Lumin vs Auralic


I'm finally moving to streaming audio.  I've done a bunch of reading and have narrowed down my search to one of two models:  Lumin T2 (which is finally shipping I hear) or the Auralic Vega G2.  For those that know both brands, and have had a chance to audition or work with their software platforms, which would you recommend?  I prefer the one box design....so I end up sending less on cables/interconnects.   I just plan on using Tidal....fyi.  Any feedback would be appreciated!  
calgarian5355
I don't really know both brands, but Lumin's system is optimized to work with Minimserver, which is far and away the best music server system for classical music (and is donation-ware!).  So if you have a large classical collection on a server, like me, you'd want Lumin.  It also seems to have more format capabilities (MQA, DSD, etc.)
One major point of difference Auralic is wireless and Lumin is not so take that into account if it's an issue. I needed, and wanted, wireless so went with Auralic. I like their Lightning DS app very much.
I've had the opposite experience with the DS app.  So much so I had to sell it and go with a bluesound Node2i.  Constantly something not working properly.  First it was that it was unable to refresh and it would crash, then that was fixed by the developer after well over a year.  Then the wifi module crapped out, then it started to have to be hard wiped anytime it lost a connection - huge PITA.  I dumped it.  Sounded great though.  Also has a very odd way to access and manage playlists which I found disappointing. 
Thanks for the input guys....I know the reviews I've read say the Lumin software is excellent;  I haven't read much about the Lightning DS.  Jond....I think the Auralic Vega G2 is Ethernet hard wire connected...but I'll check again.  Dwolek.....How does the sound quality of the Node 2i compare to the Auralic; which Auralic did you own?
The Node 2 or 2ci are not in the same league as your other two choices and it sounds like he had an Aries Mini which I have never had an issue with in three years and it was better sounding than the Node which I auditioned.  
calgarian you can do either hard-wired or wireless with the Auralic I was just pointing out Lumin is hard-wired only if that's an issue.
The Vega G2 only has wired Ethernet.  However, I wouldn't let that stop me. You could always use a power line Ethernet network to get a wired connection from your router to your equipment rack and there are also wireless network extenders that have Ethernet ports on them.
The Lumin is wired Ethernet as well.  My plan was to go wired, so wireless isn't an issue.   Any thoughts on which brand would sound better....as well as which brand would have less warranty issues?  Specifically, I read that the Auralic has a buffering system in place; would this create more possible servicing issues in the long term?  How sturdy are these storage devices in these units?   
Calgarian, my comment about wired vs. wireless was to clarify the comment that Jond made.  I suspect there is confusion between the Aries series and Vega series and Auralic didn't do themselves any favors when they came up with the current naming scheme.

I've not heard either so I can't comment on sound.  I'm in the same boat as you - looking for my next step, which is why I've been following this thread.  Both units are probably out of my price range but I've been watching both companies and reading reviews.  I will say that I've not seen anybody complaining about service issues with either company and I can't imagine the buffering system would affect the reliability of the Auralic in any appreciable way.  Dick
Dick, thanks for your comments.  

I agree with you.  Auralic's nomenclature is extremely confusing....G1 or G2 could mean the Aries or the Vega.  

Between the Lumin and the Auralic VEGA products, I'm currently leaning towards the Auralic.  What bothers me is that all the reviews on the Vega G2 seem to imply that the VEGA is first and foremost a DAC and that the "basic streaming function" is just a bonus.  In one of the Auralic forums, one of the developers of their products even called the streaming portion of the VEGA "free".  The reviews I've read all say that adding the Aries G2 really brings out all that the DAC in the VEGA G2 can deliver.  I, on the other hand, view the VEGA as a one-box streamer...that would compete with the likes of the one-box Lumin products, such as the new T2 (or D2, S1, A1, etc).  The Lumin reviews don't necessarily talk about the specific performance of the DAC vs the streamer portion of their all in one products.  I'm looking for one box solution that sounds good without necessarily having to add more pieces.

I'm also curious about how well either the Lumin or Auralic would sound like if they were connected directly to my power amplifier.   I'm hoping the unit I end up purchasing will allow me to sell my preamp if the sound is good enough.....




Calgarian, thanks for the additional comments.  I hadn't been following the Auralic forum but maybe I need to do some more reading as I didn't know they considered the streaming function "basic." :)  Of course my needs are probably basic and, in any event, I'd probably give Roon a try anyway.  If you happen to make the jump, please update us on the results.  I'd love to know how it goes even if the G2 is out of my price range.  Dick
Have you considered the new Mytek Brooklyn Bridge at $2995?.
It is basically a Brooklyn DAC+ with aes input swapped out for an Ethernet port and full streaming capability.

I have one on order as I was very happy with my Brooklyn as a DAC and was streaming an Aries Mini via USB into the Brooklyn.
One less box and cables.....
On January 30 Auralic released a beta version of firmware - - 6.0beta3 — which was applied to their entire product line. The improvement in sonic quality is stunning. If you have a chance to do so, listen to the Vega for an hour with the beta firmware applied at your local dealer. It’s easy to switch between the release firmware version and the beta for comparison purposes. 
Dick, I'll let you know what I end up getting....Uberwaltz, I'll do some investigating on the Mytek BB; thanks for your suggestion.  Mre28m5, there are no dealers for Auralic anywhere near me....so auditioning anything from that company is not going to happen.  I'm basing everything thus far on reviews since my nearest dealer is a 4 hour plane flight away!  The Lumin T2 hasn't arrived at my local dealer yet, so once it arrives, I'll give it a listen.....

The LUMIN can go wireless, but you just need one of those extender Ethernet wireless adapters. Not sure if anyone mentioned that?? Seems like most people think the LUMIN is hardwired only. Which is technically is the best way to go. LUMIN marketing should make it known that you can go wireless, they might actually gain more sales.
I would pick the lumin over the Auralic any day , I have a Lumin T2 had the Auralic and couldn’t wait to get rid of it . Just my 2 cents 
Here is another option and it uses the Lumin software. Comes in black or silver and works and sounds great.  I have also owned Lumin and Auralic.streamers.

https://hifiheaven.net/shop/TEAC-NT-505-Dual-monaural-USB-DAC-Network-Player-Silver?search=teac%20nt...
The TEAC looks good , I currently use a Totaldac Twelve so it’s hard to beat but it comes at a high price , I trying to down size a bit but it’s been a challenge . So far for the price the Lumin seems to be a really decent unit 
@a1uc 

I'm sure your T2 is a great piece as I enjoyed my time with the D1. Main differences to me between the Teac and the T2 other than the price was AKM vs ESS chipset and the ability of the Teac to also serve as a full service DAC but either is a great choice. 
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 Jackd.......
How would you compare the TEAC NT 505 with the LUMIN D1........they both use the LUMIN App.....but sonically how would you differentiate them........?

Thanks.......
@musicmann1 

The Teac is just a step up the ladder in detail and extension with the AKM 4497 chipset but not to the extreme of the ESS chipset.  The Lumin D series are wonderful units as they to me are warm and comfortable units that do nothing wrong.  I just wanted to try something different knowing that it used the same software and had a more advanced DAC chip.  Really you can't go wrong with either especially if you don't need the additional inputs of the Teac. 
Jackd.....
Thanks for responding. Which of the two is smoother and somewhat more relaxing to listen to?
+1 for Lumin.  I own two Lumin1 U1 transports and love them.  Not stuck with a internal DAC since they are just transports/streamers.
@musicmann1 

The Lumin would be the "smoother" at least in my system.
I have not heard the T2.  I have a Lumin T1.  If the T2 is as good as the T1 (and it should be better) then I think you will be very pleased.  I auditioned a Auralic and a Lumin player at the same time so I got to compare the two apps.  They are both good but I think the Lumin is better.  I have since moved to Roon so I haven't used the Lumin app in quite some time.  I think both the Auralic and Lumin products are Roon ready if you ever get the urge to try it.
OP we are major Lumin fans heck we are a Lumin dealer and we used to sell the Auralic products which were very good.

The Lumin products are quite magical the new T2 is a quantum leap over the T1. The new T2 is like a mini version of the X1 which is in a class by itself as an uber level streaming dac.

The T2 has a full lush sound with a sense of image density that you just don’t find in the more affordable digital products. The difference is the X1 just goes to an insanse level of increased resolution and furthers the T2 in every parameter.

The design of the Lumin is exceptionally advanced with dual Ess 9028 pro dac which do differential computation of an eight core processor summed to lower distortion and increase dynamic range.

A state of the art analog stage and a very advanced power supply beat the older T1 which was a mini A1 even in the face of having a switching power supply that is internal, the Dual Ess beat the older Wolfsons.

Take a T2 for a spin, it is Roon capable, MQA, offers the option of upconverting PCM to high resolution files as well as playing PCM as DSD we demo our T2 playing Tidal as DSD and it sound marvelous.

Also the Lumin has built in Airplay which is also very convenient, and the Lumin app is super easy to use.

If you prefer your digital to sound like analog,have freedom to upconvert and crossconvert, have a rock sold app, constant firmware upgrades to new features, ease of use and a great looking product get a T2.

We sell many brands of digital: Ifi, Mytek, Nuprime, Naim, Lumin,Aqua Hifi, T+A, and a few others the Lumin is our favorite.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Lumin dealers