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Manufacturer: PIXEL MAGIC SYSTEMS Ltd.
Price (when reviewed): 24 000 PLN (Polish zloty)

Pixel Magic Systems Ltd. | Unit 603-605
IC Development Centre | No. 6 Science Park West
Hong Kong Science Park | HONG KONG



Provided for test by AUDIO ATELIER


zdjęcia „High Fidelity” | Lumïn

No 223

December 1, 2022

In 2013, LUMÏN entered the pantheon of world manufacturers of audio files players. Their first player simply named Lumïn was a challenge for the competitors. We are testing the latest player from this company, the T3, belonging to the latest generation of their products.

HEN LUMIN'S POLISH DISTRIBUTOR asked me if I wanted to test the T3, I didn't know what to say for a moment. After all, I just tested the T2 version - I thought - which was really good, by the way. So why the rush to replace the product? I know that today electronics manufacturers have huge problems with suppliers of components, from resistors, through integrated circuits, to housings, and that the lack of a certain components may force a given company to change the model. But why do it so fast?

It was only when I looked at "High Fidelity" → ARCHIVE that I realized my mistake. T2 was tested in February 2019. That is two and a half years ago. Since then, not only the macro world has changed, but also in our micro scale. It has also changed in the area in question - audio files.


⸜ DIGITAL STAGE AUDIO FILES PLAYER T3 from the outside almost does not differ from the T2. The changes are cosmetic - it's about aluminum processing, developed by the manufacturer for the top X1 player. What's more, inside we will find only one difference, but it is fundamental. Lumin used a completely different, new files transport. It is even newer than in the top X1 player and in the P1 player. Despite the not top price, the T3 is currently the most modern Lumin device.

It has a much faster microprocessor in which a new, prepared this year, program that controls the unpacking of files has been stored. The manufacturer says that thanks to a significant increase in its operational capabilities, it will be possible to make changes, even very large ones, in the player's software for a long time. And also that we get more options for upsampling due to the increased computing capabilities. The manufacturer informs that these solutions were borrowed from the X1 (test → HERE).

The T3 uses two ES9028Pro SABER D/A converter chips, one per channel. They work in dual-mono mode. Each of them consists of eight converters, which, if necessary, can be combined in parallel to into two balanced analog outputs. Lumïn is even more sophisticated because it combines these eight channels into one mono channel. This further reduces distortion and noise.

The player accepts almost any type of audio files: FLAC, FLAC MQA, WAV, DSD, Apple Lossless (ALAC), AIFF and mp3. It can convert PCM files of the resolution up to 32 bits and 384 kHz and DSD up to DSD512. It can also convert any digital signal from unpacked files to any other value, within the limits of PCM 384 kHz and DSD256. We can play files from local storage only via the network protocol, connecting the device with an Ethernet cable to the router and the NAS drive. So it is not possible to connect a USB drive or a flash drive to the player.

The T3 features an advanced digital volume control LEEDH PROCESSING VOLUME, is Roon Ready certified and supports streaming services, such as: Spotify Connect, MQA, TIDAL, TIDAL Connect, Qobuz and TuneIn internet radio, and is compatible with AirPlay.


The T3 VOLUME CONTROL ALGORITHM was developed by the French specialist GILLES MILLOT from the Acoustical Beauty company, which offers high-end loudspeakers with many interesting patents. It is called LEEDH PROCESSING and digitally regulates the amplitude of the signal without changing its shape and resolution. Referring to measurements made by SUPSI (University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland), he calls it "lossless".

We are talking about an algorithm, i.e. instructions for a microprocessor system, so it can be applied to both new and already existing devices. The latter solution was used by Lumïn in mid-2020. In the v13, version they made an option to change of the existing algorithm to Leedh Processing available to the owners of their devices. In T3 one gets it with the device.

It is worth noting that other high-end companies use it, including the Swiss SOULUTION and the French METRONOME.

⸜ ANALOG STAGE AFTER CONVERTING the digital signal to analog form, it is transmitted in a balanced, dual-mono form. Also this part was taken from the X1 player. One of the changes highlighted by Lumin is the use of high-end specialized for audio output capacitors, separately for XLR and RCA outputs.

The outputs also have separate output buffers and reed switches, which act as switches here. The signal on the outputs can be set in the device menu in the "High" or "Low" position, matching them to the rest of the system. The point is for the Leedh volume control to work with the highest possible values (attenuate as little as possible). From the classic 2V for RCA and 4V for XLR we can switch to - respectively - 3 and 6V. This section looks identical to the one in the T2 and similar to the X1 output stage.

⸜ OUTPUTS We can send the signal outside also in digital form. The BNC socket is used for this purpose. This output is limited to PCM signal of the resolution of up to 192 kHz and 24 bits and DSD (DSD64) via DoP protocol.

Lumin consistently avoids digital outputs with RCA sockets, because they are not designed to transmit a signal via a coaxial link with a characteristic impedance of 75 Ω - i.e. an ordinary RCA→RCA digital cable. Almost all other audio companies use RCA outputs out of convenience, laziness, and because there are no high-quality BNC plugs and sockets. The ones used in audio come from telecommunications companies.

The novelty, which is really a return to the roots, is the presence of a USB OUTPUT, which will send a digital signal to an external digital-analog converter. In T1 it was an INPUT for an external USB drive or pendrive. The output is a return to what I know from the T1. We will use it to send a "bit-perfect" signal, i.e. exactly the one that will be unpacked from files and depending on which upsampling we choose. Also FLAC MQA files can be decoded by T3 or sent without unpacking to the outside world.

⸜ CONTROL Communication with the player is executed exclusively using the proprietary Lumïn App control. It is quite neat, I got used to it and have been using it for years. It is available for both smartphones and tablets. However, it is also true that the Roon application has set the bar much higher and a solid update of the Lumin one would be a good idea.


⸜ HOW WE LISTENED The Lumin T3 audio files player was placed on the Finite Elemente Pagode Edition Mk II I rack on the Acoustic revive RAF-48H anti-vibration platform. On its top I placed a passive EMI/RFI filter Verictum X Block. Its sound was compared to the AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF EDITION SACD player and the XACT S1 transport with Ayon as a D/A converter. Mytek Brooklyn Bridge files player was my reference point.

The player was connected to the router via my system consisting of a dual LAN SILENT ANGEL N16 LPS switch, with its two modules in series, powered by a TIGLON TPL-2000A cable and a TIGLON TPL-2000L LAN cable; more about it → HERE; the router was powered from the JCAT Optimo 3 Duo power supply.

⸜ Recordings used for the test | a selection

⸜ ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM, Stone Flower (CTI Records 40th Anniversary Edition), CTI Records/ Tidal, FLAC MQA Studio 16/44,1 (1970/?).
⸜ ART BLAKEY, Moanin’, Blue Note/Tidal Master, FLAC MQA Studio 24/192 (1958/?).
⸜ PATRICIA BARBER, Clique, Impex Records/Tidal, FLAC MQA Studio 24/352,8 (2021).
⸜ STEPHAN MICUS, Winter’s End, ECM Records ECM 2698/Tidal, FLAC 16/44,1 (2021).
⸜ THE BEATLES, Let It Be, Apple Records | Universal Music Catalogue/Tidal Master, 50th Anniversary, Super Deluxe Edition, FLAC MQA 24/96 (1970/2021).
⸜ BILL EVANS, You Must Believe In Spring, Warner Bros./QOBUZ, FLAC 24/192 (1981/2022).
⸜ LAURIE ANDERSON, Homeland, Nonesuch Records/Tidal, FLAC MQA 16/44,1 (2009).
⸜ KINGDM, Your Love (feat. Soran & Reo Cragun) , Capital Records/Tidal Master, FLAC MQA 24/44,1 (2018).
⸜ MARY KOMASA, Degenerate Love, Warner Music Poland/Tidal, SP, FLAC 16/44,1 (2019).


IT'S INTERESTING, BUT THERE'S SOMETHING IN AUDIO OF A "collective subconscious". I have seen its manifestations more than once or twice, both in terms of the appearance of the devices, their functionality, but also their sound. This last feature is particularly interesting. The design can be explained as being inspired by observing the competition's solutions, and the same goes for the functionality. However, the sound is much more difficult to "copy" or imitate. At least when we're talking about a sound of such a high quality as that of the Lumin T3.

The shared "mindset", which also made itself known in the case of this device, has a clear vector: towards energy, while maintaining a silky aftertaste. It's unbelievable how much thinking about sound of audio files has changed in the last few years! When I played the Stone Flower (CTI Records 40th Anniversary Edition) by ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM the instruments almost "jumped" out of the speakers. It was the first time I heard something like that with Lumin devices. I have always valued them for their perfect tonality and beautiful, sweet melodiousness of sound, and in recent years for their precision, but it was different when it came to energy.

Jobim was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder at his studio in Englewood. Van Gelder was a pioneer in the microphone technique, which today seems to be the only possible one - even though it is not - and which in the 1950s and even the 1960s broke with the earlier canon. The former optometrist wanted to achieve the tangibility he knew from concerts. So, by trial and error, he chose Neumann and Shoeps microphones with high output voltage, for which a special mixing table was made for him - that’s one thing. And the second one - he placed the microphones very close to the instruments and vocalists, saturating the tape to the maximum.

Let's play the Brazil track from the aforementioned album and we will hear it in the first notes. The instruments will almost break out of the speakers, they will have tangibility and energy comparable to how we hear them live. Or maybe even bigger. However, we must meet one basic condition: the entire signal’s path must be as resolving and energetic as possible. And with that, in the case of files players, there is a big problem.

The designers of the Lumin T3 managed, as I hear it, to a large extent to minimize it. Because both Jobim, and STEPHAN MICUS from Winter's End, which I listened to immediately afterwards, and THE BEATLES from the new remix of Let It Be, all these albums sounded lively, and almost explosive. It was a big step towards what I know from the first LP pressings with material recorded by Van Gelder. ART BLAKEY from the album Moanin' sounded similar. By this I mean that it didn't matter what resolution were the recordings I listened to, what kind of music it was, the Lumin delivered it in a dynamic, open and energetic way.

What has changed compared to the T2, which was also moving in this direction, is the resolution, clearly higher in the T3. The open sound of the earlier model was sometimes not refined enough for my taste. It had its advantages and in many systems the T2 was a godsend for their self-contained sound. T3 goes further. It adds sophistication to the strong band’s extremes, and they are really strong. With productions with a less perfect sound, this will not be a problem, because both treble and bass have a slightly rounded attack. It is strong and fast, but without a "sharpness" that could turn listening to music into something unpleasant.

I often hear this type of sound in rooms well-prepared in terms of acoustics and systems themselves at audio shows, and it is the sound from turntables. I'm not saying that what we get from the Lumin is the same with what we get from a turntable for similar amount of money. I'm thinking of something more important: on many levels, it's an equivalent sound. Mostly in terms of its credibility. The T3 presents music in an equally natural way, without emphasizing any sub-range, with strong extremes, and what is most memorable is what happens in the midrange.

So when I played the BILL EVANS album entitled You Must Believe In Spring, on the Tidal Master service available in FLAC MQA 24/96 files, and on QOBUZ in FLAC 24/192, I heard a beautiful piano, slightly slimmed down - that's how it is recorded - but still with a saturated sound. When Eddie Gomez entered with the double bass solo at the end of the second minute, I got what I was talking about at the beginning again: immediacy, palpability and "presence". So the point is not that the midrange is pushed forward here, but that the treble and bass are strong so that there is nothing missing in the midrange.

Evans's album, recorded in 1977, was released only after his death, in 1980. It was recorded during three August days in Capitol Records studios, so on top equipment and in a top room. What's more, one of the producers was Tommy LiPuma, whom we will meet years later as the discoverer, promoter and producer of Diana Krall's albums. Still, when I returned to the Blue Note recordings, there was no regression in resolution and palpability. With Evans the space was rendered better. Perhaps because the interiors of this labels studios are excellent.

All this was clear to me because one of the most important qualities of this player is building a stereoscopic "event" in front of us. We seem to know that it is the result of work in the studio, but the device allows us to hear it as part of the art of recording, mixing and mastering music material. This is why LAURIE ANDERSON's incredibly spatial album entitled Homeland had such momentum with it, and when needed, the sound surrounded me with bells coming from the far right of the speakers.

As I said, these observations were possible only because the Lumin T3 is so resolving and so pleasantly sounding device. I does not offer quite as saturated sound that I achieved with the Aurender N20 and XACT S1 files transports connected to the DAC in the Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition player, and - even more so - with CDs and SACDs played from this player. I didn't expect that. However, I also did not expect that the Lumin would sound so nice, so pleasant - and yet I got it.


I’VE EVER HAD ONLY TWO AUDIO FILES PLAYERS in my reference system so far: Mytek Brooklyn Bridge and Lumin T1. I still use them, even though new versions have been available for a long time. They are not the best players I've listened to, far from it. However, their sound is complete, finished and I know them well. They have something in their sound that makes listening to the music with them incredibly comfortable, and at the same time they can also be used as tools for sound evaluation.

The Lumin T3 combines their sound as if the designers from Hong Kong decided to take the best of them and present them in one product. So from Mytek they took precision and energy, and a really good definition of sounds. From T1, in turn, they took a sample of sweetness and applied it to Mytek's precision. And they added much better space to it. The result is a sound that is tonally balanced, smooth, yet resolving and energetic.

The bottom line though is that T3 is way better than T2. Maybe it is not as sophisticated as the X1, but everything is so nicely arranged in it that I will not be surprised if you choose this model. After longer listening sessions, I come to the conclusion that it promotes better recordings. However, it does not massacre those of lesser quality. Simply, the better the music, the recording, and the release, the better it will sound. And this is what we look for in audio.

For me, this is an impulse to replace my T1 model with a T3 after many years. In this way, Lumin remains in the editorial office of "High Fidelity" as one of the digital sources.


THE LUMIN T3’S CHASSIS was made in a way that seems to be optimal in high-end: made of aluminum sections and sheets screwed together. There are two side panels, rear and front, as well as bottom and top. All elements are solid, thick and perfectly matched. The T3 looks very similar to the T2, but the finish is of higher quality - it's similar to that of the P1. The device stands on four aluminum feet, which are worth replacing with some other, from some specialists brand.

⸜ FRONT AND REAR The display is blue and this is the hallmark of this manufacturer. It's not big, but we can learn quite a lot from it - in addition to the artist and title the parameters of the audio signal are displayed on it, with all the details. Unfortunately, for this to work, we have to be very close, because the letters are small.

On the back panel we find, widely spaced, which helps when connecting cables, analog sockets - RCA and XLR. The former is produced by the American company CMC. Unlike products from other companies, the contact surface of the ground is not polished, but slightly rough. There are no markings on the XLR jacks.

There is a digital output featuring BNC socket - this is the only way to perfectly maintain the characteristic impedance of such a link. And there are also LAN, USB (output) and IEC sockets with a power switch located next to the latter. In the middle, however, there is something nice - a ground clamp. It is worth trying to add some artificial ground device, even just for this player. The clamp is not very comfortable to use, but it will do the job.

⸜ INSIDE The electronic circuit is mounted on a large printed circuit board with a smaller one attached to it. Next to it, there is a switch-mode power supply by Lumin. Let me remind you that in the T1 version it was an external linear power supply, in the T2 it was replaced with the same one we find in the X1 and T3.

The main board looks almost identical to that of the T2. if any changes were made, then they are not visible to a person without a schematic in hand. The change appears to be limited to "only" the files transport section. Its microprocessor and RAM were placed on a small board, connected to the main board via multi-pins. The heat-sink on the DSP chip is smaller than in the T2, P1 and X1, and the whole PCB looks different.

The power supply for the board, already on the main board, is also different. Next to it there are DSP, Altera Cyclone IV and XMOS chips. The first is used for upsampling and volume control, and the second is a USB receiver. The player's software was written by Pixel Magic Systems engineers and is constantly being improved - in the T3 it is in the "2022" version. Next to the BNC digital output you can see an impedance matching transformer.

In turn, the digital-to-analog converter circuit looks identical to that in the T2. The signal goes to two Saber ES9028PRO chips from ESS Technology, one per channel, operating in mono. Behind them you can see the I/O chips and output ones. They are based on OPA 1611A integrated circuits. Nice polypropylene WIMA capacitors and surface mounted resistors work with them. The outputs are capacitor coupled and switched on by reed switches - these are one of the best, most stable switching elements. Another company that uses them is McIntosh. The signal, from start to finish, is relayed in a balanced form.

Technical specifications (according to the manufacturer)

Streaming protocol: UPnP AV
Supported files:
• PCM: FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC), WAV, AIFF
• lossy: MP3, AAC (M4A)
Sampling frequency, words length:
• PCM, 44.1 - 384 kHz, 16 - 32 bits, stereo
• DSD, 2.8 MHz (DSD64) – 22.6 MHz (DSD512), 1 bit, stereo

Digital outputs:
• USB: DSD512 | PCM 44.1 - 384 kHz, 16 - 32 bits, stereo
• BNC S/PDIF: PCM 44.1 - 192 kHz, 16 - 24 bits ⸜ DSD (DoP, DSD over PCM) 2.8 MHz, 1 bit

Digital input:
Ethernet Network 1000Base-T
Output signal: 6/4 V XLR | 3/2 V RCA
Dimensions (W x D x H): 350 x 350 x 60,5 mm
Weight: 6 kg


Reference system 2022

1) Loudspeakers: HARBETH M40.1 |REVIEW|
2) Line preamplifier: AYON AUDIO Spheris III Linestage |REVIEW|
3) Super Audio CD Player: AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF Edition No. 01/50 |REVIEW|
4) Stands (loudspeakers): ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom) |ABOUT|
5) Power amplifier: SOULUTION 710
6) Loudspeaker filter: SPEC REAL-SOUND PROCESSOR RSP-AZ9EX (prototype) |REVIEW|
7) Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|


Analog interconnect SACD Player - Line preamplifier: SILTECH Triple Crown (1 m) |ABOUT|
Analog interconnect Line preamplifier - Power amplifier: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM (1 m) |REVIEW|
Speaker cable: SILTECH Triple Crown (2.5 m) |ABOUT|

AC Power

Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - SACD Player: SILTECH Triple Crown
Power (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Line preamplifier - ACOUSTIC REVIVE
Power Reference Triple-C (2 m) |REVIEW|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Power amplifier - ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Power Receptacle - Mains Power Distribution Block: ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power Receptacle: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE |REVIEW|
Anti-vibration platform under Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE: Asura QUALITY RECOVERY SYSTEM Level 1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RPC-1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C |REVIEW|
Passive filter EMI/RFI: VERICTUM Block |REVIEW|


Speaker stands: ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom)
Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|
Anti-vibration platforms: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RAF-48H |ARTICLE|

  • HARMONIX TU-666M "BeauTone" MILLION MAESTRO 20th Anniversary Edition |REVIEW|


Phono preamplifier: Phono cartridges: Tonearm (12"): Reed 3P |REVIEW|

Clamp: PATHE WINGS Titanium PW-Ti 770 | Limited Edition

Record mats:


Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC