Country of Origin
Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz, Tidal, Denafrips Terminator+ clock-synced to Gaia reclocker, Avatar CD transport, Soundaware D100Pro SD card transport; Preamp: icOn 4Pro SE; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos; Headamp: Kinki Studio; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Aurai Audio Lieutenant with sound|kaos DSUB 15 on Carbide Audio 'medium' footers, Audio Physic Codex Cube Audio Nenuphar Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: Soundaware D300Ref SD transport; DAC: Denafrips Terminator; Preamp/filter: icOn 4Pro + 4th-order/80Hz hi-low pass; Amplifier: Crayon CFA-1.2; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox 3awf, Dyaudio 18S subwoofer; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win7/64; USB bridge: Audiobyte Hydra X+; Headamp: COS Engineering H1; Headphones: Final D-8000; Powered speakers: Fram Audio Midi 150
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: Soundaware A280 SD transport; Integrated amplifiers: Schiit Jotunheim R, Bakoon AMP-13R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a; Loudspeakers: Acelec Model 1, Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Simon Audio; Loudspeakers: German Physiks HRS-120, Zu Submission subwoofer; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m
Review component retail: £8'495 | €9'900
Hubby dearest? Lumin's new P1 might just be. It combines a plethora of digital inputs with one each analog RCA/XLR input. There's old-fashioned 'analog' remote with integrated IR eye no longer add-on USB dongle and complete 'digital' tablet control via its own app. Its latest firmware even embeds 47 lossless radio stations in the Internet Radio interface. In modern parlance that all makes it an audio hub. Lots of things go in, normally just one goes out – analog into your amplifier on either RCA or XLR. And yes, you might still add a subwoofer and the ARC HDMI output into a television.
Quick thinkers immediately wonder. What about volume? With mixed analog/digital signals present, it could operate in either domain. Which? Hello Leedh Processing, a virtually lossless new form of digital 32-bit volume algorithm. Tellingly, it's also embraced by Soulution, Métronome and Vermeer. French contributor Joël Chevassus finds it more transparent than the very best analog equivalents he's ever tried. By implication, P1 must first digitize its analog inputs. Hubris or hubba hubba? Opinions diverge.
It's the P1's Austrian-made acrylic/zinc wand which invited me back into the Lumin Reviewer's Club. I'd not be forced to turn WiFi on and with it headaches just to work volume by tablet remote. My access to the World Wild West is via hardwired iMac. Spotify, Qobuz & Tidal access directly via 27" Retina display, keyboard and browser. I'd enter the P1 USB direct; or AES/EBU through an external ultra-cap powered reclocker. I'd use the Lumin as DAC/preamp, not streamer. It'd bypass our usual passive-magnetic icOn 4Pro SE linestage whose analog volume control exploits multi-tapped autoformers. It'd be the modern dream of fewer boxes but better sound. Not having experienced Leedh Processing, it'd also be a personal first. All the more reason for this appointment with the audio doc. Clean bill of health? New fountain of youth? Only one way to find out. Get the exam.
For the full X-ray, Lumin's website tells all. Here we only mention twin ESS9028Pro DACs for PCM384 and DSD512 happiness, MQA, Roon Ready, Lundahl LL7401 output transformers and a twin toroid linear not switching power supply. Vault-like construction has become a Lumin trademark. So has their curved and slanted fascia. The usual finish options are black and silver. The display is blue on black either way and the P1 one sharp looker indeed. How much cleaner and sleeker could a component possibly get? The continuation of the display's diagonals past what becomes a quasi floating bar for the Lumin name is trick. Their team clearly keep an ace industrial designer on hand. Of course when parent company is Pixel Magic, resources aren't miserly. Pedal to the metal is probably more like it. This shows inside and out, front to back plus in the very mature and slick app. It's why competitors like Esoteric/Teac have adopted Lumin's streaming modules and Roon-integrated firmware. What does the debit ledger of our account show if we hitch this ride? When I signed on the dotted review line, I hadn't the faintest. A subsequent Stereonet post had it at $14'900 Australian. The day's currency exchange called that €9'353. Add value with European VAT so from 17% in Luxembourg to 27% in Hungary. Membership in the €10K+Club seemed assured yet Lumin bring it in just below so €9'900. Looks to match are mandatory. Here the P1 delivers without yet making a peep. Taking a peek at peep is next.
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