Network player Lumin S1 review

Network player Lumin S1 review

Network player Lumin S1 review

It is not surprising that for the development of network players took a firm that specializes in multi-media centers. However, most of these companies expect perfect digital filling and application management than perfect sound because the development of audio components needs a special experience. But somehow miraculously Hong Kong Pixel Magic Systems is managed and – tested before the last room Lumin A1, we came to the conclusion that we are facing one of the most competitive vehicles in its category.

Today it was the turn flagship model Lumin S1, which is obliged to demonstrate all that capable engineers of the company and not to drop the honor of the brand in a higher price bracket.

Externally, the Lumin S1 is not much different from his younger version, but inside there are some major changes. The most important concerns DAC: instead of a pair of chips, four Wolfson WM8704 ESS 9018, in each 9018 chip ESS eight transducers – total in each channel set DAC 16 operating in parallel.

As A1, the flagship model supports a variety of formats, including high definition files encoded in PCM and DSD, only S1 is able to work with DSD-data with twice as high bitrate (DSD 128). For such volumes of information requires a high-speed connection, so it is reasonable that the developers abandoned the Wi-Fi in favor of wires. It is a pity that the built-in DAC can not be used with other digital sources – from S1 no digital inputs. But you can connect to the device any portable storage media formatted with FAT 16 or 32, wherein the content of the discs will be available to other players on your network. Of course, you will need to UPnP-server, which can be a computer or network storage, where your music is stockpiled and install the appropriate software. The developers recommend the use of the program MinimServer, however, the device works steadily and with other software, but the sound and the ability (which we have little upset in the standard UPnP) for all programs a little different. However, in the case of S1 you hardly notice a dramatic difference, at least on the part of management: the player at the first call to the server scans the entire library by uploading covers and tags. It takes some time, quite palpable in the case of a large collection, but the firmware application Lumin App (about it we wrote at length in the test A1) works with lightning speed, navigation information for referring not to the server, and the built-in memory. The application provides extensive sorting capabilities, including not only the usual categories: album name, artist, composer, genre, year, or last added record, but also the physical folder on the server. Formed scrollable hand movement, an alphabetical index is available, as well as filter by keywords. You can adjust the volume, listen to the tracks without a pause and even rewind them – that can be easily obtained on the PC, but still rare in the network players.

Appendix Lumin App is one of the most comfortable that we met

Network player Lumin S1 review

We were so inspired by the sound of Lumin A1, that listening to S1, which is almost twice as expensive, came with some skepticism: each manufacturer in the model number have an older model, which sounds better than others but do not always justify the difference in the sound of the additional costs . Especially our anxiety increased when rack space over S1 took the old school with approximately equal price: newly SACD-player Esoteric K-03x, massive and stuffed to overflowing with all the traditional audiophile stuff. We were not going to carry out a direct comparison, but still the duty of conscience would not give us the award S1 high rating as a source of class High End, not considered as an alternative to the traditional close-player class.

But fears were not realized: Lumin S1 does sound a whole head is better than A1, and on equal performs with Esoteric K-03x. Listen to “Motets” Bach performed by RIAS-Kammerchor – and you’ll hear everything we were delighted to A1, only more superlatives. However, the most dramatic change in the ability of the organization of musical material -slit nose, fluidity and plasticity of the parties and voices of soloists – combined with amazing brightness, sharpness, and dynamic performance.

When playing “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky in the sound of timpani hits dynamics along with the study of details, but more importantly, that Lumin S1 never for a moment forget about the integrity of the sound of the orchestra, the balance between timbre, spatial and musical aspect of the sound of each instrument perfectly weighted. Due to this when listening to “First Piano Concerto” Shostakovich’s so easy to perceive unexpected changes of mood, style, and spirit of music.

Network player Lumin S1 review

All these entries are made in the 16 / 44.1 and once again prove that there is equipment (alas, still expensive) the ability to create a full-fledged music in the listener the impression, despite the technical limitations of the format. In addition, as in the case of younger model, S1 does not put you in front of the need to revise the collection in favor of high-resolution records. Of course, the record “Symphonic Dances” Rachmaninov format 24/96 sounds sharper and more dynamic, and more comfortable and easy to play music in the format of DSD, such as live concert Dave Brubeck, but great musical pleasure you get into any of the above.

The three main differences:

  1. To convert the signal instead of four Wolfson WM8741 applied ESS Sabre 9018 – as a result of each channel service as much as 16 DAC

Overview of the network player Lumin S1: «The most dramatic improvement in the ability of the organization of musical material.”

  1. Digital stuffing improved – for each sampling frequency used separate quartz

Overview of the network player Lumin S1: «The most dramatic improvement in the ability of the organization of musical material.”

  1. The power supply is modified due to the high-quality electrolytic capacitors Elna, apparently he was a couple of inches deep

For the first time we encounter a network player, able to compete on an equal footing with major unit with High End, do not cause us problems on the part of the stability of the device and the convenience of the application.

Price: $ 13,200

Pros: Stable operation, user-friendly application; precise, solid and musical sound files of any resolution, including DSD

Cons: No digital inputs – can not be used as a DAC

Verdict: Company from Hong Kong surprised everyone by creating a role model to other manufacturers Network player class High-End

Source: Luminmusic

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