Lumin X1: Enabling an Even Simpler Yet Better Sounding System

AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
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There's no accounting for taste.

Surely that's true in terms of musical preferences. It may be less true when it comes to sonic quality, but the divergence of opinion on this among even fairly well informed audiophiles suggests that this familiar saying should be given considerable weight even as to sonic merits.

With those caveats in mind, I will tell you that while I currently have some 135 radio stations labeled as favorites within the Lumin App and Roon, in terms of internet radio listening through my primary audio system, the two stations which get by far the lion's share of air time are KCSM (jazz from the San Francisco Bay area) and WFMT (classical from Chicago, my home area). Another favorite is SomaFM's Sonic Universe stream. I also enjoy the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) classical and jazz stations, as well as Canberra Australia's ArtSound FM 92.7. Others include WILL-FM, the FIP (France) streams, Jazz 88.5 from Minneapolis, the Radio Swiss Classic and Jazz streams, Canal Jazz and Sun Jazz from France, several Minnesota Public Radio streams, and other SomaFM streams. Heck, I listen to many of my 135 favorites more than occasionally.

You will note that none of the ones I mentioned are on the FLAC list. For internet radio streaming I generally listen primarily for musical content, not for sonic quality. When i go beyond my top two favorites, I often engage in channel surfing until I find something that is especially engaging musically and/or sonically and park there for a while.

Of the channels on the FLAC list, so far in my explorations, in terms of sonics I would rate the Czech D-dur classical and Czech Jazz, Mother Earth Radio, as well as the three Naim stations at the top of the heap. Much of the musical content of the 40+ stations on the FLAC list is not really my cup of tea, but the ones I mentioned are both musically interesting to me and sonically superior, primarily because they have less obvious signal compression or other processing.

Assuming you want to find new internet radio stations of interest to you, what's a good way to go about that? To get started, I suggest going to the vTuner Internet Radio station list page. Then pick a musical genre, such as Classical or Jazz. Within your chosen musical genre, choose to sort the stations either by Fastest Speed (giving sonics priority) or by Most Popular (giving musical content priority). If you regard yourself as a contrarian in terms of musical taste, you could always start at the bottom of the Most Popular list and work up. Take a listen by tapping the Play button beside any given channel. Once you find a station you'd like to make a favorite, you'll know what to do.
135 stations set as favourites? That's quite a list, I must say. Thanks a lot for the vTuner Internet Radio station list page recommendation. I gave it a try and it gives you pretty impressive results.
 

Tontoverde

Member
Feb 22, 2020
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In recent years I have found myself gravitating toward cheap-ish but neutral (to me) sounding cables. For digital and analog connections I use either Benchmark or Blue Jeans cords. I find these as neutral sounding as anything I've tried, and I've tried a pretty extensive array of cabling over past decades. With my Dutch & Dutch 8c speakers, I don't need speaker cables so that solves that issue.

For AC connections I currently use very old unobtanium cords called The Absolute Power Cord MkII, a blue-jacketed 14-gauge Chinese cord with hospital grade connections at both ends once marketed in the USA through GTT Audio. Again, to me, these are as neutral sounding as anything and only cost about $50 to $100 for an eight-foot cord (ideal for my system, much better than six footers) when they were available. I use those for everything including the external power supply of the Lumin X1.

My most recent foray into more expensive power cords was the TWL brand. Yes, these sound sweeter (i.e., gently rolled off) at the top end than what I use now, but with the already sweet-sounding Lumin X1 and the D&D speakers, these are not an ideal match compared to the more neutral (there's that word again) The Absolute Power Cord MkII. Most expensive power cords are also very stiff which I find counterproductive in terms of mechanical isolation of electronics, not to mention wire routing in close quarters such as the way my system is set up and the expense of longer-than-six-foot lengths I need for my powered speakers.
I tried a variety of power cords into the Lumin X1 This past weekend. Without a doubt my best cord, Kimber Palladian, made a notable difference. It’s always interesting to experiment. I’m sure happy with the Lumin! It has exceeded all of my expectations!
 

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