Anyone compared the sound of the Brooklyn DAC+ with a Lumin D2 or T1 and able to share any observations? With the new Brooklyn Bridge this would seem to be a direct competitor, albeit with a slightly different balance between price & feature set.
The Swiss Army knife approach is attractive until you want to go down the upgrade path. I favor separate streamer and dac, for the simple reason that the dac can be upgraded independent of the streamer. Also, separate preamp betters the all in one combo. Just my two cents worth. Both great products, however.
Although it is true having separate components is generally a good idea in Hi-Fi, we favor an integrated streamer and DAC (that we call network player) because:
The external connection between them - usually USB nowadays, is often a weak link that prevents the DAC from performing at its full potential. Therefore we see so many USB cleaning products. As for SPDIF or AES connections, there are limitations to maximum of DSD support and inherent jitter due to the source clock design and interference from external cable - that is why people find different digital cables can sound different.
There are so many posts in this forum with various types of streamer-DAC issues including odd functional issues, native DSD limitations, Pi Ethernet sample rate limitation, using a Roon Ready player with analog output avoids a lot of trouble.
We also recognize the need to upgrade, so in our latest Lumin X1 product it can support either analog output or USB/SPDIF output to an external DAC. (Lumin S1 / A1 / T1 / D2 / D1 support BNC-SPDIF output but not USB audio output.)
I agree with this approach - I can’t say whether it impacts sound quality (which of course will vary by any number of external factors) and I haven’t personally experienced any reliability or compatibility issues going the alternative route but intuitively it makes sense to me to consolidate the digital section in a system. Note that this is obviously a subjective feeling for me, and not my attempt to offer a universal truth for others.
Having said that, it’s frustrating that the Lumin products (certainly D2/T1) don’t allow any other digital input - this potentially puts me in a position of needing more than 1 DAC, even if only for Bluetooth, and that feels very messy for a supposedly simplified design.