Lake People G109-P HighEnd Phoneamp

20 Customer Ratings:
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4.9 / 5.0
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2 written ratings
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Excellent tracking/mixing/monitoring headphone amp
Nantonos, 16.12.2014
I bought this headphone amp primarily for mixdown monitoring, and secondarily for general music listening and for use during tracking vocals. My previous amp was adequately loud but lacking in balance, finesse, and resolving ability.

Looking first at build quality, this is exemplary. A solid case, smooth volume knob, quality connectors at the rear. Having seen photos of the interior online (I have not disassembled my own unit!) it sems that the highest quality components are used on the interior as well, including a good encapsulated toriodal transformer, quality capacitors, and generally a professional PCB with tidy wiring.

Both balanced (on XLR) and unbalanced (RCA phono) connections are proviuded to give a single channel of stereo amplification, delivered to two 1/4" (6.35mm) headphone outlets which share a common volume control.

Some headphone amps are good with high impedance headphones (can produce large voltage swings without strain) but suffer with low impedance ones (not enough current drive, too-high output impedance giving poor damping factor resulting if poorly controlled bass). Others compromise in the opposite direction, fine with low impedance but sound thin and veiled with high impedance phones. It is good therefore to see that the G109-P can correctly drive any headphone impedance from 16 ohms to over 600. All my testing has been done with Audio Technica ATH-M50s and M40 headphones, both low impedance around 32 ohms.

The majority of my listening has used the balanced inputs. Most of the time I was using a single headphone output; when tow headphones were connected, I did not notice any particular change in the quality of the sound. I have not tested the unit with high impedance headphones and don't know how it behaves if one low and one high impedance set of phones are connected at once. (Although in tht case, probably one would want an amp with twin volume controls and perhaps two separate channels, which is a rather

I had expected a slightly better performance and a better reliability than my previous unit. I was wrong. The audio performance was very much better - not in an obvious, hyped, exciting and unrealistic way but in a clear, natural, effortless way that was well suited to mix monitoring. This difference was clearly apparent to several listeners with only a few minutes A/B comparison with my other amp. The overall sound is impressively neutral (without sounding dull or lifeless as some neutral-oriented units can be) with impressive control especially in the lower midrange and bass; this translates to clearer presentation of complex rhythmic material, an ability to hear basslines together with strong drums, for example. Shimmer in reverb trails is more clearly audible. Mixing decisions are easier to make and the music has life, pace and timing while remaining neutral and accurate. Mixes translate well to a variety of speakers.

After a couple of years constant use, this amp is still my main monitoring system for mixdown and i have no desire to upgrade or replace it. It hits the perfect spot of reliable studio equipment, avoiding the expensive and possibly illusory benefots of audiophile hifi gear while providing clear auditory benefit compared to more entry level studio gear.

I do have one, minor, criticism. There is no input selector switch so, if both unbalanced and balanced connections are used, the unbalanced take priority. RCA jacks are not really designed to be repeatedly plugged and unplugged. So if you plan to regularly switch between two inputs, another model would be a better choice. If you depend on an accurate monitoring of a single source over headphones, I can strongly recommend the G109-P.
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Total
handling
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Grip!
clivei, 11.05.2018
I'm using this with Beyer DT880 600Ohm headphones and was able to compare the lake people G109P against the decent quality direct headphone out from my top end mixer (Speck Xtramix). Although there seemed to be some sensitivity to capacitance of the cable between mixer and the G109P (manifesting as reduced high frequency), a high quality balanced cable yielded results that made the mixer headphone output seem flabby (though there was a possible G109P run in period of about 6 hours?)! Reverbs were now tight (could hear individual delays in them more easily) and the entire frequency range seemed rock solid - without artefacts or resonances etc. in short, 'gripped'. Consequently everything is precise - Rhythmically excellent, very deliberate and large soundstage, but neutral enough to sound different when the soundstage is different. Front to back is at least as good as Left to Right. Does the job without glamour but with incredible capability - it becomes more and more noticeable as one starts trying to hear things within the sound - the G109P positively encourages this whereas it wasn't even possible in some cases with the direct mixer output. Outstanding, even if not entirely obvious immediately! 1 volume control for the 2 headphone outs is the only downside - but don't let it put you off the sonic quality.
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Lake People G109-P HighEnd Phoneamp

€499 £443.92
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The price in GBP is a guideline price only!

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