Jump to content
arcman

Impressions of Lumin T2?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on the T2 streamer/Dac. I've been asking on various forums about T2 Owner's impressions. I have heard from many that the T2 is closer to the X1 than the D2. In fact, many have said the T2 is miles ahead of the D2 in sound quality. The T2 is approx $2k more than the D2. I do not need the ability for dac inputs, so this unit seems ideal and will last a long while. In fact, If I ever wanted, down the road, to use a different Dac, the T2 has a USB output. Plus, the unit has balanced outputs which will be a new requirement moving forward.

 

If you have heard, compared or own the T2, please let me know your impressions and how the T2 stacks up to other brands with similar units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am tardy in responding to your inquiry, so my comments might be irrelevant at this time.   In late April, I purchased both a Lumin T2 and a Roon Nucleus+ core; buying those two devices has given me the opportunity to better assess the pros and cons of the T2.

 

As you know, the only way one can truly determine how a new piece of gear will sound in one's system is to try it in one's system.  That option was not available to me, and so most of my research was done by attending the AXPONA show in Chicago a couple of months ago.  At that show, I was able to see essentially all the major manufacturers of music streamers/DACs.  At the end, I was down to two choices: the Lumin T2 and the Cary Audio DMS-600.  Besides the $1,500 price differential, the factors which swayed me to the T2 were:

     1. Lumin's sole business is music streamer/DACs, whereas Cary Audio is known for its analog products; its DMS-600 is an outlier.

     2. The T2 uses dual ESS Sabre 9028 DAC chips, whereas Cary Audio uses two AKM 4497EQ DAC chips.  Once upon a time, I was a financial advisor to ESS, and so I "sort of wanted to " own a product which utilized their DACs after hearing from ESS's CEO how fantastic they were.

 

I own multiple DACs, including one resident in my Theta Casablanca IV preamp/processor which is board-based rather than DAC chip-based.  Consequently, I am able to operate the T2 as both a standalone music streamer and as an integrated music streamer/DAC.  The differences are enlightening.  Using its Sabre 9028s, the resultant sound is very accurate, very detailed -- as is said, very "clinical".  For certain recordings, that sharpness is a real plus, as one can everything that was in the digitized recording.  On the other hand, the sound is hardly warm; there is an absence of fullness or bloom -- almost as if the lowest frequencies within an octave were truncated.  The best I can describe the difference is like a "crack" to a "boom".  Both can be the sound of a howitzer; the individual has to decide which seems more authentic.  In contrast, using my Casablanca IV, the sound is more rich and full, but perhaps with a tad less detail.

 

Depending on the recording, sometimes I prefer the integrated sound and other times the standalone T2 streaming with my Casablanca IV performing the digital-to-analog conversion.  If a person lacks that system flexibility, it is important to know the "tilt" of the T2 towards clinical accuracy.

 

In terms of operation, the T2 is a breeze.  It sets up easily, has a good app for seeking and downloading Tidal files, and offers a number of different settings, including upscalings, and PCM to DSD conversions.  Finally, although customer support is provided via various enthusiast websites (Audiogon, AudioShark, etc.), that support is really quite outstanding.

 

I hope I've been helpful.  Please let me know should you have further questions.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/29/2019 at 2:59 PM, AVphile said:

I am tardy in responding to your inquiry, so my comments might be irrelevant at this time.   In late April, I purchased both a Lumin T2 and a Roon Nucleus+ core; buying those two devices has given me the opportunity to better assess the pros and cons of the T2.

 

As you know, the only way one can truly determine how a new piece of gear will sound in one's system is to try it in one's system.  That option was not available to me, and so most of my research was done by attending the AXPONA show in Chicago a couple of months ago.  At that show, I was able to see essentially all the major manufacturers of music streamers/DACs.  At the end, I was down to two choices: the Lumin T2 and the Cary Audio DMS-600.  Besides the $1,500 price differential, the factors which swayed me to the T2 were:

     1. Lumin's sole business is music streamer/DACs, whereas Cary Audio is known for its analog products; its DMS-600 is an outlier.

     2. The T2 uses dual ESS Sabre 9028 DAC chips, whereas Cary Audio uses two AKM 4497EQ DAC chips.  Once upon a time, I was a financial advisor to ESS, and so I "sort of wanted to " own a product which utilized their DACs after hearing from ESS's CEO how fantastic they were.

 

I own multiple DACs, including one resident in my Theta Casablanca IV preamp/processor which is board-based rather than DAC chip-based.  Consequently, I am able to operate the T2 as both a standalone music streamer and as an integrated music streamer/DAC.  The differences are enlightening.  Using its Sabre 9028s, the resultant sound is very accurate, very detailed -- as is said, very "clinical".  For certain recordings, that sharpness is a real plus, as one can everything that was in the digitized recording.  On the other hand, the sound is hardly warm; there is an absence of fullness or bloom -- almost as if the lowest frequencies within an octave were truncated.  The best I can describe the difference is like a "crack" to a "boom".  Both can be the sound of a howitzer; the individual has to decide which seems more authentic.  In contrast, using my Casablanca IV, the sound is more rich and full, but perhaps with a tad less detail.

 

Depending on the recording, sometimes I prefer the integrated sound and other times the standalone T2 streaming with my Casablanca IV performing the digital-to-analog conversion.  If a person lacks that system flexibility, it is important to know the "tilt" of the T2 towards clinical accuracy.

 

In terms of operation, the T2 is a breeze.  It sets up easily, has a good app for seeking and downloading Tidal files, and offers a number of different settings, including upscalings, and PCM to DSD conversions.  Finally, although customer support is provided via various enthusiast websites (Audiogon, AudioShark, etc.), that support is really quite outstanding.

 

I hope I've been helpful.  Please let me know should you have further questions.

 

 

 

After I listened to the T2,  I just decided I would keep my A1 and D1.   I just like the way they sound.


The Truth Is Out There

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, mav52 said:

After I listened to the T2,  I just decided I would keep my A1 and D1.   I just like the way they sound.

 

I'm contemplating a move from the D1 to a T2 and would be grateful if you could explain more on why you prefer the A1/D1 to the T2.  Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, EMMM said:

 

I'm contemplating a move from the D1 to a T2 and would be grateful if you could explain more on why you prefer the A1/D1 to the T2.  Thanks!

The sound, I like the way Lumin uses the Wolfson dacs.  The T2 was a little more bright/more detailed that I expected.  The A1 and D1 just sounded a lot more like my LP's, a little warm. .  Personal taste I guess.


The Truth Is Out There

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@mav52, thank you.  Like you, I am particularly fond of the sound of my D1 and would love to get more detail without sacrificing any of its warmth and analog-like sound.  It looks like the T2 may not be the way forward for me too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 As an owner of a T2, I am wrestling with that problem -- the absence of warmth and analog-like sound -- myself.  I experimented with different interconnects, but the improvement, if any, was hardly easily discernable based on the cables I employ, as they are all relatively neutral.  I have the ability to bypass the T2's resident Sabre 9028 DACs and instead use my Theta Casablanca IV do the D-to-A conversion; this weekend I shall explore -- much more extensively than I have done previously -- to what extent this option modifies the sound in a positive way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AVphile said:

 As an owner of a T2, I am wrestling with that problem -- the absence of warmth and analog-like sound -- myself.  I experimented with different interconnects, but the improvement, if any, was hardly easily discernable based on the cables I employ, as they are all relatively neutral.  I have the ability to bypass the T2's resident Sabre 9028 DACs and instead use my Theta Casablanca IV do the D-to-A conversion; this weekend I shall explore -- much more extensively than I have done previously -- to what extent this option modifies the sound in a positive way.

I even added a tube pre-amp which did help a little, but !.

 

AV keep us updated. 

 

Chris

 

 


The Truth Is Out There

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great info. First I heard the T2 leans a little on the clinical side of neutral. That is how I always pictured the sound of Benchmark Dacs. I wonder if the Teac by 505 is a bit clinical as well. Yes, I know it’s half the price of a D2. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently auditioned both the T2 and the Auralic Vega G1.  Both were a significant improvement over my previous set-up: Sonore Micro Rendu and Ayre Codex.  Going in to the audition, I expected to prefer the Lumin, given the reviews I had read, but both my wife and I strongly preferred the Auralic Vega G1.  In our system (ARC LS17SE, Aesthetix Atlas Signature, Magneplanar 3.7i), the T2 sounded too dark and "thick" (i.e. slightly muddy).  The Auralic had greater clarity and detail and a more realistic soundstage.  We bought the Auralic, but I'm sure that some others auditioning both would prefer the Lumin, given the characteristics of their system and musical tastes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/14/2019 at 2:58 PM, hlkaye said:

I recently auditioned both the T2 and the Auralic Vega G1.  Both were a significant improvement over my previous set-up: Sonore Micro Rendu and Ayre Codex.  Going in to the audition, I expected to prefer the Lumin, given the reviews I had read, but both my wife and I strongly preferred the Auralic Vega G1.  In our system (ARC LS17SE, Aesthetix Atlas Signature, Magneplanar 3.7i), the T2 sounded too dark and "thick" (i.e. slightly muddy).  The Auralic had greater clarity and detail and a more realistic soundstage.  We bought the Auralic, but I'm sure that some others auditioning both would prefer the Lumin, given the characteristics of their system and musical tastes.

Great info. I agree...much is system dependent. Do you use Roon? If so, any issues setting up the G1 for such?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I do use Roon, upsampling everything to DSD 512 and have encountered no problems at all.  I've also used the Auralic app, which is a bit clumsy but adequate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hlkaye's post regarding the Lumin T2 vs. the Auralic Vega G1 underscores how one's entire audio equipment and cabling configuration as a system does indeed, as arcman states, influence's the sonic signature of a single component.  In my system, music streamed through the T2 initially seemed far too bright and hyper-realistic. even when upsampled to DSD 512.  My T2 now has about 150 hours of usage, and that "edginess" has mitigated somewhat to the point that well-recorded/mastered tracks are very listenable.  That is a marked contrast to hlkaye's description of the T2 as sounding too dark and slightly muddy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is why I now only buy products that I am able to audition in my home.  Fortunately there are dealers and manufacturers who will facilitate this.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...