Lumin or Aurender

I have about 4k for a new streamer. I was looking into Lumin and Aurender. I need a streamer with an Integrated DAC. 
Also looking at NAD M10. Which of these is best in terms of performance, reliability, value ? I watched a YouTube review by Michael Borzenkov, a well regarded Russian audio reviewer, who claimed he couldn't tell a difference between vinyl and A100.  Currently running Blusound node 2 into Mac c2600 dac. Thoughts?
Most people have no idea that the differences in playing songs by streaming by Tidal or Qobuz, a Synology Nas, or our modified Lumin L1 music server are huge. Even the distributor of Lumin was so amazed. And had no idea how huge these differences are.

What we do for many new clients is letting them hear the same song at the same bit rate between; Streaming by Qobuz, Synology Nas, and our modified Lumin L1 music server. They are all every single time blown away by the modified Lumin L1 music server.

The differences in dynamic range, layering, and details is so big that it was so easy to sell many Lumin music servers. Most of our clients now stream by Qobuz and some by Tidal. But the good thing is that more and more people buy their own music.

In audio people will always choose what is the best. People will seldom say no to something that is far superior. Most people have no idea that even if you play a song in 24-bit Hi-Res, the data is still compressed. The amount of data from an album you bought is so much bigger.

But when you connect a modified power supply to a music server the differences become even bigger. In audio, it will always be about what is the best possible, This what all different people will choose. The great thing about the time we live in is that there are so many more options to change and adapt sound and stage!
So, I ask again.
I have about 6TB of music on a external hard drive. Can this hard drive be accessed/ utilized with any of the Aurender or Lumin units?

I Google searched your question and found the following from the Aurender Support page:

"Can I use an external USB hard drive?

Yes! You can play the contents of a USB hard drive, or, for best performance, you can copy files from an external hard drive to the Aurender local/internal storage. There are a few ways to do this:

If you do not need to see metadata tags like album cover art, you can just connect a USB HDD or Flash Drive to one of the USB data ports on the back of the Aurender. You can then use the "Folder" menu option to browse and play files from the USB device by folder view.

If you would like to see the metadata tags of the music files on an attached USB drive, you can run AMM while the drive is attached to the Mac/PC. After AMM finishes, you can detach the USB drive from the MAC/PC and attach it to the Aurender. You will see all the metadata tags from the drive as if it were an extension of the internal hard drive of the Aurender.

*Note that we have found a few DACs are not compatible with Aurender when used with an external USB device (playing from internal storage or a NAS drive does work). The following devices have known issues when music is played from a USB drive- Ayre QB-9 USB DAC, Grace Design m903, Berkeley Alpha USB(USB to SPDIF converter).

*Also note that Aurender music servers can only address USB drives with a single partition. If the drive has multiple partitions, then it will not work and will need to be formatted for one partition".

I hope this helps.

You can use different drives to both Aurender and Lumin network players. But Lumin, unfortunately, gives you access to some features you do not have when you use another brand. When you use a Lumin L1, it gives you a better overview of the songs, artists’ and genres, etc.

The thing that most people have no idea of, is the fact how different even external drives are in sound and stage. Even the differences between HDD and SSD are huge. In audio, there are so many aspects where companies don’t talk about.

We tested the Samsung Pro SSD in the Lumin L1. The speed was awesome, but the layering in sound became very limited. As the individual focus of voices and instruments became less tangible and less free from each other.

When you do audio by trial&error it becomes impossible to trace back what the exact influence if of each individual part in any audio-system. Each part of your system owns its own DNA. It will have a footprint on the end result of your system at home.

For me, it is difficult to understand why so many people know so little about sound and music. Audio is all about sound and music. Differences between external drives are huge. But when you have little insight and knowledge about sound and music, you will never understand what you need to advise and buy.

The sad thing regarding audio can be found in the fact that most audio products are not able to reveal all aspects of sound. This will always have a limited effect on each system where you will put them in. Because emotion is the only key to success in audio.

This is why even an external drive can be successful or work out as a limitation. Many people who work in audio know very little about sound and music. This makes it very difficult to give people who buy audio products the best advice.

I am surprised how little is changed in the last years regarding digital audio. Because there are far too many network players and DACs who are limited in layering in sound. This is why so many people describe them often as dead sounding, no emotion, impossible to become one with the music.

The reason why so many people don’t like these products has 100% nothing to do with any silly kind of personal taste. Because your emotion is telling you the truth. Each audio product and audio system that lacks one or more different aspects of sound, will never be able to create a high level of emotion for any human being.

We have our own personal taste in music and artists. But......regarding our emotion, it works almost the same for each human being. The emotion you will find on the music you play. So you need a source and even a drive that can reveal and give you access to all those aspects of sound.

We had to adapt many things to create a superior level than what is available with products out of a box. In the past, I owned the best and most expensive CD-players in the world. But due to research and modifications, we are so much further now with our modified Lumin network players than we ever were with CD-players.

The dynamic range is far superior and the same counts for the level of details. As the amount of distortion is so much lower. The most difficult part that we faced regarding digital audio is the level in the layering of sound. This is something you can not buy. You need to understand sound and music before you can adapt audio products to improve this particular aspect.

We increase the level of diversity in sound by modifications to the Lumin network players. We even modify the Lumin L1 music server. As we use modified power supplies. But it goes even further than that. By adding a modified Bonn N8 switch you increase the level in layering as well.

We even use different accessories to reduce the amount of electro-smog, high-frequency noise, and magnetism. This improves all different aspects of sound. As it improves the harmonics of each song you play. The complexity of sound makes it so difficult to understand audio. But it is needed to reveal and experience the emotion of all your beloved music.