This is a HiFi Review of the Leema Sirius Music Server, Leema says it is designed to replace the CD player in your HiFi setup and to complement it with a proper server solution to boot. In June last year, I was very taken with the Leema Acoustics Pulse IV which was a great performer, this Leema Sirius Music Server has similar high-value credentials. The Leema Sirius Music Server sits in Leema’s highest specification Constellation range, which features their stunning Tucana II amplifier.
The Leema Sirius Music Server is a high-definition DAC server with an optical drive. Based on a TEAC slot-loading optical drive (CD ripper) and an Innuos Server platform and an onboard DAC this is a seriously innovative it of kit. Used with the Innuos Sense App or the Innuos desktop platform, the Leema Sirius Music Server can take the place of a high-end CD player, your music server and your streaming services if you’d like it to. On top of all that it can even be used as a Roon core. If you add all that up, especially the Roon bit, this is starting to look like a bargain. The Sirius comes with a 2TB HDD server but can be 4TB or even 8TB.
The Leema Sirius Music Server features an internal ESS Sabre 9028 pro DAC chip that is doing all the good stuff in this box with an Xmos USB interface. The DAC supports 16, 24 and 32 bit-depths, from 44.1kHz up to 384kHz with DSD 64, 128 and 256. We all know it is not just about the chip but the way it is mounted and managed and Leema certainly has a strong track record in this arena.
There is an analogue power supply in the Sirius which Leema claims is ‘excellent at filtering mains borne noise’.
Inputs and Outputs
On the input side, there is a networked Ethernet port with another for output to a dedicated streamer. The other input, of course, is the CD ripper at the front. There is a USB slot too for importing music that you may have on a USB stick or other. This same port offers a backup route for your stored collection.
On the outputs, there is a USB output to a DAC should you already have a DAC. Finally, there are analogue outputs via either balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA outputs to your preamplifier.
The casework is gorgeous with anodised aluminium casework on the front and top, there are black fins down either flank making the Sirius look rather sinister, I like it.
The Leema Sirius Music Server is priced from £4,200 with a 2TB HDD drive.
Dimensions – 44 x 11 x 31cm (w x h x d) measured
Weight – 11kg
I’m listening to the DAC (see below) through a Moor Amps Pre and Moor Amps Angel 6 power amplifier driving a pair of Kudos Cardea Super 20A loudspeakers. Otherwise, the server is on my network, hard-wired. Because it has an ethernet streamer port as well I have a Chord Company GroundARAY in the RJ45 slot. A review will follow, but I think there is
something good happening with the GroundARAY in the back and we have the electronics to hear the benefit.
I have the Leema Sirius Music Server plugged in directly to the router with an ethernet cable, there is no WiFi option with the Sirius here. On setting up, the server updated to 2.0.8, and after a couple of updates I’m on 2.0.10 for some Roon updates, so the software on the Leema Sirius Music Server seems to be being actively supported.
The Leema Sirius Music Server is designed to be permanently on so there are no lights to say as such, it is only when it is on standby are there any indications to say it is off. I like this way around.
Following the instructions in the manual, I went to the browser and typed in my.innuos.com on my desktop laptop and the Sirius appeared in the window, this is the Innuos Sense environment. This Sense window allows access to the Server, and you can manage settings, import other NAS drives and songs from USB, etc.
USB files importing was pretty easy, to be honest with the innuos.com desktop program and CD importing was even easier, just slot the CD in, wait for it to be sucked in and wait a few minutes, dead easy. The mechanism is pretty silent, and you can play and rip as you go along. Album artwork just happens online. Imports can be set to WAV or FLAC format.
As a Server
As a server the Sirius has been faultless in the two months, I have had it here. I have to say, using BluOS, Play-Fi (in particular) and Mconnect is perfect, artwork just works, brilliantly.
I have found the Innuos Sense App on my Android Phone to be a mobile masterstroke, and this makes access to Tidal and Qobuz to be a very nice experience indeed. Spotify is configurable apparently, as is BBC Sounds by the looks of it. All of my Radio Stations are here too.
DAC Output to a preamplifier
Using the Innuos Sense App with fixed output to my Moor Amps preamplifier I am in nothing short of heaven. There is beautiful resolution in the guitar fingerwork on Everything by Ben Howard from his first album Every Kingdom that I’m taking from the ripped CD on the internal Sirius server. There is an openness to this presentation that I find very enjoyable and this album, trips along well with bounce, verve and clarity.
Comparing it to, say the iFi Pro iDSD that I really appreciate, I’m feeling I’m getting at least the level of openness and resolution as I want to hear from this Leema DAC arrangement in the Sirius. It is clean, crisp, and has no obvious weaknesses in the frequency range so it feels like a fine performer.
One thing I really like about this output, I guess this is an Innuos feature, is that the music fades out (rapidly) when you press stop, rather than cutting out immediately. This is nice.
I was thinking it might be useful to have some digital inputs to access the DAC in the Leema Sirius Music Server but if you think about it, you actually don’t need a CD transport with the Sirius nor do you need a streaming transport, so that’s that. I now don’t even need a DAC when it is put like that, not to mention the savings to be made on decent interconnects, this Leema Sirius Music Server is feeling like a brilliant investment.
Of course, if you just want a server, you could buy the Innuos Server, that is basically what you are using. The added plus is here is the TEAC CD ripper, the onboard DAC output, and a streaming service to boot. There is nothing much out there that does this, and it is a faultless piece of digital engineering.
If you reflect on this, as a single digital solution in this cluttered world, this is perfect. Rip your CDs take them to the charity shop, subscribe to a HiFi streaming service and you’re good to go for a long time.
If this does replace your CD transport, streaming transport, your DAC, your radio player and your server and if you’re thinking of a Roon Core there is quite a saving here to be had and with my Naim Uniti Serve packed up for good finally, this is really making this reviewer think.
It is quite apparent to this reviewer this Leema Sirius Music Server is so much more than a music server, in fact, it is effectively replacing at least four digital boxes, CD transport, streaming transport, server and DAC. However, in a cluttered digital world this Sirius is no jack of all trades, it is doing each digital element expertly, with the quality, consistency, and reliability we all crave.
Marriage with TEAC
The idea behind it
Permanently on, no lights
Artwork that works
TEAC CD ripper
I just can’t think of anything
A few Hi-Res digital inputs?
Full details are on the company’s site