Headfi is a whole other world. However, we at Alpha Audio do find it fascinating, because there is a lot of quality to be had for relatively little money. Lake People is such a brand that – according to many – delivers a lot of quality for a very interesting price. We have the Lake People G108 and pair it the Focal Elear. A combination that should bring a lot, we estimate.
Lake People is a German manufacturer of not only headphone amplifiers, but also A/D converters, D/A converters and also supplies gear to studios. In fact, that’s their core business; their roots. In that sense, it is very similar to a brand like Mutec. Lake People also produces under another – to us familiar – name: Violectric. And we’ve had a product from them before: the DHA V590. That was both a pre-amp and a dac. Beautiful device with a real studio-feel. Both optically and sonically. Yet another name under which the company markets products is Nimbus.
The Lake People G108
But we’re not going to talk about Violectric here. This is about the – more affordable – G108. It, too, is made in Germany. Just like Violectric.
The designs are sober, solid and purist. There’s not a button too many on a Lake People product. On the front, the G108 has three buttons: on/off, balance and volume. On the back, a pushbutton to switch between balanced and single ended. That’s it. Good to know perhaps is that for headphones, the G108 also offers a regular and balanced jack.
Under the hood we see a very clean and minimalist design with mostly nice components. Lake People has paid a lot of attention to the power supply, which we like to see. At the center is a Talema transformer surrounded by 6000 uF of caps: ample for a headphone amplifier.
Central to the amplification we see four Burr Brown op-amps: the OPA551. Certainly not the cheapest op-amp. This is a single-channel op-amp, so that there are four in it is not surprising, since the G108 is built fully balanced. Per channel, this op-amp can deliver 200mA. That’s more than enough for a lot of watts of musical pleasure. (Do the math: 0.2A, 300 Ohms: that’s 60 volts and thus 12 watts!)
There is not much more to tell about this headphone amplifier. After all, there is no remote control or other bells and whistles. Just a solid box with a nice interior. And that for €699 Euro.