Auralic Aries G1 Streamer / MHDT Pagoda Balanced DAC - is a Lumin T3 an upgrade?


My current set up on the digital front is a G1 Aries with an upgraded Hoer power supply feeding an MHDT Pagoda Balanced DAC - fully balanced throughout the chain.  I’ve got a Zesto Leto Pre and a Krell Illusions ii Pre - I change them in and out - they feed a Krell XD 300 Duo, speakers are Alta Audio Alec’s.  

So my question is, would a Lumin T3 be an upgrade, downgrade or lateral move?  I had a Lumin D2 with the S/booster - was impressed, the current set up was a step up for sure.  I tried the Lumin as a streamer only, adding in the G1 definitely was a step up.  My experience with Lumin is their design / build quality / attention to sound quality driving every decision puts them in rarified air when it comes to streamers / DAC’s.  

Is it a crazy idea to potentially switch to a 1 box solution?  I have also tried my G1 direct into my Krell DAC - prefer the Pagoda - more open, spacious, extended and analogue sounding. 

App wise - I find Auralic and Lumin to be on par with each other - not as functional as Bluos or Roon but livable, functional with a nice suite of options. 

Thanks in advance for everyone’s thoughts.  Happy New Year! 


I tried the Lumin before I bought the Auralic, very unimpressed with the sound and the app was horrid. Since you like the Auralic sound why not go to the Aries G2.1?

Hi Sunshdw,

Thanks for the response.  I am trying toweigh if shifting back to an all in one solution would be an overall upgrade in SQ vs the separate units I have today.  With the thought I could, if I wanted to, sell the G1 and the MHDT to help the upgrade.  Keeping the 2 separate does provide more flexibility, most who have some experience with the Pagoda lean toward it punching above it’s weight class, that I’d need to spend quite a bit more to really see a jump, assuming I like the sound signature of the Pagoda.

I guess the million dollar question is around synergy - would Auralic or Lumin or others who offer 1 box solutions in the mid to higher tier of their product portfolio offer a synergy streamer / DAC that is really tough to achieve in seperates unless you spend quite a bit more money. 

l really liked the Lumin D2 for the price it performed really well, especially with the upgraded power supply.  I like the Auralic App slightly better than Lumin and the flexibility of being able to stream Amazon Music / slightly more flexibility on the DSP front.  When I did switch to the separates - the Auralic was noticing better feeding other DAC’s than the Lumin but I think the Lumin’s streamer only capabilities were an after thought, only 1 digital out.  

Am I placing too much weight on synergy when it comes to streamer / DAC one box solutions?  Should I assume a quality streamer paired with a DAC that has the sound signature I like is always ping to trump the 1 box solution or the majority of the time?  The Pagoda synergistically is designed to be used balanced, it for sure performs at a noticeably higher standard when used in a balanced system. 



The only way to answer your questions, with any certainty, is to actually try it and see if it's the sound you're looking for. 

Otherwise you're just going to get a lot of opinions in the hopes that someone has been down this path and has a similar taste in the sound signature.  

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