Optical Network for U1

Copying @wklie

Curious if there are any plans to upgrade the U1 to an optical network connection. If so, would there be any upgrade paths for current U1 owners?

Currently we do not have plan to introduce any hardware changes to U1.

For optical-based network isolation for Lumin products (other than X1 which has built-in SFP port for optical network), there are two ways to do it.

Expensive way:
(Note that there is an incompatibility report with Netgear Mesh product.)

Inexpensive way:
A cheaper alternative to do fiber network isolation is to use a pair of fiber media converters (FMC) in a setup like this:

WiFi router or network switch - (LAN cable) - FMC - (fiber) - FMC - (LAN cable) - Lumin

Lumin T2 / D2 / M1 / U1 (MINI): Use a pair of TP-Link MC210CS

Lumin S1 / A1 / T1 / D1 : Use a pair of TP-Link MC110CS (Note: old hardware revisions of MC210CS is not compatible)

Between the pair of FMC you need a single mode SC-SC duplex fiber (note: SC-SC is for a pair of FMC, not for SFP):


The Lumin-side FMC needs to be driven by a LPS, an inexpensive one is:


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Thanks @wklie. I’ll look into the gigafoil…

I’m also curious how this would work… https://emosystems.de/wp-content/uploads/PD1100_Datasheet_EN-30en-V40.pdf

I’ve read both positive and negative comments for it.

I believe in optical isolation.

something went suddenly awry with my MC210CSs v.2.23 (can’t get them to connect to each other anymore :no_mouth: ) so yesterday I pulled out of the drawer two MC110CSs and… they’re working fine with my U1 Mini (actually there’s a Cisco switch between MC and Lumin U1 Mini so this might be why it works)

ordered, in the while, a T2500G-10TS switch with SFP ports, two TL-SM311LS SFPs and an MC220L: setting up everything hopefully this weekend :slight_smile:

yes: everything south of the MC (MC itself and Cisco switch included) is LPS powered :wink:

I ordered the gigafoil. We’ll see how that works… Thanks for the suggestion @wklie

Also ordered a LPS for it? As with the case of FMC, this is necessary but making it even more expensive.

Yes it should. This compatibility matrix is a little complicated: old revisions of MC210CS do not work at 100Mbps, but MC110CS can work with 1000Mbps devices because those devices will also run at 100Mbps. This is why some advocated the use of MC110CS over MC210CS, but I’d rather not do this because the MC210CS has better components inside (at a higher price).

Have a HDPLEX 200W LPS that is powering my nucleus+. It will also be used to power the gigafoil…

One additional question @wklie. The switch that connects to my lumin u1 already has optical outputs. Right now I’m using a copper RJ45 transceiver with a LAN cable to the lumin.

To improve, which of the following two optical isolation options would you recommend?

Optical from my switch to a FMC and then a LAN cable to the lumin?


LAN cable from my switch (via the RJ45 copper transceiver) to the gigafoil with a LAN cable to the lumin?

On a cost basis, since you already have a SFP switch, using SFP modules save the cost of one FMC unit - since the switch itself functions as a FMC. (Note that the fiber connectors are different for SFP and FMC, so the fiber product link above is not correct for this case.)

For SQ, this will be a comparison of the circuitry of the optical back to copper conversion, assuming the same LPS is used with them.

Thanks. Are you implying if cost is no issue you’d to the gigafoil?

No. We don’t have a GigaFOIL so I cannot tell you whether it sounds better than any other product. I mentioned it only because a dealer tested it to be compatible, the product claims to do optical isolation, is easier to setup (vs a pair of FMC + fiber with matching connectors) and people seem generally pleased with it.

Got it. I’ll be trying them both. I’ll let you know what I find out… Appreciate the help!

Great! Looking forward to your results.

I just replaced a pair of MC200CM’s with a Gigafoil v4. The MC200’s were between my router and switch, the Gigafoil is between the switch and Audio Alchemy streamer. No perceived difference in SQ but I’ve barely listened. Its a one box solution with a single power supply and I like that better. Thinking of trying a Lumin U1 mini in place of the Audio Alchemy. Problem is the local dealer wants a 20% restocking charge if I don’t like it and that makes it a $600 experiment.

The math is not right for me. Please recheck the pricing.

You’re right. It’s a $400 experiment. My mistake.

I do think you’ll get good SQ from the U1 MINI (after burning in a for a few days) compared to your current streamer. With an extra Ethernet cable inside (!) your streamer I also think whatever advantage brought by isolation before it will be reduced.

Theoretically I think you’re probably right. Whether I can hear the difference is another point. I think my system is pretty resolving as it is. If I could try the Lumin U1 mini on the same terms as those that offer no restocking fee but just freight I would do it.