Lumin Network Player in the Test

The network player from Lumin is characterised by impressive optics and so far unprecedented streaming capabilities. AUDIO has just looked at the 5,000 euro player and belongs to.

After Linn and Naim divided the market of expensive Streaming Player so far virtually among themselves, now several renowned competitors show new network flagships: Marantz felt after given years of precision work finally got a green light for the NA-11, T + A heaves the mighty MP3000 HV in the racks of Modern music gourmets, Moon an out crafty streaming drive called MiND is its fine DACs to the page. However, no established brand, but a newcomer from Hong Kong is the vanguard.

Lumin: Model Linn Klimax DS

Pixel magic systems, the parent company of Lumin, builds Videoscaler for ten years, has experience in dealing with digital high-tech. Unmistakably inspired by a pioneer of High-End Streaming developers have for their foray into HiFi realms: on the outside as well as inside the Lumin reminiscent of the Linn Klimax DS. MIDI format, the full machined aluminium housing, the recessed connection Panel on the tail, type and arrangement of the jacks, the round, polished aluminium with black rubber soles – that we know about from the current world best network player. Déjà vu is the Viewer even after removing of soil: as his idol, the Lumin is internally divided into processor and audio Department through a thick Aluwand.

In the latter, then also the same converter chips can be found (per channel a Wolfson 8741) and the same expensive Lundahl output transformer in the characteristic shielding cans. A self programmed digital filter and custom-tailored, low-loss Level control algorithms, as it has implemented in a FPGA logic block Linn, missing the Lumin however – he simply delegates both to the standard of the Wolfson DACs. What is currently lacking is a way to listen to the radio with the Lumin. Their original DAB plans have reasonably given the Chinese, just an empty building site on the Board still testifies. Internet radio should come with a firmware upgrade. Until then you can help yourself to, to start a radio app on the iPad (which you need anyway) and beam its audio via AirPlay to the Lumin.

Lumin: audio formats

Supported audio formats the Hong Kong player has provided his colleagues even something: as otherwise at 24 / 192 only ends his understanding of PCM 32 bit word lengthand 384 kHz sampling rate. Even the one bit-format developed for the SACD DSD can lead to its DACs in native form and the Lumin network stream. It is thus fully in a style trend, whose meaning is still not conclusively established, but no longer to stop: already offer some smaller labels (including about Blue Coast records, 2 L and channel Classics) in addition to the usual HD FLACs also DSD files for sale online.

If the bulky DSD Format , the bottom line is an enrichment for the Hi-Fi world or not – feeling, to be prepared for everything of course has its very own charm. Given the flexibility of the format at the Lumin with brittle operating concept and gaps in basic features must be paid. Communicating in the way the player with servers, users, and control program, he is similar to the Linn players 100 percent. He followed an invitation of the Scots, who have programmed extensive enhancements for the UPnP/AV Protocol – underlying almost all network players – and released the “Linn extensions” for general use.

So also the Lumin takes over almost any long title and album consequences from the control program in its own memory of the order, is then without further involvement of the controller completely these and allows an addition or editing the playlist on the fly at any time. Within a title you can jump instantly in any places and of course concept, live or Opera albums are played through also correctly skips free (“gapless”) with tracks fading into each other over.

Lumin: Lightning-fast operation

The Lumin accepted everything that is compatible with the Linn DS players as control program. In the Linn’s own KinskyApp or plug player he seems like his Scottish role models, only the Chinese not (yet) supported the “Songcast” function for synchronous party fashion in several rooms. The broad compatibility between Lumin and Linn is also Linn users, because the free Lumin app (currently only for iPad) is among the finest control options for players of both brands.

Unlike about Kinsky the app for the first time takes up some time, to save all the information that the server will return here, and then sort according to own. The navigation is unusually smooth and fast, and because the cover images in the app secured, they can wonderfully inertia arm scroll through even in larger collections. By the way the Lumin-app sorting criteria makes accessible, even not offered by the server. AUDIO about currently uses a Certon 7 Twonky Server, which in turn can sort by publication year – Lumin opens up this order criterion essential to the author still reliably.

Stimulate the full potential of the Lumin, Twonky anyway is the wrong server program because it does not recognize DSD files as audio material and therefore withholds the player. The programmed straight, finely configurable MinimServer, available offered so of course the files, however, for PC, Mac, and some NAS OSes, there DSD streaming for years. Just as easily play proved the from the Audiophile label Opus3 downloaded DSD files – at least as long as it was to DSD64, an increase of 1 bit signals with 2,8MHz sampling rate. The Lumin is apparently not prepared for the alternative offered such as Opus3 DSD128 (1 bit/5,6MHz) – these files ran though, but only at half speed.

Listening test: Advantage Linn

Compared with other players already classic PCM material was, as FLAC packed and with resolutions between 16 bit/44, 1 kHz (i.e. classic red book alias CD) and 192/24 (DVD-audio and Studio master download via). Here went from the Lumin on the Linn Klimax DS sound no danger from: smoother, more natural, and a fabulous natural way complexer clearly played the cold from Scotland.

The next smaller Akurate DS could contend with a steadier pace and softer, fuller voice playback then just against the newcomer, which music rougher, but also very present, stable and sharp contours formed from a touch and made a lot of fun with his crisp Dynamics . That the few DSD tracks in the playlist quite impressive came over, must not be overestimated, however, – it was without exception to tonal gems that gorgeous sound in other formats.