Grace m902 replacement ?
Nov 9, 2008 at 8:18 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

USAudio

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The Grace m902 looks like a terrific and very capable unit that has been reviewed well but that has also been out for quite awhile. Looks like it was originally released in Nov. 2004 and 4 years is an eternity in this hobby. From what I can tell, and someone please correct me if wrong, it looks like it's predecessor the 901 was out for approx. 3 years before the m902 came along.

Anyone have any information if a replacement for the m902 is in the works?
Maybe even perhaps an updated version? mbgrace?

Thanks!
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 9:12 PM Post #2 of 6

bizkid

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Some months ago the m902b was released. Difference between it and the standard m902 are balanced outputs instead of RCA outputs.
I doubt there'll be other upgrades soon.
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 2:36 AM Post #3 of 6

USAudio

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It's a terrific unit but based on the reviews I've read there appear to be some opportunities for improvement with perhaps a newer DAC and an improved USB interface which was described by Stereophile as "murky".
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 10:36 PM Post #4 of 6

feifan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by USAudio /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's a terrific unit but based on the reviews I've read there appear to be some opportunities for improvement with perhaps a newer DAC and an improved USB interface which was described by Stereophile as "murky".


In my experience, the "murk" disappears when I raise the software volume to max when listening via USB from computer as source. The m902 isn't as warm as the HR max desktop, but the clarity, soundstage, separation, and definition are fantastic. If you want to really get into the music, the m902 is ideal. It doesn't get in between you and the music.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 2:57 AM Post #5 of 6

feifan

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Hey, USAudio. Here's my response to your email:

I like the m902 with the HD650 (w/Cardas cable) for nearly everything. The clarity, definition, quickness, soundstage are the best I've ever heard. My primary listen is:

lossless tracks on my computer > Foobar2000 > USB > m902 > HD650

But for rock with lively bass, e.g., CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," I like the GS1k (w/ Black Dragon) in the lineup. It's a lot more musical, warmer.

I only got the m902 recently. Until then, the HRDB (maxed) w/ stock HR balanced cables and HD650 was my first choice.

Before the HRDB, the HRD-SE (maxed) was it.

With the HRDB, you should definitely get the DPS ($399). The difference between the DPS and the Astrodyne is significant to the point where the quality of the HRDB sound is compromised without the DPS. I don't understand why HR even bothers with the Astrodyne.

Now for the tough part: Which is the best combo? For pure musical enjoyment, I'd say the m902 and GS1k with an aftermarket cable. (I've never tried the GS1K with the stock cable.) For an analytic listen, to get into the music, I'd say the m902 and HD650 w/aftermarket cable. You hear everything, accurately.

The HRDs are warmer in comparison to the Grace, and I suspect many prefer the warmth to the clarity. For my ears, once I heard the m902 and all that it reveals, I have difficulty returning to the HRDs. In a direct comparison, the HRDs seem fuzzier, less accurate.

I'm not sure if I'm just in a honeymoon stage where the latest sounds best only because it's new and different. But for now, the m902 is my first choice.
 

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