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Leckerton Audio UHA-6S MKII

Posted

Pros: Superb sound quality in all aspects; Long battery life; Plenty of power; Option to disable USB charging; Very good DAC; SPDIF in both ways

Cons: Heavy; Easy to accidentally turn volume control; Recessed USB socket causing cables to fall out, GSM noise susceptibility in OPA209 version; DAC limited to max. 48k/16bit via USB

This review describes version with OPA209, but other ones should perform on par or better and probably without GSM noise issue.

The amplifier is powerful enough to drive power hungry headphones such as orthodynamics, but also has very low impedance for balanced armature IEMs.

 

DAC, while very good, is not the absolute benchmark - but that is to be expected in an integrated device. Opamps can be replaced - they're SO-8 mono versions attached via a DIP-8 adapter.

The only actual drawbacks of this amp are related to ergonomics. Especially the very sensitive potentiometer can be problematic.

Posted

Pros: Great amp. No hiss. USB charging switch (so you don't drain your notebook's battery). Works with the iPad CCK. Rollable opamps. Auto-selects input.

Cons: DAC quality from USB not as good as other options available.

While I usually use an iPod or iPhone with a Fostex HP-P1 and my Symphones Magnums (modified Grados with far better drivers) in my transportable rig, I've found that the amp in the Fostex isn't as good as it could be and that best results were with a Triad Audio L3 or ALO RX3-B. While I've seriously considered the latter after owning the former, given the good reputation of the UHA-6II I wanted to see if I could get great results from a single-ended amp first.

 

The UHA-6 has certainly delivered, with a clean, clear sound and a lack of hiss. While I chose the stock opamps when I bought it, I swapped in a pair of AD797B opamps as I don't need to spare batter life. The difference is very minor, sounding very subtly smoother in the treble, but as I bought the amp to improve on that in the HP-P1, every little difference helps.

 

The sound from the built-in DAC isn't quite as awesome as that of the amp. I gather it was designed to work over USB from even an iPad Camera Connection Kit, so uses the standard BB PCM2706 receiver chip, which is now quite poor relative to newer chips. The S/PDIF input is also fairly lacklustre, but the DAC is listenable, if not up to the benchmark set by the ODAC in clarity.

 

What is most impressive about the design is the quality of the case and components, along with the thoughtful functionality. The case screws together perfectly with a tight fit. Since the USB input doubles as the charging input, a switch is included allowing charging to be turned off. The UHA-6 also auto-selects the input, so you don't end up ever wondering why there is no music playing. The only negative point with the aesthetics is that the micro USB port is slightly recessed so you have to use the USB cable that came with it which has a connector that protrudes slightly more than average.

 

Overall it's a lovely little amp that is great value for all the tech packed into the beautiful case and the sound quality of the headphone amp.

Posted

Pros: Portable, Sturdy, Easy to use, No hiss with iems

Cons: You will want to listen forever and not go to sleep...

Right when I thought my gr07's couldn't get any better. This little amp brought my listening experience to a whole new level. Before with just the j3 and the gr07, the sound could get congested at times with not enough breathing space, but with this amp, it opened things up, it allowed everything to flow naturally. This amp is also super transparent (with the opa209 op amp) it shows you everything cleanly and effortlessly. If you haven't already gotten a portable amp for your dap GET ONE NOW and thank me later. Also, this amp works wonderfully for iems, there is absolutely NO noise or hiss at all.

Posted

Pros: Small, all metal casing, high quality, easy to figure out

Cons: None so far!

I bought this amp a couple days ago, and have put about 20 hours of burn-in time on it. I am using this for IEM's and portable use with very little use with full-size cans. Right when I turned the Leckerton on it seemed like the curtain had been lifted and the stage opened up. Everything sounded crisper and the bass tightened up a lot. The dac is extremely quiet with no hiss or noise at all with IEM's, I really enjoyed the quality. I am using an iPod Classic 6G for portable use, and it is not too much bigger and fits in my pocket without a problem. If you are looking for a portable amp/dac in this price range, just save yourself some time and go for the Leckerton!

Leckerton Audio UHA-6S MKII
Description:

Product Description The UHA-6S.MKII is a high-performance USB DAC and amplifier combo. It features a 16-bit/48kHz USB streaming interface, 24-bit/96kHz optical and coaxial S/PDIF (TOSLINK) inputs, and a 1/8-inch analog line input. With its low-noise and low-distortion performance, the UHA-6S.MKII can drive a wide range of loads, from high-sensitivity earphones to high-impedance headphones. The all-aluminum construction of the UHA-6S.MKII provides a solid yet lightweight feel. The internal Lithium-ion battery is rechargeable through the USB connection. A rear panel switch disables the charging function, maximizing the battery life of your portable computer or tablet PC and allowing the UHA-6S.MKII to function on a low-power USB port. The UHA-6S.MKII can be customized for a particular sound signature. The output stage op-amps are socketed and easily replaceable. The audio signal path is designed without the use of DC blocking capacitors, which can cause an increase in harmonic distortion. An automatic DC compensation circuit removes any DC voltage at the output, allowing for maximum headphone performance.

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