Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to spend some concentrated time with both units and do the comparison I wanted to.
First–the caveat. My observations are only relevant to my system and my 50-year-old ears. Feel free to take what you want from it, but I don’t pretend that my observations are relevant to anyone but me
- Simaudio 700i v2 Integrated Amp
- Focal Sopra No. 2 speakers
- AC cabling is Shunyata Delta v2
- Speaker and interconnect cables are Townshend Fractal F1
The process–I had four songs that I know really well in my playlist, all from different genres (classical, jazz, electronic and vocal). While it’s not ideal to conduct an A/B test where you have to switch interconnects on the amp input when switching sources, it was the best I could do. I tried to do one song at a time, switching back and forth between the units as quickly as possible multiple times.
The results–it’s REALLY hard to tell the two units apart…period. This is, above all, a testament to what Lumin has been able to achieve with the T2. The most obvious difference was that the X1 sounded smoother in my system than the T2 did. For me, I actually prefer the additional “sizzle” that I get out of the T2, but I have always preferred that type of sound in my listening. As much as I tried to, I didn’t notice any real difference in imaging/soundstage.
So where does this leave me? I currently own both units, but will only keep one. While I understand that the X1 is a better design in many ways, I don’t know that it’s worth the 2x+ investment of the T2. I’ve always believed that the music and enjoyment of it come first, and with that in mind I’m leaning towards keeping the T2 and letting the X1 go to a set of ears that will enjoy it’s amazing capabilities.
Kudos to Lumin for making such fantastic units. Some companies might shy away from making the product below their flagship nearly as good as the flagship itself, but clearly Lumin believes in doing just that.