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Lake People MPA RS-01 Mic preamplifier Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Lake People MPA RS-01 Mic preamplifier

MPA RS 01 - violectric.de

This is an intriguing preamp, and all lake people equipment looks to be built to a very high standard. Gain is stepped, which is excellent, although 6db steps is a little coarse. It looks like an attractive portable preamp at a reasonable price. USB is a strange choice, although they can change to hirose and other connectors on request according to a friend. No demos available from violectric USA to Canada.

Everything I’ve heard using other lake people pres has been beautifully detailed but not too sharp.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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ronmac's Avatar
I have no direct experience, but it looks like a nice little unit. I would definitely opt for a hirose connector.

For the life of me, I cant understand the choice of configuration for the balanced input and output connectors.

Old 1 week ago
  #3
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That’s incredible, must be a misprint.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
MPA RS 01 - violectric.de

This is an intriguing preamp, and all lake people equipment looks to be built to a very high standard. Gain is stepped, which is excellent, although 6db steps is a little coarse. It looks like an attractive portable preamp at a reasonable price. USB is a strange choice, although they can change to hirose and other connectors on request according to a friend. No demos available from violectric USA to Canada.

Everything I’ve heard using other lake people pres has been beautifully detailed but not too sharp.
The Lake People preamp design is very neutral, great if you want to hear the sound of your mics only. Goes very well with Schoeps mics in particular. The USB powering is not so strange as you can use it with a commercially available USB powerbank for very stable powering, or with a cheaply available mains adapter. You may already have one for your smartphone or tablet.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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I've seen major classical labels with unlimited budgets using Lake People preamps and converters.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I've seen major classical labels with unlimited budgets using Lake People preamps and converters.
Ha, I'm not a major label and my budgets are far from unlimited, but very few of my classical recordings go by without the use of Lake People F355 (class A input versions) and AD-converters (F444-D). More channels are always on my list.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Ha, I'm not a major label and my budgets are far from unlimited, but very few of my classical recordings go by without the use of Lake People F355 (class A input versions) and AD-converters (F444-D). More channels are always on my list.
I wonder how the F355 and F444-D compare to the Reference Series equivalents. The RS are nicely compact but I wonder are they an improvement, a compromise or on a level. As I said, I cannot demo, but I could maybe buy both and return one.
My budgets are very far from unlimited also, but it seems like another case of excellent German equipment with a surprisingly reasonable price point.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Terrible website, nothing works. Preamp looks good, excepting the two left inputs and two right outputs. I hope their engineering is better than their media and design quality control.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
I wonder how the F355 and F444-D compare to the Reference Series equivalents. The RS are nicely compact but I wonder are they an improvement, a compromise or on a level. As I said, I cannot demo, but I could maybe buy both and return one.
My budgets are very far from unlimited also, but it seems like another case of excellent German equipment with a surprisingly reasonable price point.
The Reference Series compact units share the same basic internal designs as the classical LP rack products, but generally have fewer luxury options. They are more aimed at enthusiast users than full pros. The power supplies in the F355 and F444 are more complex (read: with chunky transformers) opposed to switched in the R-series (if they have power supplies at all). The amplification stage is the same though. The F355 can be enhanced with a class A input stage for a slightly more "musical" sound signature, something that is not an option for the RS. For convenience there is a clipping protection in the RS version of the ADC, more what a less experienced user would need. These are the main differences.

Clearly the LP preamps sound their best with the LP AD-converters, as I found out years too late. There are not many manufacturers of high end preamps that also make their own AD-converters as separate units.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
Terrible website, nothing works. Preamp looks good, excepting the two left inputs and two right outputs. I hope their engineering is better than their media and design quality control.
Nothing to worry there: products are top notch. The website used to have a webshop, but when they moved the distribution to another company (Lake People | cma audio GmbH), last year, they removed only half of the shop functionality. They have supplied their stuff mostly to pro studios and very demanding German broadcasters over the years. The Violectric brand was a Lake People attempt to break into the HiFi world as well, with somewhat better looking stuff. But even there it is obvious that mechanical and electronic quality comes first and foremost. Fortunately the sound of these products is so good that even the audiophiles don't care too much about the looks (which I like a lot by the way, because I'm very much into honesty and hate everything that smells like marketing bloating).
Old 1 week ago
  #11
I guess they are in good company, when it comes to good preamps, the trend seems to be ugly with bad websites. I include DAV, Pueblo, and Gordon in this fraternity.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
I guess they are in good company, when it comes to good preamps, the trend seems to be ugly with bad websites. I include DAV, Pueblo, and Gordon in this fraternity.
The mother of all impossible high end sound equipment websites must be German ADT-Audio (who happens to be the maker of one of the very best transformer input preamps): with a few thousand pages on the website (spread over a .com, a .de and a huge shop website) you can surf there for weeks and still not have read everything. You can really wonder how one man and his (small) team can make so many high end products and find the time to write down that abundance of technical information. Totally crazy. Have a look for yourself:

Analog Audio Consoles and Pro Audio Equipment by adt-audio
https://www.adt-audio.de/
pro audio store - pro audio store von adt-audio
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
The mother of all impossible high end sound equipment websites must be German ADT-Audio (who happens to be the maker of one of the very best transformer input preamps): with a few thousand pages on the website (spread over a .com, a .de and a huge shop website) you can surf there for weeks and still not have read everything. You can really wonder how one man and his (small) team can make so many high end products and find the time to write down that abundance of technical information. Totally crazy. Have a look for yourself:

Analog Audio Consoles and Pro Audio Equipment by adt-audio
https://www.adt-audio.de/
pro audio store - pro audio store von adt-audio
I emailed Gerd a few days ago with some questions and he sent me an incredibly long and detailed response about the TM101 options. I didn't even know about this portable solution: pro audio store - 10-Zoll Rahmen mit Netzteil

This seems better value and potentially better quality than the Lake People. I know you're a fan and the ADT examples I've heard across this board has compared favourably to Pueblo, NPNG, Gordon, etc. the frequency and phase response is incredible too, looking at specs. 4 ADT TM101 pres with Switched Elmas in this case shipped to Canada would be about 9" x 9" x 3.5" and roughly €2300, or €1300 for just 2 pres plus case. The high and low pass filters would be so useful for location sound as well, to combat traffic and tweak the high end of certain mics.
Attached Thumbnails
Lake People MPA RS-01 Mic preamplifier-10zollh_4x_2upsd_1024.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Lake People are outstanding. I also admire ADT, although I have not used those.

One feather in the cap of Lake People is that Schoeps chose Lake People to make their famous (now discontinued) VSR-5 microphone preamp.

This is the big preamp with knurled and stepped gain knobs that has endless headroom and gorgeous tone.

Schoeps used this preamp to test all mics and to verify microphone performance.
Attached Thumbnails
Lake People MPA RS-01 Mic preamplifier-schoepsvsr501-n6sorrmbqyawp.q5omf0jdbq3jsoduer.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Email from Lake People after asking a few questions posed in this thread. Fast reply. I've added a few notes for clarity.
"You are right, the pics [Ronmac posted here] show a missprint.
This is corrected for the series models.
Concerning the sound, RS 01 mirrors more the F366/F311
but all are very close to the F355 in its "standard" version.
This is also true for the RS 04 which has nearly identical input circuitry
compared to F444. We added some LEDs and the limiter - and cutted some sync inputs.

[I asked "can the potentiometers be removed from the RS04 to operate at a stereo-matched set level?"]
We can extract the knobs and shorten the axis from the potentiometer on the front so they can´t be operated.
We will position them to the level you want for 0 dBFs.
The holes will be covered afterwards."
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Thumbs up

Message from the boss of Lake People - it's the screen-printing that is wrong and it was corrected when they started the production run.

So the model you buy is correct.

Shame they did not change the photo, though - I assume photographer costs are not cheap and they will change it when they next get the phoptogaphe in for a product shoot.

Last edited by John Willett; 6 days ago at 12:23 PM..
Old 6 days ago
  #17
Yeah, but 10 minutes in Photoshop aught to solve the issue as well.

Is there a Lake People distributer in the US or do they need to be contacted via email to order?
Old 6 days ago
  #18
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
Is there a Lake People distributer in the US or do they need to be contacted via email to order?
Not mentioned on the website - drop them an e-mail and ask.
Old 6 days ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Not mentioned on the website - drop them an e-mail and ask.
Well, the Lake People website says in pretty big red letters: "Our worldwide distribution from April 1st 2017: Synthax GmbH (https://www.cma.audio/de/lakepeople.html)" Meanwhile Synthax is renamed into CMA, but that doesn't make much of a difference.
Old 6 days ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Well, the Lake People website says in pretty big red letters: "Our worldwide distribution from April 1st 2017: Synthax GmbH (https://www.cma.audio/de/lakepeople.html)" Meanwhile Synthax is renamed into CMA, but that doesn't make much of a difference.
Just a bit strange since, unless I am wrong, Synthax is not a GmbH but a British company and has no listing for Lake People on their website. Another misprint? CMA.audio seems to be a German language webshop for some Synthax products among others.

Price is good for this preamp though. 700 euro. Their 4 channel preamp is only 1500 euro, which is a steal if the quality is similar to its high end competitors.
Old 6 days ago
  #21
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Old 6 days ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
Just a bit strange since, unless I am wrong, Synthax is not a GmbH but a British company and has no listing for Lake People on their website. Another misprint? CMA.audio seems to be a German language webshop for some Synthax products among others.
No there actually was a Synthax GmbH, as I have seen it myself when that message appeared for the first time in 2017. The old link (leading to Synthax.de) is now linking through to CMA. In their blog there are even older messages speaking about themselves as Synthax, so somewhere along the road they changed names. The old Synthax address is the same as current CMA. Anyway, CMA Audio GmbH, former Synthax GmbH, is the worldwide distributor of Lake People products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
Price is good for this preamp though. 700 euro. Their 4 channel preamp is only 1500 euro, which is a steal if the quality is similar to its high end competitors.
Lake People products are fairly priced: there is no marketing/advertising tax on them and form purely follows function, which is cheaper to build. Lake People products are aimed at users that listen with their ears only. Reason why you will not find them in markets where eye candy is valued for purpose of status or whatever idea of "value". I think we need more of such unassuming machines that sound terrific!

Those prices include VAT, so as a foreigner or pro user you would pay 1260 euro for the four channel preamp only and 587 euro for the two channel, which is even cheaper per channel. (Price difference must be in the power supply.) Lake People builds my favourite ADC (F444-D), which I would call a "poor man's Forssell MADC-4", especially with a superb clock such as the Grimm CC2.
Old 6 days ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
Here is the North American distributor:
Violectric Audio USA
Seems they only carry the desktop stuff of Lake People and Violectric. Below is the Synthax/CMA catalog of Lake People products.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf LakePeople_Katalog.pdf (290.1 KB, 16 views)
Old 4 days ago
  #24
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
Just a bit strange since, unless I am wrong, Synthax is not a GmbH but a British company and has no listing for Lake People on their website. Another misprint? CMA.audio seems to be a German language webshop for some Synthax products among others.

Price is good for this preamp though. 700 euro. Their 4 channel preamp is only 1500 euro, which is a steal if the quality is similar to its high end competitors.
Synthax GmhH *is* a German company

Synthax UK is a different company.

Can't remember all the details, but they are close in certain ways but very separate in others.
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