Leema missed a trick when choosing the name for this their first digital streamer/server. It seems clear to some of us that it should have been called the Leema Prima Streamer. As it is the Sirius is in Leema’s Constellation range so probably needed to adopt an astronomical appendage, and they chose the brightest star in the night sky, but you probably knew that.
So what is a Sirius? Well, on the one hand it’s a network audio server with inputs and outputs on RJ45 connectors for streamers, and a USB output for DACs. So far so normal. What differentiates the Leema from most of its competitors is the presence of a built-in digital to analogue converter and concomitant analogue output stage. The majority of servers don’t include this facility and have to be used with some form of DAC, and as Leema have a strong track record with the DACs in their CD players it must have seemed like a cunning plan to build one into a server.
But first they had to build a server, a rather specialised task that would be a headache and a huge drain on R&D reserves if attempted from the ground up. Instead Leema went to Innuos, a specialist in the field whose own servers have been making quite significant waves over the last few years (see my review of the Innuos Statement in the January issue, 167). The Sirius is based on an Innuos Zen Mk2 server but replaces a lot of the key elements with Leema tech. They have built a new linear power supply for the drive motors and added a DC power supply for the heart of the machine, the motherboard, as well as doubling the RAM of the base unit. This is a flexible server in terms of storage and you can buy it with anything from 2TB to 8TB of HDD capacity in 2TB increments. Adding HDDs increases the price but means that almost any library can be accommodated. Innuos fanciers can tell its origins by looking at the arrangement of ethernet and USB ports on the back panel but the biggest tell-tale is the my.innuos web interface that gives you access to the server’s various features and allows editing of metadata and the importing of music files. I have had issues with this interface in the past but either it’s got better or I’ve got used to it (or both) because it now seems to work effortlessly.