LEAK Stereo 130 Integrated Amplifier With Built-in DAC and Bluetooth®
About the LEAK Stereo 130
Classic look. Contemporary sound.
The British company LEAK Audio was a huge name in Hi-Fi from 1934 to 1979, when they all but disappeared from the market. Now they're back with the LEAK Stereo 130, an integrated amplifier that pays visual homage to their old-school roots. Inside the rugged and attractive chassis are carefully chosen components that make analog and digital sources sound great.
The Stereo 130 delivers 45 watts of clean power per channel for driving a pair of speakers.
My hands-on experience with the LEAK Stereo 130
When we set up a demonstration at our headquarters building, we aim to build a great-sounding system, first and foremost. When it came time to test the LEAK Stereo 130, we had the benefit of visual appeal, too. The attractive silver faceplate on the amp matched the LEAK CDT CD transport, and we chose the elegant walnut outer chassis for both components. We completed the vintage-look system with a pair of JBL L82 Classic speakers. For analog sources, we offered a brace of turntables — the belt-driven Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB in walnut, and a striking silver direct-drive Technics SL-1500C.
As someone who grew up in the 70s, I must confess I got an extra layer of tactile satisfaction from using the chunky rotary source selection and volume knobs. There's something so cool about being able to use modern sources, including Bluetooth, but still enjoy clean classic styling. As for the sound, the Stereo 130's 45 watts were plenty to drive the JBL speakers. The L82 Classics feature an 8" woofer, and those of us who listened to the demonstration really felt the amp brought out the full dynamic range the speakers can reproduce. A few of us sat and listened to Herbie Hancock's classic Headhunters album on vinyl, and we thrilled to the dizzying array of futuristic sounds Hancock was wringing out of his electric piano, clavinet, and synthesizers — all rendered in a broad, enveloping soundstage by the LEAK amp and our speakers.
If you like modern convenience with a rock-solid old-school feel, I can't recommend the LEAK Stereo 130 highly enough.
Connections for your components
The Stereo 130 has a superb ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC inside that makes digital sources sound their best. There are two coaxial digital inputs on the back of the unit, plus a Toslink optical input for connecting a CD player, TV, or similar device. A USB Type-B input lets you connect a computer. Coaxial and Toslink outputs let you pass the signal to another digital component. Built-in Bluetooth with high-quality aptX streaming gives you convenient playback from your phone, tablet or computer.
Analog music fans have plenty to work with, too. There are two sets of auxiliary RCA inputs, and a dedicated phono stage for connecting a turntable with a moving magnet cartridge. A single set of RCA preamp outputs let you upgrade to a more powerful amp while still using the Stereo 130's preamp and DAC. And if you like to listen privately while working, there's a 1/4" headphone jack on the front panel.
- 45 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz)
- 65 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms (20-20,000 Hz)
- Powerful, efficient Class AB amplification
- Total harmonic distortion: 0.005% (30 watts, into 8 ohms)
- Signal-to-noise ratio: 108dB
- Built-in Bluetooth® with aptX audio coding for a better-sounding connection to compatible devices
- Built-in phono stage for turntables with moving magnet cartridges
- Premium ESS Sabre32 Reference ES9018K2M DAC supports high-res digital files up to 32-bit/384kHz
- Digital inputs: 2 Toslink optical, 1 coaxial (handles signals up to 192kHz)
- Digital outputs: 1 Toslink optical, 1 coaxial
- USB Type-B input for connecting to a computer (PCM files up to 384kHz, DSD up to 11.2MHz)
- 2 sets of stereo RCA aux inputs
- Phono input for connecting a turntable with a moving magnet cartridge
- 1 set of stereo RCA outputs
- 1/4" headphone jack on front panel
- One pair of binding post speaker terminals
- USB Type-A input for software updates
- 12-volt trigger input and output
- Detachable power cord
Dimensions and warranty:
- 12-15/16"W x 5-3/4"H x 13-5/16"D
- Weight: 18.3 lbs.
- Warranty: 1 year
What's in the box:
- LEAK Stereo 130 owner's manual
- Stereo integrated amplifier
- 6 AC power cord
- Remote control
- User Manual
- USB and DSD Setup Guide