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First a fair bit of warning. Don't do what I did on day one and blast it. Your ears will take a pounding. Easy does it at least until you get used to it. Secondly, do give it just over an hour, ideally around 1.5 hours to get to temp. The difference is staggering and should you listen to it from cold you will not get what this amp is all about.

From cold it feels like it lacks rhytmic capability. It feels like there's certain hesistation with every drum hit. There is no flow. Imaging feels rather messy which translates to a lot of detail and textures thrown at you in a way that makes it even more difficult to comprehend. If you're considering a demo make sure it's not first thing in a morning and that the amp will have sufficient time to warm up.
An hour and a half into it and it all takes shape.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Andrewjvt said:
insider9 said:
I'm feeling tired. Seriously tired. What can I say. It's not an easy "job" to sit and listen to album after album via Leema Tucana II Anniversary. The amount of information that hits you is difficult to process for someone not accustomed to gear of this quality. And when I say hits you, I really mean it. It's not an amp that can play in the background without drawing attention to itself. This is not to say low level listening isn't its strength. Also not that there's anything bling and tizz about it that draws attention, it's the exact opposite it's the music that draws you in. What Leema does is it allows the music to capture your imagination and infuse you with energy. So much energy that you tire soooo quickly.

As with any gear I've listen to a fair amount of test tracks and tried different gear over the last couple of days. On top of that I've managed to complete 7 full albums. So here goes in case you are wondering in playing order Alice in Chains "Unplugged", Jeff Buckley "Grace", Tool "Aenima", Mad Season "Above", PJ Harvey "Dry", Beck "Sea Change", Miles Davis "Milestones". That number isn't particularly high for me over 3 days. For instance on Monday I've listened to 4 albums in a day.

So what are my thoughts?
Don't know but please tell us
I'm typing, Andrew. Patience *biggrin*
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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It's good to get your impressions.

IMO. Amp/Speaker synergy is important and good results can be had by mixing Ying with Yang...and by that I mean combining opposides eg smooth speakers with a fast revealing amp, or vica versa.

When you combine components with similar characteristics, it "can" all get a bit too much...either too soporific, or too exhausting.

It would be interesting to see what your speakers would sound like on the end of brands like Electrocompaniet, Sugden, Pathos, Arcam, Croft and Luxman.....these would be the sort of brands I would be thinking of matching to your speakers.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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The imaging becomes more precise, the rhythm flows. The soundstage deepens and expands. You get a sense of immense power. Dynamic shifts are a joy to behold. And it's not just the macro dynamics that impress it's the little things. Guitars being picked, snare being hit it all adds to the presentation in a big way.

The presentation is organinc for a lack of a better word. There is no exaggeration of any frequency band, there is no colouration top is extended and overflows with ambient info. Bass is tuneful fast and has more texture than I imagined there was in the recording and digs deeper. Overall textures are rich throughoyt but it isn't just the instruments and vocals. It's the ambient info, all the reverbs all the spatial cues in live recordings that give so much more to the enjoyment.

I particularly like the quieter parts of the tracks before the crescendos as these can be reporduced with such a sense of calm. You can feel the restraint with which every instrument is being played. The gentle strokes, it's almost like foreplay. And then it all builds to a grand finale. And what a finale it usually is. I can't keep count of how many times the hairs stood on the back of my neck, goosebumps all over my legs, hands, well... you get the picture.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
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insider9 said:
The imaging becomes more precise, the rhythm flows. The soundstage deepens and expands. You get a sense of immense power. Dynamic shifts are a joy to behold. And it's not just the macro dynamics that impress it's the little things. Guitars being picked, snare being hit it all adds to the presentation in a big way.

The presentation is organinc for a lack of a better word. There is no exaggeration of any frequency band, there is no colouration top is extended and overflows with ambient info. Bass is tuneful fast and has more texture than I imagined there was in the recording and digs deeper. Overall textures are rich throughoyt but it isn't just the instruments and vocals. It's the ambient info, all the reverbs all the spatial cues in live recordings that give so much more to the enjoyment.

I particularly like the quieter parts of the tracks before the crescendos as these can be reporduced with such a sense of calm. You can feel the restraint with which every instrument is being played. The gentle strokes, it's almost like foreplay. And then it all builds to a grand finale. And what a finale it usually is. I can't keep count of how many times the hairs stood on the back of my neck, goosebumps all over my legs, hands, well... you get the picture.
Quality
Like my old Hegel h360
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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CnoEvil said:
It's good to get your impressions.

IMO. Amp/Speaker synergy is important and good results can be had by mixing Ying with Yang...and by that I mean combining opposides eg smooth speakers with a fast revealing amp, or vica versa.

When you combine components with similar characteristics, it "can" all get a bit too much...either too soporific, or too exhausting.

It would be interesting to see what your speakers would sound like on the end of brands like Electrocompaniet, Sugden, Pathos, Arcam, Croft and Luxman.....these would be the sort of brands I would be thinking of matching to your speakers.
I'd love to hear these, particularly Electrocompaniet.

So far I've run these speakers with Roksan L3, Naim 5i-2, Densen B-110, Hegel Rost and now although for a short period of time Leema (it's not going back hopefully for a good while). I understand that even with Hegel the speakers deserve much more than this but Rost does a fab job nevertheless and is a great pairing.

Big thanks to Rick at Musicraft once more by the way. I know it may sound like a broken record but it's a big thing for me. Not every day you're trusted with £5k worth of amplification.
 

insider9

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Andrewjvt said:
Quality Like my old Hegel h360
It most probably is very much in the same ball park. However there are family traits that are different. It's a speculation as only heard two Hegels and that's my first Leema.

Hegels sound somewhat cleaner which is great but Leema manages to do it more organically although not as cleanly. Not sure how to convey this.
 

Blacksabbath25

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Sep 20, 2015
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I must of been a sleep myself and just read the other post you did on the leema sorry that looks like a nice amplifier insider I nearly had a demo on one myself a while back but ran out of time .

I agree with CoEvil comments about getting the best out of your speakers with a good strong amplifier as I’ve find this out for my self with my current speakers with my new Yamaha amplifier but also agree with CoEvil about when you buy even better speakers with a really good amplifier as this is very true and it does work both ways and that’s very true advice *smile*
 

insider9

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I think the one thing this proves is how much more these speakers can give. I'm not even joking I'm feeling knackered. It sort of like you've been to a school playground with kids screaming. So much information I've not realised was there before that my brain can't process. It really is something I did not expect.
 

Blacksabbath25

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Sep 20, 2015
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insider9 said:
I think the one thing this proves is how much more these speakers can give. I'm not even joking I'm feeling knackered. It sort of like you've been to a school playground with kids screaming. So much information I've not realised was there before that my brain can't process. It really is something I did not expect.
what’s the amplifier like with rock and metal ?
 

insider9

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The heaviest I've gone so far was Tool. Bear in mind it's only been 3 days and you want to play just about everything.

"Aenima" isn't a particularly heavy album but with a great production and very good dynamic range. Looking at my notes I have a few mentions of songs that stood out that I will be coming to and these are "Forty Six & 2", "Hooker with a Penis" and "Jimmy".

The note on the last one says "sounds like a symphony".

Both Rock which I've listened to quite a bit and Metal will sound great as long as the recordings are good.

Sabbath, give me a few of your favourites and I'll pick one I know best and listen to it for when I do a proper review. Listened to 7 full albums so far intend to do around 25 for a proper review plus some test tracks.
 

CnoEvil

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IME. As a system gets better and better...all the things you describe become more apparent. I find the ambient info really adds to that "front row" experience....everything from the audible breaths, the creaking of a seat, the turning of a page on the musical score and the squeak of the fingers sliding up and down the fret of a guitar.

The sound gets cleaner, more realistic with greater precision. The bass notes stop and start as if their life depended on it, giving drums punch and realism...it's quite an experience, and the frightening thing is - you are only scratching the surface.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
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CnoEvil said:
IME. As a system gets better and better...all the things you describe become more apparent. I find the ambient info really adds to that "front row" experience....everything from the audible breaths, the creaking of a seat, the turning of a page on the musical score and the squeak of the fingers sliding up and down the fret of a guitar.

The sound gets cleaner, more realistic with greater precision. The bass notes stop and start as if their life depended on it, giving drums punch and realism...it's quite an experience, and the frightening thing is - you are only scratching the surface.
You even hear the odd fart now and again *biggrin*

it’s very true about how far you can push a speaker for sound quality with a good amplifier and I wonder how meany people understand that
 

insider9

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That both scares and excites me. During Alice in Chains "Unplugged" I've noticed mistakes I didn't in the past. It's only natural during a live performance but the ease with which you can track instruments is frightening. And bass which I listen for has so much more timbre the thickness of the sound you get from an acoustic bass guitar.

What I do like a lot is that for all the info that it gives it doesn't sacrifice on musicality. The detail isn't forced on you but readily available. And on rich sounding instruments the timbre is really realistic. On "Milestones" (album) Paul Chambers uses bow to play his double bass on a few tracks. And it just sounds so divine particularly in contrast to lush ride cymbal and near hypnotic piano from Thelonious Monk. Never mind Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley. I nearly just listened to these three guys :)
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
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insider9 said:
The heaviest I've gone so far was Tool. Bear in mind it's only been 3 days and you want to play just about everything.

"Aenima" isn't a particularly heavy album but with a great production and very good dynamic range. Looking at my notes I have a few mentions of songs that stood out that I will be coming to and these are "Forty Six & 2", "Hooker with a Penis" and "Jimmy".

The note on the last one says "sounds like a symphony".

Both Rock which I've listened to quite a bit and Metal will sound great as long as the recordings are good.

Sabbath, give me a few of your favourites and I'll pick one I know best and listen to it for when I do a proper review. Listened to 7 full albums so far intend to do around 25 for a proper review plus some test tracks.
I will let you no tomorrow *smile*
 

CnoEvil

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Can I suggest you try "Take Five" from Dave Brubeck's Time Out album and "The Rhythm Divine" from Essential Yello Album....with the wick turned up. Brilliant stuff.
 

insider9

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Listened to "Take Five" a week or so ago so that will be fresh in my mind. Also Yello fills some void in my electronic music as I don't know it very well.
 

Andrewjvt

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These 3 threads are getting me back to excited about buying new stuff again when I thought I was cured.

I need to stick to the long term plan and be strong
 

insider9

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What is your long term plan? Actives? Maybe you can have a project in the meantime. I always tinker with something if it's not room acoustics it's the rack, streamer, isolation, etc.

There's always something you could do without committing too much money that would ultimately improve things.
 

CnoEvil

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insider9 said:
Also Yello fills some void in my electronic music as I don't know it very well.
Essential Yello has several tracks that will be very familiar, as its so often used by TV programme makers.
 

Andrewjvt

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insider9 said:
What is your long term plan? Actives? Maybe you can have a project in the meantime. I always tinker with something if it's not room acoustics it's the rack, streamer, isolation, etc.

There's always something you could do without committing too much money that would ultimately improve things.
Just about 15 months ago I was on the phone negotiatinga deal for a 2012 pair of ATC scm100asl when my wife interrupted me with news she was pregnant.

That put everything on hold I'm afraid. Now I have a marantz sr7011 which I consider my 2nd system
Even though I don't have my first yet.

Looking at those 10 inch tannoys and the leema amp has gotten my juices flowing again though.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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These are some serious speakers. It's your money if you buy wisely you will sell at no loss.

By the way I bet Leema would match incredibly well with Tannoys. Big fan of anything dual concentric especially with large drivers.
 

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