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Lumin U1 vs U1 mini + sbooster?


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I have no idea myself, and I'm not sure how someone can say a percentage of such a difference, but here's a quote I found that might give an idea about it...

 

"The stock Lumin U1 Mini provides 60% of the performance of the U1 for 34% of the price. The upgraded U1 Mini provides 80% of the performance of the U1, for 42% of the price."

 

Search for Lumin in the middle of this page for the whole thing.

 

http://enjoythemusic.com/Montreal_Salon_Audio_Fest_2019/part2/page4.htm

 

Streamer: Lumin U1 Mini (Paul Hynes), DAC: LampizatOr Amber III, Amplifier: Ypsilon Phaethon, Speakers: PMC Fact.8, Miscellaneous: Ansuz cables, power distribution & mechanical grounding. Sablon Audio 2020 USB.

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I believe can now answer this question a bit better...

 

First, let me just say that I'm a big Lumin fan, I've owned both the D2, T2 and now U1 Mini and been nothing but super happy with all of them. Adding a better power cable and making sure you have clean power is a first step for a good improvement to them and I think they're all performing great in their leagues without any DIY hacks.

 

For the U1 Mini I couldn't resist doing the "Sbooster modification", although I felt that if I was about to do this then I wanted to use something a bit more "reputable" and more well accepted in the PSU domain, albeit maybe also more expensive. I decided to go with the brand new Paul Hynes SR4-12 Turbo. I found that Audio Sensibility in Canada is modifying the Sbooster kits to have a more standard 2.1mm DC connector instead which suited my intentions perfectly.

 

Please note that this voids warranty and is nothing that I recommend doing. If anyone burns your Lumin the responsibility is yours and yours only.

 

image.thumb.png.3086b473494bc8ea92aadd56d8c95ad1.png

 

With that said and done, how does it sound and how do it compare to the larger U1? To clarify, I still haven't heard the U1 but I would like to describe the changes like this.

 

At first I was a bit like "ok, maybe a slight change but nothing special", but let that Paul Hynes PSU get warm, give it 1-2 days and the improvement will not be subtle anymore, in fact, I would say that there is nothing about this U1 Mini that can be related to being "mini" anymore, this baby has grown up! I do hardly recognize it anymore, the overall improvement in all aspects is substantial, it sounds big, thunderous and magical. I'm impressed!

 

I referred to a link above where it claims about 25% improvement with the Sbooster, to be honest, that number seems very low to me.

Streamer: Lumin U1 Mini (Paul Hynes), DAC: LampizatOr Amber III, Amplifier: Ypsilon Phaethon, Speakers: PMC Fact.8, Miscellaneous: Ansuz cables, power distribution & mechanical grounding. Sablon Audio 2020 USB.

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@rikard did you have to cut any wires to install it?

 

interesting you state that Sbooster is not reputable or well accepted. They’ve been around for long time and I’ve read nothing but good stuff about them. Even owned sbooster with ultraRendu and it was better than an uptone LPS I used. 

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1 minute ago, Kray said:

did you have to cut any wires to install it?

 

Yes, unfortunately. But totally worth it and no regrets or going back.

 

My wording about Sbooster was a bit clumsy, I apologize for that, I've heard nothing but positive things from people using them for this upgrade as well, and I did not compare.

Streamer: Lumin U1 Mini (Paul Hynes), DAC: LampizatOr Amber III, Amplifier: Ypsilon Phaethon, Speakers: PMC Fact.8, Miscellaneous: Ansuz cables, power distribution & mechanical grounding. Sablon Audio 2020 USB.

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29 minutes ago, hpfish said:

Can I use my UpTone ultracaps 1.2 with modified LPS kit for U1 Mini?  

 

I'm afraid the LPS 1.2's output current is a bit on the low side. The original SMPS in the Lumin gives 12V/2.1A, Sbooster 12V/3A and Paul Hynes 12V/2.5A whereas the LPS 1.2 only does 12V/1.1A so I don't think it would be a good idea.

Streamer: Lumin U1 Mini (Paul Hynes), DAC: LampizatOr Amber III, Amplifier: Ypsilon Phaethon, Speakers: PMC Fact.8, Miscellaneous: Ansuz cables, power distribution & mechanical grounding. Sablon Audio 2020 USB.

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@hpfish I've got the 12V model.

Streamer: Lumin U1 Mini (Paul Hynes), DAC: LampizatOr Amber III, Amplifier: Ypsilon Phaethon, Speakers: PMC Fact.8, Miscellaneous: Ansuz cables, power distribution & mechanical grounding. Sablon Audio 2020 USB.

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8 hours ago, hpfish said:

Can I use my UpTone ultracaps 1.2 with modified LPS kit for U1 Mini?  

 

No.  Even if you were to DIY the connector modification (voiding the warranty), the current is definitely not enough.

Peter Lie

LUMIN Firmware Lead

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/29/2020 at 2:48 AM, rikard said:

I believe can now answer this question a bit better...

 

First, let me just say that I'm a big Lumin fan, I've owned both the D2, T2 and now U1 Mini and been nothing but super happy with all of them. Adding a better power cable and making sure you have clean power is a first step for a good improvement to them and I think they're all performing great in their leagues without any DIY hacks.

 

For the U1 Mini I couldn't resist doing the "Sbooster modification", although I felt that if I was about to do this then I wanted to use something a bit more "reputable" and more well accepted in the PSU domain, albeit maybe also more expensive. I decided to go with the brand new Paul Hynes SR4-12 Turbo. I found that Audio Sensibility in Canada is modifying the Sbooster kits to have a more standard 2.1mm DC connector instead which suited my intentions perfectly.

 

Please note that this voids warranty and is nothing that I recommend doing. If anyone burns your Lumin the responsibility is yours and yours only.

 

image.thumb.png.3086b473494bc8ea92aadd56d8c95ad1.png

 

With that said and done, how does it sound and how do it compare to the larger U1? To clarify, I still haven't heard the U1 but I would like to describe the changes like this.

 

At first I was a bit like "ok, maybe a slight change but nothing special", but let that Paul Hynes PSU get warm, give it 1-2 days and the improvement will not be subtle anymore, in fact, I would say that there is nothing about this U1 Mini that can be related to being "mini" anymore, this baby has grown up! I do hardly recognize it anymore, the overall improvement in all aspects is substantial, it sounds big, thunderous and magical. I'm impressed!

 

I referred to a link above where it claims about 25% improvement with the Sbooster, to be honest, that number seems very low to me.

 

Thanks for this ! Impressive but how much is the paul hynes supply? I think maybe 330 GBP ?

 

I wish you had a U1 so you could directly compare it. I just feel a bit annoyed that the internal SMPS is basically being wasted as you are not even using it. Thats what makes the U1 more appealing to me. But money is money and if the U1 mini + external PSU can approach the performance of the dedicated U1 then for sure I would go that direction. I prob would just go sbooster.

 

Its funny that upscale said the difference between lumin u1 mini + sbooster  and u1 mini alone is small because on their sales page for sbooster they say your jaw will drop when you hear the performance improvement. lmao

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3 hours ago, smodtactical said:

because on their sales page for sbooster they say your jaw will drop when you hear the performance improvement. lmao

Always keep in mind, for any retailer, but Upscale audio in particular, that they are the DISTRIBUTOR for many products, including the Sbooster product. They are also the distributor for Prima Luna, Pathos, Tonnoy, Feliks and Kiseki cartridges.

 

That means they import the products at the wholesale level and are responsible for ALL sales both online and at dealers for the entire country.

 

So, yes, it's no wonder they describe the Sbooster as "jaw dropping." I purchased one from them for my Qutest. My jaw is firmly in place and not in any risk of dropping. No doubt the Sbooster is a nice product. It might be making my DAC sound better. But I'd not say unequivocally that it is noticeable in any way.

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2 hours ago, NYCEnglish said:

Upscale didn't say the difference between the U1 Mini + Sbooster and the U1 Mini alone was small - they said it was big.

 

They said the  difference between the U1 Mini + Sbooster and the U1 is not so big.

 

 

 

Oh sorry, ok thats awesome.

 

1 hour ago, creativepart said:

Always keep in mind, for any retailer, but Upscale audio in particular, that they are the DISTRIBUTOR for many products, including the Sbooster product. They are also the distributor for Prima Luna, Pathos, Tonnoy, Feliks and Kiseki cartridges.

 

That means they import the products at the wholesale level and are responsible for ALL sales both online and at dealers for the entire country.

 

So, yes, it's no wonder they describe the Sbooster as "jaw dropping." I purchased one from them for my Qutest. My jaw is firmly in place and not in any risk of dropping. No doubt the Sbooster is a nice product. It might be making my DAC sound better. But I'd not say unequivocally that it is noticeable in any way.

 

May sbooster makes more of a difference on certain products rather than others.

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13 hours ago, smodtactical said:

Thanks for this ! Impressive but how much is the paul hynes supply? I think maybe 330 GBP ?

 

Paul Hynes is 330 GBP for SR4-12 or 400 GBP for SR4-12 Turbo (which I got), add a few quids more for black version. There is always going to be cheaper or more expensive products, better or worse, I think it's all about finding whats right for you. You guys are talking about competing with the U1 which is more than three times the price of Mini, maybe spending slightly more on the LPS might get you even closer in performance, still to a fraction of the price, who knows?

 

I admit that I didn't try the Sbooster and I'm sure it will provide good results as well, but I've used a numerous of other LPS during the years to replace different SMPS for other devices, and my experience is that just because it's an LPS doesn't automatically make it any better, there are very good SMPS out there today and there are good and bad LPS, and devices are also responding differently to good power.

 

While I'm a strong believer in good power and have invested heavily in power distribution, power cables and so forth, I felt that if I was going to go through this process of modifying my Lumin I wanted to have a really good power supply, and then I decided on the Paul Hynes after doing some research. I'm very happy with the result. What also feels good is to have a standard 2.1mm input, which means if I ever feel the need to upgrade the PSU again, I can easily do so.

Streamer: Lumin U1 Mini (Paul Hynes), DAC: LampizatOr Amber III, Amplifier: Ypsilon Phaethon, Speakers: PMC Fact.8, Miscellaneous: Ansuz cables, power distribution & mechanical grounding. Sablon Audio 2020 USB.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/25/2020 at 3:30 AM, rikard said:

 

Paul Hynes is 330 GBP for SR4-12 or 400 GBP for SR4-12 Turbo (which I got), add a few quids more for black version. There is always going to be cheaper or more expensive products, better or worse, I think it's all about finding whats right for you. You guys are talking about competing with the U1 which is more than three times the price of Mini, maybe spending slightly more on the LPS might get you even closer in performance, still to a fraction of the price, who knows?

 

I admit that I didn't try the Sbooster and I'm sure it will provide good results as well, but I've used a numerous of other LPS during the years to replace different SMPS for other devices, and my experience is that just because it's an LPS doesn't automatically make it any better, there are very good SMPS out there today and there are good and bad LPS, and devices are also responding differently to good power.

 

While I'm a strong believer in good power and have invested heavily in power distribution, power cables and so forth, I felt that if I was going to go through this process of modifying my Lumin I wanted to have a really good power supply, and then I decided on the Paul Hynes after doing some research. I'm very happy with the result. What also feels good is to have a standard 2.1mm input, which means if I ever feel the need to upgrade the PSU again, I can easily do so.

 

I was looking at the uptone JS-2 and surprised that the Paul SR4 is actually about half the price of the JS-2.

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11 hours ago, smodtactical said:

 

I was looking at the uptone JS-2 and surprised that the Paul SR4 is actually about half the price of the JS-2.

The JS-2 has two adjustable outputs so its twice the power supply!😁

sources:  intel nuc8i7 (audiolinux, roon core) (server) | simaudio moon mind 2 (renderer)
headphone rig:  chord dave > senn hd600
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Owned both units.

I will start with Mini first:

Tried Mini with S Booster, HDPlex and Teddy Pardo power supplies. 

Mini sound best with Teddy Pardo followed by HDPlex 200.

Next:

U1 with it's stock external power supply is light years ahead of the Mini.

This how I find it in my system, sold off the Mini, trying to sell off U1 upgrading to X1.

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3 hours ago, Terry A Khan said:

Owned both units.

I will start with Mini first:

Tried Mini with S Booster, HDPlex and Teddy Pardo power supplies. 

Mini sound best with Teddy Pardo followed by HDPlex 200.

Next:

U1 with it's stock external power supply is light years ahead of the Mini.

This how I find it in my system, sold off the Mini, trying to sell off U1 upgrading to X1.

A stepping stone to the X1 is using the X1 PSU with the U1. Like when most linear supply units are added, it clears away a level of grunge, that's an obvious change.

When the time comes, the U1 can be sold as complete, and you only need the X1 on its own, the cable between the two is slightly different, (U1 vs X1) the cost is minimal and the PSU has a decent burn in period.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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6 hours ago, Terry A Khan said:

trying to sell off U1 upgrading to X1.

 

If you're using the U1 USB output, I'd suggest buying the X1 PSU upgrade for U1.  The expenditure should be much lower this way.

Peter Lie

LUMIN Firmware Lead

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