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Anyone ordered the Grace M903 - Page 6

post #76 of 84

For what it's worth, Grace released a firmware update for the m905 back in March, giving it DSD support. Anyone know if firmware updates are possible on the m903?

post #77 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by amham View Post

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...

 
You may arguably compare the Benchmark DAC1 HDR to DAC2 HGC update with Grace Design m902 to m903 where both got asynchronous USB as a major update. There are other updates in both products as well. I also believe that Benchmark have a history of introducing new products in this category more often than Grace Design.
 
If I haven't misunderstood too much, good quality DAC chips have been around for many years. Another competitor you may consider, Lynx Hilo (see separate threads) which is rather new, supposedly uses ten year old, well proven DAC chips to great success.
 
I believe the main "march of [DAC] technology" has been more about integrating more functions into fewer chips necessary to construct a DAC (for example chips with integrated analog stage, volume control and more), lower prices for a given quality level, USB and later asynchronous USB, higher sample frequencies and word length (at a given price).
 
DSD support is rather new and have become a buzz word. We've seen similar things before. Sometimes they're here to stay, but more often they're not that important in the long run, and may very well disappear again. I belive the amount of music on offer in (native) DSD isn't large, quiet the contrary. At the moment it's a small niche within a small niche. DSD support is a nice bonus, but (probably) shouldn't be among ones major check points before buying.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jchandler3 View Post

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. 

 

The Grace Design m904 Stereo Monitor Controller is already product, possibly discontinued.

 

I don't know of any successor to Grace Design m903, but I wouldn't expect to be the first to know.

 

I believe Grace Design discontinued m902 (short time) after introducing m903 as opposed to Benchmark's practice.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jchandler3 View Post

For what it's worth, Grace released a firmware update for the m905 back in March, giving it DSD support. Anyone know if firmware updates are possible on the m903?

 

I don't know, but I don't see anything indicating it on the Grace Design web pages, and can't remember reading about firmware updates in the manual as opposed to for example Lynx Hilo and Fostex HP-A8C.

post #78 of 84

I made the m903 my permanent DAC and the HeadRoom BUDA as my primary amp.  I found the m903 a tad weak as a headphone amp and the JDS Labs O2+ODAC sounds almost identical if not identical to the m903.

 

The BUDA added some much needed low end thump.


Edited by NA Blur - 8/5/13 at 9:13pm
post #79 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

I made the m903 my permanent DAC and the HeadRoom BUDA as my primary amp.  I found the m903 a tad weak as a headphone amp and the JDS Labs O2+ODAC sounds almost identical if not identical to the m903.

 

The BUDA added some much needed low end thump.

Interesting, I did purchase the m903 recently and have been listening for the last week (BTW, Grace was non-committal about an upgrade but I expected that).  I find the m903 to have an exceptional headphone amp bottom end.  Now, of course I have not heard your BUDA and other competing products but I do own the new Benchmark DAC2 HGC and I find the m903 to outclass it significantly on the bottom.  However, the Benchmark is more detailed.  Now, which is more accurate?...I'm not sure but I am very much enjoying the Grace.  I also own several other separate DACs/amps including the Woo WA6SE, LD MKIVSE, several Music Fidelity, Cambridge Audio, AudioQuest DF etc and the Grace seems to be my preferred AIO.  Only time will tell if this preference continues.   At the moment I'm pleased without any buyers remorse.  

post #80 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by amham View Post

Interesting, I did purchase the m903 recently and have been listening for the last week (BTW, Grace was non-committal about an upgrade but I expected that).  I find the m903 to have an exceptional headphone amp bottom end.  Now, of course I have not heard your BUDA and other competing products but I do own the new Benchmark DAC2 HGC and I find the m903 to outclass it significantly on the bottom.  However, the Benchmark is more detailed.  Now, which is more accurate?...I'm not sure but I am very much enjoying the Grace.  I also own several other separate DACs/amps including the Woo WA6SE, LD MKIVSE, several Music Fidelity, Cambridge Audio, AudioQuest DF etc and the Grace seems to be my preferred AIO.  Only time will tell if this preference continues.   At the moment I'm pleased without any buyers remorse.  


Here is what I base this off of besides my own subjective listening:

 

Page 14 for the m903

The roll off at both ends is what I may be hearing.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AllAmpGraphs.pdf

 

Page 18 for the Desktop Amp

post #81 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by amham View Post

Interesting, I did purchase the m903 recently and have been listening for the last week (BTW, Grace was non-committal about an upgrade but I expected that).  I find the m903 to have an exceptional headphone amp bottom end.  Now, of course I have not heard your BUDA and other competing products but I do own the new Benchmark DAC2 HGC and I find the m903 to outclass it significantly on the bottom.  However, the Benchmark is more detailed.  Now, which is more accurate?...I'm not sure but I am very much enjoying the Grace.  I also own several other separate DACs/amps including the Woo WA6SE, LD MKIVSE, several Music Fidelity, Cambridge Audio, AudioQuest DF etc and the Grace seems to be my preferred AIO.  Only time will tell if this preference continues.   At the moment I'm pleased without any buyers remorse.  


Here is what I base this off of besides my own subjective listening:

 

Page 14 for the m903

The roll off at both ends is what I may be hearing.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AllAmpGraphs.pdf

 

Page 18 for the Desktop Amp

If I read the graph correctly the "roll off" is so slight that I for one could never hear it.  Down fractions of db at the extremes is insignificant.

post #82 of 84

That may be true, but having the units side by side one can easily identify which amp is which.  The BUDA simply has more low end punch.

post #83 of 84

My sense is that something other than frequency response is at play to account for the difference...maybe power supply..or magic!

post #84 of 84

bump for more M903 impressions  :popcorn:

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