@FlySweep, thanks for the impressions and great pic. That's really high praise for the G109 and its great to hear. I'm glad you're happy. Maybe this G109 will start to become a little more popular around here since it does get great reviews and seems to compare really favorably to other amps in its price range and above.
No prob! Bad quality pic though as I took it hastily.. I'll snap something a little nicer tomorrow with natural light.
I appreciate the build quality of the amp.. sturdy, sleek, and understated. German Engineering at its finest, no? I've been raving via PM to one of my buds about how much I love the volume pot.. lol. So smooth, the stepping is so accurate. I've got the gain set at stock (medium gain) and it offers the most play for reasonably efficient orthos (in my case, the HE-400). I'm sure the HE-500 would be fine at this setting too. Interestingly enough, I can ably drive even sensitive IEMs at this (medium) gain setting. No volume imbalance at even the lowest level (awesome) and I can get to 9 pm on the pot to reach comfortable listening levels.
This amp definitely deserves more attention. There's a lot of competition at the price, but I'm quite confident the 109 is truly one of the more special amps out there. I doubt there's much competition that's built better.. and the G109's ability to drive a range of phones with such finesse and authority is quite impressive to me. What more, it's being offered from a company with a very solid reputation and technical background. Spend a little time with this amp and all that becomes very apparent. I wrestled with the idea of going with the V200.. but felt it was something to look at much further down the line.. after having the 109, I'm scuttled that desire entirely. What the 109 delivers in terms of performance is thoroughly satisfying.. I can't imagine the V200 being more than some incremental improvement, considering diminishing returns, and all.
The 109 came highly recommended from (the always knowledgeable) project86.. he's a guy who's heard a thing or two (lol), and the fact he couldn't identify any notable flaw with this amp truly sold me. In the brief time I've spent with the G109, it's thoroughly delivered on the lofty expectations I had set.
Also, the customer service from Lake People was fantastic. Prompt, polite, emails kept everything moving quickly and I was amazed with how fast it got delivered (ordered on Monday, at my doorstep today/Wednesday).