Recording - January 2013 - 35

results instantly audible, especially on uncompressed CD audio and my 24-bit/96 kHz test files. Transients were clearer and the overall sound had more ‘focus’ than I was used to on inexpensive USB systems. This attention to detail can be found all through the m903, in places that seem silly until you hear the results. One favorite example of mine is that the USB subsystem has its own power supply (one of several inside the box) and doesn’t share a ground with the D/A, so the tiny hints of fizzy grime you get from ground leakage are absent from USB audio heard on the m903. Sweet! Listening tests I spent a glorious few days listening to everything I could put through the m903: my own mixes from DAWs, an iTunes library of everything from 128 kbps MP3 through Apple Lossless, CD audio, and FLACs of 24bit audio up to 96 kHz via the marvelous Decibel player (sbooth.org). I listened on my first-generation Mackie HR824 monitors, my trusty AKG K271 Studio and KRK KNS8400 closed headphones, and the openback AKG K702 and Sennheiser HD800 phones reviewed elsewhere in this issue. What I found was that the Grace played everything with, well, grace... it was detailed, clear, accurate (painfully so on material with production or recording flaws), and gave the best possible audio one could expect based on the listening medium and the transducers attached. Heavily compressed audio over less expensive headphones sounded more clear and detailed than I can remember hearing it, and high-resolution audio over highend phones was an absolute revelation. I was also struck by just how easy it was to integrate the m903 into my existing studio setup. With the flick of a knob, I could listen to my DAW, my consoles, my playback devices, over my big monitors or my phones, making it easy to A/B mixes and listen to tracks over appropriate systems. This is as much monitor controller as many small- to medium-sized studios will ever need, with no functional compromises made in the name of its exceptional audio quality. Final thoughts If you think it’s not outrageous to invest a thousand dollars per channel on a really good mic preamp, should you hesitate at spending that much on a really good way to hear your audio? I would argue not. The m903 isn’t going to be in the budget of every studio, but it should definitely be on most studios’ “someday” wish list. We’re constantly striving to record audio at the highest possible quality; shouldn’t we want to hear our audio at the highest possible quality, too? Price: $1995 ($1895 street); wireless remote control, $125 More from: Grace Design, www.gracedesign.com
RECORDING January 2013

35


http://www.clearsonic.com http://www.sbooth.org http://www.clearsonic.com http://www.isoacoustics.com http://www.isoacoustics.com http://www.gracedesign.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - January 2013

Recording - January 2013
Fade In.
Table of Contents
Talkback.
2012 AES Convention Report.
Universal Audio Apollo.
ADAM Audio F5 and F7 Monitors.
Earthworks ZDT 1022 Mic Preamp.
Trident HG3 Close Field Monitoring System.
AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition Headphones.
Grace Design m903 Reference Headphone Amplifier.
Monitors & Monitoring.
Lauten Atlantis FC-387 Condenser Microphone.
Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 13: Monitors Part 2.
PreSonus BlueTube DP V2.
Getting Into Your Head.
Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones.
Readers’ Tapes.
iOS Music Tools: Last-Minute Audio Gifts!
Sennheiser HD800 Headphones.
Advertiser Index.
2012 Annual Index.
Fade Out.
Recording - January 2013 - Recording - January 2013
Recording - January 2013 - Cover2
Recording - January 2013 - 1
Recording - January 2013 - 2
Recording - January 2013 - 3
Recording - January 2013 - Fade In.
Recording - January 2013 - 5
Recording - January 2013 - Table of Contents
Recording - January 2013 - 7
Recording - January 2013 - Talkback.
Recording - January 2013 - 9
Recording - January 2013 - 2012 AES Convention Report.
Recording - January 2013 - 11
Recording - January 2013 - 12
Recording - January 2013 - 13
Recording - January 2013 - 14
Recording - January 2013 - 15
Recording - January 2013 - 16
Recording - January 2013 - 17
Recording - January 2013 - 18
Recording - January 2013 - 19
Recording - January 2013 - Universal Audio Apollo.
Recording - January 2013 - 21
Recording - January 2013 - 22
Recording - January 2013 - 23
Recording - January 2013 - ADAM Audio F5 and F7 Monitors.
Recording - January 2013 - 25
Recording - January 2013 - Earthworks ZDT 1022 Mic Preamp.
Recording - January 2013 - 27
Recording - January 2013 - Trident HG3 Close Field Monitoring System.
Recording - January 2013 - 29
Recording - January 2013 - AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition Headphones.
Recording - January 2013 - 31
Recording - January 2013 - 32
Recording - January 2013 - 33
Recording - January 2013 - Grace Design m903 Reference Headphone Amplifier.
Recording - January 2013 - 35
Recording - January 2013 - Monitors & Monitoring.
Recording - January 2013 - 37
Recording - January 2013 - 38
Recording - January 2013 - 39
Recording - January 2013 - Lauten Atlantis FC-387 Condenser Microphone.
Recording - January 2013 - 41
Recording - January 2013 - Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 13: Monitors Part 2.
Recording - January 2013 - 43
Recording - January 2013 - PreSonus BlueTube DP V2.
Recording - January 2013 - 45
Recording - January 2013 - Getting Into Your Head.
Recording - January 2013 - 47
Recording - January 2013 - 48
Recording - January 2013 - 49
Recording - January 2013 - Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones.
Recording - January 2013 - 51
Recording - January 2013 - 52
Recording - January 2013 - 53
Recording - January 2013 - 54
Recording - January 2013 - 55
Recording - January 2013 - Readers’ Tapes.
Recording - January 2013 - 57
Recording - January 2013 - iOS Music Tools: Last-Minute Audio Gifts!
Recording - January 2013 - 59
Recording - January 2013 - 60
Recording - January 2013 - 61
Recording - January 2013 - Sennheiser HD800 Headphones.
Recording - January 2013 - Advertiser Index.
Recording - January 2013 - 64
Recording - January 2013 - 65
Recording - January 2013 - 66
Recording - January 2013 - 67
Recording - January 2013 - 68
Recording - January 2013 - 69
Recording - January 2013 - 2012 Annual Index.
Recording - January 2013 - 71
Recording - January 2013 - Fade Out.
Recording - January 2013 - Cover3
Recording - January 2013 - Cover4
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