Lumin T2 - Sound Quality - Roon vs Lumin App

Hi Forum

I got my Lumin T2 last week. Switched from the McIntosh DA2 internal DAC - but the sonic difference is unexpected and significant despite both use ESS 9028Pro chips.
The soundscape became more earthy, acoustic, alive, airy, open, spacious.

Being curious about Roon for quite some time, I decided to give it a a shot and got my Roon Nucleus today. Works flawless with the T2.

However…playing the first tunes via Roon and doing A/B comparison with the Lumin App - the sound quality is absolutely not on par via Roon vs playing the same song via Lumin App. The sound is compressed and somewhat sterile via Roon.

The Nucleus is hooked directly into the router which also feeds the T2, both the T2 and Nucleus are connected via Audioquest Vodka Ethernet. So really no difference there.

I tried different DSP settings in Roon but to no real benefit.

Anybody else experiencing this quite significant delta in SQ between Roon and the Lumin App ?
Any idea what the root cause could be ?

Many thanks for any suggestions

1 Like

I second that curiosity. I have similar experience not sure why?
Much appreciated.

Some users reported fiber isolation, LPS (for Roon Core and modem / router / switch) to help.

In Lumin app, please turn off Spotify Connect and AirPlay “Lumin Streaming” if you don’t need these features.

I have a similar experience in that the Lumin app SQ is a better listening experience for me than Roon. So for general listening, library management etc I use Roon. For serious listening, which is mostly in the evenings, I tend to opt for the Lumin app. I thought it was just a personal preference but it seems other users have a similar experience. For me I’m quite happy to switch between the two

Glad I am not the only one with this observation.
Fiber isolation I have not tried yet. Spotify Connect and Lumin Connect were / are off

I ordered / received a second T2 for my secondary system in the lounge in the other part of the house (McI C8 and Mc275MKVI) - for first 24/7 burn in hooked it up to the main system where I have my other T2.
Now…after the first 24/7 burn in cycle, the second T2 does not sound as „magic“ as the first one I got last week, it is lacking hi / mid range and that beautiful 3d image. Both are hooked to the same pre-amp, same XLR and ethernet cables etc.
Maybe a question for Peter on why there can be such difference between two similar units / setups. I know extended burn-in can be a factor, but the first T2 sounded already amazing out of the box and further improving, the second T2 sounds good - but it is lacking the sonic fairy dust factor of the first unit.

Please continue the 7x24 burn-in for several more weeks. Make sure the XLR interconnect remains in place.

Thanks Peter, will do, the T2 is on 24/7 repeat with a playlist with different formats. XLR interconnect is in place.
PS - the T2 with the better sonic representation gets slightly warm (handwarm), the other T2 remains completely cold, even when on continuous play.

I’ve owned the Lumin U1 Mini for about a week now and I experienced the exact same situation. I prefer using Roon, but it is clearly inferior to the Lumin native app SQ. So, I turned on the Lumin Leedh volume control and used it with Roon and the SQ was equal to the Lumin native app. I was surprised, but it was incredible. I’ve burned in my Lumin 24/7, for a week and it did not improve the SQ using Roon, until I started using Lumin Leedh volume control!

Thanks for sharing. Interesting.
Enabling Leedh volume controls also improves the dynamics with Roon on my end indeed.
However the overall sound stage still remains more spacious, open and alive with the Lumin App - Roon still sounds a tad more narrow, compressed and less live / „alive“ on my end.

Thank you for bringing this up. I have been using Roon almost exclusively with my Lumin T2 to play files stored in my local library on my iMac (my core) or to stream Qobuz. I did not really like the Lumin app to play music since I Roon is much more comfortable and more intuitive to use. However, when comparing sound quality while playing my own files or streaming Qobuz the Lumin app definitely outperforms Roon. I am using standard settings with Roon / T2 and Leedh volume control is on.
I could not find s as nothing to improve SQ whole using Roon, as a consequence I will be using the Lumin app more often to listen to my music.

Just want to add I have same experience. T2 with Lumin app sounds great.

  • a small q
    What would make me even more happy is to be able to select more than 1 song to play when I opened an album. Or is this already possible and am I not aware?

You may add individual tracks to the current playlist in Lumin app.

1 Like

Thanks for the quick reply!

If in the future that could be multiple that would increase my joy significantly. For now I scroll back :slight_smile:

The setting at the top of this page in the manual changes the behaviour of track selection.
https://luminmusic.com/manual/app-general-settings.html

If you choose Double-tap then a single tap will highlight a track. You can continue to highlight tracks and then add them to the playlist all at once.

The second setting on that page called “Add album to playlist” also changes the behaviour of how many tracks get added.

Alternatively if you want the whole album, you can press and hold on the album title (or album artwork) and use the pop-up to add the whole thing.

This is in a couple of places in the manual, but easiest to link to here:

4 Likes

Thank you, I missed that.

I don’t have a dog in this fight, except for my curiosity.

When people say that something sounds better (or worse) than Roon, is it the case where both alternatives are running bit perfect streams or is DSP involved?

If both streams are bit perfect, then any delta must be psycho-acoustic, no?

As to the case where one T2 sounds better than a second T2 where both are in the same device chain but in different rooms, then that can only be room acoustics, no?

Huh? What possible difference could a file’s format make, unless what is meant is res/bit length? Dunno.

Same here, no fight intended at all - but curiosity.
I spent a significant amount of $ on Roon, I heard a difference, I asked the question. And I am not alone it seems.

Yes the comparison was done bit perfect / native - but yes also tried DSD upsampling in Roon which did not improve the delta.

Re T2‘s - for testing they are both connected to the same system via same interconnect and of course same room, how would switching balanced input 1 to 2 on the pre amp tamper with room acoustics ?
I guess you skipped the second part of the sentence you quoted.

The second T2 has has been in burn in for 2 straight weeks, and yes - has much improved. Hence I guess some units just take more time / burn in vs others, even if of the same brand and make.

Lumin recommends a variety sample rates for burn in.
Quote from the Lumin Manual:
„Using music with different sample rates will utilise more of the internal componentry“

1 Like

Thanks for your reply to my presumptive questions.

Still don’t understand how two bit perfect streams fed to the same equipment in the same room can sound different, unless one isn’t really being played bit perfect.

Just another hole in my understanding, I guess. :pensive:

Same here. But anyhow, it was curiosity in the exact same context as you stated - it should be similar as both are bit perfect.
The chain is not similar though, don‘t forget the Roon Core in between (in my case the Nucleus) - I was initially inclined to test out a different Core to see if it changes the signature - but then let it go.

I don’t hear differences in using Roon or the Lumin App or BubbleUpnp or … with the T2 (XLR out) or the U1 Mini (USB out).
But what produces really a difference for me is upsampling to DSD512 (T2) or DSD256 (U1 Mini) in Roon or (better) with HQPlayer.