From the first glance onwards, the Lumen White Mystere turntable fascinates with its visual elegance and noble appearance. Its beauty however still reveals little about its price class and the technological sophistication at its core. Not to mention its sonic performance.... we are in the presence of a veritable audiophile wolf in sheep's clothing.
17 years ago, at the Vienna Hifi-Show, a colleague and myself discovered the first product of the then-new company, Lumen White, their "White Light" 3-way monitor speakers. It didn't take long thereafter and a pair of "White Lights" found their way into my listening room for a review. To cut the story short: I was immediately smitten. After completing the review, I simply realised that I could not imagine living without these irresistible creations and ended up buying the review pair. A few updates and five years later, a pair of Lumen White "Diamond Light" monitors took their place and have been my personal and professional reference speakers ever since. Against this background it should be easy to imagine that when I first heard about the existence of a Lumen White turntable, that very information caused considerable anticipation. I immediately requested a unit for review.
I don't remember precisely how long it took from there forward—my guess is roughly three to four years—while, intuitively, it felt more like eight. The Mystere is indeed a rare good: the technologies it employs, by nature, make it a limited production item, while demand has been strong from the time of its introduction forward, with the majority of the units going to connoisseurs in the Far East. In the meantime, production could be expanded slightly, and a few weeks ago a Mystere finally arrived to do duty in my listening room. Visitors to the High End 2015 show also had the opportunity to listen to a Mystere, courtesy of Gerhard Hirt, Ayon CEO and Lumen White world-distributor, bringing his demonstration unit to the show.
Then, a Mystere alone won't do. Lumen White designer Hartmut Roemer, who already envisioned and developed the company's loudspeakers, naturally has some concrete ideas of what it takes to make his Mystere turntable perform at its best. While he currently sees no tonearm yet which fully matches the turntable's sonic potential, several top-class combinations come to his mind. For those, who love dynamics, aka maximum energy-transfer, the Helius Omega is a natural go-to, which, in my view, also offers a perfect visual match with the Mystere's strikingly organic platter and plinth design. To test two unknown components at the same time, however, is one too much for my taste, and hence I ordered the Mystere with a tonearm base for my Thales "Simplicity" tonearm. Hartmut Roemer recommends the Mystere's three diamond-tipped feet to rest on Shun Mook Mpingo discs and the Shun Mook record clamp as a first choice for his turntable. The latter being an item high in demand but very limited in supply, my review Mystere was delivered with a new Lumen White prototype record clamp. Its design employs a variable angle design which minimizes parallel surfaces, and is manufactured from several premium tonewoods to avoid standing waves.