This commentary first appeared in July 2015 on the PCLab blog of Poland. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this piece are the property of Dawid Grzyb or Lumin - Ed.

Reviewer: Dawid Grzyb
Sources: Xonar Essence III, LampizatOr Level7 (Psvane WE101D, resistor-relay volume control, DSD64 engine) 
Preamplifier: Trilogy 908
USB bridge: Audiobyte Hydra-X+
Power & integrated amplifiers: Hegel H160, NuForce REF9 V3SE, Trilogy 992
Loudspeakers: KEF LS50, Boenicke Audio W5, Xavian Perla, Gradient 6.0
Cables: Complete loom of Forza Audioworks Noir family, KingRex U-Craft (Y) USB
Power delivery: GigaWatt PF-2, Gigawatt PF-1
Equipment rack: Rogoz Audio 3QB3, Lavardin K-Rak
Sundry accessories: Goldenote Drum (60Hz and 80Hz)
Room 1: Regularly shaped 4.5 x 6.2m basement, quite low ceiling     
Room 2: Regularly shaped 2 x 3m
Review component retail: €2'500

Audiophile streamers or devices known as just network players are a sign of them times. They are another proof that file-based playback is ever growing in popularity. One can say that music stored on hard drives is unstoppable. Quality wise it can only get better. Since file playback is so popular, every manufacturer wants a ride. The current D/A converter selection is bigger than ever. Each retail shelf has at least several devices to pick from. It's beneficial for consumers. But the world doesn't end there. DACs are of great importance no doubt. But at the same time, they're merely part of a bigger scheme.

In recent years there have been major changes to digital transports. CD players stepped down, computers took their place. Many people are extremely happy about how things are. Yet there are listeners with a more thorough approach to music who don't want to use PCs or Macs as storage devices. There are many reasons behind their attitude, with the vast majority perfectly understandable. It's safe to say that computers handling transport duties are on the very bottom of their list. Mainly it's about power purity and specialization. Extremists wanting to badly use computers are getting themselves linear and expensive PSU, feed their SSD with batteries, run less common SATA cables and, going even further, install only what's necessary for HQ Player, Foobar or JRiver to be operational. Some of us will do literally anything for music, yes? I'm starting to understand that on some level.

Where enthusiast can't tolerate computers no matter what, audiophile streamers come into play. They work over the local area network. What's needed is usually a physical connection to your router, a tablet serving as remote control and DLNA-based storage. If a NAS is part of a home network, the desktop computer can become a strike-through item on the equation; no questions asked, no looking back. In such an environment, Lumin feel as comfy as a fish in the sea. Their D1 model is the most affordable full-fledged streamer in the line-up. And then some.

Design and configuration. Lumin’s A1 came first and stirred up the marked good. Nearly €6’000 made one a happy owner. Still, that wasn’t extreme for the category. Sound and functionality aspects aside, the A1 also arrived with scout boots to gather market feedback. Since that was very positive, more Lumin decks popped up. For extreme audiophiles there was the S1. That gets €10’900. The T1 slotted beneath the A1 at €3’699. Those two basically share the same guts, therefore sound quality. But their boxes differ. The T1 is simpler, dare I say less elegant. Just so it remains quite a looker. At €2’500, the D1 is the base model. In addition, the Library L1 is Lumin’s proprietary €1’200 NAS. Lumin’s own iOS based app is free, by the way.