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Shanka's picture
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Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2
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Hi,

I have seen a Tucana at a very good price and am thinking of going for a demo as I can hear it next to the Caspian.

I have to admit to going more on curiousity but wondered if anyone had heard these two amps and their opinions.

I am very happy with my Caspian and not really wanting to be swayed but I have a small list of amps I would like to hear just in case I get blown away, the other being a Sugden IA 4, someone told be I might find it sounding thin but wanting to hear one for myself on day.
Have also not heard Naim classic pre/pwr set up but I can always dem these quite easily , probably the reason I have not demo'd them, we all know where curiousity can lead.

Anyhow any thoughts on the Tucana 2 ?

Thanks for reading, any opinions hugely appreciated.

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

Leema Tucana 2 is in a completley different league than the Caspian... it cost more than double I don't think you can compare between them  ROFL

 

Keep us posted once you finish the demo  :wave:

Hi Fi : Proac Studio 140MK2 / Rotel RC 1580 / Rotel RB 1582 / Rotel RCD 1520 / B&W P7 / Tellurium Q & WireWorld cables   

 

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

I upgraded my Leema Pulse II to Tucana II a year ago and TBH I had made a right choice.  Tucana II is very powerful, dynamic, neutral and transparent and it sounds much better than Pulse II.  No experience with Caspain though  :silenced:  Be sure you buy MKII and not MK I which has better circuit design.  

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

I heard the Tucana 2 at demo a few weeks ago and was slightly underwhelmed. That is not to say it won’t do it for you and it certainly ticked some positive boxes but it wasn’t quite to my taste. It feels massively powerful and is fairly neutral, I felt it could take most speakers in its stride but I found it a little cold and flat for the price. It is still a pretty fine amp but given the price I expected a little more in terms of the subtleties. It was a short demo so perhaps it was more of a slow burner or perhaps I just look for different qualities, it just seemed to lack sound-stage.

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

bluedroog wrote:

I heard the Tucana 2 at demo a few weeks ago and was slightly underwhelmed. That is not to say it won’t do it for you and it certainly ticked some positive boxes but it wasn’t quite to my taste. It feels massively powerful and is fairly neutral, I felt it could take most speakers in its stride but I found it a little cold and flat for the price. It is still a pretty fine amp but given the price I expected a little more in terms of the subtleties. It was a short demo so perhaps it was more of a slow burner or perhaps I just look for different qualities, it just seemed to lack sound-stage.

What were the speakers and source?

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

I agree with Inter_Voice having swapped my Pulse fora Tacuna II, it is everything he says.

Bluedroog, what speakers did you listen to it through, what source, what sort of acoustic environment and could you play with the speakers position and toe in ?

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

The source was the matching CDP from Leema, not sure which model but was told it sells for a couple of grand. Speakers were PMC Twenty 22 and MA PL book shelf. The room was a proper demo room with some light treatment although I did think it was on the square side for a dedicated room and had potential issues from a large window to the rear of the room.

 

It made me very curious to hear my own amps (Croft 25 pre to Quad 909) in the same situation in place of the Leema with all other variables remaining the same, my guess is I’d prefer my own. The Leema may have a bit more grip but I suspect my gear would be preferable to my tastes. Of course that is just my hunch given I haven’t conducted a fair A/B. I suppose the main difference is my pre has a tube in it which alters the character, the Leema just reminded me a bit too much of the likes of Krell (the kav 400xi for example)  which is quality gear but also an acquired taste.

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

bluedroog wrote:

The source was the matching CDP from Leema, not sure which model but was told it sells for a couple of grand. Speakers were PMC Twenty 22 and MA PL book shelf. The room was a proper demo room with some light treatment although I did think it was on the square side for a dedicated room and had potential issues from a large window to the rear of the room.

 It made me very curious to hear my own amps (Croft 25 pre to Quad 909) in the same situation in place of the Leema with all other variables remaining the same, my guess is I’d prefer my own. The Leema may have a bit more grip but I suspect my gear would be preferable to my tastes. Of course that is just my hunch given I haven’t conducted a fair A/B. I suppose the main difference is my pre has a tube in it which alters the character, the Leema just reminded me a bit too much of the likes of Krell (the kav 400xi for example)  which is quality gear but also an acquired taste.

Given your taste in sound (which looks close to mine), I suspect it was the speakers which accounted for what you heard. If you heard it matched with some Spendor STs or Sonus Faber Cremonas, I suspect you would have come away with a different view.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

It is certainly possible, I would like to hear it again with some BBC derived monitors, perhaps something like a pair of Harbeths. I’m actually trying to create a sound through upgrades which is somewhere between the poles, I guess almost neutral but I’m very conscious of doing so without it being dull so mixing different characters and experimenting is something I plan to do a bit more of. I like a warm, almost analogue sound but I’m looking for clarity, excitement and sparkle too – but without fatigued. Perhaps it doesn’t exist but I’m still looking to get as close as I can within budget. I used to have a preference for warm but as my tastes have matured (?) I’m looking for a bit more in the upper midrange, a classier treble and generally more refined sound.

 

 I’m hoping that the midrange proud Quad and the valve pre paired with a quality pair of speakers slightly bright of neutral or neutral and detailed will deliver what I’m looking for. It may not work and I’ll start looking at the likes of Spendor and Harbeth which I know will work with my amps but might be a little too ‘pipe and slippers’ for me. I still think my electronics will thrive with the PMC 22’s (although I wasn’t 100% sold on the cohesion of the mids, perhaps the transmission line) and I also really want to try the ATC SCM19 and 40 on the end of my gear.

 

Sorry OP, I’ve gone a bit off topic on your thread. Have you ever tried Classe amps? Not far off in terms of budget and I think their plus points are comparable to the Leema but with characteristics that were better too, Classe manage to produce some of the most 3D sound stages with amazing depth that I’ve not heard elsewhere. I don’t mean to sound like I’m putting you off, just to open up other ideas as it is a lot of money.

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

Well, I also like something warm and non fatiguing.  That is why I coupled my Tucana II with Antila II-S using a pair of Spendor SA-1 together with a subwoofer to improve the bass department.  I also have good acoustic treatment in my room (see the small picture on the left  Smile ). I can say the SQ from the setup is extremely good but as a whole it cannot be regarded as a warm setup.  They are very neutral and produces very honest sound, The SQ is very transparant, detailed and with good soundstaging.  If you prefer something warm you may consider using  a warmer CDP.  In my case I have sold my Antila II-S and changed it with a heavily modded Marantz CD63SE KI (DIY by me with electronic components costing near to £1000).  Now the overall SQ is extremely present to my ears, non-digital and with more space. The mid range is particularily outstanding and livelike.  In simple term there is feeling of using a tube setup.  IMHO my new gear is better than the Antila II-S that I resently sold. I am not saying Antila II-S is not a good CDP but Marantz and Leema has different sonic signature and I like the sound from Marantz more when connected with Tucana II and Spendor SA-1.  My conclusion is that you need to hear the music yourself and identify the most suitable CDP, amp and speakers which suit your taste.

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

bluedroog wrote:

 I’m actually trying to create a sound through upgrades which is somewhere between the poles, I guess almost neutral but I’m very conscious of doing so without it being dull so mixing different characters and experimenting is something I plan to do a bit more of. I like a warm, almost analogue sound but I’m looking for clarity, excitement and sparkle too – but without fatigued. Perhaps it doesn’t exist but I’m still looking to get as close as I can within budget. I used to have a preference for warm but as my tastes have matured (?) I’m looking for a bit more in the upper midrange, a classier treble and generally more refined sound.

 

It was this search which lead me to the MF AMS35i, which was an expensive solution (though I got a great deal on it)..........but I have yet to hear anything under £10k that I would swap it for.

(Also apologies to Shanka for sideways momentum).

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Caspian M2 v Leema Tucana 2

Hi,

No apolgies required, saw the Leema had gone so won't be demoing tomorrow which is a shame, was £1800 and was looking forward to hearing both amps together.

I liked the pulse when I was demoing amps a few years ago and was in my final 2 or 3 so was interested how it's larger sibling sounded.
Interesting on the comments above, I do enjoy a lot of bass, not very hifi I know, and the leaner characteristics may have been made up for by the extra power of the amp.

Have seen ssav have one ex dem for £2500 but that is way out of my ball park.

Next demo is for dac's, more on that later...........

Thanks again for the comments and diversions

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