Lumin U1 or Auralic Aries G2.1

Hi y’all, I’m seeking some guidance. I’m planning on getting a streamer soon and I’ve come to focus my attention on two units, the Lumin U1 and the Auralic Aries G2.1. I ruled out the dCS Network Bridge due to reading reviews and posts about it being kind of finicky. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Price-wise I can get them roughly within the same ballpark, and that’s basically as far as my budget will go. I listen to a wide range of music, all PCM, not really interested in monkeying around with DSD. Also use the NOS setting on the May. I do like having the option to try DSD in the future though, which both of these units provide. I plan on continuing with Roon and won’t really be utilizing each system’s native apps. I’ll be using the AES/EBU out to the May DAC, and the S/PDIF out to the Dynaudio speakers.

My setup is:
Roon > Antipodes Edge > Holo Audio May KTE > SPL Phonitor XE > ZMF Verite Closed/HEDDphone
Roon > Antipodes Edge > Dynaudio Focus 600 XD
Shunyata Power and IC cabling throughout.

Is there a compelling reason to go one way over the other, or should I just go with the best deal? One thought I keep having is will there be a new U1 released soon (it’s been around for a while), whereas the Auralic is young in it’s life cycle. I feel like I’m on the right track, but y’all may provide some insight otherwise. Or should I just can the whole streamer idea and reinvest in a better Antipodes server or something like that?

Sorry for the TLDR post, but thanks ahead of time for any feedback.

Don’t know if it’s an issue for you or not, but Auralic doesn’t decode MQA so if you use Tidal you’ll only get Roon’s first level unfold on MQA tracks. I’ve not heard the Aries (the reviews are very good), but I can certainly vouch for the outstanding sound and build quality of Lumin gear (I have a T2).

1 Like

I was just re-reading my post and was about to add that. I also don’t really have an interest in MQA either. So far I have no streaming service subscriptions. If I were to follow that path I’d use Qobuz because they have a download store.

Are you planning to discard the Antipodes Edge?

No, planning on using it with the streamer. Right now it’s acting as both and I’ve read that it’s better to separate the server and streamer.

OK, just making sure you had realised that the Edge can stream Tidal and Qobuz with Roon, and Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, Deezer, Pandora with LMS … and play Spotify from PC/tablet/phone through Spotify Connect.

1 Like

Why it might be worth considering the Aries…

It’s wireless implementation is top notch.

You have people trying optical ethernet, fancy ethernet cables, fancy switches, all to get rid if the extra noise carried with the signal along the various wires.

I had Ethernet wired to every room in my house during a renovation and then got the Aries G2. I found the best sound I got was by utilising a spare wireless router (5ghz) in the same room as the hifi, effectively running the G2 wirelessly. As there is only about 3m between wireless router and G2 there are no dropouts.

This really took the last piece of digital hash from my system.


1 Like

Interesting, I’d not considered running it wirelessly. Thanks for the heads up!

1 Like

before my current setup, i used an auralic aries femto with an sbooster power supply for a couple of years. i was able to test a lumin u1 in parallel for a few days. the lumin played a little warmer, which i didn’t like as much. but both were very good devices and the differences are more a matter of taste or depending on the rest of the system. other cables can make more of a difference.
the wifi connection of the auralic was good. but it depends a lot on the reception conditions. very rarely i had dropouts despite optimal positioning. it’s hard to protect your network from interference from other networks, that’s why i wired it. it definitely sounds different than wifi. but again, i’m not sure which is better or more a matter of taste.
I and all my friends liked the operation via roon better than the operation via upnp server (minim) and the app from aralic. but this was discussed controversially in various forums. apparently it depends on the firmware version of the aries and with old versions it should have sounded better via upnp.
i haven’t heard the aries g2.1 yet, but i expect it will perform better than the aries femto.
hth but i have my doubts :wink:

My recent experience is that I didn’t notice much difference between the Aries G1 and G2.1. I preferred the U1 mini to either. Unfortunately the dCS Network Bridge sounded quite a bit better again to me. And not at all finicky. Very simple and reliable so far. No lock-ups as I got with the Auralics.

What kind of lock ups did you encounter?

Occasionally it would just stop responding to remote or Lightning commands. Not very often - maybe once a week. Would also take an age to reboot.

Thanks for the heads up on that, hadn’t heard of it happening. It’s looking like I’m going with the U1, the price difference from the seller leans in it’s favor. It’s also got a solid and established track record. I wish I could audition both, but that’s not an option for me.

1 Like

Very happy with my U1. Have never had any problems.