OPPO Sonica DAC to Lumin D2 Upgrade


I’m considering an upgrade from an OPPO Sonica DAC to a Lumin D2.  I’m generally satisfied with the OPPO sound and appreciate its simplicity of use (there is little doubt that it’s an absolute bargain at its price point).   

However, I briefly owned an Aurender A10 and found that it provided marginally better sound over the OPPO at a significantly higher cost.  Its only benefit, in addition to Aurender’s decent user app, was it’s on-board storage which was of little benefit to me.  So once again I’m considering an upgrade-this time at a more affordable level.   I prefer a unit that has similar functionality to the Sonica DAC.  

My basic question is this:  how much of a sonic improvement might I expect going from the Sonica DAC to the D2?  Also, how good is Lumin’s user app when used with Tidal streaming?  My OPPO was $799, the D2 lists for $2300.    The streamer/Dac (w/Tidal) will function as my sole source feeding a Belles Aria integrated and PMC twenty5.22 speakers.  I’ve found the Aria/PMC combo to be wonderfully satisfying and they will not be subject to change for the foreseeable future.  Any thoughtful advice will be much appreciated.
jreale
I had my Sonica upgraded by Ric Schultz at EVS and it sounds awesome...
jreale we are a Lumin dealer with the D2 on display and our findings mirror everyone who has gotten the D2.

For the money the D2 is very hard to beat, the D2 blew away the Cambridge Audio 851N which is a very well respected streamer. 

The Lumin sound is very organic and engaging the app is great and you have Roon compatibility add to that constant firmware updates new sources and features, and a very reliable product with Tidal, Qbozz, Internet radio and you have the world of high quality music at your feet.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Lumin Dealers
I've owned a Ric Schultz modified Oppo DVD player for more than 10 years and it is still going strong. If I already had a Sonica, and wanted to upgrade, I would send it to Ric and let him do his thing.

EVS Homepage - http://tweakaudio.com


@jreale you can try out the LUMIN app interface without having a LUMIN device, and as shown in this photo the Tidal integration works the same way as playing music from your local music server.

The OPPO Sonica remains an incredible bargain considering everything you got at that price point, and it is unfortunate OPPO's personal audio business was discontinued. Which also means it won't get upgrades for direct integration with newer music services.

I think you should try and hear the D2's analog output for yourself because you may prefer the OPPO sound character. I do think the LUMIN app user experience is superior.

jreale we are a Lumin dealer with the D2 on display and our findings mirror everyone who has gotten the D2.

Shameless plug.....
Yes Oddiofyi shamless plug, we have Lumin and Cambridge and many other fine digital front ends, the Lumin gear is consistantly loved by people who have gotten them. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Thanks to all that have responded.  Special thanks to nekoaudio for sending the Lumin app info. 

A Lumin choice adds roon capability and, reportedly, a superior user experience with its own user app.  These are two clear advantages over the Sonica, but, perhaps, still not enough to compel the upgrade choice. 

Both units offer wireless connectivity and remote control....so my decision hinges on the difference in sonic results between the two.  Again, I appreciate nekoaudio's suggestion that I hear the Lumin and compare it against the Sonica before making my decision.  I'll try to do just that, provided I can find a dealer that will allow a home trial.  
My Modwright Oppo Sonica sounds unbelievably good.

Lance
@jreale if your local dealer doesn't offer in-home trials, you could also ask if you could bring the Sonica DAC to them in order to do a direct comparison.
nekoaudio, more good advice.  Thank you.
Jreale we can arrange for an in home demo so can most dealers.

You should really spend some quality time with a D2 in your home it is a fantastic product.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ


Post removed 
@jreale

Another alternative to the D2, and I have owned both the D1 w/SBooster and the Sonica, is the Teac Reference NT-505. Like the Lumin and the OPPO it is a DAC/Streamer combination and like the OPPO but not the Lumin also has digital inputs so it can be used as a separate DAC also. It like it’s more expensive Esoteric brethren also uses the Lumin app. It can be found for $1999 at Sound Approach and HiFi Heaven. I bought one a couple of months ago to replace the Lumin and I prefer it’s higher level DAC chipset from AKM while the operation is the same as the Lumin.
Jpdk the D1 with an S/booster is nothing like a Lumin D2 the D2 sonically is far superior sounding to the original D1 and benefits from a completely redesigned unit with improvements made accross the board with a revised power supply, analog board and digital board. 

Not saying the Teac isn't good just that you didn't do an Apples to Apples comparison. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Wondered how long it would take you to put your salesman's two cents in.  The only differences between the two D's is the inclusion of an internal smps instead of a superior external LPS  option if you don't want to use the supplied wall wart and a modification to allow for DSD128 instead of DSD64 and that is direct from a Lumin spokesman who encouraged potential buyers who wanted the surperior LPS option to buy the D1 before the supply was gone.  
Actually no, the D2’s upgraded processor allows for higher rate DSD transcoding which makes the D2 sound better providing you are using the transcoding feature if you are not then yes their would be less improvements sonically.

Other improvements include new routing for the internal power supply and other circuit optimizations iin the board which make the D2 sound better over the D1 direct quote from the Lumin engineers.

Sorry if we were a bit presumtous and we never had the Sboster with our D1 the D2 in our shop sounded way better then the D1 we had initially.

As per major improvements the later T1 has substantially revised hardware and was a huge improvement over the D1 platform.

So you never did a D2 vs a Teac combarison however and AKM dac chip set sounds very different then the Wolfsons. If you prefer a more detailed sound then the AKM does that if you prefer a warmer sound then the D2 with its wolfson dac chip does that. 

@audiotroy

I will give you that the D2 out of the box will outperform the D1 sound wise connected as supplied out of the box especially with your four figure Wireworld power cable which would not be an option on the D1. Other than that I will believe what I was told by the representative of Lumin that other than the change in power supply, brought about as the result of complaints from customers having to buy an LPS to get best performance as opposed to the wall wart, the only change was with the ability to play DSD 128. Since you can’t sell a D1 with an upgraded power supply it is a mute point so you need to say the model you can sell is better. I have two friends on another forum that own the D1/SBooster that borrowed a D2 and both kept their D1 combo. Regardless I don’t sell anything so I was only providing an alternative to your choice that I do own as I did the D1 and the Sonica.

You need to realize that as a dealer who already has issues with many of the members here that it might be better to make your point one time and walk away unless someone contacts you for further information. Just my opinion which I doubt you will pay any attention to if history tells us anything.

Oh and don't look at my post count and think I am some audio newbie as that would be far from the truth with over 50 years experience even some in the "business."
Jacked not inferring you are a newbie, however, did you use the D1 or D2 without transcoding? Many people don’t play with that function.

Also you may be correct that the upgraded power cord which we did use with the D2 and its circuit improvennts did account for its far better performance in our shop.

As per upgrading a D1 to a D2 we wouldn’t make that upgrade either as the D2 would be better but perhaps only a marginal upgrade if you had the Sbooster with it, as mentioned we never had an Sbooster on our stock display unit. The D2 sounded a lot better than the stock D1 we had initially.

The Teac units are very good, it comes down to taste we sold Esoteric for years and the Lumin products consistantly were chosen over many of them by our clients who were lured away from spining CD's into the owrld of streaming


Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
If by transcoding you mean upsampling yes I did and not for me with either the Lumin, Teac or Aries.  The advantage of the Teac to my ears is that the AKM 4497 chipset is more advanced than the no longer made Wolfson chipset still used in the Lumin D series.  The Lumin reminded me of the Aqua La Voce with it's BB 1704 chip.  Plus the Teac gives you the option of using it as a DAC/Streamer plus the option of using it as a DAC for other devices. As Onkyo USA is now the Teac distributor you might want to get one in for a listen. Also I have no doubt that the D2 with my Triode Wire Labs Digital American power cord would beat out a D1 with the wall wart.  
Jackd, thanks for adding the Teac recommendation.  No doubt, the functionality of use as a separate Dac is certainly an added benefit.  Your opinion on the sonic differences between the Teac and Lumin units is is exactly the the kind of info I was looking for.
Glad to help. They are both great units and I agree with the description of the Wolfson based Lumin's as being the streamer for the Vinyl first guy.  The Teac just gives you a little more in terms of performance and functionality. 
Trade Sonica to Oppo 205. Then you can stream Tidal MQA using 205 MQA decoder. You would get 192/24 or 176/24 from Oppo. The oppo Oppo runs at black market for $2500 (doubled from origingal $1200 MSRP)
Only the truly gullible, naïve or just plain desperate would pay $2500 for an out of production Oppo 205 which sold for just $1200 prior to being discontinued!
They were a great buy possibly at $1200 but no way are they worth $2500!
I have what I think is a similarly budgeted and sounding system as the OP ... Schiit Gungnir Multibit --> Belles Aria Integrated --> ATC SCM11's. Likewise, I am very very happy with the Aria/speaker combination (though think about SCM19's) and was also recently entertaining a similar upgrade of my DAC to a pricier integrated network streamer/endpoint/DAC. Options again mainly being the Lumin D2, Teac NT-505, etc. But what I did in the end was to add an Allo Digione Signature endpoint + LPS in front of the Schiit DAC. Full Roon/Tidal/everything and superb clean sound that will likely beat any of the integrated network streamer/dac's being suggested. Yeah I know products like Allo are anathema to many on this forum but the digital parts of Lumin, Aurender are massively overpriced imo. I would prefer to put my $ into the analog side of things.