Is it still worth buying a Lumin x1 in 2023?



i currently have a Lumin D2 in my system, and i want to upgrade (I know ... typical audiophile problem :-) ).

My system is the following:

Speakers: Spendor sp100r2

Amp: Grandionote Shinai

Streamer: Lumin D2

Power isolation: Puritan PSM 156

Why do i want to upgrade?

I want "more of everything": more clarity, more details, more extension on both ends, better vocals, less digital sounding ... I like music, i don't want something too analytical. I want to be able to seat, enjoy and relax.


I've considering adding a DAC to my D2, but a local dealer told me that i should change my streamer and get a T3.

Initially i had this list of DAC in mind (5k price range):

  • T+A DAC 200 
  • Gen. Grand DSDac 1.0 Deluxe
  • Sould note D2
  • Aqua La Scala

Then, looking around, i found a great deal on a demo Lumin X1 ... a bit more than my budget ... but i can stretch.

Now my question: I read a lot of very positive review on the X1, but i'm a little nervous because it is a 5y old device ... and it will be a big investment, quesiton:

  • is it wise to go for a 5y old device
  • How long will i be able to enjoy it before services stop working on it?
  • Is it it better to get a new DAC and connect it to my D2 (and eventually upgrade to a more modern streamer later)?
  • MOST IMPORTANT: Will i get a better sound with the x1 compared to the D2 + a modern DAC in the 5k price range?

What do you all think?







I anticipate you will receive additional DAC suggestions not on your list plus suggestions to change other components in your system.   I have an X1 plus other DACs--unnecessary extravagance I know.  I have not owned nor listened to the other DACs on your list. Your overall presentation will be system dependent.  Will you be able to audition the X1 and/or DACs on your list?  If so, inquire how many hours have been accumulated on demo unit(s).   I found the X1 began sounding much better at 200 hours, but really settled in around 400 hours.  I do not see a server listed--what equipment are you using there and which services are you using? 

I currently am using Leedh processing with my X1 but have used preamps with it as well.   Leedh is quite good.   I believe you can use it with the D2, but you are using an integrated, and do not know if you can use it bypassed for only amp to try. If you can, I would expect a difference in presentation, which may tilt more to areas you wish to increase.

Eventually, Lumin will bring a new flagship to the line, but the X1 will still be a fine sounding piece.  Lumin has a history of supporting legacy devices.   The Sabre 9038Pro is quite capable with resolutions higher than my streaming sources and higher than any of my music on my server hard drive.  

Wish you the best in your journey.  Please keep us posted on what you land on.

+1 tuberist.

i have had the Lumin D-2, A-1, U-1 mini and the X-1.   There is no comparison.  Not to hurt your feelings but I found the D-2 to be lifeless.  The X-1 with new power supply is solid.  Look for the X-1 on the used market for between 8k and 9.5.  It should be noted that I have moved up to the Lampizator Pacific and then Horizon but I still loved the X-1.

I do expect quite a jump given the price difference :-) .... but that was not really my question: I'm a bit concerned about obsolescence. The X1 is 5y old, and i was wondering if adding a Good dac to the D2 would be a better choice in the long run? i.e.: similar muscial performances, but still works fine 5-7y done the road 

I honestly don’t see how the X 1 will become obsolete unless some new technology develops. LUMIN  is a company that constantly updates the software in their existing products, I used  the LEEDH processing in my former T2 and it was a major sonic improvement for my ears. I now run a Weiss and could not be happier.


Your question is totally relevant when it comes to obsolescence- new products appear all the time. The X1 is a strong product and there still seems to be high demand for it.

On the other hand there is a lot to be had by using a separate dac and a streaming transport. I’m currently using an Aqua La Scala Optologic MKII with a Lumin U2 Mini for streaming and the presentation is excellent. I purposely bought a streaming transport so that I know I’m hearing the dac I want to hear. I appreciate having that flexibility within my system.


@thibaultgeoui ,

I would say that a 'better' Dac would be your best move.

Though I should say I have no firsthand experience with Lumin products, but do have a bit of experience in the digital realm. So, YMMV.

IMHO, though a streamer can/coes provide the necessary quality input, the DAC does the heavy lifting, and I have no doubt you will hear the greatest difference in sound quality if you choose to update your DAC first.

-And, put a good power cord on it, if possible.



Goodmorning T, i am sitting with the same problem i have also the D2 and i am also thinking to connect him at an external dac. I was thinking to take the gustard A26 or the chord Qutest is somebody who try's this combinations.

Unfortunately, it's going to be a little hard to answer all your questions as I doubt there many people that have heard a D2 with your listed dac options versus an X1.  

Will the X1 eventually become obsolete, sure....but so will every other streamer that's out there currently. Even at 5+ years of age, the X1 is still one of the best streamers on the market (Imho).  We really are not seeing a ton of new streaming features in the near future that would lead to short term obsolescence.  

I personally lean towards one-box streamers as my preference, but if you really would like to have a separate dac, you may actually want to consider swapping your D2 for a U2/U2 Mini in combo with one of the dacs you are considering.  

Goldprintaudio, is that not throwing money away? Why dont use the d2? the dac is the one who must do the job.

Wow, you bet you’ll get a major upgrade! This type of source component in this day and age is pretty much the center of your audio system that can handle about 90% to 100% of your music needs, absent a turntable. The x1 is top notch in every way. Lumin was on my short list when I wanted to purchase a streamer to handle the music on my NAS, quobuz etc. I eventually went with an Esoteric for may reasons but most importantly it allowed me to use dac with other components. That’s my story but to address your question, the x1 would be a major upgrade. 

The best answer to more of everything is a better room.

If you want the thrill of change and shoppin for it, maybe you want to get an additional amp or speakera you can rotate in?

In trouble shooting a problem one needs to start from the very first link in the chain. For streaming it is the digital signal that eventually is the output of your streamer. Digital streaming is full of noise that is getting pulled into the path from everywhere. It’s a noise you don’t notice until it’s gone. Start with router upgrade power supply, then if you hardwire to streamer bring in fiber media converters or if wireless use mesh system. Use lps to power fmc keeping dirty and clean side separated. This can all be done for $500. Then if still not happy move to the next link but now you know the first link of the chain is not the issue. If your first link is dirty so will everything after it be. Streaming is not simple but when implemented right it can be magic. Enjoy the music.

Hi,  I am currently using a LUMIN X1.  Just get it.  Trust me.  I have had D2, T2 and now X1.  I think it is better than many of the big gun DACs out there.  I have compared it to the DCS Bartok.  I think the X1 is better.  You have to spend a whole lot of money to better the total package of the X1.  It is rock solid as you know your D2 is.   Crazy dynamic range.  Absolutely dead and I do mean dead quiet.  Density with warmth and huge sound stage.  Laser fast.  Just remember LUMIN does their best to keep their products current thru painless updates.  If you were running an A1 (their oldest product) it still utilizes all of their current features, and still sounds amazing.  It does take the X1 a while to break in (400+ hours).  

Greetings, I currently own the T2 with an SBooster. I recently changed the fuse in the SBooster to a Synergistic Master fuse. I was Very impressed with the difference. Although a touchy topic, fuses do matter as does direction. I put the fuse in and heard some difference. After a week of burn in, I wasn't all that impressed, until I flipped it around. Once flipped the fuse really made my sound stage come alive. I was quite impressed with the T2 as a replacement to my Node 2, but now with this new fuse I would say that the jump in performance almost equals the jump from the Node to the Lumin. 

I haven’t had the X1 in my system but have had the D2 and P1.  The P1 shares a lot of the same or similar parts / design as the X1.  The X1 has an external power supply and the latest generation Saber DAC.  The P1 is outstanding, I would jump on the X1 if you are getting a good deal.  I used the D2 as a streamer only for a while, a stand alone like the U2 mini is a better performer.

Good luck, 

I just traded in my Lumin X1 for some speakers. However, I did this because I got a sonically better streamer, Playback Designs Streamer-IF, than the one on the X1 and I am looking for an FPGA DAC (Playback Designs).

The streamer on the X1 is excellent. I only did fibre optical. It was louder than the fibre streamer on the Sonore OpticalRendu. The oR seemed a bit more refined. The Streamer-IF was as loud as the X1 and as refined sounding as the oR. The steamer sound of the X1 was not worse just more on the "wild side". A chocolate vs vanilla type of thing.

The feature set on the X1 steamer is way better than the other 2 optical streamers I own. If I decide to stay long-term with my modded Peachtree GAN1 I will get the Lumin U2 (or U1) streamer for both streaming and the Leedh volume. I used this before and it was great. I need SPDIF steaming with volume into the GAN1.

The DAC on the X1 was the very best DAC I have owned, and I have taken a step back with my Benchmark DAC3B (not huge). The "DAC" in the GAN1 is maybe as good as the X1 (not apples-to-apples comparison). The plan is to spend a lot more on the Playback Designs DAC but I what I have now is rather amazing, so I am wondering why I should do this.





For me keep the D2 and try another dac and look for the gustard, denafrips or topping d90SE.

Hi.  I have a Lumin X1.  I recently added a DAC - Weiss 502.  This was a massive step forward in the sound.  The biggest difference I have experienced next to new speakers.  I recently also added a LAN-optical network connection (Sonor) and input the optical to the X1 directly (this is nice feature of the X1 inputs).  Sorry I am not responding to your question on the D2 (I have never listened to one) but my instinct is a great DAC will be a game changer.  Also, as another poster mentions, the X1 will likely be upgraded or replaced sooner than later so there should be future opportunities to get the current X1 at a discount.

The rep from Lumin on Audioshark web site posted to me that the X1 will be the flagship for a while longer. Of course, if he said otherwise, people would wait. This was told to me about 3 months ago.

well it does respond to my question, even if it’s the x1 that you are using as a streamer and not the D2. It seems that the DAC part makes the biggest difference.

Now i can get a DAC as good as the Weiss for approx 6k … same price as i can get the X1 …


tough choice!

When it comes to DACs the term better is really subjective. The differences between similar designed DACs is not that great to my ears. Streamers on the other hand (especially optical) seemed to have a bigger difference to me.

The X1 at $6K is a great deal. I got mine for $7K and I thought that was well worth it for one of the very best streamers and an excellent DAC.


If the op can get an X-1 for $6k, you should buy it and resell it for $8500.  

One of the great things about Luminis the frequent updates and enhancements they provide, U1 with X1 PSU owner here. Even today, got a firmware update.


Customer support is second to none. You also rarely see X1s for sale versus other streamers.

I moved from a T2 to an X1, courtesy of Taylor at Goldprint Audio in N.C. I would jump on the X1 at $6K, which I consider a bargain, even considering its age. The X1 has a lovely organic sound and the best feature set in the Lumin line-up, unless you need the added flexibility of the P1.


— Best DAC in Lumin ecosystem (ESS9038). Importantly, Lumin knows how to get the best out of a DAC through its programming.

— Leedh Processing for digital volume control, thus no need for a preamp. Recall that uber-high-end Swiss manufacturer Soulution uses Leedh, as it’s fantastic.

— Fiber internet for better noise isolation.

— Lundahl output transformers for better SQ.

— Separate power supply.

The next iteration of the X1 will have an updated processor, which will permit future technologies, perhaps room correction as announced in new Auralic streamers. But other than that possibility, it would be tough to best the X1 unless you’re willing to spend tremendously more money.

The bonus: besides a rock-solid product with fantastic customer support, you get constant firmware updates, such as yesterday’s addition of Plex server integration.



I really, really, enjoy my Lumin X1. Totally concur with mifanning.


X1 at $6k is a very nice deal.....I would grab it and not look back!  As nice as the D2 is, I think you'll be surprised at how good the X1 is. 

just got a proposal from a dealer for a brand new PS Audio Directstream Mk2 ... what do you all think (similar price as the Lumin X1)?

I think @ozzy had a PS Audio Directstream prior to purchasing his X1, so that might tell you something.  I believe it was an earlier version, though, not the Mk2.

Yes, I had the PS Direct Stream Dac for a few years. There is really no comparison to the Lumin X1. The X1 is far superior in sound quality. Especially when using the fiber connection.

Perhaps the PS version 2 is better than the version 1 but I would be surprised if it would sound better than the Lumin X1 because the difference was so huge.


I have a Lumin x1 and also a few stand alone dacs, which I know ignore.

The X1 is outstanding integration of a dac, it's very well done.


I hate dealing with standalone Dacs and all the connectivity issues.  I like separates throughout my system and found the dac within the X1 made a hell of a lot of sense. The fiber optic connection is very good.



@ thibaultgeoui

what did you choose finally? I have dan d’agostino progression with dali epicon 8 and trying to solve the same problem.

As a result, I settled on two devices: lumin x1 and esoteric n-05xd. I did not find any normal comparison on the Internet of two devices. Any recommendations?


5 years is an eternity in the the digital world.  I would buy a streamer of that vintage only at a major discount 


I'm haven't completely settled yet ... as @mahler123 says, i'm worried about the age of the device, although many reports says that it is still among the best.

So i keep going back and forth with buying a cheaper streamer such as an Eversolo DMP-A6 that gets great reviews (and given it's price, i could change it every 2-3 years), and add a 5K dac to it (T+A DAC 200, Soulnote D2, Danafrips Terminator ...) ... or get the X1 and enjoy it for as long as possible.


I was looking at reviews of the previous TOTL from Lumin (the S1) and even when the X1 was released, reviewers were saying that the S1 was still a good device.


Now ... i('m not sure it helps with your problem ... it doesn't really helps me decide :-)

and Lumin s1 still goes for ca. 4k on the used market. And i can get the X1 for 6k (with my Lumin D2 as trade-in)

Soooooo … i ended-up getting a T+A DAC 200. It was a cheaper option than the Lumin x1 and i liked the flexibility of more input and output as well as the more modern platform and the fact that i can update the streamer separately.

From a sonic perspective it’s still new so i can’t draw too many conclusions, but right out of the box i’m getting more extensions and better tones than the D2. So i’m quite happy so far. Thanks everyone for the advices

Congrats. I went through the same journey  - D2, then traded for a T2 (still have in another system), then contemplated the big leap to the X1. The X1 is everything others have said, a massive leap from the D2. I listened to the T3, the X1, and a Bartok. I paid about $8k for the X1 and have never regretted it. 

I did upgrade the Ethernet switch to an Optical switch and it helped further improve the sound.


The X1 is absolutely still worth getting in 2023. So far ahead of it’s time when it first came out that it’s still kind of ahead of it’s time today.

The Lumin X2 is about to be released. I’ve been very temped to buy an X1, but have the same concerns many have discussed here. its the one piece in my system where I worry about it being outdated too soon.

I see I have posted some comments here. Let me add one more.

I needed a DAC after I sold the X1. I could not wait until I had funds for the PlayBack Designs. I read up on the new Schitt Yggi+ (3 versions available). I decided to give the Less is More version a test drive ($2400).

To my surprise I think it is even better than the X1. I am using a Sonore Optical Rendu to stream. So that is an additional cost for me, but it is still cheaper than the X1.

I posted in the past that the X1 streaming vs Optical Rendu streaming sound different. Both are very good, with a slight preference by me for the Rendu.



@garynospamm - Haven't heard anything elsewhere about a Lumin X2 release being imminent, would you mind sharing how you came upon that info? Or at least how certain you are about it? Very interested in further details as soon as they become available. Thanks very much for sharing the news here!

Hi, I'm using a Lumin D2 with a pair of Wilson sabrina x and Hegel H590. I recently added a power supply and the sound is slightly different. But unfortunately, I have the problem of always better like everyone else. Which Dac do you think would be suitable for the my setup? Actually I want to buy a dac and streamer together. Thanks .