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Anyone ordered the Grace M903 - Page 2

post #16 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulchiu View Post

doing lots of 24 bits listening over the last few days.

m903 presents the full spectrum of the 24 bits data clearer than the m902, it seems.

 


Thanks for posting the pic. Display doesn't really look white and doesn't appear much different than the 902.

 

I have the m903 on order at Sweetwater and I'd like to ask your opinion. We're planning on taking the preamp we're using out of our system and only use the m903 to serve as a preamp. Currently we're using a Conrad Johnson PV-14L tube pre into W4S SX-1000 mono amps. The CJ preamp doesn't have balanced outputs, so we don't feel we're getting the best out of the W4S amps, since the SX-1000 monos are true balanced amps. I see the m903 has balanced outputs. But does anyone know if the m903 a fully balanced unit?

 

Here's where I'd like an opinion - do y'all think the Grace m903 will still have some warmth and sound good when connected via TRS/XLR to the W4S mono amps, or will taking the tube pre out of the system and replacing it with the m903 be a recipe for dry analytical sound?


Edited by HotHead - 2/24/11 at 4:00pm
post #17 of 84

Can anyone help regarding the questions I asked? Perhaps the m903 is too new for anyone to respond?

post #18 of 84
Thread Starter 

sorry

i did not take a critical shot of the display.

in real life, it is nearly white LED.

maybe this is closer:

P1020008 copy.jpg
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HotHead View Post




Thanks for posting the pic. Display doesn't really look white and doesn't appear much different than the 902.

 

I have the m903 on order at Sweetwater and I'd like to ask your opinion. We're planning on taking the preamp we're using out of our system and only use the m903 to serve as a preamp. Currently we're using a Conrad Johnson PV-14L tube pre into W4S SX-1000 mono amps. The CJ preamp doesn't have balanced outputs, so we don't feel we're getting the best out of the W4S amps, since the SX-1000 monos are true balanced amps. I see the m903 has balanced outputs. But does anyone know if the m903 a fully balanced unit?

 

Here's where I'd like an opinion - do y'all think the Grace m903 will still have some warmth and sound good when connected via TRS/XLR to the W4S mono amps, or will taking the tube pre out of the system and replacing it with the m903 be a recipe for dry analytical sound?

post #19 of 84
Thread Starter 

I am not experienced with any of those products you are comparing with a possible Grace M903 used as a pre-amp

I am using the M902 now as a preamp connected to a Roland stage piano, using the Grace M902B's balance outputs to feed a pair of Genelec 8050A active speakers.

The sound is amazing and entirely realistic to a 9 foot grand.

 

as for the Grace sound compared to tube amps.

I have several tube amps, including the old sennheiser orpheus and a couple of Stax amps, so i am familiar with the tube sound for headphones.

the grace m902b and now the m903 have a sound closer to tubes than say a headroom desktop, headroom max, or the current headroom ultra desktop.

the grace sound is mellow and sweet, with firm bass and just sounds wonderful with all the jazz stuff i listen to.

 

sorry i do not have any idea about your particular setup.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulchiu View Post

sorry

i did not take a critical shot of the display.

in real life, it is nearly white LED.

maybe this is closer:

P1020008 copy.jpg
 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by HotHead View Post

Can anyone help regarding the questions I asked? Perhaps the m903 is too new for anyone to respond?

post #20 of 84

Thanks for trying to help and the additional pic.

 

Another thought came to mind, what about using the m903 connected to a preamp? In other words, turning the volume control all the way up and connecting the outputs to the inputs of a tube preamp and using the volume on the preamp to control the volume level. I know the Grace m903 isn't designed to be used with a preamp and some might question why anyone would use it this way, but it wouldn't hurt anything, would it? Or is this totally a stupid idea?

post #21 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulchiu View Post

doing lots of 24 bits listening over the last few days.

m903 presents the full spectrum of the 24 bits data clearer than the m902, it seems.

 

DSC00593 big test.jpg




Hello paulchiu,

 

I couldn't help but notice that you currently have the m902, m903, and Headroom Ultra amp. I have been researching the m903 and the Headroom Ultra amp to purchase for my first headphone amp. I will connect the amp via usb to my computer for the majority of my music listening. I would like ask if you wouldn't mind providing some of your personal experiences with both amps and let me know overall which one you like better. I like the m903 warranty (5 years)  versus 2 that comes with the headroom unit. Any information that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you,

hrdkorsocerplyr

post #22 of 84
Thread Starter 

hi hrdkorsocerplyr,

 

what type of music will you be using the new amp for?

 

paul
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrdkorsocerplyr View Post






Hello paulchiu,

 

I couldn't help but notice that you currently have the m902, m903, and Headroom Ultra amp. I have been researching the m903 and the Headroom Ultra amp to purchase for my first headphone amp. I will connect the amp via usb to my computer for the majority of my music listening. I would like ask if you wouldn't mind providing some of your personal experiences with both amps and let me know overall which one you like better. I like the m903 warranty (5 years)  versus 2 that comes with the headroom unit. Any information that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you,

hrdkorsocerplyr



 

post #23 of 84

Hello Paul,

 

I will be listening to a mix of music. Most of it will be classical, R&B, Rock, Alternative, Electronic, and a little bit of Rap (but not much). I also listen to Jazz and Vocal.

 

I was very close to buying the Headroom Ultimate amp, but recently the M903 has struck my eye due to the reviews regarding the new technology in the usb connection. Most of my listening will be from my computer for now because of my currently living situation. Once again, thank you for your quick reply and any advice that you can offer.

 

Jaremy

post #24 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulchiu View Post

hi hrdkorsocerplyr,

 

what type of music will you be using the new amp for?

 

paul
 


Hello Paul,

 

Sorry for answering this twice. My browser froze and I thought it didn't post the first time.

 

I will be listening to a mix of music. Most of it will be classical, R&B, Rock, Alternative, Electronic, and a little bit of Rap (but not much). I also listen to Jazz and Vocal.

 

I was very close to buying the Headroom Ultimate amp, but recently the M903 has struck my eye due to the reviews regarding the new technology in the usb connection. Most of my listening will be from my computer for now because of my currently living situation. Once again, thank you for your quick reply and any advice that you can offer.

 

Jaremy


 



 

post #25 of 84
Thread Starter 


hi jaremy,

 

if you like rap and rock & roll primarily, the headroom amp is the way to go.

the grace does not have the emphasis on pounding your head.

if its jazz, instrumental and classical, i prefer the grace as the noise floor is silent, the illusion is larger and perhaps a tad cleaner as well.

then you have to remember that the grace does provide more connection options like XLR and balanced connects.  in fact, i run a roland pro keyboard into the grace and use it to drive a pair of Genelec 8050A speakers.  it does it beautifully.

 

finally, i also have the headroom power supply, which actually enhance the mids and highs, and smooth out the bass.  a tad less pounding of the head.

cleaner with the $499 supply.  at this combo price, it's now more expensive than the grace.

 

paul

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrdkorsocerplyr View Post

Hello Paul,

 

I will be listening to a mix of music. Most of it will be classical, R&B, Rock, Alternative, Electronic, and a little bit of Rap (but not much). I also listen to Jazz and Vocal.

 

I was very close to buying the Headroom Ultimate amp, but recently the M903 has struck my eye due to the reviews regarding the new technology in the usb connection. Most of my listening will be from my computer for now because of my currently living situation. Once again, thank you for your quick reply and any advice that you can offer.

 

Jaremy



 

post #26 of 84

Bumping this thread......any more impressions of the m903?

post #27 of 84
Thread Starter 

sent you more info.....

just ordered another unit along with audeze lcd-2 with new drivers and ALO reference 8 cables

looking for more goodies over m903 and HD800 combo.....

 

paul

 

www.Billychiu.com
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by third_eye View Post

Bumping this thread......any more impressions of the m903?



 

post #28 of 84

Thanks again for these. I will post some some impressions as well when I get my unit in.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulchiu View Post

sent you more info.....

just ordered another unit along with audeze lcd-2 with new drivers and ALO reference 8 cables

looking for more goodies over m903 and HD800 combo.....

 

paul

 

www.Billychiu.com
 



 



 

post #29 of 84

Hello,

 

I haven't read very many impressions of the Grace m903 sound, but since I upgraded from the m902 to the m903 last month, I thought I'd chime in. The main reason I upgraded was for the improved USB input of the m903. I do my primary listening via speaker setup from the line outs, with line 1 going to my power amplifier, and line 2 to a pair of powered subwoofers.  I play 16/44.1 and higher audio files through Foobar2000 (on a netbook) and feed from the USB port to the m903.  Previously, due to the m902's relatively poor USB input, I used a Musiland 01 USD to convert the USB to S/PDIF. That method worked pretty well, but eliminating the Musiland greatly simplified my setup, and whether it was from the simplification, or the m903's improved circuitry, the m903's asynchronous USB is sounding clearly better.

 

I don't have the best hearing, Even so, the difference in the two units is very striking to me.  When I used my NAD CDP as source, I thought the m902 DAC was a little soft compared for instance to the digital output from the DAC in my CDP.  It lacked a little impact and dynamics, and maybe some clarity in the higher frequencies. The m903 does not seem to be lacking in these areas, and sounds sharp, clear, and yet smooth at the same time.  I am very happy with the sound of my whole system now.  This includes headphone listening as well. I am actually surprised at how apparent the improvement in sound is. I wasn't expecting it to be this much better.

 

I will also mention that the ability to control the volume of line 1, and 2, either individually or together is a great convenience, especially with my amp and sub's setup.  I use both methods at different times, all controlled from the remote control.  I also am using the level offset.

 

One thing I've noticed, and would like if anyone else can confirm, is that the gain of the m903 seems to be lower than the m902?  I find that I am turning up the volume 8-10 higher on the m903 for the same perceived loudness, so I am using up to 78 on the volume at times.(typically 72 with headphone output, K701) This seems to be on the S/PDIF input also.
 


Edited by denydog - 9/23/11 at 5:32pm
post #30 of 84

I got my m903 in a few days ago and am thoroughly impressed. Using together with T1 and have some Focal CMS 40 monitors coming in tomorrow. I'm between 74-80 on the volume with T1 (this is with +9 offset on the headphone out). Plenty of drive and I tend to listen on the loud side. Love the sound, crystal clear, transparent, and neutral but in a non-fatiguing way. Crossfeed function seems to be subtle and somehow is increasing bass? I will probably add the remote control soon.

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