Lake People and Violectric

Outstanding audio handmade in Germany

cmaaudio lake people fertigung
Picture: Lake People

Since the 80s, Lake People electronic GmbH manufactures high-quality headphone amplifiers, microphone preamps and digital-analogue-converters. All development and manufacturing take place in Germany, resulting in a level of quality that is revered by professional and hifi users around the world.

If you like to see proper handicraft, an excursion to the Lake People and Violectric manufacture in Constance, Germany, is certainly worth it. In the small factory near Lake Constance a team of skilled experts works on the groundbreaking audio devices of tomorrow. Overseeing it all is company founder and mastermind Fried Reim. The history of Lake People begins in 1986 in his apartment, where three people assembled peak limiters, noise gates and soon the first headphone amplifiers. Today’s portfolio encompasses exquisite headphone amplifiers, outstanding microphone preamps, luxurious converters and a number of high-quality tools for analogue and digital audio.

The large amount of respect commanded by Lake People and Violectric around the world at least partly results from the commitment to the “Made in Germany” seal of quality. It has always been important to Fried Reim that every device thought up by him and his long-time co-developer Jochen Müller is manufactured by the company in Constance. There is no site in the Far East or any other country. Even most of the components required for manufacturing Lake People products are sourced from German suppliers. Word of the sheer manufacturing quality spread as far as Japan, leading to renowned cable specialist Mogami trusting Lake People in Germany with the assembly of all cables for the European market.

The parts for Lake People and Violectric devices are carefully assembled by hand in meticulously planned steps to form the finished products. Amplifiers and converters are planned down to the circuit board by Fried Reim and his team of developers on the computer. The products then pass several stations in the Lake People manufacture: first, converter chips are soldered to the board. Next, the connectors are screwed to the board, while the matching enclosure is milled and painted. After soldering and fitting inputs and outputs, the board is installed into the housing, and the connectors are screwed into the housing as well. Finally, the individual knobs and switches are added and the product appears in all its beautiful glory. Rigorous testing of function and feel of all pots and switches, jacks and the signal processing by way of measuring and listening makes sure the device satisfies the high standards of Fried Reim and his team. Then, and only then, is it ready to be shipped.

This kind of high-quality manufacturing can only be done by well-trained specialists. Fried Reim himself is an electronic engineer who, when Lake People began, assembled the first headphone amplifiers himself. Over the years, other skilled experts joined the team, adding to the extraordinary know-how amassed over 35 years of experience with developing and manufacturing high-end audio devices. Fried Reim also published his “Headphone Amplifier Cookbook” (available for free from, reflecting his outstanding expertise and that of his entire company.

Both the external and internal designs of the products follow a clear structure in which everything has its place and nothing unnecessary is allowed. All parts used are carefully selected and handled appropriately. The devices are timeless and boast a particularly long life, adding to their sustainability. Should anything go wrong, the malfunction can usually be located quickly and repaired easily, owing to the clear product design. One more quality Lake People and Violectric are famous for.

Fried Reim summarizes his approach: “We do not sell sorcery, but quality engineering – which includes the due diligence every step of the way from development to finishing. By manufacturing in our own workshop, we can control every aspect of every product, so we can print our name on the front plates with peace of mind.” CEO Christof Mallmann adds: “We firmly believe that quality prevails in the long run. If you buy a headphone amplifier or DA converter from Lake People or Violectric, you can rely on it entertaining you for a long time.”