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Manufacturer: PIXEL MAGIC SYSTEMS Ltd.
Price (when reviewed): 23 990 PLN

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


Images by „High Fidelity”

No 242

July 1, 2024


In 2013, LUMÏN broke into the pantheon of global audio file player manufacturers by offering DSD file playback. Its first player, simply named Lumïn, was a challenge to the competition. We are testing the company's latest product, the P1 Mini, which is a file player with a preamplifier section. This is its FIRST test in the world.

WHEN I ENTERED the Lumin’s ROOM at the 2024 Munich High End SHOW, the center of attention was the new P1 Mini player. Admittedly, it wasn't articulated directly, but the gravitation of the people working there, including Li He, the company's chief executive, and Angus Leung, head of sales, toward it was unmistakable. Which was really interesting.

After all, in the same room stood much more expensive, much more impressive equipment, with the original P1 and Amp amplifier at the forefront. As Angus told me shortly afterwards, and confirmed a week later in an interview we conducted at my home, the point is that the P1 Mini is a key product for Lumin; you’ll be able to read the interview with Messrs. Li On and Angus Leung on July 1.

P1 Mini

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Costing a considerable, but still reasonable, in the context of competing products, 23,990 zlotys (PLN) the device, knowing the company's reputation, knowing what it really is, will be easier to explain. After all, the P1 Mini is the second product in the company's lineup that combines the functionality of an audio file player, a DAC with HDMI inputs, and a preamplifier. The first was the original P1 from 2021; test → HERE.

The name says a lot about what the new product is: it's a smaller and cheaper - as Mr. Li On emphasized in a conversation with me - version of the larger product. The chassis has changed, now made of bent sheet metal rather than milled, the power supply is smaller, as have some components, and there is no balanced analog input. However, one can think of the P1 Mini as a T3 with more functionality and a simpler enclosure. Advertising it on its website, the manufacturer, asking "Why the P1 Mini?", answers:

Just like its bigger brother, P1 Mini is designed to be used as a streamer, a DAC, a preamplifier or all three! (emph – ed.)

With 5 analogue and digital inputs, a linear power supply and many other components taken from flagship players, LUMIN P1 Mini packs incredible versatility and value into its new slim chassis.

P1 Mini, →, accessed: 10.06.2024.

LOOKS • This device shares a chassis with two other products from this company - the D3 player and the U2 Mini file transport. The front is a flat sheet of aluminum with a milled "window" hiding, used in all products of this manufacturer, a display that shows information regarding the album, track, file type, as well as icons indicating the selected input and volume.

The P1 Mini has two more knobs added that are really convenient to use for input selection and volume control - as well as, and this is new, a standby switch with a micro-diode in, unfortunately, blue color. As Angus says, it was decided to go with this type of highly manual operation so that people not connected to the audiophile world could easily operate the device.

The rear panel is hidden under a protruding housing. This is an element originally borrowed from Linn players, and kept by Lumin all these years. I pointed out to Mr. Li that this was not very convenient for plugging in cables, to which he replied that in the future they would shorten this protrusion a bit, but would not do away with it, as many users praise such cable protection and hiding them from view.

FEATURES • P1 Mini is a complex device feature-wise. On the manufacturer's website we find such a description:

» Idea no. 1 - Streaming DAC
LUMIN P1 Mini can be used like all other LUMIN players. With its DSD512/PCM384 support, Femto Clock System, Fibre Networking, toroidal power supply, and Leedh Processing, it's packed with incredible components.

» Idea no. 2 - HiFi hub
Connect all your stereo sources to LUMIN P1 Mini and attach a power amplifier and you've got everything you need for an incredible music system.

» Idea no. 3 - 2-channel TV system
No need for an AV Receiver. Simply attach your HDMI sources to your TV and P1 Mini to your TV. With HDMI ARC, all your audio comes through your main speakers.

⸜ Ibid.

Let's start with the PLAYER. It is based on a new streaming platform, shared with the T3, P1 and X1, for which Lumin used a state-of-the-art NXP chip. Thanks to the increased processing power, we can play PCM files up to 32 bits and 384 kHz, as well as DSD files up to DSD512, in addition to Apple Lossless (ALAC), WAV, AIFF, MQA, MP3, AAC (in an M4A container). We can transfer files either over the network, from a NAS drive, or from a flash drive - there are two USB ports on the rear panel.

The device is compatible with all major streaming services, including Qobuz, Tidal Connect and Spotify Connect, and is expected to support Amazon Music in the future. The manufacturer reports that Tidal's system is built into the device's software, so you can migrate with playlists between the streaming app and Lumina. A separate "input", indicated on the display, is dedicated to Internet radio stations. The P1 Mini is also Roon Ready certified.

We connect the device to the outside world via an RJ45 cable, which is a classic Ethernet cable, but we can also do it through an SFP fiber link. Lumin introduced it in the X1 file transport and then in the L2 server, but unfortunately it is not present in the T3... We can’t connect P1 Mini to the network via Wi-Fi - Lumin is an ardent advocate of wired file transfer.

Let me remind you that the Small Form-Factor Pluggable is a small transmitter/receiver that allows you to extend the functionality of your devices. The signal in it can be transmitted optically and electrically. It is also known as a mini-gigabit (Mini-GBIC) interface converter. It can be connected directly to the physical port of a network device. It can also realize electrical and optical signal conversion to increase the distance of the transmitter and receiver. Its main advantage for optical operation is the galvanic separation of devices, which translates into a significant reduction in noise.

An important, perhaps even the most important, feature of the Lumin P1 Mini is its ability to work as a PREAMPLIFIER. The company's devices now come standard with the Leedh Processing volume control algorithm. We have written about it many times, so we will not repeat it. Let's just say that it's a really advanced system. The important thing is that it is based on PCM signal processing, so if you listen to DSD files, they will be converted to PCM.

User also gets digital and analog inputs at his disposal; the latter on unbalanced RCA jacks. So the device can work as a DAC with (or without) a preamplifier. There are more digital inputs: USB, BNC, optical Toslink and HDMI, as well as an output with ARC, a return channel that allows the signal to be sent to a TV receiver, for example, from a file player or Blu-ray player, and return via the same cable the signal from the TV. Thus, the player can be the heart of a stereo system with home cinema sound. The signal is output via RCA or XLR jacks. If we use volume control, we can connect the P1 Mini directly to power amplifiers or to active speakers.

Let’s add that the same chip where the streamer software and Leedh Processing are stored, allows signal upsampling to either PCM 32/384 or DSD128. This is one of the things borrowed from the top-of-the-line X1. But not the only one. In addition to the SFP optical link, you'll also find two Femto clocks with a self-programmed FPGA used to distribute the clock signal between the various subsystems.

REMOTE • Lumin has its own stable and fast app, both for iOS devices - and it is preferred - but also for those running Android; iOS 11.0 or newer, Android 4.0 or newer.

However, along with the P1 Mini, I also received a remote control. It's not necessary, but it can nevertheless come in handy simply to change tracks, as in a CD player, or to adjust the volume, without having to reach for a smartphone or tablet.

The remote control looks great, thanks to its casing made of acrylic and metal. It is manufactured by one of the Austrian companies and looks as if it were part of the equipment of a luxury Audi or BMW car. My only comment is on the volume buttons - they are in a not very convenient place.


HOW WE LISTENED • The P1 Mini file player was tested in the HIGH FIDELITY reference system. The player section was compared to the Lumin T3 and to the Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition SACD player. The preamplifier section, on the other hand, was compared to the Ayon Audio Spheris III two-box tube preamplifier. The P1 Mini was connected to the preamplifier via Crystal Cable Absolute Dream RCA cables, and to the Soulution 710 power amplifier via Acoustic Revive Absolute XLR cables.

Lumin stood on the top shelf of a Finite Elemente Master Reference Pagode Edition MkII rack on its feet and was powered by Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version cable. I connected its ground terminal to a Nordost QKore artificial ground.

File playback was done using the system described in the HIGH FIDELITY reference system routing article (more → HERE ˻PL˺).


⸜ WADADA LEO SMITH, AMINA CLAUDINE MYERS, Central Park’s Reservoir, Lake, Paths and Gardens, Red Hook Records/Tidal, FLAC 16/44,1 (2024).
⸜ SUE FOLEY, One Guitar Woman (A Tribute To The Female Pioneers Of Guitar), Stony Plain Records/Tidal, FLAC 16/44,1 (2024).
⸜ ZARA McFARLANE, If You Could See Me Now, Eternal Source Of Light/Tidal, FLAC 24/96, SP (2024).
⸜ DJO, DECIDE, AWAL Recordings/Tidal, FLAC 24/96 (2022).
⸜ BILAL, ?UESTLOVE, ROBERT GLASPER, BURNISS TRAVIS Something To Hold – Live, ONErpm/Tidal FLAC 24/96, SP (2024).
⸜ CHAPPELL ROAN, Good Luck, Babe!, Island Records/Tidal FLAC 24/96, SP (2024).

» The recordings featured in the test can be found on the HIGH FIDELITY playlist on TIDAL → HERE


A COMPARISON OF THE P1 MINI and the T3 showed that they may be very similar devices in terms of design, but at the same time, their sound is not the same. In truth, they differ in several important points. The sound of the tested player seems to me to be "tuned" with a wider audience in mind than the T3. I can't otherwise explain the former's more open, faster and transparent sound. It's still a Lumin, there's no doubt about that, however, when Wadad Leo Smith's trumpet played in Conservatory Garden, when the guitar sounded in In My Girlish Days by SUE FOLEY, I knew exactly what idea was behind these changes.

You see, leave well alone - this is a basic principle in many professions, including those related to sound. It's not "ironclad," but it works often enough that where quick decisions have to be made it's often better to fall back on the "good". The same is true for perfectionist audio, that is, for us audiophiles. It's better to go through the "learning curve" from the beginning, slowly, without rushing, rather than jumping right into the heart of the high-end. And this is because the vast majority of music listeners will not understand it and will point to simpler solutions as the better ones.

The same is true of the P1 Mini. Its sound is warm, saturated and dense, but also open and sonorous. The T3 is much more saturated and much darker. But this is something that requires experience to appreciate, and if we want to convince someone of our reasons it's better not to start here. Therefore, if the new Lumin player is to be a "starter" product that will attract more people into our world, that will allow them to see what we see and become enthralled by it, then this is the better way.

For the guitar, of the aforementioned, Sue Foley sounded excellent - dynamic, in an open way, without long reverb. The track is built, in part, on the contrast between just such a modern instrument sound, and absolutely vintage vocals. The latter was recorded, the way I hear it, with an old microphone, then it was additionally run through an effect that intensified the "oldness" effect. It sounds great, especially since, after all, the album One Guitar Woman, from which the song in question comes, is subtitled A Tribute To The Female Pioneers Of Guitar, which explains a lot.

The fantastic ZARA McFARLANE also sounded similar. Also, the track If You Could See Me Now from the upcoming album Celebrating Sarah Vaughan was recorded in a way that is meant to evoke the 1960s. In the middle we have strong, big vocals, but on considerable reverb, followed by double bass; their sound reminds me of what Al Smith achieved on Natalie Cole's recordings from the Unforgettable With Love album (1991). The piano is placed on the right and the drums on the left. This is beautifully stylized playing, with deep colors and high dynamics. The tested Lumin showed these things without a problem, also the noise accompanying the recording, as if it had been made on an analog tape recorder.

This is because the P1 Mini very skillfully combines the audiophile idiom and the habits of people who listen to music through headphones or in the car every day. From our world it takes saturated colors, plasticity and high volume, and from "the world" it takes open upper midrange and a stronger focus on detail. It's still Lumin, no doubt about it, so we're not dealing with a bright sound, nor a tiring one.

Even if one listens to a more heavily compressed pop track like End of Benignin by Joseph David "Joe" Keery's group, who performs under the pseudonym DJO, and comes from the album Decide, it will be elegant, nice playing. This is because the device does not cross, difficult to define but easy to feel, the boundary of good taste. And that's because it plays in the resolving, dense way that we so appreciate in audio (or at least I do). When it needs to be, it's delicate and pastel, and at other times, let's say a live recording from Something To Hold by BILAL and QUESTLOVE, it manages to deliver a slam in the lowest part of the range, and to push a lot of air into the room.

Indeed, the scale of the recordings is large, and while the T3 shows larger sound sources, somehow I didn't particularly miss that in the P1 Mini. Yes, it's a bit brighter and higher, but without any negative effects. I would even say that if the kind of playing the Lumin offers suits us, but we would like to have more "air" in the recordings, to make them more vivid, then the tested player will do better than my player. Especially since the device not only differentiates recordings very well, but those made in a slightly less purist way, that is heavily "produced", sound really cool, pleasant with it. Whether it's the aforementioned Zara McFarlane, with her sensual voice, or the almost cheerful summer playing of CHAPPEL ROAN from the Good Luck, Babe! album, it will be a pleasure to listen to.

PREAMPLIFIER • Which brings us to the question of how the Lumin in question plays with the built-in preamplifier. It turns out that very, but very cool. We listened to this setup with Li On and Angus Leung in my system, and we were in agreement that it sounded good.

The external preamplifier gives more breath to the music and makes the presentation more resolved. But these are not huge differences. And they don't weigh as much as one might expect, because the Lumin with Leedh volume control, connected via balanced cable directly to the Soulution 710 power amplifier, plays in a warmer and denser way than with an external preamp. But that warmth doesn't go toward the darkness we get with the T3. It's a different kind of sound. Soft and pastel, but also quite open.

The overall presentation is slightly withdrawn, so that you can play music really loud without worrying that it will tire you out, or those that it will be too aggressive. It will be strong if necessary, it will be low if necessary, it will also be pastel. It will be joyful playing, without bloat or pretense. It's a perfectly balanced and thoughtful sound. If I had to choose, I would listen to the P1 Mini without an external preamp, just as it is.


LUMIN BELONGS TO THE GROUP of companies related to file playback, whether locally or from streaming services, that has brought many good things to our world. Its idea of sound suits me very well, and I think it's what we music lovers need to listen to music. And at the same time, Lumin is a company that, on the one hand, does not stand still and, on the other hand, does not push for expensive products at all cost.

A good example of a combination of these things is the P1 Mini. A versatile, nice, very well-built device with a sound that will shock most people who have no previous contact with good audio. But it will be a surprise also for audiophiles, especially when you connect the player directly to a power amplifier or active speakers.

For we will get a dense, full, warm sound with an open midrange and high dynamics. The bass will go very low and have a lot of mass, and the treble will be sonorous, though rather a bit warm. The soundstage, which I haven't mentioned, is very natural with it, but this is not a device that will help us pinpoint the positioning of musicians on stage. Rather, the sound sources blend into larger groups with it, and the space is signaled in the long run, rather than in micro changes in the position of, for example, a trumpet. A very good device „for the people." Therefore, from us a fully deserved ˻ RED FINGERPRINT ˺.


FRONT & REAR • Although the folks from Lumin refer to the P1 Mini as a product that "adds" something to the T3, this is not quite true, at least when it comes to the chassis. Indeed, the one in the tested player is a bit simpler. That doesn't mean bad, but - simpler. It is made of bent aluminum sheets to which a thicker front made of flat aluminum sheet was screwed from the front. The knobs and standby switch are also made of aluminum. The unit stands on four, small feet lined with felt - the feet are also made of the same material as the chassis.

The carefully selected sockets are located on the rear panel. Admittedly, the RCA digital input is rather ordinary, albeit gold-plated and screwed, but it's a "stock" Neutrik jack. The analog input jacks are much better, as they are a product of the American CMC (Charming Music Company). Interestingly, the RCA output jacks are different, even better - they're a gold-plated version of Furutech's FT-908 jacks. The XLR sockets, on the other hand, look rhodium-plated, but have no markings by which to identify them.

INSIDE • The electronics are assembled on a single, large PCB using the SMD system, except for a few components in the analog circuit. These are very good Nichicon Muse BP capacitors in the output, Wima polypropylene capacitors in the audio path, and output keying reed switches. These are very good passive components. It also appears that the various sections are separated from each other, including by ground.

On the right, on an additional board, there is the main processor, the so-called SoC (an SoC is a single integrated circuit that contains all the essential components of a computer system, such as the processor, memory, graphics, communications and sensors). Next to it is an XMOS chip, which is a USB receiver and converter to IIS. Next to it there is a large Altera Cyclone IV chip and two, large, temperature- and mechanically-stabilized Crystek clocks, separately for each of the sampling frequency families (44.1 and 48 kHz). The circuit in question is used to precisely route the clock signal to the individual chips. This is exactly the same system as in the P1.

The RCA analog input is similarly solved. Since the volume control is digital, the analog signal must first be converted to digital - this is handled by a 24-bit Burr-Brown PCM9211 chip with a sampling frequency of 192 kHz. Amplification and buffering of the input signal is handled by Burr-Brown OPA1632 and JRC 5532 ICs.

On the left there is a nice big DAC chip. Again, it's a carryover from what we've already seen in the P1. This part has a dual-mono design, as there are two ESS Technology ES9028PRO SABRE D/A chips, one per channel. Both I/U (current/voltage) conversion, as well as buffering and amplification were done with ICs, mainly TI OPA1611. The paths for the XLR and RCA outputs are routed separately. In the P1, the latter were preceded by Lundahl LL7401 transformers; here it's ICs and capacitors. Let's add that an impedance matching transformer was placed before the BNC digital input.

The power supply is smaller than in the P1, but here, too, it was decided to use a toroidal transformer (from Noratel) - although there is one, not two - rather than a switching mode power supply. It is hidden under the screen, and the voltage is immediately converted to DC and stabilized after it. Only at specific sections do you see additional voltage stabilizers with chokes.

Technical specifications (according to the manufacturer)

Support for: up to DSD512 & up to 384 kHz, 16–32 bits | MQA
Supported file formats:
• PCM: FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC), WAV, AIFF
• Lossy: MP3, AAC (M4A)
Upsampling: to DSD128 or to PCM 384 kHz
Digital inputs:
• USB: DoP 128 | PCM 44.1 - 384 kHz, 16–32 bits
• optical Toslink, RCA: PCM 44.1 kHz - 192 kHz, 16–24 bits | DSD64 (DoP64)
• HDMI: PCM 2.0 Audio, 4K Video Pass-through
Digital outputs
• USB: Native DSD512 | PCM 44,1–384 kHz, 16–32 bits
• BNC S/PDIF: PCM 44,1 kHz–192 kHz, 16–24 bits | DSD64 (DoP64)
• HDMI x1 (HDMI Pass-through & ARC): PCM 2.0 Audio, 4K Video Pass-through
LAN inputs: SFP | 1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet, RJ45
Dimensions (W x H x D): 400 x 77 x 314 mm
Weight: 7 kg

Polish distributor


ul. Sudecka 152
53-129 Wrocław ⸜ POLSKA

THIS TEST HAS BEEN DESIGNED ACCORDING TO THE GUIDELINES adopted by the Association of International Audiophile Publications, an international audio press association concerned with ethical and professional standards in our industry, of which HIGH FIDELITY is a founding member. More about the association and its constituent titles → HERE.


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