This review first appeared in June 2018 on By request of the manufacturer and permission of the author, it is hereby syndicated to reach a broader audience. All images contained in this piece are the property of Dawid Grzyb or Lumin- Ed.

Reviewer : Dawid Grzyb
Sources: Lampizator Golden Gate (Psvane WE101D-L + KR Audio 5U4G Ltd. Ed.), Asus UX305LA
Integrated amplifier: Trilogy 925
Speakers: Boenicke Audio W8, Gradient Evolution
Speaker cables: Forza AudioWorks Noir Concept, Audiomica Laboratory Celes Excellence
Interconnects: Forza AudioWorks Noir, Audiomica Laboratory Erys Excellence
Power delivery: Gigawatt PF-2 + Gigawatt LC-2 MK2 + Forza AudioWorks Noir Concept/Audiomica Laboratory Ness Excellence
Rack: Franc Audio Accessories Wood Block Rack
Music: NativeDSD
Retail prices of reviewed components in EU (incl. VAT): €2'999

Over the years, Lumin have gained a lot of recognition for their high-class network players. Machines of this type indeed make up the core of their portfolio but it also includes the audiophile L+ NAS and today's subject, the M1 integrated amplifier. But let's rewind first. With their A1 model, Lumin entered the audio market with a bang. To call this launch successful is an understatement. Amongst the people I know who are familiar with this deck, each held it in very high regard. Even today the Lumin A1 remains a force to be reckoned with and in my Lumin T1 review, I explained why. Not only does it look luxurious, its ambitious price attracted the attention of high-calibre enthusiasts with a no-compromise attitude who did the rest with great word of mouth. The A1's very easy and intuitive interface made for a quality user experience to since have been implemented in every other Lumin device. The upshot is obvious. To know how to operate one Lumin is to know them all.

Lumin's offerings haven't changed much over the years. A quick glimpse might give an impression of staleness. At least that's what several network players with/without DACs, one transport, one NAS and today's hero could suggest. One might even think that the same dish is served up several different ways to lack imagination and taste more or less the same. Alas, something tells me that's not the case. Lumin products seem to be quite the sellers, presumably hotter now than years back due to a growing audience for network playback. If executed properly, that is exceptionally easy to use. If it's additionally focused on sound quality, no enthusiast won't be at least mildly interested. To be convenient is no crime and convenience is Lumin's middle name.

I happen to think that due to steady sales, Lumin's R&D team has no rope around its neck. The firm mustn't constantly fuel the fire with new products just to keep interest up. If correct, the main takeaway would be a lack of time pressure. And if there's no need to rush things, everything can be thoroughly developed and properly geared up. Instead of releasing beta hardware for which bugs get addressed via customer feedback, the R&D crew can work undisturbed until everything is sorted. If you wonder why this introduction, the reason is simple: Lumin's M1 R&D took 1½ years. Considering that its network tech and cosmetics were fully baked already from other models as was probably the enclosure, that's surely a lengthy gestation period. It suggests that the M1 was tweaked over and over again until key management who approve sound quality were perfectly satisfied.