Drum roll, people, Leak HiFi is back!
May 26, 2020
COMMENTS

Think of the Leak Stereo 130 as a HiFi creation that bridges World War II to the DSD-aptX era. This is after all, the first offering from Leak HiFi in almost half a century. Founded in 1934, the company behind pioneering devices like the Point One amplifiers series and the Leak Sandwich speakers is now on the back.

Blending retro design aesthetics with digital audio panache, the first Leak product announced is the Stereo 130 integrated amplifier. Interestingly enough, the Stereo 130 is a descendant of the Stereo 30 integrated amplifier, which arrived in 1963 as the first commercially available all-transistor amplifier. For a step back in time, the Stereo 30, much regarded by purists to the day, heralded the use of transformerless transistor output stages over transformer-coupled design, paving the way for future solid-state amps.

The art-deco design flair aside, this is a truly modern device capable of being the heart of any high-performance audio system. Built for streaming, supporting vinyl and CDs, USB-stored music and of course for driving the most demanding speakers, the Stereo 130’s Class AB power amp has a 200VA toroidal transformer, with a preamp section protected by low-noise power supplies. The device has a phono stage for moving magnet cartridges, in addition to two line-level analogue inputs. There’s also a dedicated headphone amp stage with current-feedback circuitry. In terms of output, the Stereo 130 delivers 2 x 45W  at 8ohm and 2 x 65W  at 4ohm. Stray to the digital side, and the high-performance, ultra-low-noise ES9018K2M Sabre32 Reference chip handles digital-to-analogue conversion duties, ensuring rather fantastic digital music playback. It supports files of up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256 through its USB input.

On the design front, this is quite a looker, with a retro meets modern aesthetic, coming in walnut and silver finishes. Flaunting the design language of an era long gone, yet with features that would make any audiophile smile, this looks like a must buy indeed.

The Leak Stereo 130 arrives alongside the option of the matching Leak CDT CD transport. Perfect for the modern audio enthusiast, the promise is exceptional CD playback with USB playback.

The Leak Stereo 130 will be available from July, with a real-wood walnut enclosure for $899 and the silver version for $799.

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.
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