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Anyone ordered the Grace M903 - Page 5

post #61 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenDog View Post

 

You should also read the thread "Which of these is a Grace Design m903 a goof match for?" including post #23 and #24. Jeff Graw and I seem to disagree with third_eye and Olias of Sunhillow regarding Grace Design m903 + Sennheiser HD 800, but we do agree that Grace Design m903 is a good DAC and headphone amplifier.

 

You might also like to read post #2 "Brings life and emotion to Sennheiser HD 800" in the thread "Lynx Hilo: Any opinions on the Headphone amplifier of the Lynx Hilo?" where I describe my first impressions based on a  demo involving Lynx Hilo, Grace Design m903, Benchmark DAC1 HDR, Sennheiser HD 800, and Sennheiser HD 650. The impressions from the demo have so far held up after I later received my Lynx Hilo.

 

Be aware that "I listen at (very) moderate loudness levels." as stated in my signature and described in Grace Design m903 display readout numbers in the above mentioned post #23. Higher loudness levels may give different results.

post #62 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWMcInSpots View Post

 

You should also read the thread "Which of these is a Grace Design m903 a goof match for?" including post #23 and #24. Jeff Graw and I seem to disagree with third_eye and Olias of Sunhillow regarding Grace Design m903 + Sennheiser HD 800, but we do agree that Grace Design m903 is a good DAC and headphone amplifier.

 

You might also like to read post #2 "Brings life and emotion to Sennheiser HD 800" in the thread "Lynx Hilo: Any opinions on the Headphone amplifier of the Lynx Hilo?" where I describe my first impressions based on a  demo involving Lynx Hilo, Grace Design m903, Benchmark DAC1 HDR, Sennheiser HD 800, and Sennheiser HD 650. The impressions from the demo have so far held up after I later received my Lynx Hilo.

 

Be aware that "I listen at (very) moderate loudness levels." as stated in my signature and described in Grace Design m903 display readout numbers in the above mentioned post #23. Higher loudness levels may give different results.

 

Yes, the higher loudness levels may have something to do with this. I listen to the HD800 directly out of the m903 at about 70-75 (with the volume set at +9). I agree that lower impedance cans like the D7000 are probably a more ideal fit for the m903 in terms of musicality but the HD800 can be driven with authority by the m903, it's just a very neutral sound which may not appeal to everyone. In any case, a TOTL tube amp will bring everything to a different level in terms of soundstage, presence, and impact. I might be auditioning the Hilo this weekend to compare to the m903, should be interesting although the lack of a remote might be an automatic dealbreaker.


Edited by third_eye - 1/9/13 at 7:53am
post #63 of 84

I saw that the Grace m903 was named Stereophile 'Headphone component of the year' in 2012 (just a few weeks ago). 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/istereophileis-products-2012-headphone-component-year

 

So now I'm intrigued enough to buy it. 

 

Question to those that have the m903: Any major regrets?

 

Also, is the silver on the body a matte finish (like the Apple Macbook products), or is it more glossy/shiny?

post #64 of 84

No regrets, and it's a shinier silver than MacBook silver, but not really a brightly polished silver either.

post #65 of 84

I love mine, its shinier but a darker silver than the Macbook Pro.

post #66 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuttleboi View Post

I saw that the Grace m903 was named Stereophile 'Headphone component of the year' in 2012 (just a few weeks ago). 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/istereophileis-products-2012-headphone-component-year

 

So now I'm intrigued enough to buy it. 

 

Question to those that have the m903: Any major regrets?

 

Also, is the silver on the body a matte finish (like the Apple Macbook products), or is it more glossy/shiny?

 

Stereophile has named it quite a few good things during the last year:

 

We're still waiting for the measurements John Atkinson has promised, possibly early 2013. Golden Ears.net has measurements though: http://en.goldenears.net/index.php?mid=GR_DAC_Amp&document_srl=11864

 

No regrets. I've several times even thought about buying a second one for an other room.

 

The top and bottom is black. The front and sides are brushed (probably) stainless steel. It looks a bit industrial in broad daylight.

 

 

post #67 of 84

I've had the Sennheiser HD800's and the M903 for a week now.  Have been listening to them with a MacBook Pro for 6 to 8 hours per day.smile_phones.gif  Great combo!  I like the smaller footprint and the portability of the M903 too.  Haven't yet tried the M903 hooked up to my stereo system and using it as either a preamplifier or as an integrated attachment to my current preamplifier.

 

Is anyone using the M903 as a primary preamplifier in their stereo system?  How does it compare to using a separate preamplifier?

 

Any experiences with running your source through a standalone preamplifier, through the M903 and then the amplifier OR the source through the M903, through the preamplifier and then the speakers? 

 

How is your CD player or other input device linked to the M903 and your thoughts on the various connective means?


Edited by RavenDog - 1/12/13 at 4:10pm
post #68 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenDog View Post

I've had the Sennheiser HD800's and the M903 for a week now.  Have been listening to them with a MacBook Pro for 6 to 8 hours per day.smile_phones.gif  Great combo!  I like the smaller footprint and the portability of the M903 too.  Haven't yet tried the M903 hooked up to my stereo system and using it as either a preamplifier or as an integrated attachment to my current preamplifier.

 

Is anyone using the M903 as a primary preamplifier in their stereo system?  How does it compare to using a separate preamplifier?

 

Any experiences with running your source through a standalone preamplifier, through the M903 and then the amplifier OR the source through the M903, through the preamplifier and then the speakers? 

 

How is your CD player or other input device linked to the M903 and your thoughts on the various connective means?

 

Would you mind posting a picture of the m903 next to your MacBook Pro with good lighting? I would like to see how the silver on both of them compare.

post #69 of 84

post #70 of 84

Crosspost from the thread "Lynx Hilo - new offering from Pro Audio company" since we've been comparing Grace Design m903 and Lynx Hilo back and forth in these threads. Benchmark is included because Benchmark DAC1 HDR was included in my original demo mentioned in at least one of these threads and being a well known and well regarded natural competitor to the others.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWMcInSpots View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by third_eye View Post

[...]

After listening again as a DAC only, through my DNA Stratus, I think I can definitely say that the Hilo sounds a little more energetic and touch brighter than the m903, which sounds a little more laid back and a little warmer. I still think that both DACs are very close in terms of resolution, extension, and soundstage. [...]

 

ProLyd imports, distributes and/or sells Lynx Hilo, Grace Design m903 and the Benchmark DACx series including Benchmark DAC2 HGC in Norway. The three cost approximately the same with Lynx Hilo, at the moment, being a bit more expensive, but includes extra functionality including ADC, touch screen and programmability.

 

I asked them about how these products compare as DACs and headphone amplifiers. They saw them as three good products with the same quality level. The features are partially different, but when it comes to sound it's (generally/mostly) a question of preferences and taste which product people prefer.

post #71 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuttleboi View Post

 

Would you mind posting a picture of the m903 next to your MacBook Pro with good lighting? I would like to see how the silver on both of them compare.

Works well with the stereo/speaker system too.  Removed the Belles preamplifier and connected the M903 directly to the power amp.  System is Belles Reference 350A, 802N B&W speakers, Rel G1 Subwoofer, and Shanling CD100, MacBook Pro using I-Tunes or Apple TV, to provide a reference.  Much greater definition.


Edited by RavenDog - 1/30/13 at 5:36pm
post #72 of 84

Just got my M903 a few days ago, I use it as a DAC pre-amp feeding directly to my Genelec system (8020A's & 7050B) and as a headphone amp for my Ultrasone Signature Pro's.

 

I'd been looking for a DAC amp combo with balanced output for a while and decided on the Grace primarily for it's positive reviews and for the Ex-Demo price tag (£800).

 

A common opinion seems to be that the Grace lacks bass or rather it has a bass roll off. To my initial disappointment I believed that this was the case, the fun and warm sound signature that I had become accustomed to with my Signature Pro's was suddenly dulled. I went through my favorite bass heavy tracks and made a realization; the sig pro's are a forward, warm sounding can, they make certain genres of music more enjoyable because of a specifically designed sonic character.

 

Pairing a warm (Bass+) headphone with a analytical reference style sound (Grace M903) can become the mid point between the fun and the true. Although my sig pro's are not the same as they previously sounded I think the Grace has helped them to sound more refined and controlled. I appreciate more of the music as a whole because no particular frequencies take the forward position. The Grace has improved the sound stage and transparency without removing the character of the headphones, still hold the sig pro's in the highest regard.

 

Overall I'm learning to like the Grace M903 when paired with a warmer sounding headphone; she runs a little hot, but the shortcomings are overshadowed by super connectivity, ergonomic design and reference level sonic performance.

post #73 of 84

I'm really interested in the m903 now... I've been looking for a good DAC/preamp unit to feed my power amp, and though this is more than I was wanting to spend, I feel like this could theoretically replace my HeadRoom Desktop amp. Any advice on that? Would I regret ditching the HR Desktop?

post #74 of 84

Given the world of DAC's and the march of technology, any rumors on an update to the M903?  Benchmark seems to be a major competitor and they just introduced their HGC2 (DSD) along with Mytek.  Of course, would hate to invest $2k to find out in a month or so a M904 or whatever has been announced.  I know this is the chance one takes with this hobby but...

post #75 of 84

Good point. I'd love to know this as well. I'm pretty close to purchasing, but a m904 or a consequently cheaper m903 would be even better. 

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