A music system unlike anything else.
Leo reimagines what a music system can be. To create Leo—the first in Constellation’s Dominion line of innovative SmartAudioProducts—our engineers and designers started anew. We carefully considered how today’s music lovers listen to and access their music, then sought out the technologies that would let us deliver truly extraordinary sound from a design and form factor welcome in any home—and that are friendly enough for anyone to use comfortably. The result is a music system unlike anything else in audio.
No existing product category seems adequate to contain Leo. Leo embodies the same no-compromise spirit that inspired our original Reference Series components—hailed by many experts as the finest ever created—yet it fits into environments that could never accommodate a traditional audio system. Leo blends many approaches to audio: ultra-modern digital audio processing and amplification technologies, combined with traditional design philosophies and techniques refined through decades of experience.
The end result of our work with Leo more than meets the goals we set for the Dominion line: To create music systems that suit any situation and any lifestyle, yet deliver the breathtaking musicality and realism of much larger and costlier systems.
To describe Leo in concrete terms, it is a tri-amplified stereo sound system that delivers inspiring performance from any source, be it a moving-coil phono cartridge, a networked computer, an Internet radio station, a high-end music streamer, a CD player or even a smartphone. All of this is controlled through the familiar, friendly interface of a smartphone or tablet, with only the most essential controls—power, volume, input selection and play/pause/track skip—on Leo’s front panel.
Leo is so compact that it needs no accommodation greater than a sturdy shelf or table to work its magic. It doesn’t necessarily require any cables except its own AC power cord. Thus, Leo can deliver extraordinary sound practically anywhere, from a large living room to a bedroom or office.
The core of Leo is a self-powered high-end stereo speaker system. Reproducing the bass are two 6.5-inch high-sensitivity woofers in an opposed parallel arrangement that cancels vibration. Each is driven by its own 140-watt amplifier. The front grille conceals two 2.5-inch midrange drivers, each directly connected to its own 70-watt amplifier. Two 0.75-inch tweeters, each driven by its own 70-watt amp, reproduce high frequencies.
Surprisingly, Leo has a purer signal path than even many of the world’s most revered audio systems. Its Class D amplifiers use a special topology with ultra-high-frequency 600 kHz switching that eliminates the need for filtering of the amplifiers’ output; the inductance of the speaker drivers themselves is enough to filter the PWM output of the amplifiers to produce the cleanest of analog waveforms. There is no passive crossover, and thus nothing between the amplifier and speakers other than a cable. Audio can’t get any purer than this.
This direct connection is made possible through Leo’s multichannel digital signal processor, which performs all crossover functions and also tunes the performance of each of Leo’s six speaker drivers to perfection. The precision of this arrangement far exceeds what would be possible using traditional inductors and capacitors, the best of which tend to have tolerances in the plus/minus 5 percent range.
We built Leo to embrace everyone’s listening habits, whether they prefer streaming the latest hits from the Internet or spinning classic vinyl from half a century ago. We included an internal DAC that accepts signals up to 24/192 resolution (24/96 through Toslink) and is also MQA-compatible. Leo is Roon Ready, so music lovers can enjoy the enlightening experience of what is incontestably the world’s finest playback interface. Leo accesses networked audio sources through Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast, and these technologies also allow synchronized playback of multiple Leos in one home. We included a phono preamp that lets you connect a turntable, and that accommodates moving-coil cartridges as well as moving-magnet cartridges. And for those times when someone just wants to stream something off their smartphone, it includes Bluetooth 4.2 capability.
We have yet to mention Leo’s visual aesthetics because the images say it all—except that it’s available in your choice of deep black or light grey finish.
Leo is what music lovers have long awaited: a compact smart music system that delivers the audio you want, any way you want it, without the slightest sacrifice in sound quality, convenience or style.
One of our key goals with the Dominion SmartAudioProducts line was to use the friendly, familiar interfaces of smartphones and tablets as much as possible, and to keep the controls on the unit as simple as possible. To this end, Leo’s front panel has only the most essential controls: power, volume, input selection and play/pause/track skip.
Stereo three-way speakers
Leo achieves the sound quality of much larger systems because it is two complete high-end stereo speakers in one enclosure. Each channel has its own 6.5-inch woofer, 2.5-inch midrange and 0.75-inch tweeter, for as much acoustical power as many traditional speakers. The woofers are mounted in an opposed parallel arrangement that cancels about 90 percent of bass vibration.
560 watts of amplification
With 140 watts of power for each woofer and 70 watts for each midrange and tweeter, Leo easily delivers the same volume levels of a typical high-end stereo system—perhaps even higher than many.
Performing the crossover functions in the digital domain allows the six drivers to function in precise synchronization without the power handling and dispersion problems that analog phase-coherent speakers often exhibit. Careful driver placement and subtle DSP algorithms give Leo the expansive, open, spacious sound one would demand of the world’s most elite audio systems.
Filter-free, state-of-the-art Class D amplifiers
Leo’s amplifiers run at a switching frequency of 600 kHz, more than double that of typical Class D amps, and the amplifiers’ PWM circuitry operates at five different levels rather than simply on and off. Thus, the natural inductance of the speaker drivers is enough to produce a clean analog waveform, and no additional filters are needed between the amps’ output transistors and the speaker drivers.
MC/MM phono stage
Almost no compact music systems offer phono input, and we cannot recall seeing any that accommodate signals from MC cartridges. Leo is compatible with any turntable and cartridge.
Chromecast, AirPlay and Bluetooth
No matter what your preference in wireless sound technology, Leo stands ready. WiFi, Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay are all built in, so you can stream losslessly from any networked computer and you can use multiple Leos throughout a home. For times when simplicity and universal compatibility are required, there’s also Bluetooth.
For a bigger stereo soundstage and higher playback volume, two Leos can be wirelessly paired so one functions as the left channel and the other functions as the right channel.
Roon Ready and MQA
Roon’s ultra-friendly interface and MQA’s extraordinary fidelity have entranced audiophiles around the world. Leo will play both.
Analog and digital inputs
To accommodate traditional source devices, Leo includes a stereo analog RCA input and a Toslink digital input.