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Leema Acoustics Element DAC & Preamp Review

Rate this DAC & Pre-amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 17 11.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 51 33.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 78 51.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 4.6%

  • Total voters
    153
OP
amirm

amirm

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A visual inspection before plugging it in would show it's 230V.

You would think visual inspection and a little shake to listen to any rattling would be a good idea before plugging it in when people are sending equipment to him?
I find plenty of rattles that I report on and many times fix. I never plug in something that rattles without first investigating. I also repair good bit of equipment that gets to me with issues. So your comments in this regard are out of line.

On input voltage, I get very few pieces of gear from overseas. When I do and it requires fixed voltage, there is always discussion in advance with the member about requirement of powering it such. The discussions are critical as my AC generator has limits on what it can power. This communication didn't happen this time so I assumed the device had universal supply. That it didn't was no big deal other than its microprocessor happily working with 120 volt. This caused me spend half hour troubleshooting why there was no output, only to then realize the cause. The fact that I found and fixed the problem should tell you that I do take steps to figure things out.

As explained to you, there is never danger to equipment in feeding it 120 when it expects 230/240.

But sure, next time this happens, I won't report on it so don't have to deal with complaints this way.
 

TonyJZX

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it says its fused at 230v and 115v - one would assume its dual voltage... I mean that has been the standard for a lot of gear even back a decade or more.... non issue
 

TonyJZX

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just an aside... i purchased a piece of pro gear that had a slider switch for 110v/240v - it was set to 110v which is a consumer safety violation in this country

i jokingly talked to the seller saying that is a bit bold to assume the consumer is smart enough to switch this over before plugging it in, and I asked for permission to do this (just to be sure - he said "of course do it")

he came back and said since this is "pro audio gear" we expect the end user to also be 'professional'... and would it be covered under warranty??? the end manfacturer said that if you say it just "died" then they would cover it... if you say you saw it was 110v and just plugged it in they would have 'issues'

in the end I had to get the unit replaced for other issues

the 2nd unit came set to 240v, a piece of hard plastic tape over the switch AND a warning label on the back to state that this unit MUST be set to 240v and if its set to 110v it wouldnt be covered

I guess someone paid the price... and the manufacturer wised up. The country I live in can be really anti consumer unless the company learns a hard lesson.
 

Mnyb

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If they revise the DAC board they are good to go for another 10 years ( or more as current products challenges what’s physically possible)
 

raif71

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I wonder why other manufacturers don't include analog inputs. Should not be a big deal. Maybe it takes some space in the back but come on, it's for a good cause!
Fiio K5 Pro has analog in
index.php


 

TonyJZX

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yeah I know guys here really detest the case style and the screen... i get that in 2022 the market has swung towards OLED touch and Hifi Rose type tomfoolery.

But the target buyer might like the heathkit style case and the raspberry pi style two line segment display. I think UK audio is a microcosm of itself and sometimes "outsiders" like many of us dont understand it... but I am often utilitarian and "if it works, it works good enough" and you can accept the price then go for it.

They need to get into the age of better than 24/192 because that's what the market wants and that's what the DAC makers are selling... but does it make an operational difference? I run a 24/192 preamp and I occasionally run 24/96 music and very sparingly have some 192 and I dont care for dsd except as a curio and certainly do not want mqa... but alas the market has spoken.
 

somebodyelse

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Integrating into one volume control will be a pain if not impossible.
I've used the Focusrite Forte that way with linux before. Strictly speaking it's mixing the analog input into the digital output(s) rather than switching, but if you're only playing one or the other the effect is much the same. The big knob controls the volume. This is the default state of the internal mixer matrix which linux doesn't have support for changing.
 

dasdoing

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Integrating into one volume control will be a pain if not impossible.

in the case of the Motu M4 for example you would simply change the input via the "monitor" buttons, while having the "input monitor mix" all to the left. the front inputs can be combined to stereo to conect a low level source. the back inputs are line level stereo.

m4_front.png
 
OP
amirm

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in the case of the Motu M4 for example you would simply change the input via the "monitor" buttons, while having the "input monitor mix" all to the left.

m4_front.png
I was answering the question of using an interface for input and a different DAC for output. That aside, you need a remote control which very few interfaces provide.
 

VintageFlanker

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Matrix Audio DACs/Streamers have Analog Inputs in their entry level mini-i Pro 3
Well, I wouldn't use that one. I measured this input and it performs very poorly.
 

Ken Tajalli

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why not use a cheap but good audio interface as preamp?
In addition to Amir's reply, this is my reply to a similar question. Bear in mind this is a HiFi DAC for home use designed over 10 years ago, when cheap quality ADC modules did not exist!
Most DACs use digital volume control. To add analogue input means, either using an ADC or an analogue volume control. That's where the extra cost and complexity is.
And to do it right to do justice to the digital section.

This device, as shown by measurements, has an excellent analogue in/out section. Because it uses a precision resistor ladder analogue volume control, for all outputs.
 

Aperiodic

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Rated 'not terrible' because $~150 DAC performance is pretty good these days. Analog input is a nice touch but hardly worth the premium price. The DAC being a 10yo design would have been worth a mention up front.
 

Ken Tajalli

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Rated 'not terrible' because $~150 DAC performance is pretty good these days. Analog input is a nice touch but hardly worth the premium price. The DAC being a 10yo design would have been worth a mention up front.
I admit, there are $150 DACs with comparable measured DAC performance available, but those few, are punching waaay above their weight! This kind of performance is not a typical $150 performance. Also, and equally, there are more expensive ones, with less performance.
As somebody else had already mentioned it, we live in a special time, where some far-eastern mass producers, are producing good measuring DACs for peanuts! and we get to know which ones (thanx to Amir and the like). But run-of-the-mill they ain't!
 

misterdog

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Analog input is a nice touch but hardly worth the premium price.

Though for those of us who need a hi-end analogue input, the Topping PRE 90 is $599.

Lifespan/build quality has also been mentioned, including the Audiolab MDac. Myself and several others that I know purchased this DAC around 2014 and they have all failed due to the Lelon capacitors exploding. The MDac has a 4 layer PCB which makes capacitor replacement very difficult.
 

pseudoid

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Amirm, It concerns me that you didn't even bother checking it was 230V before plugging it in......... and it took you half an hour to figure it out.
You must be a worry-wart!
There are inexpensive power-supply topologies which (for a few pence more) do not care if 230 or 115Vac (or 50\60 Hz).
There are also (again very inexpensive) replacement bulkhead MAINS input connectors assemblies which use a slider-switch (230<>115Vac).
it says its fused at 230v and 115v - one would assume its dual voltage... I mean that has been the standard for a lot of gear even back a decade or more.... non issue
...
It sounds like you would feel more comfortable if you were to be participating in the Mensa forums, instead.:facepalm:
 

The Capstan

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Would you be able to read an OLED display after 8 years?Even after one if the device is always on?
the OLED was just an example for a graphic display. The same could have been said for fluorescent displays that have been used for years in hifi gears but still working. Also, there are plenty of other options (e.g. LCD) that could have offered a much nicer UI and navigation.

cheers, Ale.
 

Sokel

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the OLED was just an example for a graphic display. The same could have been said for fluorescent displays that have been used for years in hifi gears but still working. Also, there are plenty of other options (e.g. LCD) that could have offered a much nicer UI and navigation.

cheers, Ale.
Agreed but I was talking specifically about OLED's.
Watching burned ones after a year or two in used gear is like an epidemic!
 
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