Grace Design m108 8 Channel Remote Controlled Mic Preamplifier / ADC
The Grace Design m108 8-Channel Remote Controlled Mic Preamplifier / ADC delivers 8-channles of transparent, musical mic preamplification, state of the art A/D conversion, multiple digital output formats, and flexible local or remote controlled operation. The m108 is a vital addition to any modern audio production environment.
Based on the acclaimed success of Grace's m802 remote controlled mic preamplifier, the m108 distills the best of these achievements into a sleek, elegant 1U chassis design. Grace's transformerless, transipedance mic preamp design is unmatched in its ability to effortlessly resolve complex sonic waveforms, resulting in recordings of amazing clarity and depth. Integrated A/D conversion delivers digital signals to the workstation that are pure and beautiful. Latest generation s-Lock PLL ensures pristine, jitter free sample clock when clocking from external word clock or Dante clock. And an asynchronous mode USB interface provides the best possible jitter performance when connected to a computer.
A push-button rotary encoder is used for navigating and operation, with a user interface that is simple and intuitive. Dedicated push-buttons are assigned to core functions: 48V phantom power, phase reverse, channel grouping and meter peak clear. A crisp OLED screen displays complete system information, including channel gain settings, metering, peak status, and the system setup menu.
Out of the box, the m108 is ready to go as a stand alone mic preamp / ADC. With integrated serial or MIDI control, the m108 can be confi gured in large channel-count remote systems, with control from Grace Design's existing m802 hardware remote control unit, from Protools, or the m108 control computer utility.
Grace Design Remote Control Software
The m108 Control Software application allows for control of up to 12 m108 preamplifiers using the Ethernet control port on the m108. Each preamplifier in the system will have a dedicated control panel for operating the microphone preamplifiers, ADC, and clocking parameters. The control application allows for the creation of channel groups as well as saving and recalling presets. The application runs under Windows (7,8.1,10) and Mac OS (10.11). For control of the m108 via Android or iOS use the m108 web interface. An optional DANTE interface is provided for network audio configurations. The m108 control protocol is backward compatible with the m802 so you can add m108’s to an existing m802 system.
AVAILABLE OPTION CARDS:
Dante Option Card:
The Dante option provides the m108 with two gigabit ethernet ports for streaming 8 channels of audio at sample rates up to 192kHz to other Dante enabled devices. The heart of the Dante interface is the Brooklyn II module. This is where the digital audio data is sent to and received from the Dante network "flows". While most of the ADC configuration and setup is the same as the ADAT and AES3 interfaces, there are some clock architecture concepts that are unique to the Dante enabled m108.
Control Room Output Option Card:
The CR output option plugs in to the m108 expansion slot, located on the rear panel of the m108. The option provides a stereo pair of 1/4”, balanced analog outputs that are designed to connect to your monitors. Output levels are controlled via the m108’s front panel level control. This is a super cool, inexpensive way for you to monitor the m108’s audio paths on speakers: whether in your control room, a remote location or while on the road. Combined with the 108’s powerful, internal mixing capabilities, this new option provides a completely self contained system for recording and playback. And as you might imagine, the audio quality is superb!
Grace Design m108 Preamp Features
- 8 channels of balanced analog preamp outputs
- 8 channels of transparent, musical mic preamplifer
- Wide gain range: -8 to 74dB
- Ribbon mic mode
- 8 channels of 192kHz ADC outputs via AES, ADAT (4ch SMUX) and USB Class 2
- External Word clock in and out
- Reference DAC and headphone amplifer for low-latency monitoring of channel pairs or USB playback from a computer
- Channel 1 & 2 HI-Z inputs on front panel
- High contrast, wide viewing angle OLED display for all system parameters and setup menu
- Combination RS 485/422 serial / MIDI ports for control from existing m802 RCU or Protools™
- Control App (Win and Mac, coming soon) can control up to 96 channels over Ethernet
- Simple web browser control built in, works with all modern browsers including iOS and Android
- RJ45 Ethernet port for network control
- Expansion slot for optional Audinate / DANTE™ network audio card
- Cooling fan for reliable operation in the harshest environments
- Built in 100-240VAC universal AC power supply
- 5 year transferrable warranty
- Made in the USA
Grace Design m108 Preamp Specifications
- A complete and VERY thorough list of specifications - both Analog and Digital - are included within the m108 Owners Manual. What makes sense for us to share here are a list of differences in how the m108 compares to its predecessor; the m802...
- Differences between the m108 and the m802: At the core, both mic preamplifiers are quite similar. They both utilize Grace Designs' signature transimpedance (or current feedback) amplifier topology, they have no electrolytic capacitors in their signal paths, and each preamp channel has its own power supply voltage regulators. These are the key ingredients in how Grace Design designs their mic preamplifiers, which lend very similar sonic performance to both units. However, there are many differences in design execution and features:
- The m802 has external, dual redundant power supplies. The power supply unit used in the m108 is the same as the m802 and m905, but the m802 uses two of them for NASA level reliability (more expensive). Redundant or not, this design is currently 100% reliable, without a single failure in the field since the 6 years they have been deployed.
- The m802 has two adjustable ADC sensitivity settings which are accessible via setup menus. This requires a fair amount of additional circuitry and components (more expensive). The m108 ADC sensitivity is fixed at +24dBu or +18dBu (at the analog output) for 0dBFS and is changed via internal jumpers (less expensive).
- The m802 ribbon mode uses a relay to bypass the input phantom power blocking capacitors (more expensive).In the m108, Grace Designs uses very high quality metalized film capacitors for this which are exceedingly transparent sounding (less expensive).
- The m802 has two sets of balanced analog outputs (more expensive) while the m108 has one set (less expensive).
- The m802 has separate circuit boards for the preamps, a back plane pcb for interconnect, a controller pcb, and 4 pcbs in the ADC assembly,15 circuit boards in all (very expensive). The m108 has its preamplifiers, ADC, and controller all on one pcb and the digital I/O on another (less expensive). This really makes up the bulk of the cost savings between the two units. As well there are fewer interconnect cables which means less chance of a contact failure.
- The m108 has the latest generation clock technology. The clock jitter in the m108 clock is less than 40ps and the PLL has a low frequency corner of around 500mHz (the m802 PLL corner frequency is 10Hz). This gives the m108 an extremely effective barrier to external clock jitter. Grace Designs is unable to measure any effects of external jitter even at exceedingly high levels which would not be found in a modern well designed digital audio system.
- The measured performance of the m108 slightly exceeds that of the m802 in most areas.These include ADC dynamic range, THD+N, external clock jitter rejection.
- The rest of the differences are in features, size, weight, and power consumption. The m108 represents the single biggest R&D effort in Grace Designs' company history. They really focused on increasing performance and maintaining bomb-proof reliability while reducing the cost of the system. They are really proud of this unit and we are all amazed with its stunning clarity and musicality.
Grace Design m108 Preamp Includes
- Grace Design m108 Preamp
- IEC Power Cord
- 5 year transferrable warranty
Grace Design m108 Preamp Downloads
What We Think
The Grace Design m108 8-Channel Remote Controlled Mic Preamplifier / ADC is one of the hottest premium products that we've seen in regards to popularity right out of the gate. Why? Long story short - it outperforms it's predecessor, the Grace Design m802 Remote Controlled Preamp at about half the price. Plus, you have the ability to add a Dante network audio card or a new Control Room Output Option card. Still, what makes the m108 such a powerhouse, despite its copious options and features, is what is at its innermost core; the sound. Grace Designs' preamplifiers have the pleasure of sharing seats at the top of the heap with a couple of other preamp companies. But Grace Design preamps really excel where the rubber meets the road when it comes to digital connectivity (ADC) and networking - certainly where cost benefit / performance ratio is concerned. While the m108 makes sense for a home studio user looking for a premium and pristine front-end, the m108 similarly makes even more sense for the live sound engineer looking to park preamps - in chunks of eight - on the stage which can be remotely controlled, and which output AES/EBU digital signals in addition to analog - and which can also be networked through the optional Dante card (NOTE: SoundGrid connectivity is available through using the AES/EBU I/O of a Waves DiGiGrid IOC [16 channels on 2 x Tascam standard AES/EBU DB25 - but keep in mind that you may need special AES/EBU cabling depending on whether you're looking to simultaneously utilize the IOC's AES/EBU outputs, as well. Call us with questions. We have solutions!]).
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