Lumin D2... Could it be a perceivable upgrade in sound quality?

(Peter Lie) #61 member davehg posted his impressions of Lumin D2 + Roon compared to Sony HAP-Z1ES

On Redbook, with every file, the Lumin/Roon combo produced a warmer and more nuanced richer sound, with better detail. The Sony had a more neutral slightly clinical sound. Both were very enjoyable, but my ears easily preferred the Lumin/Roon combo. More bounce, energy and groove.


Davehg here. As wklie notes, my time with the Lumin D2 and Roon thus far has been fantastic.

I first tried the Bel Canto E.One Stream DAC, which worked nicely as a Roon music streamer but the DAC failed to outperform my 15 year old TriVista DAC, let alone my Sony HAPZ1ES.

The D2 is another story. Super thrilled with it, especially the DAC. I especially like how it takes Redbook upsampled to DSD in Roon and renders beautifully. The balanced outputs are a big plus as my Woo WA22 uses them. Sound is both warm and detailed. I listened to the Chord Qutest which I liked but the Lumin has more warmth.

Nits? Very few - would be cool if it supported USB digital output, and it uses BNC SPDIF digital output connectors which are great for outputting DSD but now I’ve got to add another set of cable as I only have RCA style connectors. Small gripes to be sure.

I am tempted to try a Linear Power supply upgrade just because of the comments I read from those who have done so, but it sounds so good as is I am not in a hurry.


I’m curious about what integrated amps people have found pair well with the D2, say sub £2k?

I currently have an aging Arcam A65+, which I am very fond of, but I’m very slowly considering an upgrade path to Amphion Argon 3LS speakers which require more power and I of course also want to be able to make the most of them when the time comes. I’d prefer to buy them first, but there’s no way the Arcam will power then sufficiently for the interim period.

Hegel amps have been my favourite sound combination to date with these speakers but all bar the Rost are too bulky (specifically too deep), I haven’t yet heard the Rost with the D2, and it has a lot of features that I don’t need (to pay for). I like the reviews of the Crayon CIA-1 but it’s a little pricey and doesn’t have balanced inputs. I’d like to listen to the Creek Evolution 100a. The Ayre EX-8 looks interesting but more than twice the budget. The Primare i35 sounds good but is too large/expensive. The Audiolab 8300A gets mixed reviews but I’d like a listen (?maybe it’s due an update). Any other reasonably compact integrateds with balanced inputs and performance to match the D2 and Amphions? With the growing popularity of the Hypex modules and integration by people like Nord Acoustics, as well as innovations like the THX AAA technology, I wonder whether I’m better off waiting to see how the market unfolds over the next year or two?

(Steve) #64

I can only speak for myself but I’m using a McIntosh MA252 hybrid integrated amp and to my ears, it mates very well with the Lumin D2.

Unfortunately, its price is $3500 (US) or about £2644.

(Peter Lie) #65

As you already know, it’s better to have balanced input.

This review of another model in that speaker family mentions something to consider about damping factor of an amp:

Since you mentioned Nord, note that their latest products now have Rev D boards.

Lumin also offers a class AB power amp, but it exceeds your stated budget and it’s not an integrated.


Thanks @S_J_A and @wklie for your thoughts here.

Peter, I’d missed the reference to damping factors so that’s very helpful and may be one reason why the Hegel amps seem to work well. I saw the reference to Rev D boards - not sure I fully appreciate the significance of this? Really like the spec of their products but the chassis is probably too bulky for me. Shame there isn’t an appropriate Lumin product here :wink:

(Peter Lie) #67

If you search with “Nord rev D buffer board” you’d be able to find comments specific to the latest hardware iteration.


Thanks @wklie - they do seem to be producing some great kit for the money…if I had more space I’d definitely be looking at their pre/power combination.


Their ICEPower based integrated amp (based on the 1200AS2) also looks like it offers excellent performance, has a good pedigree and I’ve seen some positive comments on the forums but there’s not many ‘professional’ reviews out there. I’m not sure I really know enough to be able to translate spec to sound though!


If you can find a used VAC Avatar SE, not the signature, this would sound wonderful.

(Peter Lie) #71

User grubble shared his impression of Lumin D2 against his previous setup in :

The Comet errs on the neutral and dry side of things. The D2 digs a little deeper into the music and presents a bit more detail on music. In playing Vijay Iyer’s “Mutations” album on Quboz, the upsampling on the D2 presents a lot more information than I have heard it via the microRendu + Comet combo. There’s a lot of information on the strings tracks that has a lot of spatial cues, subtle but quite effective at painting the palette of the stage for the listener. The Comet gets this almost right but causes a bit of overlap and smearing of instruments into each other. The D2 almost gets it right with placing them in distinct positions with a bit of spatiality and separateness to them.

On Gogo Penguin’s brilliant “A Humdrum Star”, there’s a drive to the second track “Raven” that has a pace and rhythm in the drums which doesn’t sound slow but leads the piano accompanying. On the Comet, the drums recede into the background and doesn’t have the urgency on that drive with this track. A different presentation.

I’ve got around 40 hours on the D2 whereas the Comet has been with me for a couple of years now. Definitely appreciate the convenience of one unit to do streaming and DAC duties but didn’t expect the DAC to be quite outstanding. This isn’t a laid back sounding unit at all, which I thought surprising. Employing Wolfson DAC chips, a previous DAC I heard with these were quite warm sounding and laid back. The D2 has some of the warmth but is actually quite neutral overall in its presentation. The implementation has a lot to do with this so the folks at Lumin know how to squeeze the detail out of this DAC chipset.

Quite impressed overall in my system. Connected via balanced outs to a Luxman L-550AX driving Merlin TSM-MxE speakers.

(Wayne Fiala) #72

Do I need to use the MinimServer for my coming D2 with Roon ?

Just to get this new system going I will be using a Simaudio i3.3 Integrated with the D2, along with just (for now) a dedicated PC with ROON. I’ll be going XLR balanced between the I3.3 and the D2.

Lastly, do I need to use the Lumin control software to do anything if I am using ROON ? Are all the D2 options available thru Roon ?



(Peter Lie) #73

If you’re a Roon user, you don’t need MinimServer.

You only need the Lumin app to change some settings (e.g. disable digital output, Lumin Streaming (AirPlay) and Spotify Connect if you don’t need these features) and upgrade the firmware of Lumin players.

By default Roon Ready setting is already enabled.

(Wayne Fiala) #74

Catching up elsewhere I have a few more if that is OK .

You refer to 7x24 burn in, exactly how would you do that with the D2 ?

Currently the Lumin site shows the D2 as DSD128 5.6MHz capable ?

Does having Airplay enabled hurt performance overall ?

(Peter Lie) #75

Please play some music of different sample rates using Roon (or Lumin app in repeat mode + MinimServer) for 7x24 for two weeks. Turn off the power amp if necessary.

D2 can indeed play DSD128 music.

If your normal use needs AirPlay, then leave it enabled. Otherwise disable it.

(Wayne Fiala) #76

Is the DSD128 new , as I read where you discussed DSD64 as the top end of the Wolfson DACs ?

Lastly mine is an Integrated amp, does the Integrated (thus amp and pre simultaneously)need to be on to burn in the D2 ?

Thanks for your help !!!

(Peter Lie) #77

WM8741 tops out at DSD64. Anything higher requires additional processing done by the player itself.

Turn off the integrated amp when burning in, if that is preferred.

(Wayne Fiala) #78

One last one, and not to beat to death, as nothing I have or will probably get will be more than DSD64, but how do they advertise the DSD128 as a feature, when it tops out at DSD64 ?

(Peter Lie) #79

A player hardware is much more than just DAC chips. Many brands of DAC also perform various processing internally, some of which are even marketed as SQ improvement.

It does play DSD128 music when fed DSD128 music, whereas our oldest models do not play DSD128 music at all.

So Lumin D2 specs state DSD128, but Lumin D1 / T1 / A1 specs state DSD64.

(Wayne Fiala) #80

Thanks again excited about getting this thing fired up this week.