Leema Tucana II Anniversary - initial impressions + measurements

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MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
insider9 said:
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.
Hi insider9

Picking up on what was said elsewhere Lee Taylor says the amplifier is impervious to load impedance vagaries and will easily drive those “difficult” speakers whose impedance curve drops below 1.5 ohms, in fact he says it will drag music out of a rusty nail if needs be *smile* The first comment he made when I spoke to him last year about the Tucana MK2 Anniversary Edition is that the amp will drive any speaker *smile*

And boy can you hear and feel it *smile*

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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I have never found the Tucana to be tiring, regardless of how long I've listened to it. On average I listen to the amp about 4 hours a day.

Perhaps it's because I had the Pulse to start with - a watered down Tucana. Or it could be speakers or the room. Of course, if you crank the volume up it will respond with ease.

As I mentioned in the previous thread, as time goes on you'll hear things you never knew existed - subtleties in particular. Sure the ebb and flow of the bass and lower mids are superb, again the detail is superb throughout the frequency is never less than staggering. The overall soundscape is nothing more than proper 3D, even at idling levels.

Is it the best amp at 4k? No idea, but in isolation I don't really care. The Tucana just keeps giving and giving.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Considering test tracks which there were plenty I'd say 4 hours a day is what I've been averaging too. Thanks for sharing that helps a lot.

I wondered about this too. One major difference is that I'm using ribbon tweeters. These are far more extended that any dome can be. And from experience far more fussy too.

Having had a quick look at a Tucana specs I've just noticed this:

Freqency Response: 5 Hz - 100 kHz (+0/-3 dB)

I can only measure my ribbons up to 25kHz so will need to measure to compare differences to Hegel.

As I mentioned in the other thread tonal accuracy via Tucana is greater with amp being bang on neutral.

No other way to progress than to take measurements.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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If I could give you a couple more interesting demo tracks, they'd be:

Jace Everett "Bad Things" (theme tune to True Blood TV series).

Bob Dylan "Man in the Long Black Coat"

Joe Bonamassa "High Water Everywhere"....has to be the track from "Live from the Albert Hall", as it has the drum solo.
 

insider9

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I definitely will try them. I've been having a keen interest in all the tracks posted in your thread but didn't get round to putting them into a playlist yet.

I wanted to listen to as much familiar material as possible to get the best possible feel for the amp.
 

CnoEvil

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insider9 said:
I definitely will try them. I've been having a keen interest in all the tracks posted in your thread but didn't get round to putting them into a playlist yet.

I wanted to listen to as much familiar material as possible to get the best possible feel for the amp.
If you are particularly looking for tracks in specific genres, let me know....there's stuff like ES Posthumus, Shpongle, Carmina Burana (Carl Off) and Hans Zimmer "Live in Prague".
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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CnoEvil said:
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.
I think if he doesn't instantly recognize at least "The Race" and "Oh Yeah", he's been walking around with his ears switched off :)
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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One thing about trying to pen a review is that it gives new-found respect for those who do it for a living! Thanks for the interesting read, insider.

Not sure I’ve ever felt quite as exhausted as you sound like you are from listening. That rings some alarm bells! Also, deliberately auditioning kit isn’t the same as listening for pleasure. I recall my listening to new speakers almost exactly one year ago, and it is different. One can easily over analyse. I heard things on familiar recordings that I didn’t necessarily know were there, but that’s not always good. A speaker with a blip up in response might exaggerate an aspect that shouldn’t be highlighted. It just depends...

On frequency response, I’m sure the Hegel isn’t rolled off so much that it inhibits your ribbon tweeters. I’ve usually preferred amps with extended bandwidth however, hence twenty years with a Krell, rather than, say, Quad or Naim. And before that Harman/kardon, not Arcam!

Keep it up!
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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I agree it isn't exactly the same as listening for pleasure. But I'd go about it the same way should I be looking to buy a new piece of kit. Going hell for leather in the first few days, then easing off a bit to more like normal use and listening to all sorts of things. I think it's more to do with excitement of a new toy as opposed to any elaborate thinking.

Your point on frequency response is a good one. I too prefer extension, just know my ribbons can be fussy that is all and it is interesting to see what they measure like with Leema. Obviously I measured Hegel many times and it didn't exhinit any roll off however comparisons are always interesting. I already did the measurement and fingers crossed will be posting a write up later today.



One good thing that came out of it was that I realised I was using wrong DSP filters that were not the most recent itteration. The are still optimised for Hegel though but that's intentional as it shows more difference between the two. Reason why I mistakenly used the older filters is to do with the streamer build and not the Leema. But will see how the newest filters perform. I'm also going to listen to it without DSP at some point this week.
 

Blacksabbath25

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Sep 20, 2015
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insider9 said:
I agree it isn't exactly the same as listening for pleasure. But I'd go about it the same way should I be looking to buy a new piece of kit. Going hell for leather in the first few days, then easing off a bit to more like normal use and listening to all sorts of things. I think it's more to do with excitement of a new toy as opposed to any elaborate thinking.

Your point on frequency response is a good one. I too prefer extension, just know my ribbons can be fussy that is all and it is interesting to see what they measure like with Leema. Obviously I measured Hegel many times and it didn't exhinit any roll off however comparisons are always interesting. I already did the measurement and fingers crossed will be posting a write up later today.

One good thing that came out of it was that I realised I was using wrong DSP filters that were not the most recent itteration. The are still optimised for Hegel though but that's intentional as it shows more difference between the two. Reason why I mistakenly used the older filters is to do with the streamer build and not the Leema. But will see how the newest filters perform. I'm also going to listen to it without DSP at some point this week.
what do you mean about your ribbons on your speakers being fussy ? I didn’t know ribbons could be fussy *smile* I can’t even hear mine only feel them .

anyway I’ve had a really busy day with my little one so I will be glad she goes back to school tomorrow so I haven’t had time to find some music for you but it seems you have had plenty of people helping with that *smile*
 

Paulq

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Dec 2, 2007
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I am late to this thread but intrigued nonetheless.

Insider9 - sorry if I am being a bit thick here but can you tell me what your existing system is (speakers and streamer) as the only component in the pictures that I am familiar with is the Hegel Röst.

Then I'll try and catch up
. Your observations so far are really interesting so I'll follow the thread.
 

MajorFubar

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Blacksabbath25 said:
had a really busy day with my little one so I will be glad she goes back to school tomorrow
Don't be. Blink twice and they're 16 and you're thinking, sh-t, wish I'd made more of their childhood. Trust me on that :) Compared to spending quality time with your offspring making memories, hifi doesn't come close.
 

MajorFubar

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Have to admit Insider, you have greater testicular fortitude than myself. Or a significantly fuller wallet. If the latter, that's fine, but if this is just you satisfying a whim, you have my admiration because I couldn't do it. If the differences are as great as you make out, I know I just couldn't ever ever go back to listening to what I had before.
 

Blacksabbath25

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MajorFubar said:
Blacksabbath25 said:
had a really busy day with my little one so I will be glad she goes back to school tomorrow
Don't be. Blink twice and they're 16 and you're thinking, sh-t, wish I'd made more of their childhood. Trust me on that :) Compared to spending quality time with your offspring making memories, hifi doesn't come close.
yes very true it’s been a hard couple of weeks that’s all and tomorrow will be my first proper day listening to my hifi in peace bliss *smile*
 

insider9

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Sabbath, similar situation here. I was playing Xbox with my son... So only managed to listen to one album today so far. Band is called Soften the Glare. Ribbons are fussy with partnering equipment.

Paulq, the streamer is something I built recently. You can see details on another thread if you want. It's Linux based (Vortexbox, Fedora) running Roon server.
 

Andrewjvt

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MajorFubar said:
Blacksabbath25 said:
had a really busy day with my little one so I will be glad she goes back to school tomorrow 
Don't be. Blink twice and they're 16 and you're thinking, sh-t, wish I'd made more of their childhood. Trust me on that :) Compared to spending quality time with your offspring making memories, hifi doesn't come close.
Amen brother
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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MajorFubar said:
Have to admit Insider, you have greater testicular fortitude than myself. Or a significantly fuller wallet. If the latter, that's fine, but if this is just you satisfying a curious whim, you have my admiration, because I couldn't do it. Because if the differences are as great as you make out, I know I just couldn't ever ever go back to listening to what I had before. 
I'd say it is a combination of enthusiasm and stupidity... It seemed a good idea. Hahaha

But in all honesty I wanted to see how far I can push the speakers. What else is out there and really missed a thrill of having a new toy even if for a while. I'm loving the experience and trying not to think what happens next. Maybe Rick will have something else he can spare ;) (pretty please Rick)

The differences are indeed not small. Luckily I like Hegel and how it does things. It will be interested to go back to it at some point.

I've redone DSP filters today after taking measurement. Results were interesting.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Ok, as promised here are the measuremets as a way of comparison to Hegel Rost

Both speakers and mic are in the same postion, no DSP has been applied for comparison. Level matched conditions and no other significant variables. These are in room measurements of individual speakers and althought the room is treated you will see it obviously still impacts on frequency response. For ease of comparison I've used 1/6 smoothing.

Red is Hegel / Blue is Leema

LEFT SPEAKER



RIGHT SPEAKER



From the above you can see how well the Leema controls the bass. Dips are nowhere near as big. And even though these are smoothed the diference is 3-5dB.
 

Andrewjvt

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insider9 said:
Ok, as promised here are the measuremets as a way of comparison to Hegel Rost

Both speakers and mic are in the same postion, no DSP has been applied for comparison. Level matched conditions and no other significant variables. These are in room measurements of individual speakers and althought the room is treated you will see it obviously still impacts on frequency response. For ease of comparison I've used 1/6 smoothing.

Red is Hegel / Blue is Leema

LEFT SPEAKER 

RIGHT SPEAKER

From the above you can see how well the Leema controls the bass. Dips are nowhere near as big. And even though these are smoothed the diference is 3-5dB.
H360 comparison
I had the h160 and the jump on frequency to the 360 was significant.
H360 went over 400 w at 4ohms and very high damping factor.
As good as the rost is just not enough krag to compete.
I'd be happy with either the 360 or the leema

Maybe your next amp to demo should be the massive Hegel power amp.

Or maybe an exotic streamer to ab test the home made
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Comparison of Rost and H160 didn't have such big differences. I'd have to see if I can find the measurements. Bear in mind H160 is very similar to Leema in terms of power output.

I've compared quite a bit of gear and this is seriously a substantial difference. A lot of the times you can overlay the plots and they are the same.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Macspur said:
Would you be tempted to swap the Hegel out for the Leema Insider?

Perhaps try an Esoteric amp from Rick next time.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
Mac, it's hardly a surprise that there is a jump in quality. It's more than twice the price so there should be. I don't hide the fact I'm impressed with Leema but should I be looking to spend £5k on an amp I'd have to listen to many more in the same price bracket.

I'm not saying all is rosy with it either. Gotta save some criticism for when I write the review :) Also I don't know if it's the fact I'm so used to Rost or the fact it really delivers in ways that are important to me that I feel like whatever happens I'll be happy to keep it.
 

Macspur

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insider9 said:
Macspur said:
Would you be tempted to swap the Hegel out for the Leema Insider?

Perhaps try an Esoteric amp from Rick next time.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
Mac, it's hardly a surprise that there is a jump in quality. It's more than twice the price so there should be. I don't hide the fact I'm impressed with Leema but should I be looking to spend £5k on an amp I'd have to listen to many more in the same price bracket.

I'm not saying all is rosy with it either. Gotta save some criticism for when I write the review :) Also I don't know if it's the fact I'm so used to Rost or the fact it really delivers in ways that are important to me that I feel like whatever happens I'll be happy to keep it.
Well that's no bad thing, regardless of price, if you're happy what the Rost gives you, that's what matters.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
 

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