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?
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.

hgiefman, bo1972,
Thanks for the help.
I am currently using a Bryston BDP-2 with my Hard drive attached to it.
The Dac currently is the PS Audio Direct Stream Dac. Everything works great and  with the Bryston app I can select and play everything just fine.

I have been thinking of getting a Lumin X1 or an Aurender but never could find much info as to how an attached hard drive would function.

When we sell a modified Lumin X1. Together with the modified Lumin L1 music server+modified Sbooster and the modified Bonn N8+modified Sbooster you can easily outperform network players+DAC far over 50k. The reason for that is insight and knowledge.

We have a client who lives in Austria and he bought in August 2019 a LuminD2+Pro modification+modified Sbooster for 3798 euros. He is a member of an audio club in Austria. There were 2 of his audio friends with a networkplayer+DAC combo of 13000 and 14000 euros. They were seen as the reference digital sources of his audio club.

But when he did a shootout with his 3798 euros combination he outperformed them both. And now they see his combination as the reference digital source in his audio club. The money will never help you at all in audio. This is due to the fact that over 99,99% of all produced audio products are incomplete.

Our modified Lumin X1 outperformed the Aurender W20 with many different DAC combinations. We create many new standards in both sound&vision. For us, audio is like Formula One. All our research creates new ideas over and over again. Because for a born perfectionist it needs to be better all the time.

The 3rd of July 2020 will be the date that I work in the world of sound&vision for 22 years. When I see what my insight and knowledge are compared to when I started in 1998 it is planets away from that time. Only insight and knowledge can make you understand sound and music. This is needed to be able to understand audio.

Audio is a real profession, this needs to be done with full dedication, commitment, and most of all with all the love you feel and have for music. Even a Lumin X1 out of a box is still not an ultimate source. Because you need the skills to use the DNA of each product. I can read the full DNA of each individual product.

But when you do audio by trial&error you can never read and understand the DNA of that particular product. This is why you can only use a limited level of the full potential of each audio product when you do audio by trial&error. When you do audio by all the different aspects of sound, it gives you access to a totally different world!

@ozzy, I am happy I was able to help. I hope everything is working okay. I own the Aurender N10 Music Server and like it very much. As I stated above, Aurender Customer Support is excellent, their Conductor App is easy to use and Aurender offers Remote Internet Technical Support, if needed. Of course, its sound quality is excellent (my opinion).

I am not familiar with Lumin products and cannot comment. Some people above posted they like the Lumin unit very much. I also have no comments or experience with the modified products that @bo1972 mentioned above.

I suggest you audition both the Lumin and Aurender products in your local store and see what unit sounds best to you. Please use my server check list above to help you make a decision.

Please do NOT rush this process. Take your time and listen.

I hope the above helps you make a decision. Thanks....

"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?"

A bit late for Ozzy maybe; but as I have been researching these digital players, they seem to handle attached drives differently.  In the Lumin, the attached drive can only be browsed via your folders, as it does not index the music into its own database.  If you want that (because you have full metadata on your music files), you need to run a NAS into the Lumin, then it uses UpnP to provide full search by metadata.  Aurender does index attached drives, so their app will let you do full metadata searches with just any attached USB device, the NAS would be just an option.  So for people who just folder browse... they both work.  For people who want full metadata search, they are different.