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A mini headphone amplifier that emulates the warmth of vinyl audio and vintage tubes.
A mini headphone amplifier that emulates the warmth of vinyl audio and vintage tubes.
500 backers pledged $62,698 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Leo: Vintage Analog Sound from any Modern Device

$62,698

500

Leo is a mini headphone amplifier that emulates the warm tone of vintage audio equipment. Connect Leo to any smartphone or music player to your favorite headphones to experience the sound that vinyl lovers have been raving about without the expense and hassle.

Works with any pair of headphones and audio player
Works with any pair of headphones and audio player

 How Does it Sound?

Leo brings the tone of vinyl to any device - without the pops and cracks
Leo brings the tone of vinyl to any device - without the pops and cracks

Leo brings a presence to music, as if listening to a live performance. The tonal quality provides warmth and power while preserving delicate high frequencies. Leo brings out the best performance from any pair of headphones. 

Big sound from a small device
Big sound from a small device

 Design

Leo looks as clean as it sounds. Constructed with a rugged extruded aluminum body, CNC carved aluminum knobs, and precision laser cut faceplates available in a choice of black acrylic, walnut veneer, or smooth black leather. Units come standard with soft yellow LED backlighting. Premium units come with UV LED backlighting. 

Leo
Leo
Limited Edition Black Leo
Limited Edition Black Leo
Back Connections (mini-jack audio out, mini-jack audio in, power)
Back Connections (mini-jack audio out, mini-jack audio in, power)

Science Behind the Sound 

Modern audio equipment only delivers audio within a flat and narrow range of tones. Leo delivers a much larger range of frequencies while recreating the exact tonal quality of premium vintage amplifiers. While we can’t hear tones below a certain range - we can feel them. The unique tonal curves correct for psychoacoustic phenomena leading to a sound quality full of warmth, feeling, and presence.

Tech Specs

Audio

  • All analog design
  • 3.5 mm stereo audio-in and headphone-out
  • Frequency response: 2-200 kHZ (3 dB)
  • Power per channel: 105 mW at 16Ω
  • JFET preamplifier and active filter

Physical

  • Power: 9V DC
  • Height:  1.46 inches (37 mm)
  • Width: 2.12 inches (54 mm)
  • Depth: 3.46 inches (88 mm)
  • Weight: 3.4 oz (95 grams)

Design Process

Simulation and CAD drawings for Leo
Simulation and CAD drawings for Leo

We spent the last year designing Leo from the ground up to deliver you the best audio experience. We started our journey measuring many vintage amplifiers and turntables to discover how they deliver so much character. From there, we engineered equations that modeled the vintage equipment and coded simulations to find the optimal circuit for the sound. The final electronics of Leo are a work of precise calculation optimization and design iteration. We designed an intuitive interface and rugged enclosure to stand the test of time while remaining true to the equipment it emulates.

Rewards

Production Plan

Schedule
Schedule

We have several full functioning prototypes and are ready to mass produce Leo but need your help to kickstart production! We completed the design phase of our project and started working closely with a US based factory to manufacture Leo. Once funded, we'll kick into high gear with parts acquisition and assisting the fabrication process.

Leo in the Media

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Eric C. Gould of "Tech View Now" for an interview about the design process of Leo and a hands (and ears) on demonstration.

http://gouldtech.blogspot.com/2015/01/leo-tranforms-your-digital-audio.html

Geeky Gagets http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/leo-mini-headphone-analog-amplifier-12-01-2015/

Yo Success http://www.yosuccess.com/tag/analogartistry/

SakiDori http://sakidori.co/article/5771

3c Tech News http://3c.technews.tw/2015/01/26/use-leo-play-sounds-like-classical-cds-from-smart-device/

IXBT http://www.ixbt.com/news/hard/index.shtml?18/59/66

Tech Bang http://www.techbang.com/posts/21928-give-the-warmth-of-vacuum-tubes-and-vinyl-sound

Hands on Test

 Interview with the Founder

Risks and challenges

Leo is a hand assembled piece of electronic art and the utmost care will be taken during assembly. With collective experience of delivering multiple electronic products, we are familiar with the challenges ahead. With many working prototypes, we are confident in our design. Production of electronics is a complex task and there is always a chance of error in manufacturing, or difficulties in obtaining parts, which can delay delivery. We are confident of our partners' abilities to assist us in the most complex processes of the build. Pending successful funding, we have arranged production to start in March 2015. We have already developed extensive electronic testing and benchmarking software and procedures to assure that every shipped Leo performs to the highest standards.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Gain insight into product design and fabrication. Receive email updates on the production progress and success of Leo.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Receive a trendy Analog Artistry bumper sticker and our undying gratitude. Gain insight into product design and fabrication. Receive email updates on the production progress and success of Leo.

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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $89 or more About $89

    Early Adopter: One Leo headphone amplifier with a glossy black faceplate. Faux black leather carrying case. Save $10.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    One Leo headphone amplifier with a glossy black faceplate. Shipped with a faux black leather carrying bag.

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    242 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $119 or more About $119

    One Leo headphone amplifier with a glossy black faceplate. A premium gold plated cable to connect Leo to your phone or other audio device for headphone listening (one mini-jack to mini-jack cable). Shipped with a faux black leather carrying bag.

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    81 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $135 or more About $135

    One Leo headphone amplifier with a classic lacquered walnut veneer faceplate. Premium gold plated cables to connect Leo to your phone or other audio device for headphone listening and a cable to connect Leo to your existing stereo (one mini-jack to mini-jack cable and one mini-jack to RCA cable). Shipped with a faux black leather carrying bag.

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    95 backers
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    One Leo headphone amplifier with your choice of a limited edition black leather faceplate or lacquered cherry wood veneer faceplate with UV purple backlighting. Premium gold plated cables to connect Leo to your phone or other audio device for headphone listening and a cable to connect Leo to your existing stereo (one mini-jack to mini-jack cable and one mini-jack to RCA cable). A battery adapter to take Leo on the go. Shipped with a faux black leather carrying bag.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    $
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    One limited edition Leo headphone amplifier with a black anodized aluminum body, black brushed aluminum knobs, and yellow backlighting. Premium gold plated cables to connect Leo to your phone or other audio device for headphone listening and a cable to connect Leo to your existing stereo (one mini-jack to mini-jack cable and one mini-jack to RCA cable). A 9v battery adapter to take Leo on the go. Shipped with a faux black leather carrying bag.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 35 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (40 days)