🔷 Lake People G111

damn … its a powerful beast
wonder why it has no reviews on youtube till now ?

its certainly got plenty of power, even with the pregain inside the amp dropped down a step. Im still just hitting 12 o’clock on the volume. Really great little amp.

till now? I still don’t see any. Did I miss one?

But yes, there is a lack of YT reviews for this amp. At least in the US, the Lake People brand isn’t as well known, at least that’s my perception. Schiit, Drop, and Chi-Fi seem to be drowning them out at the moment. Some advertising would really help the, I think.

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Because LakePeople as a studio brand does not need to sell these studio amps to us plebs :wink:

↑ This, probably.

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Awesome review!

How is the noise floor for IEMs? On my Asgard 3 it’s silent always at low gain, with a little hum that I don’t mind very much on high gain.

From the sounds of what some are saying on here, the G111 is quite loud even with moderately power hungry 'phones. Is there room for fiddling with the dial or are you pretty much stuck at minimum with IEMs? Coming from a B2 + A3 stack, enjoying it very much, but been wondering about an upgrade at amp… My main listening devices are a Thieaudio Monarch, 6xx, and sometimes 1990 Pro.

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I’ve used the G111 with the FiiO FH3 (114dB/mW) and FD5 (109dB/mW). There’s no noise at a normal listening level. I can turn it up a lot before I start to hear any noise floor.

It is quite a loud unit. I have it set to minimum gain and I use the FD5 at just over 9 o’clock, so there is some room below that. (I usually listen to headphones at 70dB; if you listen quieter than that, you’ll have less room, of course). Since the volume control is stepped and not smooth, it’s a little bit annoying if I want it just a little bit louder; I have to change the volume on my DAC’s pre-out as well. I still use it even with IEMs in spite of this. The volume control isn’t a problem for any of the headphones I have, still on the lowest gain (the switches are inside the unit, so I just leave it on lowest). I’ve never gone near 12 o’clock, even with the my least sensitive headphones: Grado Hemp and Nighthawk Carbon (98–99 dB/mW), but those have a much lower impedance than the two you mentioned. The HD600 (so presumably similar for the 6xx) only needs like 1/5th the power of those two headphones for the same volume. I didn’t calculate for the DT1990, but I can if you’d like.

This could be grounding related. A cool thing about the G111 is that it has a jumper inside that you can “lift” the ground and possibly remove this if it still occurs on the G111.

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Hi! Welcome to HFGF! I think @Pelontar handled the IEM question well. It stands out to me that for most of my headphones the pot was hanging out in th 10-12 o clock range.

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Thanks so much for the detailed reply @Pelontar! And thanks, @WaveTheory - I tend to listen anywhere from 8 and just shy of 12 on my Asgard 3, run out of my B2, so I’m perfectly fine with not pumping things too much. I know the Asgard sounds better - beefier, fuller, etc. - on high gain than low gain. Is this the case with the G111? Hoping it’s not I guess, since it doesn’t sound like I’ll have too much room to wiggle for volume.

And if either of you have come directly from the Asgard 3 - is there really quite a noticeable difference between these two amps? In terms of detail, separation, etc.?

I think I have pretty sensitive ears - to a fault frankly; has made sleeping in certain conditions sort of difficult, distracted in open office spaces, etc. When I upgraded from the Modi 3 and Magni 3+ to the B2 and A3, I almost instantly felt the sound was far more 3D, immersive, heavy-hitting, fuller and realer. Chasing that same upgrade high again I guess, and I don’t think I’ll be replacing the B2 anytime soon. G111 has really caught my eye though…

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It does.

I dunno. The gain control is inside the chassis. I never messed with it. But I also never felt the need to. On the Violectric HPA V200 (Violectric is like Lake People’s Buick/Mercury brand) the gain control didn’t change the sound just gave more gain, as far as I could tell.

Yes and yes. The A3 has a warmer and thicker than neutral sound - as you’ve probably heard. It’s the best sounding $200 amp I know of, but isn’t neutral, strictly speaking. The G111 is closer to studio-neutral with just a hint of warmth and smoothness. And yes, you get a better sense of detail and space with the G111. I think the gap closes somewhat on timbre and dynamics, but you’ll never forget the G111 is the higher performer.

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Thanks again for the help. I almost wonder if I prefer/enjoy a thick/warm sound - feel like the THX/new Topping stacks aren’t for me. But then again, I think the B2 already to some extent provides this thickness or heft - I read I think that the B2 and the G111 are a particularly nice pairing. And from what you say, it doesn’t seem like the G111 is anything near clinical/overly analytical anyway.

That 3D soundstage - insofar as the G111 opens up in depth and heightwise stage - is pretty exciting to me. A lot of the music I listen to, particularly during work, is ambient/electronic. Being immersed from all direction by sound is a really enticing prospect.

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No it’s not. It’s more analytical than A3, but it’s not like THX/Topping in that regard at all. IMO people who spend $500 on the A90 flat out missed the opportunity to get what they were looking for. The G111 was probably what they wanted and didn’t realize it - as in neutral, tell me what’s in my music kind of sound. And yes, the BF2 is gonna inject some of that warmth and holographic-ness into the sound as well.

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Do you know if there’s any benefit to going balanced between my B2 and the G111, also, even though the G111 only runs unbalanced out? I’m currently unbalanced (obviously) between the B2 and A3.

There’s a short answer and a long answer to this.

Short answer: nominal benefit to using balanced because the design of BF2 in particular is around it’s balanced output (I think, this one is closer than many). The balanced connection will also eliminate any external ground noise sources.

Long answer:

Thanks, and yeah I don’t really think balanced or unbalanced/single-ended is qualitatively all that much better in my experience, all things being equal. Just I know a lot of manufacturers - and maybe Schiit is a particularly bad offender in this case, though I know the MLP also has this issue - make their SE and Bal outs such different tech that the sounds are just almost incomparable, with the Bal tending to sound better.

I prefer amps like the A3 and the G111 where I’m not given the choice to fret, because there’s only one kind of out. Also makes lining up my cables a more pain-free experience.

But good to know that the B2 might do better from sending Bal to whatever hunk of tech will sit on top of it, rather than RCA.

IME Schiit products tend to have one of the smaller technical performance differences between balanced and single ended. They talk regularly about how they pay extra attention to SE when they make a balanced device. But yeah, MLP is a quintessential example of how the balanced performance is better than SE.

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Hope this isn’t veering off topic too far (and my last question - thanks!) but is there a brand of balanced cables you maybe recommend? Or is this kind of cable just not going to be noticed regardless of “quality”. FWIW I do notice differences between some IEM and headphone cables.

Looking at Arctic’s cables; I like them.

For interconnect cables for gear in this price range the quality of build is more important than anything else. Any well-made cable should be fine. The difference you’ll hear there between cables will be smaller than the difference you hear between headphone and IEM cables. If you were looking at a $5000 stack, then yeah, there would be more investigation to do on interconnect cables.

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Wow, thank you for the detailed review @WaveTheory!

My current set-up is an Asgard 3 with a Modi 3+. My Bifrost 2 is on the way to upgrade my Modi 3+. I was looking to upgrade my amp in the near future and I was thinking about a Jot 2, but your review about the G111 is making me rethink my decision.

Just curious, will I have to do anything in particular to get this amp working in the US? I saw that it was natively 240V.

I would like to stay within $400 - $600 price range to pair with my Bifrost 2. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

I would suggest the Rupert Neve RNHP if you dont need a ton of power. It pairs extremely well with the Bifrost 2. If you have your heart set on the G111, a Soekris dac or Denafrips Ares II would pair well.

What headphones will you be using on them?

I don’t know too much about the RNHP, but I do some research. To answer your question, I will use my HD600.

Thanks!