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Leak 1800 Receiver

From the Leak stable, which produced the well known Stereofetic and Delta range, this gives an output of 23W per channel into two switchable pairs of speakers (connections on DIN loudspeaker sockets). The housing is very similar to the model 2000 and the main differences are the inclusion of a rumble filter, but the exclusion of auxiliary, cassette, quasi stereo, pseudo quad and mono high power functions. The FM mute level is pre set at 1uV, which is too low, and the receiver does include MW AM, but not LW. Mains input and output sockets are identical to the 2000. The unit is clearly only very basic, but fills an obvious need for many potential purchasers. The DIN tape socket has a source impedance of 110K ohms, and can thus only be used with DIN inputs on properly compatible DIN recorders. 
This moderatly priced unit gave quite a good account of itself with its amplifier section, and the sound quality was slightly preferred to the model 2000. The IM distortion figures were excellent at higher levels, but degraded slightly at lower ones, and the harmonic distortion figures measured well. The output s/n ratio was good but some breakthrough could be heard when monitoring, even if the monitor input switch was left on tuner. Those tape recorders presenting a fairly low impedance to the 1800 would reduce this breakthrough. The controls tracked adequately. The rumble filter (6dB per octave) cut off -3dB at 110Hz (frequency too high) whilst the treble roIl oft cut at the same slope from 4.5kHz. No loudness control is incorporated (a blessing for some!). All the levels were compatible with DIN standards, and the pick up input impedance was well optimised. The idle DC output offset measured badly at a permanent lOOmV on one channel, and this could introduce slight bass distortion on some speakers. The pick up pre amplifier noise performance measured slightly below average, but will probably be adequate.
The decoder section of the FM tuner was clearly exceptionally well aligned, producing remarkable crosstalk figures and had considerably less than average distortion. Strong stereo stations reproduced with just a little hiss, and I would look for a 4dB improvement for it to be completely acceptable by current hi-fl standards. The capture ratio was superb, and the RF input sensitivities very good. The image response was poor (beware of aircraft flight paths). The multiplex filter was excellent, as was the response, although subjectively the sound quality was a little too bright, though always very clean. A signal strength meter is provided for tuning, but we thought the tuning scale somewhat cramped at its LF end, and the tuning rather stiff.
This product can clearly be recommended at its price, and although it lacks many facilities it did perform pretty well, giving a particularly good sound quality from the tuner, despite the slight noise that might be audible on some classical music programmes on Radio 3. The amplifier's sound quality was bettered by a few of its competitors at around the same price. We all found the centre indent controls most helpful, and distinctly preferable to ones having a visual centre line (see forward section). Virtually no interference was created by local LF and VHF radio transmissions, and this is particularly commendable. Regarded as good value for money if obtained at a discount, despite its simplicity which will nevertheless attract many.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article featured in the Hi-Fi Choice 'Consumer Guide' 1976 and was written be Angus McKenzie. We thank Hi-Fi Choice for their kind permission to display this review.
http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/