The LPG has most commonly been labeled as neutral, reference and natural. I don’t necessarily disagree with that, but I don’t feel it fully describes the LPG experience either. While it does sound natural and realistic, a reference oriented signature implies an uncolored sound with a neutral presentation. The LPG doesn’t exactly fit that bill. It has its own personality, and quite a strong one for that matter. This compact little player sounds forward, powerful and somewhat aggressive – I guess you could say it’s the Joe Pesci of audio players.
The LPG has a forward presentation; it’s upfront and very much in your face. The powerful bass presentation gives it a weighty low end, and a very dynamic sound. The midrange is full and energetic, especially in the upper midrange. Similarly, the treble is also brighter than neutral, but adds a great deal of liveliness and shimmer to the presentation. The soundstage can be considered intimate, especially in width. It relies on its excellent depth and layering for the instrument separation. So while the space might feel confined, the positioning of instruments in space is very good. The instruments excel in their focus: their definition and localization in space. There’s nothing veiled or vague in this presentation. The LPG comes at you full frontal, shouting for your attention. Its technical capabilities are the best in its price tier and below, combining a high level of clarity and resolution with excellent separation and imaging.
The low end is weighty and impactful. In line with its forward presentation it is relatively close, and comes across as full-bodied. This gives the sound power, just an overall great sense of dynamics. The balance between sub- and mid-bass is very good, with a focus on control and impact rather than warmth. The sub-bass hits are fast and rhythmic, allowing the LPG to excel with fast-paced music. The mid-bass is highly resolved. Bass lines are well-defined as well as separated, with a decay that balances between natural and quick.
The LPG’s midrange is forward, giving it a very full sound with thick notes. It sounds mostly clear; while it has some inherent warmth, I wouldn’t classify it as particularly warm. It combines high energy with great size. Male vocals benefit from the fullness, while female vocals sound exceedingly clear due to the energy in the upper midrange. The LPG has a lot of presence in the upper midrange, giving the presentation a light and clear sound. This is where the LPG truly shines, and gives it a natural though not completely neutral tonality. String and acoustic instruments sparkle, and electric guitars are portrayed with a lot of energy, that whining sound of a high pitched electric guitar. You can feel the sound is being driven by a lot of power by the way the LPG really makes them soar. The sparkle and clarity makes instruments sound realistic, without overdoing it. However, the LPG’s tuning makes a clear choice here, going for sparkle and engagement, rather than keeping it safe.
I wouldn’t necessarily call the LPG’s treble the most refined, but it is very exciting. It’s thick, engaging and has a slightly brighter tone. This isn’t a treble that shies away – it wants to be heard. It isn’t more prominent than the midrange, but fits very well in the overall forward presentation. Though it isn’t as articulate and defined as the AK380, it offers a lot of clarity and sparkle. Due to lift in the lower treble region, notes are clearly pronounced. The LPG has more presence in the 5 KHz rather than 7 KHz region, which refrains it from sounding artificial even though it is on the brighter side. Due to the combination of a full and clear sound, the LPG’s treble won’t be completely smooth for sensitive listeners. But for the rest of us, if offers a great deal of power and excitement.