Auralic Vega G2.1 vs Lumin T3

I'm in search of a DAC / streamer / preamp combo and I am looking for some help. I am considering the Auralic Vega G2.1 or a Lumin T3. Does anyone have any experience / recommendations on either of these I have mentioned. Thanks!

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Sorry it’s taken so long to respond.  

I have direct experience w/ the Vega G2.1 - I own it. So, take my experience with a grain of salt as we all tend to promote what we purchased as justification.  Please note, I had previously auditioned the Lumin U1 - not the T3 with the DAC. I auditioned the Lumin streamer when I was considering upgrading from my Aurender N100H. I ended up buying the Auralic Aries G2 streamer which was a nice upgrade over the Aurender and was better (to my ears) than the Lumin.

That said, the real value (and danger) of Auralic is going to their ecosystem.

When used together over lighting link (their proprietary operating system) (Vega/DAC and Aries/Streamer), they share resources and it’s clear that 1+1 >2.  And while using Lighting DS - their music library management system, the Vega as a DAC receiving a stream from the Aries sounds much better than using Roon over the same system. 

Used together (i have the Vega G2.1, Aries G2 and Sirius processor) connected this way and it has equalled or eclipsed the performance of all competitors up to about $40k. Of course, I have a lot in my front end with these three boxes, so it should be at least pretty good.  But, I’m willing to go upstream from there, and the only thing I’ve heard to date that might be better is the Ideon Absolute and Epsilon. I’ve auditioned DCS and the new Linn reference. They were good. But not better. I’ve also spent a fair amount of effort optimizing the signal  to the Aries and that has paid dividends.

The Vega G2.1 DAC/ streamer/preamp is competitive as a standalone unit at its nearly $8k price point. I’ve compared it directly to other DACs in that price range and I’m comfortable with its relative performance.  I haven’t heard the T3 so I can’t say which I believe to be better.

I will also note that the Vega has an analogue volume control which is nice. I don’t use it personally as I have an integrated amp, but I tried it and it works well - and is better than a digital volume control.

Lumin is a fine company. I’m sure you’ll do well either way you go. Hopefully you can audition both as that would be the best way to know how it would work in your system/room.


Some questions as I'm evaluating a similar upgrade.

1. Is Vega only the DAC? Their confusing writeups on the website suggest Vega is a "streaming DAC". Doesn't Vega have an inbuilt streamer.. why get Aries on top? 

2. How have you "optimized the signal to the Aries"? With their power supplies? Sirius seems to be discontinued.. did you mean their Leo master clock?

3. Does Vega come with a remote? Important to me, as I want to connect both my TV and my Streamer with the DAC, and want easy ability. 


1) The Vega G2x (and now G3) are DACs with a streaming client built in. However, it is only a streaming client and can’t access network shares. The Aries can. That said, the two units also talk to one another over lightning link and share resources. The result is that the Vega G2.1+ Aries G2.1 sounds a bit better than the Vega alone. If you’re just streaming Qobuz, the Vega alone is very good. If you’re wanting the best performance, you get both.

2) From what I understand, the processing done by the Sirius is being incorporated into their new G3 platform. I’m not sure if the unit is being discontinued or not. In any case, I optimized things by incorporating the Network Acoustics Eno filter system and upgraded my network switch. Not all feel this is money well spent but I was comfortable with the result.  I’m considering the Leo clock but am also looking at going upstream to the Ideon system - though that’s a really large spend from here.

The Vega did not come with a remote, but you can use a programmable remote to speak to it (including an Apple Remote IIRC.) Given what you’re hoping to do, I’d suggest a programmable remote so you can control both with it easily.

Good luck and let us know how it progresses.


Thankyou @mgrif104 - very helpful, appreciate the patient and insightful notes. I'll demo the following setups 


1. Auralic Vega G3 alone (+ maybe LPS)
2. Auralic Aries G2.2 + LPS + Mola Mola Tambaqui 
3. Auralic Aries G2.2 + LPS + Vega G2.2 
4. Grimm MU2 alone 




you’re welcome - happy to help if I can.

I will be very curious as to your findings with the setups you hope to demo. I haven’t heard the MMT, but it’s supposed to be very, very good. Bill at GTT Audio often pairs it with the Aries G2x and the Grimm MU2. Both streamers are significantly better than the function built into the MMT from what I gather.

And, when you demo the Aries G2.2 and Vega G2.2, you’ll want to compare their pairing across USB and/or AES and then via their proprietary lightning link. That comparison will give you a feel for what can be achieved with the units together. If you like that combo, you’re going to want to experiment with upgrading the hdmi cables they use to communicate via LL. 

Please do keep me posted because your findings will likely be helpful to me.


Even the stock cables they provide outperformed an expensive USB cable I started with - at least for me. I’ve used both wireworld and audio quest cables to very good effect. Thunderbird, Firebird and Dragons work very well and aren’t too expensive. Outrageous pricing hasn’t made it to hdmi cables as of yet.


I am also evaluating adding an upgraded streamer and I have a couple of new DACs on their way here as well (SMc Audio DAC-2 arrives Friday and my Mola Mola Tambaqui should be here within the week).   

I am interested in the Auralic Aries G2.2 streamer but would prefer to continue to integrate and access Tidal, Qobuz, and my own stored music files using Roon through my own server, which is a Roon core.  However, I keep reading that Auralic's own Lightning DS software sounds noticeably better than using the G2.2 as a Roon endpoint. Does this mean the Auralic streamers do not interface with Roon very well, or is it that their own software is just better?  If I don't want to give up Roon, should I consider a different streamer other than the Auralic Aries G2.2? 


The Auralic units do interface with Roon very well. The difference in sound quality between Roon and Lightning link is also experienced by other ecosystems (Inneos, Lumin, etc.).  

I believe it’s more an issue that proprietary operating and file management system software is written to address the unique resources (i.e. cache buffers, etc.) of the hardware. Roon cannot do this because they’re trying to operate across so many platforms. 

I had Roon - thought it sounded great. Then tried Lightning link just for kicks and noticed the better sound on the same file. 

So don’t give up on Auralic because of Roon as you may experience this with any system (though I understand Grimm only works w/ Roon - no proprietary software). If you like Roon - be happy with it. It’s clearly the best user experience. Just also know there might be better sound available. The good thing is - you can actually have both. Use Roon for everyday and keep Lighting DS (or whatever proprietary system you’re on) for critical listening. It’s no problem to have both.



Thank you for the response and suggestions.

I have recently stumbled across the Rose RS130 streamer which, based on the current review comments, sounds promising.  Word is, it sounds quite good.  However, I am skeptical because it seems to have additional "stuff" that I would not need or use and also because I am not a fan of the Android 7.1 operating system for music.

Excluding the Rose, my short list at this time would include Auralic Aries G2.2 or the Innuos Pulsar, but I am wondering whether I should add the Lumin U2 to that list. 

I am curious with any of these streamers that offer on-board SSD storage, and that operate their own proprietary interfacing systems, if I were to stop using Roon  would I even need to have a separate server (since I wouldn't need to run Roon core anymore)?  BTW, I have well under 2TB of stored files and mostly stream from Qobuz and Tidal.


Good questions. 

I’ve not heard the Rose so i can’t comment on this relative newcomer (I think?).  They look nice but I’ve no idea of the actual sonic performance. I’ve heard the Innuos Pulsar and Lumin U2 and do think you should add those to your list along with the Auralic G2.2. And if you’re thinking you might not use Roon, Aurender becomes a possibility.  I’ve not heard their newest offerings but understand they’re very good.

An advantage (or disadvantage depending on your view) of the Auralic system is that you can use their ecosytem to substantially improve the performance of their components (i.e. The sirius processor and Leo clock will take the  performance of the Aries and Vega DAC to quite high levels. Of course, total cost is ends up being similarly high when you go all in - but the point is the ecosystem does scale which I believe is somewhat unique.  

I don’t believe the Lumin allows for on-board storage. I believe the Innuos does and it’s available w/ Auralic. That said, I feel a NAS solution is a better way to do this than on-board though I would consider solid state drives acceptable. Certainly more responsive than a NAS for loading files, but that’s not problematic for me. 

And yes - if you stopped using Roon - no need to have a separate server anywhere with any of these systems, though the NAS would benefit from a controlling networked computer.


I have lifetime Roon accessibility so would probably not go with Aurender in the event I ever did want to go back to using Roon.  I also don't like being locked into using gear from only one brand in order to get the best sound.  My current server is essentially a networked drive and with SSD and a Roon core, as I use streamers/endpoints to feed systems at several locations in my home.  I am currently using the Metrum Ambre in my main system and although the Ambre sounds quite good when used solely as a Roon endpoint, I thought maybe I could achieve even better sound with something like the Innuos Pulsar or Auralic G2.2.  I will look at the Lumin also.  However, $6-8K seems like a lot of money for a Roon endpoint with steaming capabilities.

Rumour has it that Aurender will be Roon certified “soon”. Not sure if that’s true but others posting here are. 

I actually think your budget offers you the options you’re considering. And, each - Innuos, Lumin and Auralic will likely offer you a very signficant upgrade in sound.

I may have inadvertently led you to believe that you have to buy more Auralic gear to get great sound. In ase I did, that was not my intent so let me try to clarify. At your budget and with your requirement that Roon be an option, I don’t think you’ll do better than Auralic Aries G2.2. You might match its performance with Innuos or Lumin - I can’t say as I haven’t heard their latest in direct comparison.  The G2.2 is brand new. The Auralic has the option of improving its performance even further was my point. I don’t see how you could easily do the same with Lumin or Innuos. You’d have to replace their gear - not add to it.

To your point of the cost of a Roon endpoint with streaming - I agree. It’s an expensive hobby. But many of us have found it beneficial to add an outboard streamer. I offer an experience as an example. I took my older Auralic Aries G2.0 streamer to my local dealer to audition with the Simaudio Moon 680D DAC - which has their Mind2 module built in. We connected it via USB (remember that Auralic’s Lightning Link is their best sound connecting - but proprietary to Auralic). The 680D was a $9k DAC and it sounded very nice w/ their streaming system. However, when connected to the Aries, the performance jumped significnatly. It was an easy comparison to make and the sonic improvement was enough that upon hearing it, most here would never go back Mind2. I know of several people here who added the Auralic Aries (and Grimm MU1) to the Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC - even though that DAC can also stream. Again - big improvement.

Quality outboard streamers bring as much (or more) to what we’re all trying to achieve here than the DAC in my view. Of course, YMMV so an audition is warranted. 


I never considered a separate streamer, but your detailed explanation has me reconsidering my approach. Thanks very much for sharing your knowledge and experience. 

Although @mgrif104 makes good points about separating the server and endpoint (or streamer, or renderer), I would add that IME the method of conveying the digital signal may also play a role in how things sound.  This is likely due to the interfacing circuitry within the two units being connected.

I am using a pretty good streamer to a Roon endpoint and then either coax or AES/EBU out of the endpoint to the DAC.  However, in the cases of the Mojo Audio Mystique evo Pro and Mola Mola Tambaqui DACs, a USB connection directly between the streamer and the DAC (i.e., no outboard endpoint) seem to sound the best compared to using the DAC's S/PDIF or AES/EBU inputs.


If you like Roon - be happy with it. It’s clearly the best user experience. Just also know there might be better sound available. The good thing is - you can actually have both. Use Roon for everyday and keep Lighting DS (or whatever proprietary system you’re on) for critical listening. It’s no problem to have both.

The above is really good advice.  I am leaning toward keeping my Mojo Audio DejaVu (server/streamer/NAS) and using it as a networked server/NAS running roon core and allowing me to use different roon endpoints for different systems.  If I were able to set things up to have a choice of playing roon or playing the streamers own proprietary player software you are absolutely correct that it would be the best of both worlds.  I still like what I have read about the Auralic Aries G2.2 over similar competitors for several reasons including the quiet power supply, ability for onboard file storage (if I decide to give up roon), well-regarded proprietary software player (Lightening DS), and multiple outputs including a high performance USB output but also coax and AES/EBU.  I just haven't heard much feedback from users about how it sounds, other than a couple of very positive reviews by the-ear and positive-feedback.

I ended up getting the T3 used a couple of months ago and added an sbooster. Unfortunately the T3 can’t be used as a stand alone DAC, so I will have to upgrade to a separate DAC and streamer down the road.

I’ve tried Auralic, Aurender, and Lumin over the years. They’re all very good, but I think that the Lumin players offer the best value. For some reason they have decided to exclude digital inputs from all of their streamer/dacs except the P1. The T3 can be had for less than $4K new, but has their latest/best processor in it. The streamer/dac integration may be a deal breaker from some, but personally not searching for the next best usb cable and/or purifier has been as liberating as finding a nice integrated. Not to mention the LEEDH volume control which works exactly as advertised.