The Libra is the latest addition to Leema Acoustics’ flagship Constellation series and has the same precision-machined casework as the award-winning Tucana amp and Antila CD player. Designed and built by Lee Taylor and Mallory Nicholls (Leema), Libra’s simple-yet- elegant looks conceal a staggering array of class-leading technologies.
According to the press release, the new Libra crystallizes Leema’s decades of experience in digital audio for professional studios worldwide. The high-resolution Libra DSD DAC has been designed for today’s (and tomorrow’s) HD audio world. It offers extreme high-resolution playback including: DSD 64; DSD 128, DXD and 384kHz PCM via USB (and Libra’s I2S inputs). DSD64 is also supported via all S/PDIF inputs (coaxial and optical) and AES/EBU inputs.
The new high-resolution DAC/preamp is thoughtfully future-proof, too. It contains Leema Acoustics’ new fully balanced Quattro Infinity dual-mono DAC modules which are field- replaceable; should conversion technology improve in the future, the modules can be upgraded, giving long-lasting flexibility throughout the product’s lifespan. The advanced Quattro Infinity modules also feature user-selectable output filters, for maximum flexibility with higher sample-rate sources.
According to the press release, the Libra boasts a class-leading range of connectivity options for the digital age, bringing the latest digital audio engineering to a wide range of connected devices. The converter offers three coaxial and three optical inputs, capable of accepting high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz audio. For high-end partnering equipment, the Libra also offers some more esoteric options, including two I2S inputs via RJ45 connectors. With fully programmable pin-allocation on one of these inputs in software, any high-end source with an I2S interface can easily be accommodated. Source components with professional standard AES/EBU outputs can also be connected: the Libra offers two input connections available via industry standard XLR connectors. Leema’s M1 USB module provides a connection for computer audio replay from both Windows (driver software included), Macintosh and Linux machines. This interface is fully asynchronous, allowing the Libra to precisely regulate the data rate coming from the computer and deliver incredibly low jitter levels. This feature, together with full galvanic isolation, ensures that music delivered over USB is as good as current technology will allow.
Libra offers three separate analogue inputs, each of which can be individually configured as unbalanced, via Cinch (RCA) connectors, or fully balanced via XLR connectors. The entire signal path, both digital and analogue, is fully balanced from the digital data stream, to the balanced analogue outputs.
The Libra is able to operate either as a conventional audio component with fixed output level, or as a preamplifier with full analogue volume control on-board. Outputs are provided via unbalanced RCA connectors and balanced XLR connectors. Libra is also a full LIPS controller and can control Leema Acoustics’ range of power amplifiers directly.
For added flexibility in the digital age, the Libra also has an optional Bluetooth interface, allowing high-quality music replay from suitably equipped tablets, smartphones and other compatible devices, quickly, easily and wirelessly. For personal listening, a very high-quality headphone amplifier is also included, further enabling the Libra as the ideal single-box D/A conversion solution.