Then and now.... Pulse update

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Just a few lines about the Leema. I've been meaning to update you guys and gals and thought I'd wait until I became familiar with the changing sounds hitting our living room. And what a change too - the pulse is certainly an adroit little machine with bags of talent and the looks to match.

LEAN AND MEAN

As most of you know I've heard a fair few amps at differing price levels in my personal conquest, including invaluable help from a couple of retailers and WHFI S&V themselves when Andrew, Joe and Chris kindly set up a Reader rescue. Most of the amps I've heard at home and at dealers have all had merit, yet failed to really grab my attention. The Roksan Kandy LIII for example was/is a fabulous machine and ticked most of my sonic boxes (if that makes sense), but found it a tad too heavy-handed with certain music. Not the amps problem, more of a room topology/speaker issue.

Most of the reviews (including WHFI S&V) described the sound as a little "querulous" and lean if not partnered correctly, so you could imagine my thoughts when I decided to purchase another pair of Monitor Audio RS6 speakers. The perceived lack of bass to the Pulse is noticeable when played side-by-side with the Caspian and Naim XS, but not by much. Where the Leema lacks in outright bass depth it more than makes up for in precision - and in all truth, in isolation, you wouldn't notice that ever-so-slight deficiency.

The traits the Leema has in its favour is fabulous detail, attack and great cohesion, with a rather rugged (organic) overtone. Referring reluctantly to the backstory: At first, I was unsure about the midrange and its ability to deal with vocals. To set my mind at rest I set up my old Arcam Alpha 7 (something I wouldn't recommend), but in my case I'm pleased I did. After a day of Arcaming it [again] I found the Leema to be very strong in this area.

NEEDS BETTER SOULMATES

Regardless of whether you spin Rock, Soul, Classical it sooths and stirs with fantastic ease. The low volumes are a joy also; at no point do you think "I wish this could be...." - it does what it says on the tin. That said, and although my sources are well matched synergy-wise, the Leema does need far better partners to really spring to life. I suppose it's like fitting a Focus RS engine to a Morris Minor. Great in straight lines (or adept with my tuner and 73T)... but that's it.

Just to summarise: this is a brilliant machine for the money (£749[:D]) and produces a leanish and accurate presentation. I would certainly recommend anyone looking for a new amp to listen to the Leema. But if, like me, you've listened to one brand for over a decade, give it plenty of time to adjust to your ears and room acoustics, or, on a short listen, it could lull you into false sense of security, and like me, for a very short period, convinced I'd deficated on my carpet.
 

mitch65

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
52
0
18,540
Nice piece, I wasn't a great fan of the Stream but the Pulse is a gem especially at that price!! Also it looks a damn sight better than the new versions.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Not heard the Stream or Leema speakers, but when WHFI reviewed the all-in-one systems they said that the Leema system was fine for short listening, however, that doesn't chime with my experience. This is undoubtedly due to my sources.

One thing I didn't mention was the aftercare from Leema. When I had to send the machine back they were fantastic. That, coupled to the sound quality and all the inputs (including two phonos for MM and MC), it makes for a absolutely stonking package.
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
284
6
18,895
Great review PP. Thanks for sharing. Makes me want to hear Leema. Maybe someday they will make themselves available over here. Until then I'll just have to live vicariously...

Also sounds like you've got a great match with the leema and the RS6s. Nice synergy of strengths...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I'm pleased for you, PP. The key thing, regardless of the kit you have, is that you're enjoying it. I've never heard Leema kit but it sounds like a stonker!
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Thanks, gentlemen. Yup, I've had the Leema 4 months yet it seems like I've had it years. That tells you everything. It's a cracking piece of kit that makes you concentrate on the music without scrutinising every little trait.

I hear something different, even if I've played the same CD 10 times, albeit subtle ones (tap of a symbol or the pluck of a bass string).

Terrific stuff.
 

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