Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Grace 901 replacement: Grace m902
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Grace 901 replacement: Grace m902 - Page 8

post #106 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by OracleGuy
Oh sure, like YOU need more toys!!

That's no fair!!!!! I know how about you pull the trigger on this one and you can tell me impressions. Anyway it'll save me a few squidlets
post #107 of 209
I'll be honest here, the Grace m902 is on my very short-list for DAC/headphone amps, and one of the prime factors is the USB input. Competing units I'm considering are the Apogee Mini-DAC, and the hinted-at-but-not-yet-released PS Audio headphone amplifier. I've seen the new Perreaux USB model online and it doesn't seem to meet my requirements. There is supposedly a new Benchmark Media model that supports USB on the way, but I don't know that even if the DAC1 materialized a new port that it would do it for me. Probably the largest thing against the m902 is the price, but that said, I do NOT find the price out of line for what you are getting. The 902 looks like an amazing unit, it is just pushing the tolerance of my budget for this project. But we'll see, since I've been good this year. ;-)

Plus it has some unique features that the others do not, and a distinguished headphone amp pedigree so...

That said, one of my requirements is that it must be somewhat transportable, only because I can't afford three. (Work <--> Home <--> Out of town )

Certainly based on the dimensions provided, it seems to be acceptably sized to me. That picture and PDF make it look larger, but when I get out the ruler, it seems to be a quaint little size. Relative to a full-sized rack unit anyway. It seems I should be able to put the unit in a pack like the M-Audio StudioPack in the pocket normally reserved for the Ozone keyboard, perhaps with some additional padding or a sleeve case for extra protection.

Questions re: m902
What is the approximate weight? I'm guessing 3-4 lbs?

How hot does the unit run when driving normal headphones at reasonable levels? (ie. neither totally inefficient headphones, nor head-blasting volumes)
I'm assuming it is nothing to speak of. The only reason I ask is, what if one was running it from within a bag such as the StudioPack. Does the unit need to vent/breathe at all, or assume some level of ventilation?

What is the power-draw of the unit? Is out of the question entirely to power it with an external battery pack? (I note that the Apogee can accept 6-14V so in comparison is probably more flexible there) How about feeding the unit power from a standard DC-AC convertor for use in an automobile? Those types of convertors seem to range from 75W --> 140W --> 350W

I would be interested in hearing Michael describe any of the problems with respect to Mac OS X - since I would strongly like to move in that direction with my next laptop. I should note that people have noticed the Apogee Mini-DAC losing sync with their Mac's, I believe with respect to switching sampling rates from 44 -> 48. Michael's comments I believe pertained to sampling rates at 48.

As indicated, the unit would transported (gently!) in a well-padded carrier - usually in a warm car (rather than our frigid Canadian winter). I just wonder if there would be any comments if this might affect the life of the unit. The Grace products seem to me, to be of studio quality and build rather much like a tank. Would anyone disagree there? I realize that taking the unit from a cold environment to a warm one might be an issue, and like all electronics should be allowed to warm to the new environment before use. At least it's not got any tubes in it. :-)


One point Michael perhaps with respect to the design. Does the unit have a slot for your standard Kensington lock? If not, perhaps you could consider this for buyers who do use the product in a somewhat public environment. That should add minimal cost, since it's just a little hole for the lock nub. (Then again I'm not in manufacturing, so...) And yes I realize the those cylinder locks are fairly easily defeated but every bit helps. Or how do people secure their headphone amplifiers?

Finally, who are Grace Design authorized resellers in Canada (province of Ontario, hopefully close to the Greater Toronto Area)? I am familiar with Lakeshore Music (aka Long & McQuade), but I know for a fact their store didn't actually have a 901 in stock, and likely won't have a 902 so it'd be a special order. Would there be any disadvantage to me in purchasing from an (excellent) reseller like Headroom - in terms of warranty service or otherwise?

Speaking of which - how long is the warranty?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, hoping to make a decision sometime between now and Jan 2005 sometime. Looking forward to seeing lots and lots of pictures on your website when the product is released. (hint) Getting a good sense of the product through images is very important to me, since it is unlikely I'll ever see one unless I order it. ;-)
post #108 of 209
Hrm, actually I guess battery power is out of the question because it takes AC input. All the battery packs I was thinking of are for DC devices (your laptop, your mic-pre, etc) Maybe some crazy solution exists though.
post #109 of 209
I also think it is interesting that the XLR's are inputs, not outputs.
Seems to me they might be more useful as outputs.

What would be absolutely brilliant is if you could choose whether they acted as input vs. output via a dip-switch or an on-board jumper. I suppose that might muck up the signal path a bit for those absolute purists.
post #110 of 209
Quote:
Questions re: m902
What is the approximate weight? I'm guessing 3-4 lbs?
I'll weigh one tomorrow.

Quote:
How hot does the unit run when driving normal headphones at reasonable levels? (ie. neither totally inefficient headphones, nor head-blasting volumes)
I'm assuming it is nothing to speak of. The only reason I ask is, what if one was running it from within a bag such as the StudioPack. Does the unit need to vent/breathe at all, or assume some level of ventilation?
The m902 should not need any ventilation. Even running inefficient phones at high levels only causes a fraction of a watt of dissipation. In a padded bag it might run warm to the touch but not hot.

Quote:
What is the power-draw of the unit? Is out of the question entirely to power it with an external battery pack? (I note that the Apogee can accept 6-14V so in comparison is probably more flexible there) How about feeding the unit power from a standard DC-AC convertor for use in an automobile? Those types of convertors seem to range from 75W --> 140W --> 350W
The power consumption is probably under 8 Watts. I'll measure this tomorrow as well. I would recommend a pure sine wave inverter if you are interested in battery powering the unit. These are available from electronics distributors like Allied Electronics or Digi-Key.


Quote:
I would be interested in hearing Michael describe any of the problems with respect to Mac OS X - since I would strongly like to move in that direction with my next laptop. I should note that people have noticed the Apogee Mini-DAC losing sync with their Mac's, I believe with respect to switching sampling rates from 44 -> 48. Michael's comments I believe pertained to sampling rates at 48.
My wife just got a power book. I'll try to pry it from her grip and plug an m902 into it.

Quote:
As indicated, the unit would transported (gently!) in a well-padded carrier - usually in a warm car (rather than our frigid Canadian winter). I just wonder if there would be any comments if this might affect the life of the unit. The Grace products seem to me, to be of studio quality and build rather much like a tank. Would anyone disagree there? I realize that taking the unit from a cold environment to a warm one might be an issue, and like all electronics should be allowed to warm to the new environment before use. At least it's not got any tubes in it. :-)
In professional audio applications reliability is equally as important as performance. Our professional customers rely on their tools for their livelihoods. All of the sonic nirvana in the world is useless if a unit breaks down while you have an eighty piece orchestra waiting for you to get ready to record. The m902 is built to the same standards as our microphone preamplifiers and while it is not designed to be dropped it should not mind being bumped around in a padded bag. Of course the law of averages catches up with us sometimes and things break. When a problem occurs we give top priority to rectifying it.


Quote:
One point Michael perhaps with respect to the design. Does the unit have a slot for your standard Kensington lock? If not, perhaps you could consider this for buyers who do use the product in a somewhat public environment. That should add minimal cost, since it's just a little hole for the lock nub. (Then again I'm not in manufacturing, so...) And yes I realize the those cylinder locks are fairly easily defeated but every bit helps. Or how do people secure their headphone amplifiers?
The m902 does not have a kensington type lock. I'll look into this. However, the unit does have a couple of threaded inserts on the bottom cover that could be used to secure some sort of ring for attaching a "leash".

Quote:
Finally, who are Grace Design authorized resellers in Canada (province of Ontario, hopefully close to the Greater Toronto Area)? I am familiar with Lakeshore Music (aka Long & McQuade), but I know for a fact their store didn't actually have a 901 in stock, and likely won't have a 902 so it'd be a special order. Would there be any disadvantage to me in purchasing from an (excellent) reseller like Headroom - in terms of warranty service or otherwise?
Speaking of which - how long is the warranty?
our distributor in Canada is Sonotechnique. They have an office in Toronto. http://www.sonotechnique.ca/
Of course, Headroom is a great option too. Jamey Warren is an outstanding resource for headphone and amplifier information.

Quote:
Sorry for the barrage of questions, hoping to make a decision sometime between now and Jan 2005 sometime. Looking forward to seeing lots and lots of pictures on your website when the product is released. (hint) Getting a good sense of the product through images is very important to me, since it is unlikely I'll ever see one unless I order it. ;-)
We have a photo shoot on Tuesday so we should have some nice pictures soon!

Cheers,
Michael
post #111 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeTogo
I'll be honest here, the Grace m902 is on my very short-list for DAC/headphone amps, and one of the prime factors is the USB input. Competing units I'm considering are the Apogee Mini-DAC, and the hinted-at-but-not-yet-released PS Audio headphone amplifier. I've seen the new Perreaux USB model online and it doesn't seem to meet my requirements. There is supposedly a new Benchmark Media model that supports USB on the way, but I don't know that even if the DAC1 materialized a new port that it would do it for me. Probably the largest thing against the m902 is the price, but that said, I do NOT find the price out of line for what you are getting. The 902 looks like an amazing unit, it is just pushing the tolerance of my budget for this project. But we'll see, since I've been good this year. ;-)

Plus it has some unique features that the others do not, and a distinguished headphone amp pedigree so...
I would be looking at these other units as well... but the grace has one feature that puts it at the head of the class for me-the optional remote control. Michael, do you know how much this option will cost? The usb input is what got me interested...but the reason i'm buying it is because of the headphone amp. there's a slight possibility i'll be forced into a headphone setup rather than my current 2-channel setup so this would be the perfect option. (i'm relatively new to the world of headphones-i own senn hd590's. what headphones could run off the grace? i'm assuming the akg 1000's couldn't.. are the senn 650's and grado rs-1's the best possible headphones for this amp?) For now, this would serve as my dac/preamp in my 2-channel setup so for me, this is truly the ideal product. Michael, do you know what size coupling capacitors are used in the unit? i would look into replacing them with a teflon capacitor. thanks for such a great product-i hope to get my hands on one soon.
post #112 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by vpolineni
what headphones could run off the grace? i'm assuming the akg 1000's couldn't..
Actually the 901 does a good job driving the K1000's, so since the 904 has the same amplifier stage, it will as well. I think the Grace should be capable of running any dynamic headphones you might choose. If you are replacing a speaker rig, I guess I would look for cans with similar tonality to your speakers.
post #113 of 209
thanks for the info.... i wouldn't replace my senn 590's unless the headphones would be my primary listening method... i prefer a 2-channel stereo (i'm sure this is blasphemous to say here ).. but that's what makes the grace so appealing-its versatility. so you think the grace unit could drive any of the headphones out there? that'd be really nice to know.... limitless options then.
post #114 of 209
vpolineni - what would you hope to gain by swapping in these teflon caps? Just curious.

Maybe Michael has comments there about the appropriateness of such an upgrade. Maybe there are tradeoffs in designing a product that leave room for someone to tweak it a bit, if they feel like investing that extra time and energy. I'd hope though that the Grace Design team would have built a unit that was more than the some of its component parts, that in choosing the parts in it, they made the appropriate selection for the best overall sound. I guess though that if their decisions had to necessarily include cost constraints to be marketable and on the other hand you have the extra $$$ to tweak it, then it makes sense assuming you have the requisite skills.


But personally the LAST thing I'd ever do is crack open a $2000+ (Cdn) product and have at it with a soldering iron. Probably because my skills with a soldering iron extend to knowing what one looks like, and having a basic understanding of the process, heh. But even still, it costs too much for me to fool with. Don't expect to make any claims under warranty! :-)
post #115 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoRedwings19
That's no fair!!!!! I know how about you pull the trigger on this one and you can tell me impressions. Anyway it'll save me a few squidlets
It's a little rich for me right now (man, I feel like a piker considering the toys you've got on display!) and I've got a Gilmore Lite in the mail right now.

That Xitel is looking like a real weak link now though. I've already contacted Perreaux about their USB DAC. I couldn't get any pricing out of them unfortunately. I've contacted the Canadian distributor, but they won't have pricing until January.

I'm keeping my DAC options open for AOS too--he says he'll have something to announce "hopefully soon" in the way of a USB DAC.

Anyway, Mark Levinson is definitely on my post-Lottery-win shopping list!
post #116 of 209
Michael, don't bother with a Kensington lock port.

That old lock design can be picked with a toilet paper roll, a pen, and some tape.

http://cairns.servehttp.com/jody/arc...n-laptop-lock/

-Ed
post #117 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by OracleGuy
I'm keeping my DAC options open for AOS too--he says he'll have something to announce "hopefully soon" in the way of a USB DAC.
Is it just a dac or will it have a headphone amp too?

Biggie.
post #118 of 209
Edwood

I had pointed out that the locks are relatively easily defeatable earlier.
However, that is not the point. The point is that it is a miniscule change to the manufacturing process presumably, and would add _some_ element of security, because right now there is none. If it takes someone 10 seconds to jimmy the lock, then that's 10 seconds more than it would take them to pick up off my desk currently.

I honestly own one of the Kensington locks and I've tried the Bic pen trick, and was not able to make it work. Certainly my actions would have drawn the attention of my co-workers who might ask "Hey you, WTF are you doing at that guy's desk!"

If we want to go a wee bit further to provide some security than a way of securing a cable lock (like a lighter-weight model for bikes etc) would be even better. Computers in a corporate environment often have a metal tab out the back with a hole to run such a cable through. But again nothing is fool proof, as you can stomp off the bracket or bring a pair of bolt-cutters to work. The point is to make it that little bit more difficult as to not make it worthwhile getting caught. I'd be interested in your recommendations for securing such high-value items in a public place.

The only way to absolutely ensure that your headphone amp is not stolen, is not to buy one in the first place. And that's not much of an option considering how attractive the Grace is.

Cheers
DT
post #119 of 209
Wow, this could be the product that I've been wanting to use as a preamp for my computer system. I get a whole range of digital inputs, analog in as well, a nice headphone amp.

Hmmm..... will have to think about it, but typically I'm not an early adopter and I normally wait for others to buy first.

Pretty attractive product though.
post #120 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotoriousBIG_PJ
Is it just a dac or will it have a headphone amp too?

Biggie.
Good question -- he's keeping the details to himself, but there was a local mini-meet where he said "I'll bring the USB dac instead." so I'm hoping it's a USB DAC w/o amp.

We'll just have to wait I guess ...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Grace 901 replacement: Grace m902