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

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by smallcaps, Aug 16, 2018.
  1. smallcaps
    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.
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    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!
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    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.
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    Specs
    • 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)
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    Massdrop Link
    Head-fi Showcase Page
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  2. smallcaps
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  3. smallcaps
    Drop is now live. I liked the original SDAC and will be also picking one of these up for my living room to feed some powered monitors from an HTPC.
     
  4. Lv100Pidgeot
    I just got the LCX+SDAC unit and I have to say that I'm seriously impressed with it! It's going to completely replace my Jot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  5. smallcaps
    Estimated shipping date is May 24th, 2019 (!!). I hope I don't move before it's delivered :thinking:
     
  6. Th3Drizzl3
    not only a crazy extended shipping time the chip this uses i do not believe can do true balanced unless in wrong i believe this would be phase splitting. anyone have more input on this? i may pick one up to play with but i really wish it would have been the normal form factor they have been using for the lcx, cth etc im torn on this one.
     
    smallcaps likes this.
  7. smallcaps
    I don't know how many times I've joined and left this drop but ultimately I think I will roll the dice considering how good the regular SDAC was for the price. The lack of dual mono is of note, but as my first ever balanced DAC, I may leave the standard SDAC (I know...) In the livingroom and bring this one along with an SMSL SAP-9 to the office for the cheapest balanced desktop setup I could find. Must resist the call of the THX 789...
     
  8. Th3Drizzl3
    posted by cee tee "Hello! We do have confirmation from AKM that there is one data stream from the modulator which is fed to the switched capacitor output filter acting as a phase splitter into balanced output."
     
  9. SolaVirtus
    So, the SDAC-B is out in the wild now, right? I caught the open drop a couple days ago at random. We'll see how it goes with a Jotunheim and Little Dot when it gets here.
     

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