Leema Tucana II Anniversary - review

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Can I add my tuppence worth.

Firstly insider brought the Anniversary edition to the attention on the other side: I've been a Leema owner since 2010. My first Leema was the Pulse MKI and absolutely loved it for the price bracket. IMHO, nothing betters it for the money, in terms of excitement and emotion. Add in a built-in top notch switchable phono stage, it's stonking.

Last year I purchased the Tucana MKII and takes the pleasure experience up a few notches. To my ears, it's hard to fault anything other than the Tucana doesn't have  a in-built phono stage.

I suppose if you are a valve amp devotee or someone who worships Class A amplification, it may not be for you. Otherwise, crack on and have a listen to one.

In terms of smile factor, it's top of the tree. 

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I very much agree if you're into this kind of a sound it's going to cost you a lot to upgrade. 

Since WHF is closing its forum its only fair to copy over music and equipment list for this review, before it disappears. 

Leema Tucana II Anniversary - review / equipment and music list

Red Rose Classic / Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II / Elac 203.2

Sources (digital only)
Philips CD753 / Hegel Rost (via pre outs) / Xiang Sheng DAC05B (via line, GE5670 tube and balanced outs) / Chromecast Audio / TeraDak TDA1543 NOS DAC / DIY Linux based PC with Roon server

Acoustic room treatment / speaker isolation / FIR based DSP (Roon convolution)

Music used - Albums (format used Artist  "name of the album" - standout tracks)*

Alice in Chains "Unplugged" - Sludge Factory - Frogs / Jeff Buckley"Grace"  - So Real - Forget Her / Tool "Aenima" - Eulogy - Forty Six & 2  / Mad Season "Above"  - River of Deceit / PJ Harvey "Dry" - Happy and Bleading / Beck "Sea Change" - Guess I'm Doing Fine, Lost Cause / Miles Davis "Milestones" - Two Bass Hit, Billy Boy / Soften the Glare"Making Faces" - March of the Cephalopods, What Chandra Sees / Peter Gabriel "So" - Mercy Street, This is the Picture / Fleetwood Mac"Rumours" - Oh Daddy, Gold Dust Woman / Black Sabbath "Black Sabbath" (2009 Remaster) - The Wizard, Warning / Opeth "Heritage"-  Haxprocess / Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong "Ella & Louis"  - They Can't Take That Away From Me, Cheek to Cheek / Rage Against the Machine "Rage Against the Machine"- Bullet in the Head, Know Your Enemy / Green Day "Dookie" - When I Come Around / System of a Down"Mezmerize"  - B.Y.O.B. - Question!/ A Perfect Circle "Eat the Elephant" - Eat the Elephant, Disillusioned / Norah Jones "Come Away with Me" - Turn Me On, I've Got To See You Again / Myles Kennedy "Year of the Tiger" - The Great Beyond, Nothing But a Name, Mother / Ashley Monroe"Sparrow" ­- Paying Attention / Esperanza Spalding "Emily's D+Evolution" - I Want It Now / B.B. King "Live at the Regal" - How Blue Can You Get?; Worry, Worry /  John Coltrance "A Love Supreme" / Yello "Essential Yello" - The Race 

*All the above were losssless 16/44.1 FLAC, either streamed from Tidal or local library. Also a number of 24/96 and DSD64.

Individual tracks used*

Just a Little Lovin' - Shelby Lynne / Little Green - Joni Mitchell / Valley of Neptune - Jimi Hendrix / Red or Dead - Randi Tytingvag / Show Me the Place - Leonard Cohen / Every Morning - Keb Mo / A Case of You - Diana Krall (Live in Paris) / The Outsider - A Perfect Circle / Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden / Fingertip - Esbjorn Svensson Trio / Lonely Woman - Ornette Coleman / Morning - Beck / Export Import - Tosca / My God - Jethro Tull / Junjo Epseranza - Spalding / Freedom! '90 - George Michael / Nara - E.S. Posthumus / Riders on the Storm - The Doors / Blackbird - Alter Bridge / Thanks for your Time - Gotye / Arithmophobia - Animals as Leaders / Inner City Blues - The Mayfield Four / Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra / Real Good Hands - Gregory Porter / Carribean Blue - Enya / Nightswimming - R.E.M. / Whiskey Lullaby - Alison Krauss / Tin Pan Alley - Stevie Ray Vaughan / Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd / Rich Woman - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss / Money - Pink Floyd / Do the Best - Tantsui

*Same quality as above except for last track source being YouTube

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Dear insider9, 

may I first beg the forgiveness of the forum members for my rather verbose interruption, but I have been compelled by my impressions to leave no ambiguity in my comment, because I feel like it would be a real shame, if you were left with any doubt from my response :

I have just registered for the purpose of saying how much I have been impressed with your review and to record my sincere appreci

ation for the effort, diligence and successful quest for your natural expression of the experience you have so thoroughly enjoyably related to us all. I arrived at your review following a couple of minutes perusing WhatHiFi's current overview of British integrated amplifiers and having attempted to make out some idea of this amplifier, from their own fuller review. There is no comparison between your essay and the professional review. The professional review is unhelpful, illiterate whether speaking to the story of musical listening or merely as a narrative to supposedly enjoy reading for recreation. You did not merely do well, you belied the emptiness of the modern hifi press. I have spent my life in media and advertising and I have no doubt whatsoever now that I have been compensating for the poverty of energy, insight and above all command of our language, which are hardly a exhaustive litany of the justifiable complaints fairly levelled at the industry. The professional write up is actually tiring to read. Tiring because there is effort required involved in making sense of the article and tiring because it is only natural to be anticipating in these ever rarer leisure moments, some manner of human expression which is evocative consequently upon the very subject of interest, about which the reader is to be be suspected of disinterest, if she's not awaiting a payoff of emotional understanding from the reviewer. I say that, as I simultaneously labour to lighten and leven my own response, this turgidity I can only hope will be forgiven by the forum readers, who surely didn't alight here to help me work out my mid life disappointment with my profession. But, speaking to the professional yearning I profess, give me a dozen of insider9's clones (so many, purely to re review the greatest possible catalogue of products that sorely need to communicate their value in the way insider9 has shown is eminently possible within the energies of a discerning, educated and dedicated music listener, and I shall count the days to the deadline for each review, excitedly just as I have fond memories of the anticipation that once gripped me and decided my career. May I please humbly suggest and encourage you, insider9, to take up the past time and persevering necessary to develop your art of writing about your experience listening? I am convinced you will be well able to master your skills in this direction, to absolutely ravenously salivating new fans of such genuinely lavished literary fayre and sustenance of all enthusiasts everywhere. If you still have any patience with my irrepressibly loquacious impulse, sufficient to drop me a line, I will be delighted to hear your thoughts on whether you are prepared to explore further and, professionally but experimentally to at least a potential objective of publishing further essays, to which I should be absolutely delighted to draw the attention of the largest number of readers and industry leaders. Particularly if you might be inclined to review further British equipment, since we need all of us all the help we can get in exporting now and for the foreseeable. This is off my cuff, certainly, but my heart is right there also. I should never dare to presume, but I am convinced that you will find a audience and eager publishers, and I genuinely have such time as is necessary available for the such project as this, if you can countenance the similar engagement. I will be ready with my most infallible persuading presentation as written especially for wives worrying about what hobbies are freshly conspiring against the domestic bliss that I'm convinced of being a undiscovered matter and parallel universe, such is it that you can use no logic of science nor incantation of the spirit world to make known assessing contact, forget about repairs. There's a lot more than essay - reviews where from a dignified, albeit a bit modest, second income that may be surprising.... Not so incidentally, I have belatedly realised, only because I believed the assurance unnecessary, but I can certainly obtain review samples from manufacturers of equipment of note and interest. I have become renewed in my own personal enthusiasm during the past year or so, which is shaping my thoughts most definitely in my subconscious, because I specialise in launching the advertising product necessary to sell to launch new magazines. That said, and I hope you are sleeping now and if not, and I'm not a forgotten annoyance who'll never disturb you again (undoubtedly I think this comment is likely to be unique in my history anyway) if you have hereto been laudably restrained in your revulsion and retain your interest in composing further review essays, I will part with my assurance to you that I'm not willing to waste your time neither anyone's, because I am this instant thinking of the (print magazine) outlets and the approach I should take in the matter : I think that you are gifted with a commercially viable talent and ill not in any way alow any consequences lamentable or in any way disappointingly here from arise.

Whatever you do, by all means please let please take all your fully justified praise and encouragement as seriously as your time and perseverence allows. I'm sure very many more people will be in concord. 


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Hi Luke,

Just read this review due to one coming up for sale in the classifieds. Very well written with enough depth to give a proper flavour, many thanks.

kind regards,


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