Cambridge-based audio company Leak has unveiled its latest additions to the loudspeaker market, the Leak Sandwich 150 and Leak Sandwich 250. These speakers are a revival of the iconic Leak Sandwich design that made waves in the audio industry back in 1961. Drawing inspiration from the past, these new models combine classic aesthetics with contemporary technologies to cater to the demands of modern audio enthusiasts.
Founded in 1934, Leak enjoyed a prominent presence in the post-war Hi-Fi market, introducing the original Sandwich speakers in 1961. However, the company's fortunes waned in the late '70s and early '80s after changing ownership. In 2020, Leak was resurrected by IAG, the same parent company behind renowned brands like Audiolab, Luxman, Mission, and Wharfedale.
Leak's resurgence began with the release of the Stereo 130 amplifier and CDT CD transport, followed by the Stereo 230 integrated amplifier. Now, the company is offering a fresh take on their classic Sandwich speakers, combining the design elements from the original 1961 models with modern technologies to create what they describe as "the ultimate incarnations of a bona fide British classic."
The Sandwich 150 and Sandwich 250 speakers are designed to cater to different audio needs. The Sandwich 150 is a 2-way design, while the Sandwich 250 offers a larger 3-way option, standing at 41.5cm and 65.5cm tall on their respective plinths.
The name "Sandwich" harks back to the original model's unique mid/bass drive unit, which featured expanded polystyrene foam sandwiched between two sheets of aluminum foil. This innovative design provided enhanced rigidity, minimizing vibrations and delivering a more precise sound.
In the 21st-century versions, Leak has taken the concept a step further by incorporating even stiffer aluminum and aircraft-grade polymethacrylimide structural foam. This combination promises a remarkably smooth frequency response, avoiding sharp peaks or troughs over a broad frequency range, catering to the demands of modern audio systems.
Both the Sandwich 150 and Sandwich 250 models feature a 30mm textile dome tweeter with an isolated damped rear chamber, reducing its resonant frequency below the crossover region. The Sandwich 150 also includes a 170mm mid-bass driver, while the Sandwich 250 boasts a 280mm bass driver and a 108mm mid-range unit, all featuring Leak's signature hybrid cones. Each pair of speakers is optimized as "mirror-imaged pairs," ensuring a precise stereo image and a deep, broad soundstage.
The speaker cabinets continue the 'sandwich' tradition with an outer layer of MDF and an inner layer of high-density particle board, strategically crafted to scatter panel resonances. Dual rear ports on both models enhance bass response, with precisely flared designs ensuring optimal air pressure equalization and eliminating 'chuffing' for deep, well-defined bass.
While maintaining the classic Leak aesthetic, these speakers also incorporate modern design elements such as hand-applied walnut veneer, aluminum driver trims, and inserts around the edge of the front baffle. This blend of classic and contemporary design elements creates a visually appealing product that complements modern audio setups.
Leak Sandwich Speakers Main Features:
Design and Materials:
Dedicated Stands (Optional for Sandwich 250):
The Leak Sandwich 150 and Sandwich 250 speakers are scheduled to start shipping in mid-February, with respective RRPs of £999 / $1295 / AU$2399 and £1999 / $2495 / AU$4799 per pair. For those considering the larger Sandwich 250 model, Leak offers dedicated stands designed to enhance the listening experience, priced at £2299/ $2995 / AU$5699 when added to the checkout.