Lumin X1: Enabling an Even Simpler Yet Better Sounding System

AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
1,953
861
200
41
UK
ifi-audio.com
There's no accounting for taste.

Surely that's true in terms of musical preferences. It may be less true when it comes to sonic quality, but the divergence of opinion on this among even fairly well informed audiophiles suggests that this familiar saying should be given considerable weight even as to sonic merits.

With those caveats in mind, I will tell you that while I currently have some 135 radio stations labeled as favorites within the Lumin App and Roon, in terms of internet radio listening through my primary audio system, the two stations which get by far the lion's share of air time are KCSM (jazz from the San Francisco Bay area) and WFMT (classical from Chicago, my home area). Another favorite is SomaFM's Sonic Universe stream. I also enjoy the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) classical and jazz stations, as well as Canberra Australia's ArtSound FM 92.7. Others include WILL-FM, the FIP (France) streams, Jazz 88.5 from Minneapolis, the Radio Swiss Classic and Jazz streams, Canal Jazz and Sun Jazz from France, several Minnesota Public Radio streams, and other SomaFM streams. Heck, I listen to many of my 135 favorites more than occasionally.

You will note that none of the ones I mentioned are on the FLAC list. For internet radio streaming I generally listen primarily for musical content, not for sonic quality. When i go beyond my top two favorites, I often engage in channel surfing until I find something that is especially engaging musically and/or sonically and park there for a while.

Of the channels on the FLAC list, so far in my explorations, in terms of sonics I would rate the Czech D-dur classical and Czech Jazz, Mother Earth Radio, as well as the three Naim stations at the top of the heap. Much of the musical content of the 40+ stations on the FLAC list is not really my cup of tea, but the ones I mentioned are both musically interesting to me and sonically superior, primarily because they have less obvious signal compression or other processing.

Assuming you want to find new internet radio stations of interest to you, what's a good way to go about that? To get started, I suggest going to the vTuner Internet Radio station list page. Then pick a musical genre, such as Classical or Jazz. Within your chosen musical genre, choose to sort the stations either by Fastest Speed (giving sonics priority) or by Most Popular (giving musical content priority). If you regard yourself as a contrarian in terms of musical taste, you could always start at the bottom of the Most Popular list and work up. Take a listen by tapping the Play button beside any given channel. Once you find a station you'd like to make a favorite, you'll know what to do.
135 stations set as favourites? That's quite a list, I must say. Thanks a lot for the vTuner Internet Radio station list page recommendation. I gave it a try and it gives you pretty impressive results.
 

Tontoverde

Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2020
7
6
68
71
In recent years I have found myself gravitating toward cheap-ish but neutral (to me) sounding cables. For digital and analog connections I use either Benchmark or Blue Jeans cords. I find these as neutral sounding as anything I've tried, and I've tried a pretty extensive array of cabling over past decades. With my Dutch & Dutch 8c speakers, I don't need speaker cables so that solves that issue.

For AC connections I currently use very old unobtanium cords called The Absolute Power Cord MkII, a blue-jacketed 14-gauge Chinese cord with hospital grade connections at both ends once marketed in the USA through GTT Audio. Again, to me, these are as neutral sounding as anything and only cost about $50 to $100 for an eight-foot cord (ideal for my system, much better than six footers) when they were available. I use those for everything including the external power supply of the Lumin X1.

My most recent foray into more expensive power cords was the TWL brand. Yes, these sound sweeter (i.e., gently rolled off) at the top end than what I use now, but with the already sweet-sounding Lumin X1 and the D&D speakers, these are not an ideal match compared to the more neutral (there's that word again) The Absolute Power Cord MkII. Most expensive power cords are also very stiff which I find counterproductive in terms of mechanical isolation of electronics, not to mention wire routing in close quarters such as the way my system is set up and the expense of longer-than-six-foot lengths I need for my powered speakers.
I tried a variety of power cords into the Lumin X1 This past weekend. Without a doubt my best cord, Kimber Palladian, made a notable difference. It’s always interesting to experiment. I’m sure happy with the Lumin! It has exceeded all of my expectations!
 

poonbean

Member
Jul 31, 2020
30
16
13
Has anyone tried to insert 10 MHz master clock (e.g. Mutec REF10) upstream of X1. Would you expect a noticeable improvement in SQ?
Did you ever try a clock upstream of the X1?
I have one and am interested in learning about the possible benefits - I just emailed Lumin the question.
FWIW, the clock is of interest because I just added the Uptone Etherregen upstream of the Lumin - huge improvement.
 

Naed71

New Member
Dec 21, 2021
6
0
1
48
Did you ever try a clock upstream of the X1?
I have one and am interested in learning about the possible benefits - I just emailed Lumin the question.
FWIW, the clock is of interest because I just added the Uptone Etherregen upstream of the Lumin - huge improvement.
How are you using the etheregen? fibre to the X1 or ethernet cable? I’m thinking of adding an afterdark clock to my etheregen
 

poonbean

Member
Jul 31, 2020
30
16
13
Yes, optical out the etherregen and into X1. Same setup I had before but with a netgear switch. Re the clock, the X1 does not accept a clock input, but the the etherregen does.
 
Last edited:

Naed71

New Member
Dec 21, 2021
6
0
1
48
Yes, optical out the etherregen and into X1. Same setup I had before but with a netgear switch. Re the clock, the X1 does not accept a clock input, but the the etherregen does.
Yes, I am aware. Please do share your impressions if you add the external clock to the EtherRegen. I'm considering the same addition.
 

poonbean

Member
Jul 31, 2020
30
16
13
Yes, I am aware. Please do share your impressions if you add the external clock to the EtherRegen. I'm considering the same addition.
Well the clock arrived today. Plugged it in. Took about an hour for it to settle in and get to work. Simply put, the improvements are substantial - much better bass articulation, v liquid and rather effortless musical presentation, stage depth and overall spaciousness is terrific. Easily provides as much (if not more) improvement than I recall when stepping into the X1 from the PSA direct stream.
 

Naed71

New Member
Dec 21, 2021
6
0
1
48
Well the clock arrived today. Plugged it in. Took about an hour for it to settle in and get to work. Simply put, the improvements are substantial - much better bass articulation, v liquid and rather effortless musical presentation, stage depth and overall spaciousness is terrific. Easily provides as much (if not more) improvement than I recall when stepping into the X1 from the PSA direct stream.
Interesting. Which clock did you get? Mutec Ref 10 or Afterdark?
 

poonbean

Member
Jul 31, 2020
30
16
13
I was aiming for the Mutec or the Cybershaft (which Alex/Uptone uses bcs it was gifted to him). But, Alex recommended Afterdark as being a v good way to go for the $. And, Adrian at Afterdark strongly recommended the AD product even after I indicated a preferred interest in the Cybershaft bcs he said it was designed specifically with the etherregen in mind.

As a guess, perhaps the cybershaft and mutec etc are more appropriate for direct input to a DAC, rather than an ethernet switch, thus the afterdark recommendation for this application.
Communication with the Adrian at Afterdark was prompt, clear, helpful, and friendly. Afterdark recommended the Queen version of the clock for the etherregen. But, after reviewing the specs it seemed to me that the emperor signature was the sweet spot in terms of $/performance and for a bit more was quite a bit better on paper than the queen for the marginal additional cost. Adrian agreed, and so I purchased the emperor signature.

Afterdark also strongly recommended the high current linear PS over stock, saying "The high current version is much better then normal version. The transformer inside is made by BLOCK.DE from Germany. It has greater dynamics and meets all the demand requirements for Giesemann Clock and EtherREGEN." I bought it too, along with a pair of their fancy power cords to connect the LPS to the uptone and clock, and their fancy 75ohm bnc cable to connect the clock to the etherregen.

All received timely via dhl, well packed, and without any issues from customs. The stuff looks good too with nice front and rear carbonfiberish faceplates attached to a basic aluminum black box.

My only surprise is there are no on/off switches nor led to indicate that the clock and LPS are indeed powered up - apparently in step with the Afterdark name. It's clearly powered up and doing something because the musical presentation is strikingly improved (and the etherregen is powered up and has lights). Oh, I also asked Adrian yesterday about burn-in, he said 35 days (assuming the clock is always on, which it is given there is no switch) - and it was really good after an hour.
 

Naed71

New Member
Dec 21, 2021
6
0
1
48
I was aiming for the Mutec or the Cybershaft (which Alex/Uptone uses bcs it was gifted to him). But, Alex recommended Afterdark as being a v good way to go for the $. And, Adrian at Afterdark strongly recommended the AD product even after I indicated a preferred interest in the Cybershaft bcs he said it was designed specifically with the etherregen in mind.

As a guess, perhaps the cybershaft and mutec etc are more appropriate for direct input to a DAC, rather than an ethernet switch, thus the afterdark recommendation for this application.
Communication with the Adrian at Afterdark was prompt, clear, helpful, and friendly. Afterdark recommended the Queen version of the clock for the etherregen. But, after reviewing the specs it seemed to me that the emperor signature was the sweet spot in terms of $/performance and for a bit more was quite a bit better on paper than the queen for the marginal additional cost. Adrian agreed, and so I purchased the emperor signature.

Afterdark also strongly recommended the high current linear PS over stock, saying "The high current version is much better then normal version. The transformer inside is made by BLOCK.DE from Germany. It has greater dynamics and meets all the demand requirements for Giesemann Clock and EtherREGEN." I bought it too, along with a pair of their fancy power cords to connect the LPS to the uptone and clock, and their fancy 75ohm bnc cable to connect the clock to the etherregen.

All received timely via dhl, well packed, and without any issues from customs. The stuff looks good too with nice front and rear carbonfiberish faceplates attached to a basic aluminum black box.

My only surprise is there are no on/off switches nor led to indicate that the clock and LPS are indeed powered up - apparently in step with the Afterdark name. It's clearly powered up and doing something because the musical presentation is strikingly improved (and the etherregen is powered up and has lights). Oh, I also asked Adrian yesterday about burn-in, he said 35 days (assuming the clock is always on, which it is given there is no switch) - and it was really good after an hour.
Thanks for the details. I am considering the AD Emperor Signature for my EtherRegen with fibre into the Lumin X1 as well. Happy to hear your early impressions are so positive. A bigger SQ step up than going from PS Audio Directstream to X1 is a big endorsement. You mentioned no hassle with customs...are you in Canada like myself?
 

Naed71

New Member
Dec 21, 2021
6
0
1
48
California
Hopefully you are at least as pleased as I am
I will report back...I'm between minds to go for the Emperor Double Crown model...but we'll see. I thought you bought it from the US Distributor...Ctronic in Boston. Sounds like you went to the source.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing