Become a Lumin-ary
Let's talk about the Lumin P1 and X1
Lumin's top-end products address different needs. Which one is perfect for you?
In the old days (like, ten years ago), the top-end offerings from an audiophile brand were almost always highly optimized, 'sound quality above all' products. Today, more manufacturers realize that even ultra-high-end systems live in living rooms and not special listening dens and are used by the whole family for visual and auditory entertainment.
Lumin has addressed this need by offering, at its very top level, the fully audiophile two-box X1 streaming DAC, and the family-friendly (but still very serious) version of it, the one-box P1 "audio hub."
The Minimalist Maximalist
The Lumin X1 fits the mold of a traditional audiophile flagship product in how tight its focus is. It is a streaming DAC with no wireless ability, no digital or analog inputs, and absolutely obsessive build quality and circuit design.
With the goal of squeezing out every bit of sound quality, the X1 is totally dual mono, with an external PSU in the same solid billet aluminum casing as the main unit, a femto clock system with FPGA distribution, dual ES9038Pro DAC chips, and an optical network input.
This is the digital source that Kevin has in his big system at home, the one featuring Focal Grande Utopia speakers and Pathos Adrenalin amps.
If you like Lumin's clean, detailed, energetic sound, don't have other sources, and are at the $10,000+ budget level, then the X1 is unhesitatingly recommended.
"Your New Audio Hub"
What if you want obsessive design but don't mind sacrificing a minimal level of performance for something offering more features? Consider the Lumin P1, a new product Lumin describes as "your new audio hub."
From the X1, the P1 inherits the fiber network connection, femto clock system, Lundahl output stages, and a dual toroidal PSU. Unlike the X1, though, the P1's power supply is inside its main chassis.
There are two analog inputs (RCA and XLR), allowing you to connect sources that will then share Lumin's amazing LEEDH volume processing (so, yes, these inputs are converted to digital).
The HDMI inputs mean you can have a two-channel home cinema system without a receiver. (Remember, an amazing-sounding two-channel HT setup will beat an average-sounding 11-channel setup any day.) Plug your 4K Blu-ray player, video streamer, or DVR into the P1 and connect a 4K display via the ARC output. The Lumin will pass through the 4K video information to your TV, and the TV will send back the audio via ARC (hence, audio return channel) so that all your movie audio plays on the main system.
For a limited time, we're able to work with you on pricing for these two Lumin products. Contact our sales team at 909-931-9686.
|Lumin X1 Network Music Player
The LEEDH-ing Edge
Lumin's LEEDH lossless digital volume processing was a major upgrade delivered free over the air to all Lumin products. LEEDH is a significant improvement over a traditional digital volume control design. Some Upscale customers and employees have even removed their preamps from their systems, finding LEEDH to be better sounding than the analog volume knobs.
In his Lumin P1 review in The Absolute Sound, Robert Harley evaluated LEEDH and came away surprised. He first tried 30 dB of attenuation with the conventional digital volume control on the P1 and noticed how "an entire level of low-level detail was shaved off." He switched to the same level of attenuation with LEEDH, and "the sound became more liquid and refined overall, with the low-level detail restored."
He then compared LEEDH to a volume bypass in the P1, setting the attenuation on a CH Precision L10 (over $70,000 retail). "To my surprise," Robert observed, "I heard no degradation with LEEDH; the two presentations sounded identical."
Robert's finding is that LEEDH is sonically lossless as claimed, and wrote, "This is, to say the least, a significant achievement."
Auralic Promo: The G1.1 $1G Offer
"Auralic doesn't normally do discounts, so this is a very big event for us."
That was our Auralic rep announcing the G1.1 Promo that started on August 1. Save $1,000 on the rave-reviewed Aries G1.1 streamer/music server and Altair G1.1 preamp/streaming DAC. Both are normally $3,249, now just $2,249.
The original curvy, almost whimsically designed Aries and matter-of-fact Altair still have cult followings. With the newer G1.1., Auralic has taken performance to very serious levels. This is borne out by the more formal black, heavy casework with its onboard linear power supply.
While you can hardwire these and any Auralic product, the brand has always been our go-to for customers who cannot run an Ethernet cable to their system. Auralic is known for its excellent, stable Wi-Fi performance.
When you find a review that praises a manufacturer's app, it's usually because it was written in 2011, long before we had great user-experience expectations. But Jason Kennedy writes about Auralic's Lightning app in a 2022 (post-Roon!) HiFi+ article: "The app is particularly attractive and easy to navigate, with album artwork presented at a good size ... the interface for Tidal and Qobuz is very nice too; intuitive and easy to navigate, which isn't always the case."
In terms of sound, choose Auralic when you are absolutely happy with the tonal balance of your system and don't need to tune it in any direction towards warmth or coolness, weight or lightness, smoothness or hyper-detail. Auralic is the stalwart, the player with solid skills, no flashiness, tantrums, or other quirks.
Michael Lavorgna of Twittering Machines, famous for his in-depth, long-term reviews in his listening space in a built-up barn, writes, "During its two month+ Barn stay, I sent all manner of music through the Aries G1.1, and it never drew my attention to anything other than the music. It also performed without so much as a hiccup."
For those without DACs, the Altair G1.1 streaming DAC delivers the same great experience as the Aries, just with analog outputs. Stuart Smith of HiFi Pig described the sound as "very balanced and very organic--a pleasure to spend extended periods of time with."
As with Michael Lavorgna and the Aries, Stuart found the Altair "performed without a hitch," and "it sounds clean, detailed, and natural with all the music I played through it."
His only quibble, and one to note if you're not using Roon with these products, is that the Lightning app is only supported directly through Apple products and not on Android.
That's it; that's the only concern.
As Auralic says, this is a big event, so make sure you grab this chance to get state-of-the-art streaming at pre-pandemic prices.
|AURALiC ARIES G1.1 Streamer
|AURALiC Altair G1.1 Streaming DAC
New Video: Kat Reviews the Kuzma 4Point 9 Precision Tonearm
Check out this video featuring Kat if you're interested in getting excellent performance out of your analog setup, and especially if you'd like to know whether someone has come up with a tonearm that harnesses the best of unipivot and gimbal designs. Spoiler Alert: the folks at Kuzma have done it!
Top Sales and Deals!
Here are the noteworthy sales and offers we have going right now. Note: there are further terms and conditions; this is just a summary. To get all the details, contact our sales crew on website chat, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or call 909-931-9686.
Closing Soon, August 15: GoldenEar's 'Two Subs Are Better than One' offer. Buy a pair of subs at a significant discount.
Until August 31: JBL L100 on sale.
Until September 4 Wharfedale Linton stands are included with the purchase of the speakers.
Until September 4: JBL L82 on sale.
Until September 21: Arcam summer sale. 20% and more off the SA10, SA20, SA30, and PA410.
Until September 30: Balanced Audio Technology is offering a full original retail price trade-in on your old stereo electronics for any new BAT product.