Early Impressions of Lab12 Integre4

I just purchased a Lab12 Integre4 and have been listening every chance I get for about a week now. I wanted to share my experience because there seems to be very little info out there on the brand. It is replacing Primaluna Dialogue Premium seperates in my living room system. The intent wasn’t to necessarily improve sound but it definitely has. The reason I did the swap was to simplify things for the wife and also to reduce the tube count in the system. Rest of setup is a Auralic Aries into a Tubadour III and my Harbeth C7es3 xd.

I’m not very good at describing sound but will do my best. I will say for starters this has been as big or bigger than any upgrade I’ve made since starting in this hobby. I don’t have a ton of experience but I’ve had probably 20-30 pieces come through my hands in the last 10 years. I’ve been using el34s in the Lab12 mostly, which are the same as used with the Primaluna. I played the kt150s for a while but just wasn’t really getting into it so swapped to my trusted el34s. From that moment on I’ve been in love. I will play with the kt150s more eventually, but I’m not in a hurry right now.

It’s really hard for me to pinpoint what is making it such a better sound to me. Honestly I think it’s superior in most every way. I’ve been trying but haven’t really come up with an area the Primaluna setup was better. The midrange may be a touch warmer but I wouldn’t say smoother. The treble is probably where the two are closest but I feel the Lab12 is a bit more delicate. The bass is where the the Lab12 is really smoking the Primaluna for me though. I honestly think trying to break it all down to treble, bass, etc just doesn’t do it justice though.

It’s really the sound as a whole that I’m in love with. It’s just so cohesive and fluid. PRAT is the best I’ve personally experienced in my system. The Lab12 is a fair bit snappier and quicker when asked to be which I think is a big part of the improvement to PRAT. Clarity is also a step up, as well as separation. Maybe most important to me is the improved soundstage and the ability for the vocals and instruments to just separate themselves from the speakers and hang in air.

Anyways, I really could go on and on but hopefully you get the just. Everyday when I turn it on I wonder if it will be the day it’s sounds less amazing and I realize I got a bit carried way. So far that just hasn’t happen. I’m hoping the brand can pick up some momentum and continue to grow. I definitely recommend anyone who can to take a listen and report back. Very curious to hear if other people find the sound as satisfying as I have. Also would love to hear any experiences people have had with the brand.

P.S. sorry for my less than stellar writing skills.  Also these are just my opinions in my room with my ears after maybe 40 hours of listening. 


I have a LAB 12 DAC 1 Reference and when I first got it I had a hard time describing how special it sounds.

It is built like a tank. When I demo’d the DAC it was with the preamp and Soura amp. I listened for probably a half hour and I knew that DAC was coming home with me.

I really think they LISTEN when they develop a product. The DAC is evidence of that. It sounds amazing for the money and just made PTA Best Components of 2023 along with YOUR AMP and  the Phono Stage.

LAB 12 stuff is all built like a tank. I think all of their stuff is a great value.


Hey Bryland congrats on your new amp one thing I'd suggest since you're using EL34s is to check out the Gold Lion KT77 it's a fantastic EL34 variant.

I picked that amp up.  It’s hefty.   You definitely made a wise choice.   The build quality is excellent as is the 5 year warranty that you will likely never have to worry about using.   You will enjoy its different personalities if you change tubes.   GL KT 77 have that great EL34 midrange tone but with better bass and nice treble extension.  It’s an EL 34 on steroids.  

Happy Listening, definitely report back after you spend some time with it. 

Good Morning......I'll have to look into that integrated......I was going to get the Denafrips Venus II but heard great things about a hand built DAC made in the US. I bought the Audio Mirror Toubadour III like you. It's taken my Audio -gd and Peachtree GaN 400 system to a level way above it's price point. Great DAC.

@OP,  Great write up!  I'm curious about LAB12 products.  I owned a Prima Luna Dialogue HP Integrated too.

Their preamp is nice.  Steve Guttenberg loved it.  I did too when I listened to it.  Has a quality feel and sounds great.  

No surprise that you preferred Lab12 to PrimaLuna. I did a direct in-home comparison of five different integrated amps, of which PrimaLuna was one. PrimaLuna was least capable, dark mushy sound with poor dynamics. In spite of what uncle Kevin keeps saying.....

Couple of days later and still sounding great  I’ve been playing with the kt150s more and they are getting better  I suspect they hadn’t seen much playing time lately and needed a bit of break in  I may be crazy but I’m a pretty strong believer in that sort of thing, at least with tubes.  I discovered that the el34s break up and distort at volumes I’d prefer they didn’t  I haven’t found anything concrete far as how many watts the amp makes with them  I did see a range of 20-65 watts depending on tubes.  That would put the el34s somewhere around 25 watts I’m guessing  Interesting thing is the amp was distorting before my Primaluna would even in triode mode, 18 watts I believe.  This has inspired me to try some other tubes soon.  Will probably start with some kt88s or maybe some 6550.  I have no experience with either but curious if I can get a sound closer to the el34, but with enough headroom to listen loud at times  


garrents, do you mind sharing what other amps you demoed with the Primaluna?  Also curious what came out on top for you? 

You will get a lot of enjoyment out of it.  PTA said this 

“. This is the ultimate amp for asking the very serious and existential question: “Do I really need anything more than this, sound-wise?” A Reviewers Choice winner.”

That is quite a statement….   And also:

”Compact, modestly powered and affordable, this Greek-built KT-150 powered integrated has a luxurious, warm and welcoming sound that is as seductive and natural as many five-figure competitors. “

Good stuff

I’m not as pleased with Genalex Gold Lion KT-77 tubes as others are. Compared to  good EL-34 tubes in my Coincident Dynamo SE amplifier, I find the KT-77 tubes to lack the sweetness I favor. To my ears, the KT-77s are slightly bright and sound a bit like a solid state amplifier. Excellent detail but not warm enough for me. Do others feel the same way?

Couldn’t be happier with my Lab12 Reference NOS DAC.  The sound is so real and just pulls you into the music making it difficult to turn it off.  It’s here to stay and would consider an Integre if/when I want to replace my amp.