Lumin P1 or Pre / Streamer / DAC separates?

Hi - wanted to see if anyone had experience with the Lumin P1 - especially interested in how it works as a Preamp.  I have both Krell Illusions ii & Zesto Leto Preamplifiers.  I use a Auralic G1 Aries Streamer and a MHDT Pagoda balanced DAC.  They feed a Krell Duo 300xd Amplifier.

I am thinking about simplifying things, shifting to the Lumin P1 as a Streamer / DAC and Pre.  I previously had a Lumin D2 which I thought punched above it’s weight class, I’m confident the P1 is an outstanding Streamer / DAC but less confident in if it will perform well as a Pre.  I’ve tried feeding the 300xd direct without a Pre and have always preferred having a Pre in the chain.  

The P1 was designed to change the narrative.

Crazy to think the P1 can best separates?  Again, I think it would best my streamer / DAC. 



The Lumin P1 is excellent as both a preamp and as a DAC. You should definitely consider it.

it is not a matter iod  a dac/preamp you are going from a tube preamp to an integrated all solid state unit and you are not going to like the lack of tone color that the cleaner all solid state unit provides tread carefully 

I wouldn't buy an all in one like the P1.  I've always found that my systems sound best with a separate preamp.  The 2nd reason I wouldn't buy the P1 is that I like to have flexibility to upgrade either the DAC, streamer or change the tonality (change tubes or interconnects; etc).  I would stick with the Leto as the preamp.  Save the $10k for a separate DAC and separate streamer upgrade.

Thanks for the responses!  A little further clarification, the SS Krell Pre performs better in my chain currently.  Aspects I really like about the Zesto but doesn’t have the best synergy with the Krell Amp I have. 

I guess what I need to weight is the flexibility of separates vs the all in one.  Done the road I can add a pre to the chain with the P1, if I end up going that route. 

Audiotroy - believe you are a Krell dealer, what are your thoughts on the Illusions ii as a Pre and the internal DAC?  Curios what camp or group you would put the Krell in based on it’s competition.  Are you a Lumin and Zesto dealer as well? If I came into your store, what direction would you take me in?  Am I chasing ghosts based on my current equipment or can I make some meaningful gains if I swap some of my gear? 


@mm1tt77 Your Krell Duo 300XD is amazing. I sold my Duo 175XD with the plan of buying the CODA #16 or the new KRELL KSA i400. I got an offer on the CODA #16 so I went with that. Love the KRELL Duo sound too.

I recently bought a Lumin X1 DAC/streamer and it is a great DAC. I do not find it warm or dry, just right. I tried the X1 into my CODA #16 and also Benchmark AHB2 monos and it was the very best volume I have heard with a DAC (my experience is limited on this). However, my Benchmark LA4 preamp is better at volume so the X1 is now going to be used with the LA4 preamp. Another great combo as was the LA4 with KRELL Duo 175XD.

I sold 1 of my older DACs today and have 3 Sonore OpticalRendu streamers. I can sell 2 of the streamers and another older DAC if I get another Lumin for the Livingroom. Simplifiy, but it has to be fibre.

AudioShark forum has Lumin reps answering questions on all matter Lumin. I am trying to decide between the P1 and another X1 + another LA4 preamp ($2500). The P1 has the Leedh volume control, as does the X1. The P1 does have an integrated remote control so that you do not have to waste the USB out as with the X1.

The Sonore OpticalRendu is of similar quality as the streamer in the X1. Maybe a bit more refined compared to the louder X1 streamer, especially SPDIF out and USB out.






So I took the plunge on a P1.  It’s got around 24 hours of burn in.

Out of the box, wasn’t impressed.  Had attributes I liked but sounded somewhat thin and etched.  Sounded a tad better with a pre in the chain, the LEEDH volume control came in third out of 3 volume / pre options.

Listened the 1st night I got it and the let it sit, burn in.  Wasn’t really excited about digging into some more listening, tweaking.  

Listening now, after some burn in, wow, what a difference.  Best streaming I’ve heard in my system, by a noticeable margin.  I’ve had various streamers, DAC’s in my chain, none at this price point but also some well respected gear, if I factor in my Pre, we’ll then this flips to one of my most cost effective set ups.

So far, sounds best in my system directly feeding my Amp using the LEEDH volume control with the gain analogue audio out set to low.  Using an inexpensive fiber optic converter for my internet hook up.  LEEDH volume in my system is the real deal.  Even with the Zesto Leto Pre, turning on the LEEDH and being able to tweak the gain - (the Leto’s voltage / gain is too high for the Krell) provided the best sound.

What I have read and from what Lumin says, burn in at 200 hours has noticeable gains another jump at 400.  If the trend continues, wow, this all in one just took me down to 2 boxes for my 2 channel and also has HT bypass.  At it’s price point, doing all that, crazy value, my pre’s where close or at the price point of the P1.  And it is quite - with it in the chain, system has never had this quite a canvas to start from.



and what, after two weeks it's even better.

I am also thinking of buying a P1 or T3.

I kind of thought about and kind of took the same path you are considering but with other brands.  I moved from tubes to trying to use a DAC as preamp.  I started with a PS Audio Direct Stream DAC into Primaluna amps.  I ended up with a Bricasti M1, Cary SLP-05 into AGD Audions.  I tried to run without the Cary but missed the little tube bloom added by the Cary. To me it really added life back to my system.  If you have / had tubes give a DAC / pre a try but be prepared to put tubes back in somewhere.  I went the tube pre direction to avoid the cost of power tubes, heat and weight.  I could not be happier!!

Curious if the P1 is still delivering over there. I run a D2 direct to my amp and the P1 is on my short list. 

@pioneerhip Hi, I enjoyed the P1 but ended up rolling with a Lumin U2 mini feeding a PS Audio Directstream MKii and I ended up getting a PS Audio BHK Pre.  I’m really happy with the new set up but I would say if you like the D2 hooked up directly to your amp or amps, the P1 I will be a really nice step up.  If you are looking for a 1 box solution, Pre, Streamer, DAC offering really high end streaming, DAC capabilities, really hard to beat the P1, not really sure you can.  The T & A DAC 200 is another great Pre / DAC combo but I don’t think it has a built in streamer.  Long story short, even though I went a different direction, the P1 delivered a really high end Streamer, DAC combo with the flexibility of being able to use it as a Pre as well.  If you aren’t going to be using the Pre functionality for anything but streaming, give a look on the used market for Lumin X1’s.  They’ll have the Leedh volume control and likely will be a slight step up from the P1 from a streaming, DAC standpoint.  

Good Luck, 

i know this is old but was hoping for some valuable input.


Next week i will be trying my P1 (as pre-dac - streamer) into a Mc men220 and then to a new to me Luxman m900u (replacing a Mc MA7900) - I am trying to keep my men220 in the chain....any suggestions or experience with anything similar to this? thanks in advance for any advice.







@Natev305 I had never heard of the MC men220 before your post.  When I look up the description I can’t see a reason why it wouldn’t work out play well with the P1.  If you had a HT receiver you were using as a preamp and or pre /amp combo then you might rethink adding the P1.  Many of the newer HT Receivers process whatever you feed them with their own DAC’s.  Changes the sound signature defeating the purpose of an expensive stand alone DAC.  I men220 is adjusting the signal purely for room correction and it isn’t reprocessing the analogue signal the P1 is sending back into a digital signal should work well if you leave it in the chain, assuming you like the effect it has on the sound. 

Take my advice with a grain of salt as I am not familiar with the men220.  I have an Anthem MRX1140 with room correction.  I don’t care for it as a Pre in my 2 Channel, when I dug into why discovered it converts / processes all inputs digitally.  No way I can use the room correction without it converting the analogue signal back to a digital signal, processing through the DAC’s used for each channel which are designed to deliver Surround sound.  When I read about the men220 doesn’t seem like that’s how it works.  Heck, even if it does and you like the sound, then it’s a winner.  I find in my system I don’t care for the Anthem reprocessing the signal. 

Thank you.


the men220 is a pretty clean pass-thru analog to digital and back to analog - the P1 would be the pre for all streaming not the Marantz - that is only for HT. The P1 would handle the DAC duties for anything 2 channel. 


Looking to compare the P1 as a pre to the C900 specifically.



This comment applies to ROON or JRiver users (maybe more but I do not know)

If the men220 is the DSP piece from MAC then that and any audio hardware DSP can be better by software dsp that runs as Convolution filters.

How well the P1 performs as a Pre will likely hinge on the amp it’s feeding. 

I have a Krell amp and the Krell likes a quality pre in the chain.  I have had other amps that sounded better to my ears with a DAC feeding it directly.  If your Pre is the Luxman C900 then I don’t think the P1 preamp section will compare or be in the same league.  That said, if the Amp has a synergy with the Lumin P1 could sound better than with a Pre.  Leedh volume control on the Lumin is a really good digital volume control.

Good Luck, 

thanks guys and the Lumin P1 is going to Luxman m900u amp.

will be giving it a shot this week.