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Article: Lumin Network Music Player Review

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As a reformed Linn DS user, you speak the truth. When things work, it is a great system. Things can get pretty frustrating, however.

 

The buzz seems to suggest that the Lumin team have focused on making things work. A lot of DS users are now using the Lumin control app.

 

I remember why I keep a turntable around. It always works.

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I received my Lumin this evening and agree this thing just works. I wish I would have read your review earlier as I had the same situation with adding new albums, they would not appear until I finally restarted the NAS. Going to install Minimserver Auto Restart now. Thanks.

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From a purely sound quality perspective, how does the Lumin compare with the Aurender S10/W20 based on your setup in the review. Thanks.

Not really an valid comparison as the Aurender outputs digitally to a DAC where as the LUMIN (primarily) outputs analogue direct to an amplifier.

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cubase   
From a purely sound quality perspective, how does the Lumin compare with the Aurender S10/W20 based on your setup in the review. Thanks.

 

You can't really compare a Lumin (Streamer + DAC) with an Aurender (Streamer without DAC + storage, more expensive).

Some friends listened to the Aurender, I did once, we now have our own Lumin...

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CKKeung   

Pixel Magic is based in Hong Kong and many Hong Kong CAS audiophiles have been using Lumin for many months already.

Some of them have itchy hands. Tweaking Lumin's powersupply unit can achieve significant sonic improvement.

 

For example, here is the most popular source of improved linear powersupply for Lumin (#9; #18; #22; #23) :

訂製各類型Audiophile Linear Power Supply - 第2頁 - 全新音響器材買賣區 - Hiendy.com 影音俱樂部 - Powered by Discuz!

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PeteS   

Thank you for the review! So Lumin works like Linn DS players, playlist is read to players memory and even if you close all Control Points playlist keeps playing?

 

I use Majik DS-i + Minimserver (qnap) combo at home. Works great. I have tested Majik DS, Akurate DS, Marantz NA-11S1, NA-11S1 +

Benchmark DAC2 HGC combo and PS Audio PWD MKII. PWD MKII sounds best to my ears! What is your feeling (without direct comparison),

how's Lumin performs against Akurate or PWD?

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andyv   

$7200 is still a lot cheaper than $20,000 for a Linn Klimax DS with which it shares a certain machined-from-the-solidness and the same WM8741 DACs .. A pre-amp variant with a few digital inputs and a volume control could be worthwhile.

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andyv   
The Lumin has volume control.

 

Oh, sorry, didn't notice that in your review. Is the volume control digital? Is it dithered? Given there is a volume control, it would make even more sense to have a variant with some additional digital inputs - enough to connect a blu-ray or dvd and a tv or even a (digital) keyboard/synth.

 

And do you know whether it/minimserver/the Lumin app supports Spotify integration?

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And do you know whether it/minimserver/the Lumin app supports Spotify integration?

 

Airplay is supported so you could run Spotify and have it play through the Lumin. I was using Airplay with Amazon Cloud Player from iPad Mini and worked without issues.

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mbain   
Fortunately there are cheaper options in this wonderful hobby. I wouldn't look at a Lamborghini and say the auto hobby is nuts and I'm going to start biking :~)

 

Chris,

Interesting that you took the time to respond to my post. I must have struck a nerve. I wonder what nerve it was?

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mbain   

Chris,

To lend some perspective, I have been at this hobby since the late 60's. During all this time I have come to realize that improvements in the world of home audio reproduction come in an evolutionary manner( read very slow ) rather than a revolutionary one. Would that this was the reverse. The problem from my perspective remains that life presents many opportunities for the discretionary dollar, calling into question the wisdom of the quest for audio improvement that only is obtainable in small bite sized morsels.

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Hi mbain - I just hate to see people lose interest in this great hobby because certain equipment is expensive. In reality all hobbies are the same. Some stuff is expensive. Other stuff isn't.
D

 

The Lumin Network Player may seem high in price and apparently they ran a factory to consumer direct program from December 2012 to very early this year. From what I have been told and what I have read, that was done to test the waters and was never part of a long term plan to build a retail dealer base. Factory to consumer is very different from retail to consumer, especially from an overseas company. Many companies have done this over the years to determine the best way to really build a market and to determine if their products are viable beyond the test lab and in this case the "hobbyist." My employer has even done this in several commercial applications.

 

I could kick myself in the xxx that I did not buy back in January. I was not convinced until I read the 6moons review (and this new review by CA really confirms what I learned in that earlier review). By the time I was ready to buy, I was referred to a dealer who sold me a unit at the best price he could, (So he says), because I told him I had heard about the factory intro pricing of early this year. From more research I have recently learned that the Lumin, even at its current factory MSRP or retail price definitively outperforms the Chord, the Weiss, dCS and even Esoteric. 6moons mentioned hands down that it blows away the famous $12K-$13K Esoteric K-03. That means the Lumin is a good value and an outstanding engineering achievement even at $7K.

 

The best part of my buying experience was my dealer. He and his staff gave me personal support and in home set up guidance that was second to none. They came to my home and walked me through the entire process to integrate the Lumin into my audio system, set up and partitioned a new 4TB HDD and a new NAS. Then they configured into my wired and wireless home network. Set up was not an easy task (at least for me), and without my dealer’s help, I could never have had such a smooth operation. The Lumin app is also a joy to use and they even configured that for me and showed me how to use it. If I had to do all that on my own, I may have returned the unit out of frustration. For those of us who don’t know networks beyond a few PCs and printers, or a NAS and its operating software, a dealer who knows what they are doing was invaluable to me. I doubt the help I received could have ever been done from overseas.

 

I congratulate Lumin for setting a new standard, at a lower cost while outperforming several of their high end competitors. I now have a friend who is selling his Chord (paid $12K or something close to that) and as soon as he does, he will own a Lumin. We did a one on one comparison and the Lumin really shined. The analog output stage of the Lumin blows away anything else we have ever heard that plays back digital media. (My friends Chord can't even do native DSD as it converts to PCM). My dealer also sells the Weiss and that unit also came in a poor second. I told my Chord buddy that when is ready to use my retailer, and he will get the set up help he will need (and to ask for a discount). You don’t get what you never ask for! Thank you CA for reconfirming my opinion, and for such an outstanding product review.

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Great review of the problems of network streaming players.

 

And what a gorgeous solution the Lumin is!

 

But my 2cents?.. Dealer or not, make sure you plug "Lumin" into the CA search button before you pay over 7K..

 

Anyway. What do I know about marketing? All the best to Pixel Magic and their Lumin. Party on.

 

Wap

Edited by wappinghigh

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firedog   
$7200 plus tax, really??? This hobbie is nuts and its very close to losing me.

 

Some of the prices do seem nuts. But especially today in digital, you can put together a complete "audiophile" level system for $1000, including speakers. Of course it won't give you bass at 20hz or fill a large room with realistic sound levels, but the SQ will be there.

 

Above that, it is a question of diminishing audio returns for the dollar and how much each improvement is worth to you.

 

The Lumin is clearly intended for the higher end of the hi-end of the market. It's out of my price range, but that's fine. I'm glad others can afford and enjoy it. I try to get the best stuff I can afford and enjoy it. I daydream about having, say, $750K to use building a dedicated audio room and the "ultimate" :) system, but I don't let the fantasy ruin my enjoyment of what I've got.

 

Look at the new Olive One coming out. It is similar in basic conception (sort of) and will cost a few hundred dollars. Will it sound as good or be as convenient as the Lumin? No, but I'm sure it will be quite good. A product like that will give you most of the performance of the Lumin for a fraction of the cost. The range of options for every wallet is there. Each of us who has limited funds has to decide where to draw the line.

 

Listen to your music, enjoy it, and don't worry about what you can't afford.

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