Massdrop x Grace Design Standard DAC Balanced (SDAC-B)

General Information

A Compact Balanced DAC That Can Hang With the Big Guys
Following the success of the Massdrop x Grace Design Standard DAC, we’re excited to release the much-requested balanced version. It’s the least-expensive small standalone balanced DAC on the market, designed to complement high-end balanced amplifiers like the Massdrop x THX AAA™ 789, the Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Liquid Carbon X, and more. Grace Design is known for its incredibly accurate, transparent gear, and this new DAC doesn’t disappoint. Based on the single-ended SDAC, it has the same objectivist-minded performance, USB bus-powered design, and simple plug-and-play operation. Plus, it boasts a number of advanced features and supports sample rates up to 384 kHz and DSD256 in USB 2.0 mode.

Advanced Features
The SDAC-B is equipped with the AKM AK4452 digital-to-analog conversion chip from the same family as the one used in the m9XX DAC/amp, our first collaboration with Grace Design. On the back panel, you’ll find a balanced output, three-pin XLR outputs, and a coaxial SPDIF digital input, which will allow the DAC to interface with balanced amplifiers and single-ended amplifiers at the same time. The three-pin XLR outputs also give you the ability to connect to powered speakers and use software volume control. On past projects, the community has been vocal about wanting a USB-A connector, so we added one to the SDAC-B, too!

About Grace Design
In Lyons, Colorado, near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Grace Design produces some of the most innovative, highly respected pro audio gear on the market. Brothers Michael and Eben Grace started the company 27 years ago, and today, their products can be found around the world, from home studios to the scoring stage at Skywalker Sound. They’re widely praised for delivering a combination of non-fatiguing performance, extremely detailed sound, and legendary reliability.

  • Massdrop x Grace Design
  • Anodized aluminum chassis
  • USB bus-powered design
  • If using SPDIF only, requires external USB charger - 5V, 1amp wallwart (not supplied)
  • AKG AK4452 DAC chip
  • Latest-generation XMOS xCORE-200 USB processor
  • 0.5% precision thin metal film resistors in the signal path
  • No capacitors in the signal path
  • Audiophile components and design throughout
  • Coaxial connector for SPDIF (IEC-60958) audio input (transformer coupled and ground isolated)
  • SPDIF input decoding and clock recovery is done with AKM 4117 input receiver
  • Sample rates up to 192 kHz are supported
  • USB 2.0/1.0 input type-B
  • 3.5mm stereo line output jack (2.15VRMS)
  • 3-pin XLR balanced line output(4.3VRMS)
  • USB 1.0 connectivity: Driverless plug-and-play operation on Mac and Windows PCs, supports sample rates up to 96kHz with 24-bit precision
  • USB Audio Class 2 operation via toggle switch: Driverless operation on Mac OS and Windows 10, supports sample rates up to 384 kHz and DSD256
  • Dimensions, L x W x H: 3.9 x 4.1 x 1.2 in (100 x 104 x 30 mm)
  • Height with rubber feet: 1.4 in (34 mm)
  • Weight: 7.44 oz (210.8 g)

Massdrop Link
Head-fi Forum Thread
  • Like
Reactions: kignt



100+ Head-Fier
Other than being able to plug this into a balanced Amp, what other benefits might this bring complared to the nonbalanced SDAC?