Lake People G109 / G103 thread
Jun 30, 2017 at 7:03 PM Post #601 of 708

Pharmaboy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 22, 2016
Posts
5,110
Likes
8,254
Location
Goshen, NY
Well, I think the answer breaks into 3 categories of improvements:
  • Power: The higher you go up the Lake People/Violectric line, the more power you get. I suspect power is somewhat less important than the other factors, assuming whatever you have already is sufficient for the headphone you use w/it. The V281 is way more powerful than the G109-A, and even more powerful than the LC...but I can't get any one of these amps up to even 50% volume at low gain (and they all make my power-hungry planar sound very good)--so maybe power is not the dominant factor here.*
  • Functional: The higher you go, the more features you get. Balanced output is the first big differentiating feature (RS 08; V280), but there are others, including preamp capability; and an array of switchable features (input switching + independent on/off for headphone vs line out (V220; V281)
  • Sonics: My experience has been that balanced HP output sounds somewhat more spacious and large, all other things being equal--so simply getting a balanced Violectric amp will tend to be an upgrade. But it's more nuanced than that in the Violectric line:
  • The RS 08 and G109 series are said to have a strong sonic resemblance
  • The V200 is usually described as the biggest sonic "leap" (also power output) in the line. Many people on Head-Fi give lots of love the V200...it's SE, but it is powerful, somewhat warm, and is a classic solid state upgrade move for those w/less expensive/powerful amps
  • The V280 is the balanced version of the V200
  • And the V220 is the preamp/SE version of it
  • Then at the top of the heap is the V281, which is said to be slightly less warm than the V200 (but no Violectric/Lake People amp is commonly described as overly accurate, clinical, etched--any of that). It also has IMO spectacular soundstaging, which is usually described as "good but not great" in the lower models (such as the G109-A, which can't equal the V281 in that department). Then again, soundstaging being part of balanced, it's hard to say what is actually making the V281 better in soundstaging: balanced design; something else?
I'm leaving resolution out because that's not a quality that comes to mind as a distinguishing characteristic between my G109-A vs V281; nor do I hear people talk about it all that often regarding any of the line. Instead the big differentiators are soundstaging, power, balanced vs SE.

To be honest, of all 4 amps I have, only the Matrix M Stage HPA-1 could really be described as having noticeably less resolution than the others (noted for its warm, "friendly" sound, which does get a bit "boomy" in the otherwise deep bass)--and that changed quite a bit when I rolled opamps.

I think of resolution more in connection with source components like DACs, turntables, etc.

* My Audio GD SA-31SE is rated for 10W @40 ohms, roughly double the rated power of the V281. Yet the SA-31SE sounds somewhat softer, less dynamic, and definitely less powerful than the V281. The reason that power doesn't track sound more closely is no doubt the fact that so many other design elements/decisions impact sound as much or more than output power alone (things like power supply design/filtering, S.N. ratio, THD, etc).
 
Jun 30, 2017 at 11:17 PM Post #602 of 708

bluenight

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Posts
597
Likes
165
Location
Sweden
I used to have the Fiio Taishan D03K and the Modi Multibit did seem to bring in a much fuller sound to the mix.
Was there any other improvements you heard?
 
Jul 6, 2017 at 2:57 AM Post #604 of 708

bluenight

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Posts
597
Likes
165
Location
Sweden
So i got me a better dac, the ifi idsd bl. And the RS 02 now sound more fullbodied and not thin anymore :)
 
Last edited:
Jul 11, 2017 at 1:14 AM Post #605 of 708

Maelob

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Posts
1,472
Likes
610
I am looking to get an amp to match my new Aeon, I currently have a Pulse XFI DAC that has xlr connectivity, it sounds good, but I wonder if the G103 or G109 would be better. My preferences are towards a relaxed and warmer sound signature. I was thinking of a Liquid Carbon but they are hard to find, also was researching the Jut and Ruper Neve amps, Arcam Rhead, but came across these amps during my research and they sound interesting. Any experience with Mr. Speakers headphones?
 
Last edited:
Jul 11, 2017 at 11:10 AM Post #606 of 708

Pharmaboy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 22, 2016
Posts
5,110
Likes
8,254
Location
Goshen, NY
I am looking to get an amp to match my new Aeon, I currently have a Pulse XFI DAC that has xlr connectivity, it sounds good, but I wonder if the G103 or G109 would be better. My preferences are towards a relaxed and warmer sound signature. I was thinking of a Liquid Carbon but they are hard to find, also was researching the Jut and Ruper Neve amps, Arcam Rhead, but came across these amps during my research and they sound interesting. Any experience with Mr. Speakers headphones?

Not familiar with some of the units mentioned...all I can say is my G109-A sounds good with every headphone I ever tried with it--may be the best all-rounder I have, even compared to the Violectric V281 & Liquid Carbon (both are spectacular amps, though in rather different ways).

The G109-A is slightly warm & relaxed, but it never amounts to a coloration or a sonic overlay on the music. It just fails to ever sound bright, edgy, or labored. It also drives my power-hungry planar (ZMF Ori) extremely well.

The only "bad" thing I can say about the G109-A is that it has no balanced I/O capability. But really, that's not bad at at all. It does everything so well.
 
Nov 21, 2017 at 5:26 PM Post #612 of 708

Pharmaboy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 22, 2016
Posts
5,110
Likes
8,254
Location
Goshen, NY
A dumb question please. Is 109-A same as 109-S? I could not find 109-A from their website..

I own the G109-A. It was the "anniversary" version of the standard G109, which comes in 2 versions:
  • "P" has 1 3-pin XLR balanced input pair + 1 RCA input pair
  • "S" has 1 RCA input pair
  • Both have 2 X 6.35mm outputs on front panel (ie, single-ended output only)
The Anniversary edition was subtly different. Here's how Lake People explained in their "Description" of this now-unavailable model:

"The limited-edition Lake People G109A celebrates 30 years of brand excellence with a special front panel design, striking gold silk screening, and matching gold metalized feet. Plus this model adds low-ESR Nichicon capacitors and a protection relay circuit (used in all Violectric models)."
All 3 iterations of the G109 have identical output power specs.

So to answer your question, "A" is 98% the same as "S," except as described in paragraph above.

It's a great amp IMO. All my headphones sound very good through it.
 
Nov 21, 2017 at 5:36 PM Post #613 of 708

BLacklWf

I agree to the terms and conditions
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Posts
259
Likes
173
I own the G109-A. It was the "anniversary" version of the standard G109, which comes in 2 versions:
  • "P" has 1 3-pin XLR balanced input pair + 1 RCA input pair
  • "S" has 1 RCA input pair
  • Both have 2 X 6.35mm outputs on front panel (ie, single-ended output only)
The Anniversary edition was subtly different. Here's how Lake People explained in their "Description" of this now-unavailable model:

...[/COLOR]​

Thanks!!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top