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    Lumin U1 Streaming Transport Review

    Lumin advertises the U1 as a “Network Transport” for those audiophiles who already have a DAC with which they are satisfied. It is compatible with all the major services and formats including PCM from 44.1 KHz sampling rate all the way to 768 KHz and bit depths from 16 to 32-bit and DSD 512 to 22.5.


    The U1 joins a growing lineup of high-end products from this Chinese-based company that includes a line of full “Network Players” that contain a Network Transport as well as a built-in DAC. Lumin also has a pair of power amplifiers in its “stable” as well as a Music Library Storage solution and a Smart Application which allows the user of the transports and players to completely control them form a tablet or smart phone running either the Apple iOS or Google's Android OS. 

     

     

    Physical Characteristics

     

    The U1 comes in two units: The main “Transport” and a separate PSU (Power Supply Unit). Both units are available in either a brushed silver aluminum finish or a black brushed aluminum finish. Our review sample is black. 

     

     

    The Power Supply


    A separate power supply unit is unusual these days and requires an umbilical cord to connect to the main transport unit. The PSU contains two toroidal power transformers. Lumin believes that separating the power from the signal circuitry results in better audio performance. 


    The PSU measures 100mm (4 inches) W X 315mm (12.4 inches) D X 55mm (2 inches) H and weighs 2 Kg (4.4 pounds). There is but a single button on the front which is illuminated to show that the unit is switched on. The back contains but a round multi-pin connector for the umbilical to the main unit.

     

     

    LUMIN-A1-psu-angled.jpg LUMIN-A1-psu-inside.jpg

     

     

     

    The Main Transport


    The main unit or “transport” as Lumin calls it, is characterized as a “monolith-like” enclosure with an elegantly curved front and a recessed cutout in the center for a vacuum fluorescent display. There are no controls on the front panel of the U1. The enclosure measures 350mm (13.7 inches) W X 345mm (3.16 inches) D X 60mm (2.37 inches) H, and weighs in a hefty 8 Kg (17.64 pounds).  


    The rear panel of the Lumin is rather inexplicably recessed a good 2 inches (55mm) making it unnecessarily difficult to get to when installing the U1 into one's system. Aside from that the unit is very well laid out in back. Starting from the left, we have a small reset button, then for the input to the unit, an RJ45 jack for CAT 5 or CAT 6 Ethernet cable, then a gold-plated “earth” (ground) post. The ouputs, ostensibly to a DAC, consist of two Type “A” USB connectors, a Toslink SPDIF, a gold-played RCA coaxial SPDIF, and a BNC coaxial SPDIF. These are followed by a Cannon/XLR AES/EBU output. Finally there is a circular 7-pin connector for the DC umbilical cable from the PSU. 

     

    LUMIN-U1-rear.jpg

     

     

    Streaming Protocols

     

    Since the Lumin U1 is a music transport, it naturally must conform to and support the major protocols available to today's “digital audiophiles.” These include the UPnP A/V protocol with the streaming extension. The unit is Roon Ready and supports TIDAL, can connect directly to Spotify, supports Apple AirPlay, gapless playback as well as the on-device playlist. 


    The U1 has full support for MQA from TIDAL, Qobuz, and Tune-in Radio. On the separately downloaded (but free) smart application, the unit supports both TIDAL and Qobuz icons to indicate high-resolution programming. It also allows for the control of volume in the digital domain, sports a sophisticated search function, allows for high-resolution artwork from one's sources and artwork caching. The application will handle multiple file tags and allows multiple tags and composer tags. The app also enables albums to be grouped together in response to several grouping options in the playlist and provides automatic internet links to either artists, albums or individual works/songs. Playlists can be saved and restored in case of an accidental deletion.


    I cannot emphasize too strongly that the app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices and downloaded from Lumin's website is de rigueur rather than optional as it is on many such devices. It would be impossible to operate this device without it. 

     

    services-etc.png

     

     

    Setup

     

    Connecting the Lumin U1 to one's system couldn't be more straightforward. I connected a 50 ft CAT6 cable to my wireless router next to my main computer. The other end, I plugged into the RJ45 connector on the back of the U1. I then connected the umbilical cable from the PSU to the back of the Lumin, and connected a 0.5 meter XLR cable from the AES/EBU output connector on the rear of the U1 to the AES/EBU input on the Schiit Yggdrasil DAC. I then downloaded and installed the Application on my Android tablet (the app will run on most Android devices and any Apple iPad or iPhone manufactured since 2014).

     

    feature-ipad.jpgUpon launching the app it connected immediately with the Lumin and the interface is so intuitive that it becomes immediately apparent what needs to be done to access one's locally stored music on one's computer or NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. At this point it is advisable to explore the app (there are no instructions that I can find for the application). You will soon figure out how to access TIDAL, Spotify, and Qobuz and your own locally stored music files. I had pre-USA rollout access to Qobuz and I have a Spotify account. I was able to quickly setup a playlist containing a combination of streaming files from Qobuz (Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1 in B minor, Sviatoslav Richter, Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic) and Spotify (my favorite Roy Orbison songs) and a number high resolution files from my main computer: Albinez “Iberia” and piano works from Debussy on the PlayClassics label. I was able to queue these disparate sources and change their playing order at will as well as save the playlist to be able to repeat it at any time. Any single playlist will support up to 2000 tracks with “cover art” icons and icons to indicate the files' streaming source such as TIDAL MQA or Qobuz “Sublime High-Res.”

     

    The app allows the operator to drag files around to re-order them and to edit individual tracks or even entire albums. One's personal library can be arranged by track title, album title, artist, composer, genre, date added to library, etc. The app contains a search function that allows the library to be searched in two ways: a simple “find” function or using a set of filtering criteria. It also enables the user to search both TIDAL and Qobuz catalogs directly. There are many more features of this remarkable interface, too many to list here. But one will quickly find them by merely poking around.

     

     

    Sound Quality

     

    feature-u1-inside.jpgOK, I'm firmly in the “bits-is-bits” camp when it comes to talking sound quality from what is essentially a purely digital signal. And I would have said that the Lumin U1 would have the same sound as a NAD or a Pioneer or any other music server “client.” After all, the only thing that comes out of the device is “bits!” Well, I was wrong. I have two other devices in my system that do (to a certain extent) what the Lumin U1 does. I have an Oppo 205 and a Logitech Squeezebox Touch. Both feed the Yggdrasil DAC so the only difference should be the source component. If bits were indeed bits then the same program material would yield the same sound from each source. It ain't so!

     

    Compared to the digital output  of the Oppo or the Logitech device, the U1 was, well, just better! First of all, the top octaves were cleaner and more delineated. The 24/96 PlayClassics files of  Albeniz' Iberia played by  Luis Grane and Angel Cabrera playing Debussy are exemplary performances of solo piano. The recordings are both first rate and with a decent system the sound is almost as if the pianos are in the room with the listener. When streamed from my Mac Mini where the files are stored, they can be played through the Logitech, the Oppo or the Lumin. While excellent through any of these devices, the Lumin seem to delineate the transients better than the other two and the pianos seem to have more “space” around them.

     

    To make sure the digital interface wasn't making differences where none actually exist, I re-connected all three devices via coaxial SPDIF to the DAC. The noted differences as well as the sonic superiority of the U1 was still there. Another further improvement over the other digital server clients that I noticed was that while the other two units threw an image that started at the speaker plane and went back beyond the wall, there was nothing forward of the speaker plane. The Lumin U1 somehow brought the entire presentation forward as well as back, giving a three dimensional quality to the imaging that simply was absent from the others. I do not know to what to attribute this, but a friend of mine noticed the same phenomenon and mentioned it before I had said anything. It's there alright. 

     

     

    Conclusion

     

    The Lumin U1 is a beautifully made superbly engineered “music transport.” It supports basically all formats and streaming service in use today. While it supports MQA on TIDAL, I don't have access to that service and therefore wasn't able to test that function, but none-the-less, the sound the U1 elicits from these ones-and-zeros is definitely a cut above many other similar devices. 


    The Lumin application is the best of its type that I have encountered. With it loaded on a tablet or a smartphone, the world of streaming music is a real joy. It works so well and is so intuitive that once you use it, you'll wonder how you ever got by without it. I was sorry to delete it from my Android tablet but the Lumin had to go back.


    My only real complaint is the machine case top's extreme overhang in the rear. It makes it very difficult, once the unit is installed in a system to access the rear connections. If I owned one I'd be very tempted to take a band-saw to the machined CNC case top and I encourage Lumin to re-think that particular design decision.


    The Lumin U1 is not cheap at close to US$6000, but it is definitely a very high performance unit. Luckily, Lumin sells a smaller unit with less expensive casework, a built-in power supply and with LPCM support to only 384 KHz instead of 768. Capabilities, otherwise seem similar and its only US$2000. 
     

     

    LUMIN-U1-black-rear.jpg

     

     

    Additional Information:

     

    Manufacturer: Lumin

    Product: U1 Audiophile Streaming Transport ($5,900)

    Quick Start Guide: LINK

    Hardware Settings: LINK

    App Usage: LINK

    Contact: LINK

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     




    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    7 hours ago, One and a half said:

    @Sonis, the reason I thought for the overhang for the rear connectors is protection from the atmosphere. Unless audio components are in air conditioned environment 24/7, dust, moisture and corrosive air (even lived close to the beach?)  can settle on connectors and cause corrosion. Witness a 15 year old AVR, the RCA connectors are not the same material any more. Having a cover, slows this process.

     

    Once a method is settled on the output of the U1, it stays in place unchanged for, well, years. The U1 can be turned upside down to access the connectors better, there are usually only three cables, Ethernet, power and the output. 

     

    For the review in general, it would have helped a little more if the music to evaluate was listed and any differences heard between what was existing and with the DUT, where it stood out or worse. 

     

    Anyway, the U1 at home is with me for a month now with some solid listening hours under the bridge. Still happy with what I hear, a substantial improvement over anything else I tried, such as:

    USB, ifi Micro USB, Mutec MC-3+USB, RME HDSPe AIO, USB extenders, plain USB cables, Curious USB cables, Nordost USB Cables, Mutec MC-1.2- AES3, Intona, ifi Galvanic 3.0, the list is extensive, all blown away by the Lumin U1. 

     

    Anyway, the U1 at home is with me for a month now with some solid listening hours under the bridge. Still happy with what I hear, a substantial improvement over anything else I tried, such as:

    USB, ifi Micro USB, Mutec MC-3+USB, RME HDSPe AIO, USB extenders, plain USB cables, Curious USB cables, Nordost USB Cables, Mutec MC-1.2- AES3, Intona, ifi Galvanic 3.0, the list is extensive, all blown away by the Lumin U1. 

     

    I auctioned the G2 and U1 side by side. To my ears, the Lumin was slightly bloomier, which is an indication of more jitter (again, to me). In that regard, I think the U1 shows its age (3 years to date), and could benefit from an upgrade.

     

    As for the improvements that you tried, cables don't reduce jitter, so I would't expect anything from them.

    MC3+USB: I appreciate the G2's low jitter, but I still can't retire my chain of 3 x MC3+USB + REF10. If you've never tried such cascade--and able to put your hands on one--you're in for a serious treat. 

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    52 minutes ago, John Yow said:

    It would be cool to have a comparison review of the different streamers.  I would love to read how my dCS Network Bridge compares with other streamers.  A blind listening would be quite interesting.

     

    Candidates could include low end players like the Squeezebox Touch, Chromecast Audio and may be direct from a Mac Mini.  And of course between same class players like the dCS, Linn, Naim, sonictransporter, etc.

     

    Hell Mr Yow,

     

    Your first comment on the matter of HKK vs China don't have room in the politically correct West. But I'm with you :)

     

    Chromecast Audio is unlistenable. The jitter levels of the optical output renders the sound a thick mash. 

    Mac Mini is merely a a notch or two above. Still pretty dismal.

    Naim and Linn don't offer pure digital transports. Their products are streaming DACs. In fact, having phoned up Naim numerous times, it became patently clear that their SPDIF output is an afterthought with no jitter reduction mechanism whatsoever. Later, I  did a little audition with the ND5-XS-2 to discover how much had been left to be desired.

    dCS  makes sense only if you have compatible dCS gear. Otherwise, their bridge is a waste, since the dual AES and dual clocks can only be used with dCS systems. Furthermore, if you insist on purchasing their equipment, having all that unused electronic inside might increase jitter levels (in theory of course; that has yet to be proven).

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    11 hours ago, Archimago said:

     

    Yes, it's 2019. And the interesting thing is that the "bits are bits" argument has become even more true over the years with good quality, lower jitter devices! Best to have this discussion another time of course...

     

    ‘Right! So why would the LUMIN U1 sound any different than a Chromecast Audio you have tested and found no jitter above the audible spectrum when used as a streamer bypassing its DAC?

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    13 hours ago, audio.bill said:

    Because even though it doesn't play discs, like a transport it plays digital files and provides a digital output to a DAC's input.

     

    7 hours ago, wklie said:

     

    We call our Ethernet-connected DAC with analog outputs "network music players".

     

    We call our Ethernet-connected streamer with digital outputs only "network music transport".  To me a transport means "digital output only".

     

     

    Ok with me, but transport just sounds mechanical - not digital.   Need a new term?

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    10 hours ago, John Yow said:

    As far as I know, Lumin is a product of Pixel Magic which is a 100% Hong Kong company based in Hong Kong's Science Park.  Which is a high technology incubation hub.  

     

    Their bread and butter products are set top boxes for terrestrial digital TV which I consider to be the best out there.

     

    Hong Kong is part of China, but the business practice cannot be more different.  

     

    I thought I would like to clarify that because there are a plethora of electronics coming out of China, but only a handful of hardware companies from Hong Kong, and Pixel Magic is one that I personally am rather fond of.    

     

    Thanks for the details in your post John. The world isn't black and white and although HK is in China, it's very different. 

     

     

    One note on the overhang in the back of the unit. I've used a couple other components with this same overhang. It's really a pain in the butt when connecting / disconnecting cables, but once that is done, there's usually no need to deal with it again. Plus, I like the look of components with this overhand.

     

     

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    46 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

     

    One note on the overhang in the back of the unit. I've used a couple other components with this same overhang. It's really a pain in the butt when connecting / disconnecting cables, but once that is done, there's usually no need to deal with it again. Plus, I like the look of components with this overhand.

     

     

    Agree, but like you noted once you get everything connected up, its not a big deal.   I have not unhooked anything on my two streamers in years. Still work great and sound great.

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    23 hours ago, ajay556 said:

    I am surprised that we are still using  'bits is bits' logic to defend insignificance of digital source. Extracting bits from your 'digital storage' in a audio world requires a highly precision clock that is dependent on a solid power supply. The entire process from storage to digital conversion is highly dependent on precision clock in various steps. That is the reason sound quality differs from  different digital transports. We are in year 2019 and bits is bits is archaic logic and  audiophile style reviewers should not be surprised anymore by transports playing a key role in SQ. Bits is Bits is a marketing ploy and should be removed from audio vocabulary.

    It kinda makes sense if you think about it. If bits weren't just bits, then computers wouldn't work. You code an application and when you open it, you expect it to work. You expect the bit stream that makes up that application to remain the same throughout the computer and the app's life. Is that not so? Why should a bit stream representing music or video not be the same? In fact video should be more sensitive to changing bits and clock timing than audio. So you can't blame people, especially those who work with digital signals in their jobs every day, for being skeptical. And we also know that hearing is not always believing. People hear things in their audio systems that aren't really there every day. A healthy skepticism for things that should not be is probably a good thing...

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    3 hours ago, gmgraves said:

    In fact video should be more sensitive to changing bits and clock timing than audio.

     

    In a videophile forum, I've read people there report significant improvement to SQ (typically ATMOS / TrueHD / DTS HD-MA, etc.) and comparatively minor improvement to picture quality with LPS mods of the power supplies in video players, which output bits via HDMI.

     

    If this debate continues, someone will bring up expectation bias and blind test quickly.  Rather than talking about own products (which would sound like hard selling), let me report that we actually carried out a blind test of a leading USB cleaner product popular in this forum.  To our surprise, our expert listeners actually got 100% right in the blind test in identifying when the USB cleaner is used and when it is not.  (I'll try not to say further on this, please pardon my lack of response in advance.)

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    2 hours ago, gmgraves said:

    It kinda makes sense if you think about it. If bits weren't just bits, then computers wouldn't work. You code an application and when you open it, you expect it to work. You expect the bit stream that makes up that application to remain the same throughout the computer and the app's life. Is that not so? Why should a bit stream representing music or video not be the same? In fact video should be more sensitive to changing bits and clock timing than audio. So you can't blame people, especially those who work with digital signals in their jobs every day, for being skeptical. And we also know that hearing is not always believing. People hear things in their audio systems that aren't really there every day. A healthy skepticism for things that should not be is probably a good thing...

     

    The video portion had been addressed below. Maybe not fully, but I'll leave it as is. 

     

    Let me attack the fallacy of the "bits are bits" from a different angle.

     

    Let's assume you sampled an analog wave and now wish to recreate it in the Cartesian world. The bits (i.e., different voltages) you plot along the y-axis; the timing, along the x-axis.

     

    Now, what happens if the points along the x-axis deviate from the originals? Would the result be identical to original analog wave? Certainly not. Thereby, the new curve wouldn't sound exactly the same. Throw in random jitter, and the sound will be pretty terrible. 

     

    In summation, for applications that operate in a single dimensional space, e.g., a word processor file system, "bits are bits". On the other hand, the demand of applications that operate in multi-dimensional space is precision in all plains. 

     

     

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    53 minutes ago, wklie said:

     

    In a videophile forum, I've read people there report significant improvement to SQ (typically ATMOS / TrueHD / DTS HD-MA, etc.) and comparatively minor improvement to picture quality with LPS mods of the power supplies in video players, which output bits via HDMI.

     

    If this debate continues, someone will bring up expectation bias and blind test quickly.  Rather than talking about own products (which would sound like hard selling), let me report that we actually carried out a blind test of a leading USB cleaner product popular in this forum.  To our surprise, our expert listeners actually got 100% right in the blind test in identifying when the USB cleaner is used and when it is not.  (I'll try not to say further on this, please pardon my lack of response in advance.)

    Yes, please keep this on the down low.  Don't let anyone know.  Too controversial to discuss what you did and what the results were. Thank you for your advanced discretion.  

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    21 hours ago, LowMidHigh said:

     

    Anyway, the U1 at home is with me for a month now with some solid listening hours under the bridge. Still happy with what I hear, a substantial improvement over anything else I tried, such as:

    USB, ifi Micro USB, Mutec MC-3+USB, RME HDSPe AIO, USB extenders, plain USB cables, Curious USB cables, Nordost USB Cables, Mutec MC-1.2- AES3, Intona, ifi Galvanic 3.0, the list is extensive, all blown away by the Lumin U1. 

     

    I auctioned the G2 and U1 side by side. To my ears, the Lumin was slightly bloomier, which is an indication of more jitter (again, to me). In that regard, I think the U1 shows its age (3 years to date), and could benefit from an upgrade.

     

    As for the improvements that you tried, cables don't reduce jitter, so I would't expect anything from them.

    MC3+USB: I appreciate the G2's low jitter, but I still can't retire my chain of 3 x MC3+USB + REF10. If you've never tried such cascade--and able to put your hands on one--you're in for a serious treat. 

    I envy your position to audition the G2 and the U1 side by side. For that opportunity in this country, well, I have better chances at sweeping rocking horse poo. Age - 3 years? the more time a product is on the market, the more chance to prove itself. The G2 has bugs, the U1's are already fixed and gone. Whats there to upgrade? Less jitter, s'pose.

     

    I had the two MC-3+USB in cascade for a time, quite good results, but not enough to keep them. The REF10 came out a few months later, by then the horse had bolted.

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    21 hours ago, LowMidHigh said:

    There's different methods for galvanic isolation, some work, some don't.

    What's your point? That AURALIC galvanic isolation is questionable? You need to substantiate that assertion, or be accused at merely floating vague innuendoes.  

     

     

    Last 12-18 months I purchased Intona and ifi Galvanic (x2) devices. Both claim to isolate USB, one using the Silanna chip the other something else, can't remember now. Found out later there's leakage across the barrier anyway.

     

    The ifi Galvanic disconnected itself from the host USB controller ad nauseum. Depending on the cables, would work, sort of. Returned to the supplier.

    Intona worked after a firmware upgrade, but sometimes failed to connect too. When the music played it wasn't bad, but not enough to warrant it in the system. The Intona benefited the MC-3+USB, but in the wrong way, in that the top end was too artificial, depending on the music sounded hard. Both Intona are now in a drawer.

    IIRC, @Superdad identified the Silanna chip in the G2. Yes, it's all in the implementation I'm told.

     

    The isolation in the MC-3+USB series is very good and that's how it should be.

     

    There's my evidence of floating innuendo, happy now?

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    1 hour ago, One and a half said:

    I envy your position to audition the G2 and the U1 side by side. For that opportunity in this country, well, I have better chances at sweeping rocking horse poo. Age - 3 years? the more time a product is on the market, the more chance to prove itself. The G2 has bugs, the U1's are already fixed and gone. Whats there to upgrade? Less jitter, s'pose.

     

    I had the two MC-3+USB in cascade for a time, quite good results, but not enough to keep them. The REF10 came out a few months later, by then the horse had bolted.

     

    Yes, lucked out a bit :) Two long running demo units.

     

    You make a good point: stability vs progress. I haven't encountered any glitches with the G2 yet, but I mainly use AirPlay to stream off SoundCloud.

     

     

     

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    1 hour ago, One and a half said:

    Last 12-18 months I purchased Intona and ifi Galvanic (x2) devices. Both claim to isolate USB, one using the Silanna chip the other something else, can't remember now. Found out later there's leakage across the barrier anyway.

     

    The ifi Galvanic disconnected itself from the host USB controller ad nauseum. Depending on the cables, would work, sort of. Returned to the supplier.

    Intona worked after a firmware upgrade, but sometimes failed to connect too. When the music played it wasn't bad, but not enough to warrant it in the system. The Intona benefited the MC-3+USB, but in the wrong way, in that the top end was too artificial, depending on the music sounded hard. Both Intona are now in a drawer.

    IIRC, @Superdad identified the Silanna chip in the G2. Yes, it's all in the implementation I'm told.

     

    The isolation in the MC-3+USB series is very good and that's how it should be.

     

    There's my evidence of floating innuendo, happy now?

     

    Actually, I'm quite happy, because it's clear you haven't covered the entire galvanic insolation inside the G2.

     

    A.

    Yes, there's the USB galvanic treatment, which  @Superdad actually commended in the 'AERIS G2 Review,' comment section. You can find it on this site.  Personally, I never use the USB so I have no idea.

     

    B

    There's galvanic isolation between the dual LPS. A good move of course. 

     

    C.

    Lastly, a dual circuitry isolation, both for signal and ground, that blocks noise from traveling into the digital output stage. You can detect telltale signs of that mechanism in the marketing photos of the innards. AURALIC has gone the extra mile here. I believe  UpTone is going to employ a similar design in their up-and-coming network switch, but it's beyond my pay-grade.

     

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    2 hours ago, One and a half said:

    The ifi Galvanic disconnected itself from the host USB controller ad nauseum. Depending on the cables, would work, sort of. Returned to the supplier.

    Exactly my experience.  I ordered an iGalvanic when it first became available and documented this carefully for iFi technical support.  They were useless.

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    On 1/29/2019 at 10:55 AM, John Yow said:

    It would be cool to have a comparison review of the different streamers.  I would love to read how my dCS Network Bridge compares with other streamers.  A blind listening would be quite interesting.

     

    Candidates could include low end players like the Squeezebox Touch, Chromecast Audio and may be direct from a Mac Mini.  And of course between same class players like the dCS, Linn, Naim, sonictransporter, etc.

    Unfortunately, few mention the MiND by Simaudio Moon.
    One of the precursors and well-sounding devices!
    I also point out the new Belcanto eOne stream.

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    Luminosa U1 and   T+A DAC 8 DSD

    Hello, I understand that Lumin U1 is capable of DSD128
    upsampling. I have an T+A DAC 8 DSD that is capable of DSD 512 upsampling. My question is: Can I upsample to DSD 512 with my DAC and Roon?

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    27 minutes ago, Cgrossi said:

    Luminosa U1 and   T+A DAC 8 DSD

    Hello, I understand that Lumin U1 is capable of DSD128
    upsampling. I have an T+A DAC 8 DSD that is capable of DSD 512 upsampling. My question is: Can I upsample to DSD 512 with my DAC and Roon?

    The U1 is capable of DSD512 with the update in Dec 2019. Adjust the sample rate conversion under DSP in Roon to send to the U1. Done !

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    12 minutes ago, One and a half said:

    The U1 is capable of DSD512 with the update in Dec 2019. Adjust the sample rate conversion under DSP in Roon to send to the U1. Done !

    Perfect! Thank you so much.

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    6 hours ago, Cgrossi said:

    Hello, I understand that Lumin U1 is capable of DSD128
    upsampling. I have an T+A DAC 8 DSD that is capable of DSD 512 upsampling. My question is: Can I upsample to DSD 512 with my DAC and Roon?

     

    No.  As of December 2018, T+A DAC8 does not support Linux native DSD and therefore is not compatible.  There is a beta firmware (for the Amanero USB board inside) that supports it but T+A said it was not mature enough:

    https://community.roonlabs.com/t/roon-does-not-detect-my-t-a-devices/36167/29?u=wklie

     

    Right now, the only way to send DSD512 to your particular DAC is to run Roon on Windows, and connect your DAC to it via USB.

     

    If you connect it to any Linux streamers including Lumin U1 (MINI) or some other streamers mentioned in this thread, it would be limited to DSD128 via DoP.

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    6 hours ago, wklie said:

     

    No.  As of December 2018, T+A DAC8 does not support Linux native DSD and therefore is not compatible.  There is a beta firmware (for the Amanero USB board inside) that supports it but T+A said it was not mature enough:

    https://community.roonlabs.com/t/roon-does-not-detect-my-t-a-devices/36167/29?u=wklie

     

    Right now, the only way to send DSD512 to your particular DAC is to run Roon on Windows, and connect your DAC to it via USB.

     

    If you connect it to any Linux streamers including Lumin U1 (MINI) or some other streamers mentioned in this thread, it would be limited to DSD128 via DoP.

     

    Thanks for the reminder, Peter, there *was* a reason (duh) I stuck with AES3/coax, the incompatibility with Linux drivers, USB receivers and sample rates/formats in certain combos is too much risk to sink all eggs in the one USB basket and end up with "The Sounds of Silence" permanently.

     

    My apologies to @Cgrossi to supply incorrect information, seemed like an easy solution.

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    4 hours ago, One and a half said:

     

    Thanks for the reminder, Peter, there *was* a reason (duh) I stuck with AES3/coax, the incompatibility with Linux drivers, USB receivers and sample rates/formats in certain combos is too much risk to sink all eggs in the one USB basket and end up with "The Sounds of Silence" permanently.

     

    My apologies to @Cgrossi to supply incorrect information, seemed like an easy solution.

    Thank you One and a half. This is a very valuable information and it changes the whole approach. I'll continued seaching for an streamer that can upsample to DSD512 through my T+A DAC8. Any suggestions?

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    11 hours ago, Cgrossi said:

    Thank you One and a half. This is a very valuable information and it changes the whole approach. I'll continued seaching for an streamer that can upsample to DSD512 through my T+A DAC8. Any suggestions?

    I haven't followed DSD512 progress very well, suffice to say if you want to use DSD512 this only can work from the network source to the U1. The U1 then can sample rate convert to the coax/AES3 output to 192 max and from there to the T+A DAC 8 input. OR convert DSD512 to DSD128 DoP.  I think by the time all the sample rate conversions are completed twice say 44.1 to DSD512, then back down again x 2, the signal processing gets very messy. For this reason, apart from > DSD64, is routed straight through as is to the U1.

     

    Alternatively if you have Roon, let Roon sample rate convert to coax/AES3 capable 192 to the U1 and use the AES3 output to the T+A.

     

    Quite a few DACs perform better with coax/AES3 than using the USB, have you tried, it's worth the exercise. DAC I use works best with coax rather than USB, Yggdrasil, Berkerley DACs top of my head, sound better than USB.  I let Roon convert DSD256 (highest rate file I own) to PCM either 192 or 176.4 (can't remember exactly) direct to the U1 and it passes through x 1 to the DAC.

     

    USB, for DSD512 generally works only for a (specialised) Windows Driver, so that means a computer connected directly to the T+A DA as @wklieexplained. 

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    58 minutes ago, One and a half said:

    DAC I use works best with coax rather than USB, Yggdrasil, Berkerley DACs top of my head, sound better than USB.  I let Roon convert DSD256 (highest rate file I own) to PCM either 192 or 176.4 (can't remember exactly) direct to the U1 and it passes through x 1 to the DAC.

     

    If DSD to PCM has to be done due to the DAC accepting PCM only from an AES / SPDIF / Toslink input, from a mathematical point of view, I would suggest converting it to 176.4kHz instead of 192kHz.   DSD64 is 2822400 Hz, divided by 176400 Hz it gives an integer value 16.  If divided by 192000 Hz it results in 14.7.  So if a DAC plays 176.4kHz and 192khz equally well, I think the former may be better.  An exception would be a DAC (hypothetically) hardware only has a base clock which is a multiple of 48kHz, with a 44.1kHz derived from the 48kHz, then one will have to listen to find out which sounds better.

     

    As for DSD512, the story is this: Linux based streamers such as Lumin U1 (MINI) and several other streamers popular in this forum require a Linux native DSD compatible USB DAC for DSD512 to be played.  Recent XMOS based DAC and recent Esoteric models do.  Those DAC using Amanero USB board running older stable firmware and SaviAudio USB chip do not support native DSD256 or native DSD512 with Linux.  Users of such DAC are limited to using Windows USB (with a required driver, typically ASIO) as a source if they desire DSD512 playback.

     

    For DSD256, it has another possible condition of working even if a DAC is not Linux native DSD compatible - if it supports DoP256 it will still work with Lumin U1 (MINI) - however, not all DSD256 DAC support DoP256 - only some do.

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