After a break of 40 years the British Leak returns as a manufacturer of high-end audio equipment. The Stereo 130 is the first product.
Among the somewhat older high-end enthusiasts, Leak is a well-known brand that delivered a lot of high quality audio equipment. Globalization and ever lower prices eventually pushed the manufacturer out of the market. But it’s now slowly gaining interest in ‘the better hi-fi’. So Leak is seeing opportunities again.
And so it released the classic-looking Stereo 130. This is based on the Stereo 30 from 1963, according to Leak the first commercially available all-transistor amplifier. The new Stereo 130 integrated amplifier has – by choice – a housing made of real walnut wood. The panel also breathes bygone classic times. Nice touch!
The nice thing is that there is also a lot techniques found that are used for the original model. Coupled with modern insights, this should result in a special product.
The Leak Stereo 130 delivers an output power of up to 2 x 45 Watt in 8 Ohm and 2 x 65 Watt in 4 Ohm, using a class AB circuit. The pre-amplifier has low-noise power supplies. The pre-amp also offers the possibility of tone control (low and high), which also includes a bypass option.
The basis of the power supply is a solid 200VA toroidal transformer. Apart from this analog part you will also find a DAC in the Stereo 130. The ES9018K2M (from the Sabre32-family) converter can handle up to 32-bit / 384 kHz and DSD256 via USB. The dac is a bit old, but still sounds fine.
There are three S/PDIF inputs on the back (2 x optical and 1 x coax). Finally, Bluetooth with aptX support is available. As far as analogue inputs are concerned, you can choose between two line inputs and an MM phono input.
Finally, a headphone output with its own rear headphone amplifier has been considered. The nice thing is that this Leak is very pleasantly priced: £799 with the walnut case and £699 with an aluminum case, available from July this year. Last but not least appears then also a suitable CD transport, the Leak CDT.