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Leema Tucana II Anniversary Integrated Amplifier


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Ex VAT: £5,036.67

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Condition: Brand new in original retail packaging

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Brand Leema Acoustics

Product Description

Leema Tucana II Anniversary Edition integrated amplifier was released to celebrate 10 years of the iconic Leema Tucana amplifier. The metal casework is stylish, and the anniversary edition has gained a reworked logo and an anniversary badge.

This model also comes with the new focus remote. This is made of metal and has a wide range of functions. Notably the main upgrades include thicker PCB traces as well as upgraded capacitors and cabling. This is good amplifier for tape fans as it also has a tape loop. Two finishes are available - black or silver.

Upgraded PCB

The Tucana II Anniversary Edition has upgraded PCBs. These now have twice as much copper as the standard edition. Critical capacitors have been upgraded with Nichicon Muse-Series devices. Next the cables that connect the board to the speaker terminals have been upgraded to Leema's Reference 2.

Output power is 290 watts into 4 Ohms. This is enough to drive even the most demanding of speakers. The Tucana II Anniversary edition has no less than tree toroidal transformers. Two massive ones for the power amplifier sections and a smaller one for the control circuitry.

Versatile connectivity

The Tucana II has no less than nine analogue inputs. Notably there is no built in DAC or phono stage. Tucana provide these as external units. The front panels boasts a 3.5mm MP3 input as well as a headphone socket. Unusually for a modern amplifier there is also a tape loop. More on this later. Each of the inputs also has an individual gain control. The output is via a couple of Balanced XLR sockets. Finally, as this is a monobloc amplifier and the speaker outputs are situated on either side of the back panel.

The advantages of monobloc amplifiers

Monobloc amplifiers have the advantage of being on two separate PCBs. This means that they are able to operate like two separate amplifiers. They are kept apart both physically and electrically. The Tucana II Anniversary also has two power supplies one for each channel. The result is less crosstalk and mutual interference. There is also a better transient response. Music can have sudden peaks, such as a hit on a drum. This can create a sudden current demand. Therefore, a good power supply is needed to prevent a drop in voltage.

Tape loops make a return

The Tucana II Anniversary Edition has a feature not seen recently. Tape loops were once common and were needed to send an additional output for recording on to a tape deck. There are still tape fans who collect cassette and reel to reel decks. Some Artists also release albums on cassette. Moreover “Master tape” albums are released on reel to reel tape. These are marketed to audiophiles who want the ultimate collectable. Tape loops work by sending whatever the input source is set to, to the tape output. They were also used to connect equalizers, in the past.

About balanced connectors

The Tucana II Anniversary, like most high end units, has a balanced output. What does this mean? Analogue audio signals are usually sent via RCA leads. These use two conductor cable, a hot wire and a shield or ground. They can be prone to noise pickup, especially with long runs or low-level signals. The connectors are also not ideal as they can come loose or corrode.

As a result, balanced leads were introduced for high-end audio applications. These use much higher quality, 3-pin XLR plugs. They are much more robust and will not fall out. However, the main advantage is that they are balanced electrically.

Balanced cables have three conductors, a hot or positive wire and a cold or negative wire. The third wire is the zero volts ground reference. The audio signal swings both positive and negative with respect to ground. The two audio signals have opposite phase so that when the signal is recombined at the receiving end, any noise is cancelled out. Long cable runs up to 100 meters can be accommodated with no noise pickup.

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