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Thread: Lumin S1 Review

  1. #1
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    Lumin S1 Review

    Lumin S1 Review



    It was a mere 18 months following the launch of their first foray into high end audio that Pixel Magic Systems launched an entire line of products based on the concept of high end network music players. The Lumin lineup now includes the S1, A1, T1, L1. This is quite a feat considering this young company only dipped their toes into the market a short 18 months ago.

    I’ve reviewed many digital products (DAC’s and the first Lumin Network Music Player, now renamed “A1”). I find writing reviews of digital sources akin to describing the color white to someone. Is it a bright white? Off-white? Something with a hint of yellow? White-white? What is it? I also find that ultimately finding the best digital source is very dependent on the rest of the system, including cabling and the room – more so than what some hopeless scribe thinks (myself included). You need to try different digital sources in your room, in your system, to really know.

    In addition, us audiophiles (a demanding bunch by any measure) have come to expect that our digital sources will be accompanied by some sort of iPad/tablet control and I think our patience for third party products for this purpose is running out. It is expected that any high end audio company serious about their digital products will make their own slick looking, intuitive, user friendly app (free of course).

    As I write this review, I’ve had the Lumin A1 in my system for the better part of 9 months and the S1 for more than 3 months. Other than the new Lumin S1, my interest in the latest flavor-of-the-month DAC has seriously waned. I wanted to live with both the A1 and S1 before writing this review. Out of the gate, it’s very easy to pick the new kid on the block to win the race. But living with a product for several months really gives you the kind of reference points to draw some conclusions.

    Before I get into the Lumin S1, I want to address setup of any Lumin Network Music Player. In addition to getting asked many times how does the Lumin S1 compare to the A1, people are most confused about setting up a Lumin – and I don’t blame you. If you don’t walk around with a propeller on your head, a giant pocket protector and tape between your glasses, you will need a little patience. Set aside a Saturday or Sunday when you can really focus. Having a friend who is a “computer guy” come by to help won’t hurt either.

    Now, despite me saying this, I’ve had many people tell me, “oh Mike, you made it sound a lot worse than it really was.” Well, that’s good. I don’t want to candy coat the initial setup. But if you READ the information in detail (I don’t mean skim reading…I mean…reading every word), then you will get through things.

    Here is a little guide I’ve created: http://audioshark.org/lumin-169/sett...html#post91944

    From a technical standpoint, the Lumin S1 represents a nice leap forward. The S1 ("S" presumably stands for "Statement") uses four ESS Sabre 9018 eight channel DAC chips. This means that the S1 has 16 paralleled DAC’s for each channel. The A1 by comparison uses one Wolfson WM8741 DAC per channel. The S1 also has an updated clock system. The technical specs of which are far above my pay grade to understand.



    In addition to new and multiple DAC chips, a new clock, the S1 also sports a new power supply. The S1 power supply is slightly longer than the A1 power supply. The S1 power supply has larger capacitors which, as I understand it, are required for the new multi channel DAC chips. That’s it….as far as I know. So, for those of you wanting the S1 power supply for your A1, my question would be, why? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the S1 Power Supply won’t turn your A1 into an S1. If you want a different (improved?) sound out of your A1, try the Ken Lau after market power supply.





    So, how does the S1 sound? If I own the A1, do I need to upgrade to the S1? Will the S1 power supply be available as a separate purchase for my A1? The answers are great, no and no.

    I listened to the S1 on input 1 and the A1 on input 2 of my preamp for the better part of two months. Both exceed all previous DAC & Mac combinations I’ve had in my system prior – or since - and I’ve had some good ones. When the owner of the new PS Audio DirectStream DAC brought it over to compare…let’s just say he was the first to blurt out how much better the Lumin (A1) sounded. We never compared it to the S1. That would have not been fair. I’ve stated before my opinion of the limitations of DAC’s….and listening is all you need to do…..so no need to rehash all that.

    Regardless of whether the A1 or S1 is to your liking, in my opinion, Network Music Players are the future of digital audio. We are starting to see more competition in the space that Linn pioneered. Speaking of Linn….they seem to be asleep at the wheel. I wonder how they feel about DSD now? But I digress….

    Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting the S1 to be that different from the A1. But as I quickly found out, looks can be deceiving.

    One of my favorite test albums is ‘We Get Requests’, Oscar Peterson Trio (DSD). I find the spacing on this world-class three piece jazz band to be a great test for any system. The believable dimensionality of the band is increased even more with the S1 over the A1. Everything is sharper, more focused with a greater sense of depth. The pluck of the standup bass is more believable.



    Moving on to female vocals, I played Diana Krall, ‘A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio (redbook rip)’. Listening to the song, Boulevard of Broken Dreams on the S1, it was clear immediately that the enhanced sweetness of female vocals that the S1 projects over the A1 or any other digital source I’ve owned. Diana’s vocals had a tonal hue that was rich and sweet sounding. On my Oppo for example, this same track sounded quite dry and flat.



    Next, I moved on to Hugh Masekela, Hope (DSD). This is a great album – period – but also a great album to test bass control. Over the last few months, this is probably one of the most noticeable improvements of the S1 over the A1. Bass is tight, fast and punchy. Percussionist Remi Kabaka’s playing is tight and sharp. The S1 exhibits more solid state like bass control, while the A1 has bass control more similar to what you would hear with a good tube amp. Warmer midbass at the expense of a little control. And as I’ve said, that works well for some people, in some systems.



    Up next was Natalie Merchant’s self-entitled new album. Downloaded from HDTracks, this strange bird has a sample rate of 88/24. Hmm...a little odd, well, OK…so be it. The album is fantastic by the way. Highly recommended. One of my favorite tracks on the album is Maggie Said. The intro is Natalie’s gorgeous voice and a solo acoustic guitar. The spacing advantage of the S1 really shines here. But switching to the A1, there is no doubt that the A1 exhibits more a of a “analog” softness to the track, and this softness can be beneficial on less than stellar recordings.



    Up next from the same Natalie Merchant album was the track Giving Up Everything. The intro is a great test for bass definition and control and once again the S1 showed its stripes.



    I would remiss if I didn’t at least mention the S1’s capabilities for Double DSD. To test the Double DSD capabilities of the S1, I downloaded Opus 3 and Keith Greeninger Special Event 20. The selection of Double DSD recorded albums remains miniscule at best. But, it was at least fun to try. Was it better than regular DSD? Sure, maybe, who knows? Even comparing the same Opus 3 album in DSD to it in Double DSD demonstrated some small degree of improvement. But with Double DSD albums remaining very low, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it just yet.





    I’ve been trying to think of an analogy to come up with to compare the S1 to A1. The best way to describe the differences sonically is that the A1 is the equivalent of 1080p video. Excellent by any measure and only bettered today by 4K. 4K is sharper, more detailed, more colorful. The same goes for the S1. Imaging is sharper. Voices are more sweet. Just like the fine pixels on a 4K screen, there is more space around the instruments too. I would sum it up this way, the A1 is warmer, more analog sounding. The S1 is sweeter, sharper. But at the end of the day, both are exceedingly musical.

    Which you chose will ultimately depend on your budget (the S1 is $5,300 more than the A1) and what your system needs in terms of a source (warm/analog) or sweet and focused musical representation. I prefer the S1 on my Alexia’s and now Sonus Faber Stradivari’s in my reference system and the A1 on my Tannoy Canterbury GR’s in my second system.


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  2. #2
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Great review Mike. Well written!

    I agree with your thoughts on the A1 and S1. The sweetness that the S1 has for the vocals is awesome.
    Jock

    If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.

    ---------

    House: Naim ND555/2PS, Naim 552, Naim 500, Studer A80/Doshi V3, Magico M2s, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Lumina IC/SC, Shunyata Everest and Omega PCs.

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  3. #3
    mauidan
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    How much does S1 cost, does it have a volume control and can you get it without the DAC?

  4. #4
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by mauidan View Post
    How much does S1 cost, does it have a volume control and can you get it without the DAC?
    $12,500, yes (on the iPad app) and no. That would defeat the purpose. You CAN however use the digital output (BNC) to use a tube DAC or something else if you wish.


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  5. #5
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Thanks for great review!

  6. #6
    mauidan
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    $12,500, yes (on the iPad app) and no. That would defeat the purpose. You CAN however use the digital output (BNC) to use a tube DAC or something else if you wish.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Can it drive an amp directly and control the volume?

  7. #7
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by mauidan View Post
    Can it drive an amp directly and control the volume?
    I have not tried it. Perhaps others can weigh in here. I THINK Jock (The Professor) has done that.


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    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

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  8. #8
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by wklie View Post
    Thanks for great review!
    Thanks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Bakoon Audio, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
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  9. #9

    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Great review, Mike.
    Anthony
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  10. #10
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Nice read Mike.
    Michael

    Magico S5s; PASS Labs Xs150s and Xs preamplifier; Lumin A1; Synergistic Research Galileo LE Powercell, Galileo LE speaker cables and interconnects, Galileo LE Analog and Digital power cords, Transporter Ultra SE, Tranquility Bases, MiGs, HFTs, XOTs, FEQ, Vibratron and Bass Station.

  11. #11
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    It definitely can do a digital volume.

    I'm not a fan of this but .... The lumin does it as good as any I've ever heard.


    Quote Originally Posted by mauidan View Post
    Can it drive an amp directly and control the volume?
    Jock

    If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.

    ---------

    House: Naim ND555/2PS, Naim 552, Naim 500, Studer A80/Doshi V3, Magico M2s, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Lumina IC/SC, Shunyata Everest and Omega PCs.

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  12. #12
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by the professor View Post
    It definitely can do a digital volume.

    I'm not a fan of this but .... The lumin does it as good as any I've ever heard.
    There is a (probably secret) feature regarding LUMIN's volume control. By turning Digital Audio Output setting On or Off, LUMIN switches to a different implementation of volume control using the CPU or ESS9018/WM8741 (in theory should be much better) respectively. Those relying on volume control can try this out and see which sounds better, and most importantly, post your findings!

  13. #13
    mauidan
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by the professor View Post
    It definitely can do a digital volume.

    I'm not a fan of this but .... The lumin does it as good as any I've ever heard.
    Thank you for the information.

  14. #14
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Nice review Mike! This remains a candidate for my dig front end.
    _______________

    Mike

  15. #15
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    Nice review Mike! This remains a candidate for my dig front end.
    You did love the interface and the sound !!
    Mark


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  16. #16

    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Very valuable Mike - thank you!
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  17. #17
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Well thought out review Mike. Great set up guide.
    Le Roy

    Austin, Tx : Soulution 520 preamp, 501 mono blocks, 541 SACD/560 DAC w/ Network Streaming, Raidho D3.1, Lumin U1, Uptone Audio Modded Mac Mini w/ MMK fanless kit & JS-2 LPS, Regen, Ansuz DTC loom (complete), Oppo 105D, QNAP TS-451+

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  18. #18

    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Beautiful looking construction & stacked ESS implementation.
    Steve

    Furutech Passive Power Filtering


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  19. #19
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Interesting

    I have always turned off the dig output. So that's what I heard the only time I tried the dig volume control.

    Thanks for the info

    Quote Originally Posted by wklie View Post
    There is a (probably secret) feature regarding LUMIN's volume control. By turning Digital Audio Output setting On or Off, LUMIN switches to a different implementation of volume control using the CPU or ESS9018/WM8741 (in theory should be much better) respectively. Those relying on volume control can try this out and see which sounds better, and most importantly, post your findings!
    Jock

    If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.

    ---------

    House: Naim ND555/2PS, Naim 552, Naim 500, Studer A80/Doshi V3, Magico M2s, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Lumina IC/SC, Shunyata Everest and Omega PCs.

    Workshop: Naim ND555/2 PS, VAC Master Pre, VAC Sig 200iQ, Border Patrol pre/power, Avant Garde Duo Mezzo XD, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Shunyata IC/SC, Shunyata Typhon QR/Triton V3/Sigma PCs.

  20. #20
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    I wonder if using a more conventional chassis versus the solid aluminum now favored would provide the same sound quality while lowering the price.
    Bud

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  21. #21
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I wonder if using a more conventional chassis versus the solid aluminum now favored would provide the same sound quality while lowering the price.
    Bud - that's why they came out with the T1 ($5000 MSRP). Essentially, the T1 is an A1 in a less expensive (metal) chassis.
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    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

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  22. #22
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Okay. Let's do the same for the S1 at $7k. I did the math of adding up the price of my file player, DAC, two power cords, and digital interconnect, and it is in that range. Having a single box and one power cord would be nice.
    Bud

    Lumin X1 file player
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  23. #23
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Great review Mike! This is the first time I see the comparison of the original Lumďn with the new kid on the block. Now what I like about both Linn and Lumďn is that both use the so called "open home " UPnP/AV standard. This means that you can use a lot of different control software and that playlists will be stored on the hardware so that you don't have to be connected all the time.

    Due to this, and the absolutely flawless functioning I would only consider both manufacturers and was also at the standpoint that the built-in DAC is perfect.

    Now there is a newer player that makes me reconsider. The Auralic Aries:

    This is a streamer only, so no DAC built-in. Streams all formats and PCM up to 384kHz and DSD128.

    This device, that origins in China like the Lumďn, enables problem free streaming like with Lumďn and Linn but adds free choice of DAC. And according to German reviewers is absolutely top level sound especially if connected to the DAC through the asynchronous USB out which is jitter free. I would like to learn more about this device!

    Hans
    Hans

    Bowers & Wilkins 805 D3 /alternatively JM Lab Point Source Aria 5 (self modified)/ 2x SVS 3000 SB, Audionet AMP (2x), dCS Bartók used as streamer / DAC / preamp, Pro-Ject RPM 9 with Speedbox S and Orthofon MC Vivo Blue, KEF LS50 Nocturne / Sunfire Atmos(kitchen). Patio: Bluesound Node 2i and Focal CMS50.
    RoonServer on Nucleus.

  24. #24
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    The new Auralic looks really cool....but again, you have to buy the DAC.

    I like the all-in-one solution from Lumin.

    I hope James & Co. come out with a BDP-3/BDA-3 combo. That would be cool too.

    At the end of the day, I think we are starting to see the end of tradition Mc or Windows computers in our audio systems.


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  25. #25
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Looks cool Hans !

    Thanks
    Mark


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  26. #26
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Yeah it looks good and is very compact too:
    Hans

    Bowers & Wilkins 805 D3 /alternatively JM Lab Point Source Aria 5 (self modified)/ 2x SVS 3000 SB, Audionet AMP (2x), dCS Bartók used as streamer / DAC / preamp, Pro-Ject RPM 9 with Speedbox S and Orthofon MC Vivo Blue, KEF LS50 Nocturne / Sunfire Atmos(kitchen). Patio: Bluesound Node 2i and Focal CMS50.
    RoonServer on Nucleus.

  27. #27
    mauidan
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    For $2.5K less than the S1, I'd get this DAC/preamp music server:

    Drive amps drively, comes with a remote and headphone amp:
    d1-integral
    Attached Images Attached Images

  28. #28
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Hey Dan, you live in a magical place ! I love Maui, we have a Westin timeshare on Kaanapali beach.
    Mark


    Kharma DB9 Signature speakers
    Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated
    REL S2 Subwoofers
    Lumin A1 Network Streamer
    VPI Avenger with Magnetic Drive
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    Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge
    Kimber Select 6063 speaker cables
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  29. #29
    mauidan
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MDP View Post
    Hey Dan, you live in a magical place ! I love Maui, we have a Westin timeshare on Kaanapali beach.
    Mahalo for supporting our economy.

    Here's a picture from my listening room:

    Attached Images Attached Images

  30. #30
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Beautiful !!

    Golf course ??
    Mark


    Kharma DB9 Signature speakers
    Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated
    REL S2 Subwoofers
    Lumin A1 Network Streamer
    VPI Avenger with Magnetic Drive
    Manley Chinook Phono Pre
    Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge
    Kimber Select 6063 speaker cables
    Kimber Select 1116 XLR interconnects

  31. #31
    mauidan
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MDP View Post
    Beautiful !!

    Golf course ??
    Yes, Pukalani CC.

  32. #32

    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    In addition to new and multiple DAC chips, a new clock, the S1 also sports a new power supply. The S1 power supply is slightly longer than the A1 power supply. The S1 power supply has larger capacitors which, as I understand it, are required for the new multi channel DAC chips. That’s it….as far as I know. So, for those of you wanting the S1 power supply for your A1, my question would be, why? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the S1 Power Supply won’t turn your A1 into an S1. If you want a different (improved?) sound out of your A1, try the Ken Lau after market power supply.
    Not to bust your balls Mike but different strokes for different folks. The 6 Moons followup on Lumin S1 had reviewer there stating he thought S1 power supply did improve A1, even more so than Ken's PSU(s). I'm aware you've heard both. Again different strokes. That Auralic looks like they let architect Frank G. loose on the design. Now I'm guilty of mixing structural architect and audio component designs. Can't help a smirk every time I see audiophile "play" lists as they all have a compilation of the same selections on their devices. There are only so many Hi-Res recordings available so all of us relishing our discerning music tastes end up with much the same stuff no matter who we are. LINN, Naim, etc. can nay say SQ benefits of DSD till cows come home, but if DSD really grabs a large share of market they will join the party. Will there ever be much availability of double DSD? Who knows? Only things certain IMO is uncertainty, more data being stored on cloud storage services and death. Many of us old enough to hear several names of people in out age demographic passing away each week. So it goes! Keep up your good work on AS.

  33. #33
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    I read he tried the Ken Lau power supply on the S1, but preferred the stock. I don't see where he tried the S1 PS on the A1. Where did you see that?

    It doesn't matter anyway, Li said they will not sell the S1 PS separately. As I said in my review, it's minor change was only to accommodate the different DAC in the S1.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

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  34. #34
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MDP View Post
    You did love the interface and the sound !!
    _______________

    Mike

  35. #35

    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I read he tried the Ken Lau power supply on the S1, but preferred the stock. I don't see where he tried the S1 PS on the A1. Where did you see that?

    It doesn't matter anyway, Li said they will not sell the S1 PS separately. As I said in my review, it's minor change was only to accommodate the different DAC in the S1.
    Joel Chevassus, August 2014

    "How about applying the S1 PSU to the A1 in a cheap trick of reverse engineering?
    First, it’s always amazing to hear the impact of a modification to a power supply on the overall sonic result. Surprisingly, Pixel Magic’s pragmatic approach to alter only a few carefully selected critical components became to my ears the winningest strategy over the audiophile-grade parts approach of the Hong Kong DIYer. The S1 PSU brought better dynamics, a slightly wider soundstage and a bit more detail. The sound was also a bit more forward whilst the Kenneth Lau version delivered a more relaxed laid-back perspective. It might be a matter of personal taste but I honestly thought that the S1 PSU gave a slightly better overall result than the DIY version."

    Kind of what I suspected and hence my persistence in trying to get hold of a S1 PSU. Usually better to have the original designers supply an upgraded PSU as they know their design best.

    Cheers

  36. #36
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Well, I know Li is reading this....maybe he will chime in.

    Here's the question - what would people pay for it? Would they jump at $1000, but balk at $2500?


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  37. #37

    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Well, I know Li is reading this....maybe he will chime in.

    Here's the question - what would people pay for it? Would they jump at $1000, but balk at $2500?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Well it's rather moot being Pixel Magic/Lumin will not fill the need, however given the Lumin S1 PSU parts I saw in close-up photos of 6 moons review, the parts can't add-up to much. I'd guess $1000 would give Pixel Magic a nice profit. My take on initial launch of Lumin A1 was that the display was disappointing. Why bother if it's hard to read from any distance from unit? The Sony displays on most AV gear have super sharp displays that are much easier to see from listening position(s). They could have left that silly display off (I've communicated with three Lumin users who don't bother with the display at all - same as me.) and used some of the savings to build a robust aluminum case for the PSU's to match the A1/S1's aluminum cases. Now that would have been an audio product with real class. Why have blue display that is nowhere near a match (on any of three settings!) for the PSU "blue circle light"? These are details most audiophile companies nail down. Don't get me wrong though, I like my Lumin after getting initial problems worked out, and having all of ones' music controlled with an iPad is irresistible.

  38. #38
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by mauidan View Post
    Yes, Pukalani CC.
    Hey Dan, maybe we can get together next time I'm in Maui.
    Mark


    Kharma DB9 Signature speakers
    Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated
    REL S2 Subwoofers
    Lumin A1 Network Streamer
    VPI Avenger with Magnetic Drive
    Manley Chinook Phono Pre
    Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge
    Kimber Select 6063 speaker cables
    Kimber Select 1116 XLR interconnects

  39. #39
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    S1. Imaging is sharper. Voices are more sweet.
    A new comparison of LUMIN S1 vs LUMIN A1 has just been published by a Hong Kong audio web site:
    feverSound.com | ????(?)

    Here's a translation of selected points from that article.

    Equipment:
    - Brinkmann Marconi
    - PSI Audio A25-M
    - Supra and In-Akustik Cat.7
    - Synology NAS and MinimServer
    - All network equipment changed to use linear power supply or isolation transformer
    - Ethernet <-> Fiber converter with linear power supply [Note: Doing Ethernet -> Optical -> Ethernet conversion reduces noise]
    - Solidsteel rack

    The author was initially a little disappointed by the sound coming out from a brand new S1 - it had higher density but was less musical and comparatively cold. Then he burned it in for 24 hours x 1 month using 44.1kHz to 192kHz PCM and DSD music with perfect playback and extreme stability. After this burn-in, the S1 retains the high-definition clarity but the harshness is gone!

    The advantages of S1 over A1 are: (points taken from different paragraphs of the article)
    - 《Misty》 XRCD: A1 already has excellent imaging, but S1 has even stronger microdynamics and increased airy-ness
    - 《Now the Green Blade Riseth》 DSF: with the A1 the whole Stockholm Cathedral Choir appears, but the S1 even manages to expand horizontal, vertical and front/back soundstage simultaneously
    - 《Sympathique》《Que Sera Sera》: A1 has impeccable combination of sweet voice and music, but the S1 is sweeter and offers clearer details
    - 《Con Amore》 K2HD: A1 already has very strong dynamics, but S1 pushes the music to a new level with shocking density
    - The greatest audio quality difference between S1 and A1 is the S1's higher density and microdynamics. Although A1 is already very good, the S1 flagship truly belongs to the High End class with its super clear sound.
    - Lumin App is the best among all music streamers the author tried.

    Tips:
    - Use good network cables
    - Lumin volume should be kept at 100
    - Audio output level should be kept as Normal
    - CD De-emphasis should normally be off, only very few CDs require it

  40. #40
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    TY for the notes and translations!
    _______________

    Mike

  41. #41

    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    I don't understand what is the point of the HDMI output on the S1? By keeping everything in the digital domain, wouldn't using the HDMI out bypass the D/A converters?

  42. #42
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    I do not remember seeing an HDMI output on the S1. There is a digital out if you want to use a better DAC in the future.
    Bud

    Lumin X1 file player
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
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    Three 20 amp circuits.

  43. #43
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    HDMI OUTPUT:
    PCM 44.1kHz–192kHz, 16–24-bit
    DSD 2.8MHz, 1-bit


    http://www.luminmusic.com/lumin-s1.html


    Franco Serblin Accordo Essence, Vienna Acoustics Haydn Jubilee, Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

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  44. #44
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Why use HDMI? Your' just asking for more jitter.
    George
    -----------------------

    Aurender ACS10 Music Server > Aqua La Voce S3 R2R Ladder DAC > Pass Labs XP-20 Preamp > Pass Labs XA160.5 Class A Mono Blocks > Martin Logan Renaissance ELS 15A Speakers

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  45. #45
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    HDMI OUTPUT:
    PCM 44.1kHz–192kHz, 16–24-bit
    DSD 2.8MHz, 1-bit


    LUMIN S1


    Okay, thanks. I rarely see the back anymore. There are some DACs with HDMI inputs, but not to many to my knowledge. Then again, BNC connectors aren't taking over the world either.
    Bud

    Lumin X1 file player
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR for source, Denali 2000 (2) for amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.

  46. #46
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Does anyone know what type of internal connection is used inside the Lumin S1 between its internal server and DAC?

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus; MSB UMT V Signature Transport
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps; MSB M204 Mono Amps
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    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  47. #47
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Does anyone know what type of internal connection is used inside the Lumin S1 between its internal server and DAC?
    I guess you mean the flat cable that carries I2S signal between the left analogue board and the right digital board, as seen from this photo from 6moons:

  48. #48
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Hi Wklie,

    Thanks for posting the photo. Ok, so it sounds like the S1 utilizes an I2S connection. I've read that I2S is considered to be one of the best types of connection between server and DAC. It seems to be gaining popularity, although you don't see too many I2S external connections yet.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus; MSB UMT V Signature Transport
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps; MSB M204 Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  49. #49
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    I've read that I2S is considered to be one of the best types of connection between server and DAC. It seems to be gaining popularity, although you don't see too many I2S external connections yet.
    I2S was meant to be used for PCB connection only, and as far as I know, has no universally accepted industry standard to be carried on an external cable. Different manufacturers have come up with different means of doing that, in an incompatible manner.

  50. #50
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    Re: Lumin S1 Review

    I really wish the S1 had a digital input. I hate having to add another DAC so that I can play CDs, and use the CD player as a transport.
    Bud

    Lumin X1 file player
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR for source, Denali 2000 (2) for amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.

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