I have two separate systems and went looking for another streamer, now eyeing the Lumin T3. The dealer had a demo X1, which sports a massively overbuilt linear power supply, and its output stage features two Lundahl transformers which are used in many high end tube preamp applications. I was intrigued to hear their flagship player and took a listen. Oh wow! The leap from a solid player to this top of the line was pretty dramatic, as was the price difference.
I have a $10k plus vinyl setup that had exceeded the performance of my digital systems, but the X1 challenges the notion that digital is inferior to vinyl. The X1 has so much detail, inner warmth, tone, and a huge soundstage. It unpacks complex recordings and reveals so much inner detail. Front to back, side t9 side, top to bottom are all expanded over the T2. Brass in particular has a rightness to the sound, and harmonies have much more complex layers to appreciate in the X1. And the bass…oh so much detail.
But for a massive deal, I wouldn’t have seen myself paying $15k for any digital component. I also listened to the DCS Bartok (non apex) and the Lumin was neck and neck in quality. Sadly, it’s hard to unhear the difference in quality, and while the T2 still makes great music, it’s the X1 I look forward to hearing alongside my vinyl rig, and it’s hard to choose my favorite.
I am using the X1 with a SFP optical switch, and it sounds better than with just the Ethernet cable. One key caveat - the SFP modules make an audible difference, with the $60 Finnisar SFP modules easily outperforming the cheaper $10 Trendnet SFP modules (on a Trendnet SFP switch). So spend a bit extra to get the full performance for the X1.
The X1 will be spending a very long time in my system and I still get the benefits of upsampling, playback of high Rez files, and interface with Roon. If you can score a good deal on an X1, do it - it’s one of the best super high end streamers I’ve come across.