They’re a German company, and make sound-equipment for the professional market.
The amplifier is the G99/2 (exciting name?), and got nice specs.
Here’s Lake People’s official webpage for the G99/2:
I was quite curious how it would compare to my own Meier-Audio Corda Opera, so here’s a short shootout.
-PC with a Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic (optical/Coax cable to DAC/Opera).
-Foobar 0.9.4.2 with ASIO 1.2.4 (I also tried without ASIO).
-Lake People G99/2 ($500).
-Meier-Audio Corda Opera with DAC ($1100+)
-Cardas 300-B Micro interconnects.
-Headphone cables are all stock.
-Beyerdynamic DT990-32 (Beyer Manufacture custom)
-Beyerdynamic DT770-250 Pro+Light Edition 2005 (Limited Edition)
-Beyerdynamic DT770 – Luke Skybeyer (Woodied 2005 Edition)
All headphones are well-used, so there shouldn’t be any issues regarding burn-in.
The same goes for both amps, they’ve got 300-500 hours of use.
Mostly WAVs and MP3s (ÜberStandard), but also a DVD-Audio (“Imaginary Day” by Pat Metheny)
Some of the artists:
-Mark Knopfler (generally fantastic quality recordings, especially voices and guitars)
-Ani DiFranco (raw, non-compressed recordings with great percussive guitarplaying)
-Massive Attack (huge soundscapes with lots happening, and great bass)
-Rage Against the Machine (amazing raw energy)
-Pink Floyd (what’s there to say?)
-Dream Theater (things can get quite fast and busy here)
-Patricia Barber (very good jazz)
-Steve Vai (well-recorded guitar weirdness)
-Joe Satriani (very well-recorded rhythm sections)
-Niacin (oh so funky)
Some words on the testing procedure
For this test, I used the internal DAC of the Opera, which is then connected to the G99/2. This makes it fast and easy to switch between the two amps, using the same source.
Crossfeed was not used.
The low gain and zero ohm output of the Opera were used.
Lake People G99/2:
Well, at first glance it is a small, fairly boring looking box. Apparently the pro-market don’t need good-looking designs. They don’t even put up real pictures on their website, only computer drawings. Not very impressive.
When you pick up the amp, things change. It’s a solid little thing, with a case made entirely of quite thick steel, which apparently is good for shielding. The volume pot is a nice, smooth Alps, and the two headphone sockets are Neutriks. The back got both XLR (balanced) and regular RCA (unbalanced) inputs. There’s a single blue on/off diode on the front.
The inside looks tidy and...effective. I barely know the difference between a transformer and an opamp, so someone else should determine whether it’s quality parts or not. :-)
The G99/2 gets quite warm after a few minutes of use. Not so hot that you can’t touch it, but it’s surprisingly warm. Much warmer than the Opera.
Meier Corda Opera: Much has been said already, so do a search.
I only want to say that it looks way better in real life. Also, I would have wanted the switch for USB/Internal DAC to be located on the front. Oh, and the relay-clicking can be annoying sometimes.
Detailed comparison using different headphones
The highs: There aren’t many differences here in the upper frequencies, but I detect slightly more air, space and details in the Corda Opera. Both amps are very smooth and pleasant, no sharp, piercing sounds here (unless the recording is really bad). Cymbals are a tad better on the Opera (now I’m nitpicking).
The midrange: The Opera got more details in the midrange, and it also got better control on things, especially when it gets busy. The G99/2 is slightly darker, but not bad at all. Using the Opera, Mark Knopfler’s voice comes through more freely. Kind of hard to explain.
Even with the added details, the Opera manages to sound warmer and smoother. Pretty impressive.
There is more space in the Opera (no pun intended). More space between instruments and sounds.
But I must say that the differences are very minor, the amps are surprisingly evenly matched. The G99/2 never gets unpleasant or harsh at any volume.
The bass: First impression is that the G99/2 actually got a little more bass. However, this is mostly because the Opera got better control over the bass. The G99/2 isn’t in any way sloppy, but the Opera is just better, more refined you might say. Both produce nice, hard punching bass drums.
Again, the Opera got slightly more details and texture, especially in the really low frequencies.
After being disappointed by the bland looks of the Lake People G99/2, the sound was a really positive surprise. It didn’t have any problems driving any of my headphones. It’s smooth, balanced and non-fatiguing, which makes it a great match for most Beyerdynamics, but maybe not the greatest match for some Sennheisers. I didn’t have any Senns to test with, so I might be wrong.
The G99/2 is all business, as Lake People clearly haven’t spent much money on fancy design, but that’s ok. If the amplifier sounds really good, looks don’t matter to me.
The Corda Opera is a better amplifier, a real class act, no doubt about that, but I must say that the G99/2 was pretty close. At €350 ($500) I feel that the G99/2 is priced about right when compared to the Opera, which is worth the extra cash if you got a really good setup otherwise.
So I won’t sell my Opera for the Lake People G99/2, but I wouldn’t have any problems living with it as my only amp.
It’s recommended by me. :-)