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Leaf Audio PA-03 MKII Review (Tube Preampifier)

Joined
Nov 9, 2021
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Newbie here, thanks for the review on this unit, I have the one with the mono balanced input/output and was disappointed to see the measurements it produced. Has anyone managed to improve this unit and care to share? I bought mine second hand at less than half the original price and upgraded the tubes but was never completely satisfied.. My little dot mk2 makes a better preamp but damn do I love the look of this thing! I am in two minds whether to sell it on or look to improve its design. If there is some basic mods I can do to improve this I'd love to know what people have done? I currently have mine fed by an v2 SMSL SU-8 and it's connected to a serviced late edition Quad 606 (which is connected to some modified Monacor Katana M1's) It definitely sounds better after 45-60 minutes warming up, if this is the transformer or tubes warming up I don't know maybe it's just my ears lol. I'm tempted to try the SU-8 direct into the Quad but VU meters are so pretty :)
 

gonzoucab

Active Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
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Newbie here, thanks for the review on this unit, I have the one with the mono balanced input/output and was disappointed to see the measurements it produced. Has anyone managed to improve this unit and care to share? I bought mine second hand at less than half the original price and upgraded the tubes but was never completely satisfied.. My little dot mk2 makes a better preamp but damn do I love the look of this thing! I am in two minds whether to sell it on or look to improve its design. If there is some basic mods I can do to improve this I'd love to know what people have done? I currently have mine fed by an v2 SMSL SU-8 and it's connected to a serviced late edition Quad 606 (which is connected to some modified Monacor Katana M1's) It definitely sounds better after 45-60 minutes warming up, if this is the transformer or tubes warming up I don't know maybe it's just my ears lol. I'm tempted to try the SU-8 direct into the Quad but VU meters are so prettunplu y :)
unplug it bro.
 

H-713

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
357
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585
Newbie here, thanks for the review on this unit, I have the one with the mono balanced input/output and was disappointed to see the measurements it produced. Has anyone managed to improve this unit and care to share? I bought mine second hand at less than half the original price and upgraded the tubes but was never completely satisfied.. My little dot mk2 makes a better preamp but damn do I love the look of this thing! I am in two minds whether to sell it on or look to improve its design. If there is some basic mods I can do to improve this I'd love to know what people have done? I currently have mine fed by an v2 SMSL SU-8 and it's connected to a serviced late edition Quad 606 (which is connected to some modified Monacor Katana M1's) It definitely sounds better after 45-60 minutes warming up, if this is the transformer or tubes warming up I don't know maybe it's just my ears lol. I'm tempted to try the SU-8 direct into the Quad but VU meters are so pretty :)

Three options, in order of difficulty if you don't want to sell it:
1) Pretend you never read the review and enjoy it for what it is. This is probably the smartest route to take.
2) Gut it, then design and build a new preamp from scratch in the chassis.
3) Beg Leaf Audio for schematics. When they say no, reverse engineer it. Once you have schematics, identify where the issues are and correct them.

#3 is quite difficult. #2 is a project, but preamps aren't too hard to do reasonably well. IMO, #1 is what I recommend doing.
 

gonzoucab

Active Member
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Mar 10, 2021
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forget the review, is better to be happy than to have the truth
 

egellings

Major Contributor
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Why not just buy a competent preamp at the outset and be done with it?
 

SIY

Master Contributor
Technical Expert
Joined
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I've just gotten back home briefly after some time away. I'm not sure who owns this unit, but please PM me with whether or not you want to keep the mods and shipping for return info.

Grazie- an interesting exercise.
 

H-713

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
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I've just gotten back home briefly after some time away. I'm not sure who owns this unit, but please PM me with whether or not you want to keep the mods and shipping for return info.

Grazie- an interesting exercise.
Not mine, but I'd be curious to hear what you ended up doing to it.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2021
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I've just gotten back home briefly after some time away. I'm not sure who owns this unit, but please PM me with whether or not you want to keep the mods and shipping for return info.

Grazie- an interesting exercise.
Yes please share when you get chance I'm super keen to improve my unit
 
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