Seen here with the Pyxis preamp, this is the new Hydra II power amp from Welsh hi-fi company Leema: the £3495 design is a 160Wpc stereo amp as standard, but can be bridged to create a 540W monobloc, or operated remotely by other Leema components using the company's LIPS control system.
Based on the development work carried out for Leema's Altair IV monoblocs, the Hydra II uses a toroidal transformer for each channel, and a third for the control circuitry.
Its output stage has very low output impedance, and the company says that 'this, coupled with a high current capability ensures vice-like grip and precise control of the loudspeakers, even at very high levels.'
The amp also offers a range of configurations beyond the basics of stereo, mono or biamp set-ups. Using the LIPS system, it can be slaved to the Tucana II amplifier in biamp or triamp configurations, used as a single-source amp with the Antila CD player, the volume being controlled by the player's remote control, or combined with the Pyxis preamp.
In each case the power amp receives a full-level audio signal, and balance and volume are adjusted internally via the LIPS system. It's also possible to configure the Hydra II as a conventional fixed-gain power amp for use with equipment from other manufacturers.