A 63-year-old sandwich might not sound that appetising, but these speakers are anything but stale. Leak’s new Sandwich 150 and 250 draw on the design of the firm’s classic speaker which debuted in 1961, injected with plenty of modern technology to make what looks like a very tasty treat.
But Leak hasn’t been lying dormant since then. The Cambridge-based company made a comeback in with its first new products since the 1970s. Now, just ahead of the Bristol Hi-Fi Show, it’s looking to cement its place in the modern British hi-fi landscape.
The original Sandwich took its name from the unique construction of its mid/bass drive unit – it was the first to be made from a ‘sandwich’ of different materials, namely expanded polystyrene foam between two sheets of aluminium foil. Because it was light yet stiff, it reduced distortion, creating a more accurate sound.
The Sandwich 150 and 250 bring the concept into the 21st century. The outer surfaces use a stiff aluminium skin bonded to a core of aircraft-grade polymethacrylimide (PMI) structural foam for “immense rigidity”, Leak claims.
The Sandwich 250 is the larger of the two standmounts, a three-way model that stands 65.5cm tall compared to the Sandwich 150, a two-way model with a height of 41.5cm. Both have a 30mm textile-dome tweeter – the 250 combines it with 280mm bass and 108mm midrange drivers, while the 150 only has a 170mm mid/bass driver. All these drivers feature Leak’s trademark Aluminium-Foamcore Sandwich cone.
The speaker cabinets are also built like a sandwich. A special glue filling is sandwiched between an outer layer of MDF and inner layer of high-density particle board to scatter and dampen resonances. There’s also spot bracing, and a front-rear brace that echoes the design of the original.
At the rear, the cabinets are dual ported, with the increased airflow helping the bass response. And they look very much like a modern take on the classic Sandwich, with a walnut veneer applied by hand complemented by aluminium driver trims and an aluminium insert around the edge of the front baffle.
So how much do these Sandwiches cost? The 250 costs £1999 per pair, and the 150 is £999 per pair – about the same as a high street sandwich nowadays. The 250 plus dedicated floor stand will set you back £2299. They’re available from mid-February.
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