New Grace Design m920 DAC/amp with DSD decoding
Feb 19, 2016 at 1:28 AM Post #526 of 677

AudioMan612

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I have heard the HA-1, and it is an excellent unit, but I haven't spent extended time with it.  From what I have seen and read, my guess is that the m920 has a stronger DAC section, but a weaker amp section.  This is just a guess though.
 
Feb 19, 2016 at 3:54 AM Post #527 of 677

urbino

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I can't honestly say I can hear much difference between the two units, bearing in mind I don't have any balanced cables to use with the HA-1.
 
I can say I like the m920's smaller footprint and greater flexibility.
 
Mar 3, 2016 at 11:46 PM Post #529 of 677

urbino

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  Can't wait to get mine from Massdrop. Is the crossfeed function worth it to turn on?

 
I couldn't tell much difference, but I've left it on. 
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 5:24 AM Post #531 of 677

AudioMan612

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  Can't wait to get mine from Massdrop. Is the crossfeed function worth it to turn on?


For most things, I would say no, as it does narrow the sound field a bit.  I do use it when listening to older stereo recordings with a lot of hard-panning though.  Hard-panning is extremely fatiguing through headphones, and crossfeed really helps reduce this fatigue.
 
This is just my own opinion though.  It's worth messing around with.  My first experience listening to an amp with crossfeed was the SPL Phonitor 2, and that thing has an amazing crossfeed circuit.  Now that I have listening to that of my m920 more, I'd love to have more time with the Phonitor 2 to see how I like it, especially as someone who prefers loudspeakers to headphones.
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 12:06 PM Post #532 of 677

crossfire

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I've used crossfeed stuff on foobar but not entirely sure if it's comparable to Grace Design's crossfeed. I do loose a bit of clarity whenever I use it on foobar but guess it doesn't hurt for me to try it out when I get the unit.
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 8:09 PM Post #533 of 677

urbino

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  Can someone using the m920 with DSD - SACD ISOs or DSF/DFF files, confirm that it doesn't click/tick/pop/whatever between tracks or when changing from PCM or different sample rates? 

 
I can't confirm right now, but I can say I've certainly never noticed any clicks or pops between DSF tracks.
 
There is, however, a considerable pop on power-off/on.  A bit disconcerting in a product at this level.
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 8:37 PM Post #534 of 677

ViperGeek

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  Can someone using the m920 with DSD - SACD ISOs or DSF/DFF files, confirm that it doesn't click/tick/pop/whatever between tracks or when changing from PCM or different sample rates? 

 
Using JRiver Media Center, I have a playlist containing a mix of 44.1kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz FLACs, and 2.8MHz DSDs, and have never heard any ticks, clicks, or pops as it moves from track to track.  It's actually kinda fun watching the FS LEDs dance between tracks. 
biggrin.gif

 
- Dave
 
Mar 4, 2016 at 8:44 PM Post #535 of 677

ViperGeek

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  Can't wait to get mine from Massdrop. Is the crossfeed function worth it to turn on?


For most things, I would say no, as it does narrow the sound field a bit.  I do use it when listening to older stereo recordings with a lot of hard-panning though.  Hard-panning is extremely fatiguing through headphones, and crossfeed really helps reduce this fatigue.

 
Yep, what he said.  Worded differently, I would say it's absolutely worth it to have the feature available.  In fact, I miss it when using an external amp.  When TIDAL added the full Beatles catalog, I listened to several of their early albums where they experimented with extreme stereo separation.  It was novel for the first couple of minutes, but the tracks were ultimately more listenable with CF enabled on the m920.  Grace's implementation of crossfeed is one of the best in the industry, IMO.
 
- Dave
 
Mar 5, 2016 at 2:15 AM Post #536 of 677

Dreaming Jester

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OK, thanks, guys. Glad there are no audible clicks/ticks/pops with DSD. As to the pop on power-off/on, it seems it's not uncommon even at this price point. Think Benchmark DAC2 HGC for example. It's probably hard to avoid without sacrificing something else. AFAIR Grace prevented the pop in the headphones but didn't want to mess with the other analogue outputs for a reason. 
 
Mar 17, 2016 at 9:18 PM Post #538 of 677

crossfire

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Only got a brief moment with my unit I got last night (Surprised I didn't even pay customs/taxes on mine, good job Massdrop).
 
First small impressions:
- This unit is really nice. Has a hefty weight and feeling to it. It's nice that it has two 1/4 jacks so I can swap back and forth between two headphones.
- There is some sort of depth and engagement with the music. Detail and separation is better than the Schiit stack. It really brings out the HD650s
 
I probably gonna sit down for a serious listen session but overall, loving this every bit. I would love to try some LCDs or Ethers on this eventually.
 
Mar 23, 2016 at 10:23 PM Post #539 of 677

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Worth having a play around with the various PCM filter settings.
I initially used the minimum phase 'P' setting and then later changed to the 'S' slow rolloff for some months as I perceived it to have an airier more lively sound. The 'P' filter has a 'drier' sound.
Subsequently I changed back to the 'P' setting and perhaps the 'airiness' of the slow filter comes at the expense of some transient clarity and detail.
The minimum phase filter seems to give better focus and impact of initial transients and soundstage/imaging also seems better sorted with the 'P' filter. 
The 'S' filter produces more apparent ambiance which can sound very alluring - but I'm not sure its as truthful (or maybe the 'P' filter is truncating ambiance making notes appear more distinct and clearer?
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).
 
Edit: I did some more comparisons today between the 'S' and 'P' filter settings. This was with the m920 via balanced out into Halcro MC30 amp driving Harbeth monitors/Rel sub.
IMO the 'P' setting is simply more natural and realistic - piano sound seals the deal, but really any acoustic instrument or voice sounds better with this setting (IMO and in my system of course. 
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