Lumin D2, bass light?

Hi All,

Today i received, for home demo, a Lumin D2.

It’s here and my existing DAC a Matrix Audio Element I is off to get its wireless antenna repaired.

I’ve plugged the Lumin D2 in and set it up in what I would think is the most sensible way (e.g. everything except roon is off, volume control is off, no resampling etc). Also worth noting, its a demo unit, so not new and as such, even if you believe in burn in, shouldn’t need it.

The first few tracks were very encouraging, smooth, spacious, clean soundstage and very listenable. But Then i stuck on a few other familiar tracks that I’ve been hearing a lot lately and what immediately struck me was that the bass on the lumin seemed really quite restrained, a bit tame and held back. Like it refused to really boogie. Bass notes lacked weight, bloom or any sense of scale. Result was bass notes felt a bit trapped inside the speakers.

Even a few tracks where I know that the bass can excite the odd room mode for me, refused to do so. I couldn’t generate the same “pressure” in the room that I’m used to from the little Matrix Element.

Any other users have similar experience with this model? is it expected from this implementation and chipset that perhaps bass isn’t its strongest quality?

I’ll leave it to play through the day and come back to it later, but I have very mixed feelings about it at the moment. It’s definitely smoother and warmer than my Matrix, but the Matrix wasn’t exactly bright anyway, so I wasn’t “chasing” this trait.

To be continued i guess…

XLR or RCA?

XLR for sure :slight_smile:

Into Hegel H200 integrated.

As much as I love my D2, and I do, when briefly compared to my RME ADI -2 DAC FS I did find the bass was a little shy and lacking in texture. However, I preferrred the soundstage and mid-range. Make of that what you will!

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You can use DSP in Roon to experiment and see if the bass is less or just better quality than you are used to.

I don’t really like doing so. Whether there’s any basis in fact (probably not) I always find when j use DSP the system just doesn’t sound as good. I’m not a fan of the uo conversion / Down conversion.

Mirrors my findings. Except im not sure I don’t just find the D2 a little “safe” sounding across the board. It makes most things sound “nice”, but some music simply isn’t supposed to sound “nice” and I think it robs it of a little bite.

Feel like I’ll be reverting back to my matrix DAC

My problem is compounded by speakers which in themselves aren’t known for throwing bass around like madmen. They do bass, but it’s pretty tight and lean, in spite of its depth. Last thing I need is a DAC which adds to that situation.

It’s a shame, as the Lumin clearly offers something of an advantage in the mids, but overall it lacks punch and dynamism to me.

Depending on your budget, it might be interesting to compare to the Lumin T2. I’ve been considering doing so for a while.

Edit: I’d be interested in any comments from @wizardofoz on this, as think he has a bunch of Lumin D* as well as some other high performing DACs.

I certainly have no issues with lack of bass on my 3 Lumins (2xD1 and a D2) all going direct to active speakers.

One of setups I did just upgrade to this on a D1 with linkwitzlab.com lx521.4 setup and think it helped the bass a little but it’s was already pretty good. Prior to the battery based supply it was running on an HDPlex 200W LMPS

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Indeed; I had considered seeing what a T2 would be all about. But in reality to my ears and in my system at least, my existing Matrix Element I DAC is a much more compelling listen.

A few thoughts:

It’s very easy to be pulled in by the Lumin. It presents a lovely warm cuddly blanket of sound. It’s rich, cosy and like a mug of cocoa it certainly soothes with the right music. Acoustic, late night jazz etc.

However. Therein lies a problem. In its pursuit of this sweetened vision of things it’s given up a little on the way. The soundstage is both narrow and flat. It creates a ball of sound stuck between the two speakers. Musicians in live recordings sound bunched together, like they’re all in the same flat plane from front to back. The sense of depth and the feeling of the rear wall disappearing beyond the speakers to reveal the venue is totally lost. This is very “flat earth”.

Second, leading edge transients are softened so that quicker rock and electronic music lacks the necessary bite and snarl to get the foot taping convincingly.

Lastly, as above, it’s bass is tremendously soft and shy. It’s ok with the bloom of a plucked double bass, but anything needing big depth or punch is rendered a little hollow and flat.

It sounds like I hate it. I don’t. There’s much to be commended here. It’s silky smooth, has a glorious top end and a lovely well integrated midband. The product is built well, has a great little screen and a snappy interface. It works with roon flawlessly.

But, my little matrix which is some £700 cheaper, is more dynamic, more spacious, more weighty, and yet doesn’t really add any unwanted hardness on anything but the worst tracks. It’s also just as good with roon, albeit is nowhere near as nicely built as the Lumin.

Sadly the D2 isn’t for me. But if you have an aggressive system that wants some taming, or your music tastes extend to mostly small works, vocal, chamber, or acoustic in small scale, it may suit you very well.

For this diverse listener it’s a bit “safe”

Small print: all in the context of my system, room and listening habits. Opinions are my own and may not match with your listening experience.

Might be a little more illuminating if your profile was updated to your current gear, or you shared what you have now in your system.

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Curious, that has not been my experience with the right recording.

Seems that way - glad that you’ve had the opportunity to try it out though. Lumin kit is very well built, brilliantly supported and flawless with Roon, which are other reasons I keep coming back to the range when considering an ‘upgrade’…but obviously the sound has to work for you too!

For sure…. The matrix also implements roon flawlessly. So no brainer I guess.

I’m using a hegel h200 integrated and harbeth shl5+ Speakers.

Although that doesn’t seem relevant givieb the qualities I’m seeking existed before the Lumin was inserted. So the upstream equipment clearly isn’t the issue.