Streamer Advice Lumin, Auralic, Innuos Others?


I have just purchased a Denefrips Pontus DAC and will be looking to get into streaming. I am considering the Lumin U1 mini, the Auralic G1 and one of the Innuos either the Zen or Zen mini (if you upgrade the mini's power supply you are not far off in price to the Zen). I have also considered just getting a Bluesound to get my feet wet. I would like to eventually convert my CD collection, about 600 to storage but at least for the time being I will keep using a CD transport. I am a vinyl guy and play records at least 60% of the time. I don't know if a good streamer would change that. I have about 1000 LPs. I do have a nice idler drive TT setup. Space is getting to be a problem. Going forward I don't plan on buying more CDs and will limit LP purchases. I would have a max budget of $3K, but I really don't want to spend over $2Kish if I can help it. Any other suggestions or comments on the streamers I have mentioned? Also,I don't mind getting something less expensive or even used to get accustomed to this arena. On another note, looking at the Lumin D2 which sells for $2300 and has a DAC (but as I understand it, the DAC in the Lumin D2 would not be accessible to my CD transport) and the U1 Mini is $2K with no DAC. I have read the DAC in the D2 is older technology but am I looking at the same DACless product for $300 less with the U1 Mini? I am not chasing the holy grail, but would like something nice. Currently I am running a 300B tube amp and Zu Omen speakers just for reference.
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It sounds like you have a nice system and are approaching this the right way. I think all your possibles are good choices Auralic is a pioneering company in the streaming biz and makes good stuff, I've run their Aries Mini for the last 3 years and love it. Lumin is very highly regarded and Innuos  seems to be the hot new brand on the market.


Chances are you will love the sound of any of these streamers if I was you I would focus on features and interface. They all do basically the same thing but each has its own quirks, I personally love Auralic's LDS interface but have never experienced Lumin or Innuos. Look around on the websites and get a feel for what the apps look like and how they fit your listening habits.
I think that going the Bluesound route would be an excellent way to get your feet wet.  That is the route I went 5 years ago. At the same time I also went about the business of ripping my entire CD collection as uncompressed flac files using dBpoweramp.  Since then my CD player hardly gets any use.  More recently I picked up a Roon Nucleus, and in my main rig feed a Chord Qutest directly from the Nucleus via USB.  Once you are looking at streamers in the $2K class, I think the Roon Nucleus is worth a look.  I think all of the players you've listed are worthy candidates.  The Lumin U1 Mini was also on my short list. But I had an opportunity to pick up the Nucleus at a very good price, and believe with either Tidal and/or Qobuz the Roon interface can't be beat.  I think that the Innuos products are also very interesting, but I already have a Melco doing NAS duties.  Innuos servers can be set up as Roon Core or as Roon endpoints ... and you would have to check with an Innuos dealer if they can do both at the same time as I did read somewhere about a beta where Innuos could perform both at the same time.  Roon Nucleus  handles core chores while also being able to feed an endpoint directly by either USB or HDMI.  Nucleus also has an internal bay where you can install an HDD or SSD if you so chose, such that the Nucleus could function as your NAS as well.   


FI’m using the optical rendu and optical module with the SBooster LPS. I think it’s really good bang for the buck if you are willing to be a little more hands on. I think you can get a the oRendu + oModule system for about $2k or less.

In general I think the streamer tech is developing quickly and I am loath to spend too much money.
Innuos ZEN. And it’s not only a great USB streamer, but also a Server, CD ripper, and storage (minimum 1 TB). I have the ZENith MK3 for over a year now, and couldn’t be happier 
Regarding Innuos, I think the Zen has greater richness than the Zen Mini. So much so that I think it’s worth the upgrade to the Zen if you can afford it. The Zenith brings delicacy compared to the Zen, but quite a bit more expensive. So YMMV 
So many recent threads have covered this topic and I still remain unclear on why and how a “premium” streamer increases SQ.

so, just as jazzman suggests, I have a Bluesound node 2i running into my DAC of choice (chord Qutest) until that point where I learn more about Innous, Lumin, etc.

WiFi streaming with BluOS seems pretty easy and sounds damn good.

How do you quantify better with a streamer head? Besides the control,app?
When it comes to SQ it's all about the precision of the clock, the cleanliness of the signal, and lowering the noise floor.  Quieter is better.
Everything in your digital food chain counts. Router, switches, ethernet cabling, how your music is stored, the renderer, the DAC, and all cabling inbetween.   A Bluesound Node 2i is a wonderful piece of kit for the money.  It's enjoyable on its own.  Add a better DAC and you can take it to another level.   The Node beats a plain vanilla PC as a renderer because it is quieter, purpose built for the task.  The better streamers are quieter still, better clocks and power supplies, but that refinement comes at a cost that we the customer must pay for.  You can store your ripped CDs and downloads on any discoverable network share, but a purpose built storage device like an Innuos or Melco can yield whole other level of refinement.  It's all a matter of how important it is to you and how much you are willing to pay for.
Thank you thank you all for your responses. As luck would have it I found a good deal on a Cambridge CXN v2 so that’s where I’ll begin this journey. I’ll try to audition up the food chain when I can.
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