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