Grace Design x Massdrop m9XX DAC/Amp Review: First Impressions
Apr 13, 2016 at 12:18 PM Post #1,352 of 2,148

fjrabon

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  How much of an upgrade to the o2/odac would this be for an LCD-2 rev 2.2 pre-fazor?


what don't you like about the O2/ODAC?
 
My main findings between them in comparison was the m9XX was a little smoother/more natural, the built in crossfeed was a big plus.  The O2 to me has some noise issues at times and its THD is very high order based and the ODAC to me can be kind of harsh/digital, whereas the m9XX is a bit smoother/more analog sounding.  Also I like the design/control of the m9XX a lot better.
 
Apr 13, 2016 at 2:59 PM Post #1,354 of 2,148

fjrabon

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  I'm not so much looking for smoothness as I am soundstage. I was also looking at the NFB 29H.


soundstage is roughly similar, IMHO.  m9XX may be a touch better depth wise, as the smoothness helps preserve some depth.  Honestly, I think the effect of DACs and amps on soundstage size is wildly overrated on here.  As long as the system doesn't have much crosstalk I think they're going to not have that much impact on soundstage size.  
 
Apr 14, 2016 at 1:05 AM Post #1,355 of 2,148

21qz

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Mine paired very nicely with an Amptastic Mini-1 using the amp's analogue volume control: https://www.amptastic.com/
 
Also had good success with an Audiolab M-PWR power amp using the m9XX for volume control duties.  I use a pair of -10dB attenuators on the power amp's inputs so that I can run the m9XX higher up the digital volume ladder.

 
 
 
Temple Audio monoblocks. Fits perfectly next to the m9XX (almost identical in size) and the sound is amazingly good.

 
Great suggestions guys, ty! Any others?
 
Apr 14, 2016 at 2:12 PM Post #1,356 of 2,148

amigomatt

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In terms of pure sound quality, how does the Grace compare to the Chord Mojo and the Arcam irDAC?  I am really stuck between these 3 for my next upgrade, coming from an HRT Microstreamer and driving Hifiman HE560s.  Does the Grace have enough juice for the Hifimans?  If not, I'd invest in a Gustard H10 if needs be.
 
Apr 14, 2016 at 2:14 PM Post #1,357 of 2,148

ducatirider

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Hello.  I'm looking for a small  USB transport that reads microSD that is portable to use with the m9xx.  Any suggestions like a DAP?  I don't want to use my phone because its full of pictures and videos already.  Too bad this doesn't accept spdif.
 
Apr 14, 2016 at 3:30 PM Post #1,358 of 2,148

BobMonkhouse

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  Hello.  I'm looking for a small  USB transport that reads microSD that is portable to use with the m9xx.  Any suggestions like a DAP?  I don't want to use my phone because its full of pictures and videos already.  Too bad this doesn't accept spdif.


I'd look at some portable NAS devices. Awhile ago, I did some research to find expandable file storage, and from the options I found, I bought a QNAP QGenie mobile NAS. It's quite versatile and allows me to access my music from my laptops and Android phones.
 
Apr 14, 2016 at 3:55 PM Post #1,359 of 2,148

fjrabon

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  In terms of pure sound quality, how does the Grace compare to the Chord Mojo and the Arcam irDAC?  I am really stuck between these 3 for my next upgrade, coming from an HRT Microstreamer and driving Hifiman HE560s.  Does the Grace have enough juice for the Hifimans?  If not, I'd invest in a Gustard H10 if needs be.


I thought it sounded nearly identical to the Chord Mojo.  the m9XX has more power than the Mojo (roughly double the power, equating to 3dB more head room), and 1W should be fine for the HE560 unless you listen at very loud levels.
 
Apr 14, 2016 at 4:23 PM Post #1,360 of 2,148

thomson

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I thought it sounded nearly identical to the Chord Mojo.  the m9XX has more power than the Mojo (roughly double the power, equating to 3dB more head room), and 1W should be fine for the HE560 unless you listen at very loud levels.


I agree. The difference between the Mojo and the m9XX was negligible to my ears. I decided on the m9XX mainly based on ergonomics.
 
Apr 14, 2016 at 5:36 PM Post #1,361 of 2,148

ducatirider

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Thank you and sorry for my sloppy post.  By USB transport, I meant a renderer.  My goal is to take the m9xx with me powered by a power bank and use some sort of player's usb output into the DAC.  So I am looking for a DAP or similar, with USB out.I saw that some Sony DAPs have USB out but wanted something cheaper.
 
Apr 15, 2016 at 10:01 AM Post #1,362 of 2,148

Magick Man

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In terms of pure sound quality, how does the Grace compare to the Chord Mojo and the Arcam irDAC?  I am really stuck between these 3 for my next upgrade, coming from an HRT Microstreamer and driving Hifiman HE560s.  Does the Grace have enough juice for the Hifimans?  If not, I'd invest in a Gustard H10 if needs be.


Yes, the m9xx does a good job with the HE560.
 
Apr 16, 2016 at 3:10 PM Post #1,364 of 2,148

Delance26

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Is the RCA line out fixed? Or adjustable?
What happens to line out when headphones are plugged in?

It depends which headphone input you have plugged in.  If you plug in the far left one than both the RCA and the headphone jack will produce a signal.  When you plug into the far right the headphone becomes the primary, and mutes the RCA output.
 

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