Grace Design m108 Preamp

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Product Code: 9999-17237
Grace Design m108
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Grace Design m108 Preamp

The Grace Design m108 Preamp is an outstanding preamp and a vital addition to any modern audio production environment. It comes with eight channels of transparent musical preamplification, state of the art A/D conversion, multiple digital output formats, and flexible local or remote controlled operations.

The Grace Design m108 Preamp is based on the acclaimed success of Grace Design m802 remote controlled mic preamplifier, and offers an unrivaled performance. The Grace Design m108 distills the best of all achievements into a sleek, elegant 1U chassis design. Grace Design's transformerless, transimpedance 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.

Simple Operation
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.

Powerful Configuration
Out of the box, the Grace Design m108 is ready to go as a stand alone mic preamp / ADC. With integrated serial or MIDI control, the Grace Design m108 can be configured in large channel-count remote systems, with control from Grace Design's existing m802 hardware remote control unit, from Protools™, the forthcoming m108 control app, or even simply over Ethernet with any modern web browser. And an optional DANTE™ interface is provided for network audio configurations. The Grace Design m108 control protocol is backward compatible with the m802 so you can add Grace Design m108’s to an existing m802 system.

Grace Design Remote Control Software
The Grace Design m108 Control Software application allows for control of up to 12 Grace Design m108 preamplifiers using the Ethernet control port on the Grace Design 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 Grace Design m108 via Android or iOS use the m108 web interface.

m108 Web Browser Control
The Grace Design m108 Preamp has a built-in web browser controller allowing remote control from most web enabled Mac, Windows, iOS and Android devices. This control has been optimized for Chrome, but will operate on most modern web browsers (excluding Internet Explorer). This makes control of any Grace Design m108 on an ip LAN as simple as entering the Grace Design m108’s IP address into the browser’s navigation window, and the web browser control from that preamp will automatically load and connect.

Available Option Cards

  • Dante Option Card - The Dante option provides the Grace Design 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 Grace Design m108.
  • Control Room Output Option Card - The CR output option plugs in to the Grace Design m108 expansion slot, located on the rear panel of the Grace Design 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 Grace Design m108's front panel level control. This is a super cool, inexpensive way for you to monitor the Grace Design m108's audio paths on speakers: whether in your control room, a remote location or while on the road. Combined with the Grace Design 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!

Difference Between m108 And 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 Features

  • 8 Channels of balanced analog preamp outputs
  • 8 Channels of transparent, musical mic preamplifier
  • Wide gain range: -6 to 69dB
  • 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 amplifier 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
  • Made in the USA

Grace Design m108 Preamp Specifications

  • Microphone Preamplifier – Analog In to Analog Out:
    • Frequency Response:
      • @ 40dB Gain ± 0.2dB (50O Source): 15Hz-300kHz
      • @ 40dB Gain ± 3dB (50O Source): 4.5Hz-1.0MHz
    • THD+N:
      • @ 20dB Gain +20dBu Out, 1kHz: <.0003%
      • @ 40dB Gain +20dBu Out, 1kHz: <.0010%
      • @ 60dB Gain +20dBu Out, 1kHz: <.0080%
    • Intermodulation Distortion:
      • @ 40dB Gain +20dBu Out SMPTE/DIN 1:1 (50Hz, 7kHz): <.001%
      • @ 40dB Gain +20dBu Out SMPTE/DIN 4:1 (50Hz, 7kHz): <.0020%
    • Noise - Referred to Input:
      • @ 60dB Gain, 50O Source: -129dB
      • @ 60dB Gain, 150O Source: -127dB
      • @ 60dB Gain, 600O Source: -123dB
    • Phase Deviation:
      • 40-20KHz @ 40dB Gain: <5°
    • Crosstalk:
      • Any Channel @ 40dB Gain 1kHz: -127dB
      • Any Channel @ 40dB Gain 10kHz: -113dB
    • CMRR:
      • @ 60dB Gain, +20dBu CM, 1kHz: >75dB
      • @ 60dB Gain, +20dBu CM, 10kHz: >85dB
      • @ 60dB Gain, +20dBu CM, 60Hz: >55dB
    • Maximum Output Level:
      • Balanced, 1kHz, 100kO Load: +27dBu
      • Balanced, 1kHz, 600O Load: +23dBu
      • Unbalanced, 1kHz, 100kO Load: +21dBu
    • Impedance:
      • Input Ribbon Mode (+48V OFF): 19kO
      • Input +48V ON: 8kO
  • A/D Converter - All Measurements at 15dB Gain, Frequency 48kHz Unless Otherwise Noted
    • Dynamic Range:
      • 22Hz-24kHz, 14dB Gain, 48kHz: >117dB
      • "A" Weighted, 14dB Gain, 48kHz: >120dB
    • THD+N:
      • 1kHz, -1dBFS, 15dB Gain 20Hz-22kHz: < 0.0004%
    • Intermodulation Distortion:
      • IMD SMPTE 4:1 60Hz, 7kHz, -3dBFS: <0.002%
    • Frequency Response: +/-0.2dB -3dB
      • 44.1kHz Fs: 15Hz-21kHz 6Hz-22kHz
      • 48kHz Fs: 15Hz-23kHz 6Hz-24kHz
      • 88.2kHz Fs: 15Hz-41kHz 6Hz-44kHz
      • 96kHz Fs: 15Hz-45kHz 6Hz-48kHz
      • 176.4kHz Fs: 15Hz-54kHz 6Hz-72.5kHz
      • 192kHz Fs: 15Hz-59kHz 6Hz-79kHz
    • Full Scale Input Level, Analog Output @ 0dBFS: +24dBu
    • Crosstalk:
      • Interchannel Crosstalk, 1kHz: < -140dB
      • Interchannel Crosstalk, 10kHz: < -130dB
    • Group Delay, AES3 Out: <22/Fs
      • 44.1kHz Fs: <0.5ms
      • 48kHz Fs: <0.5ms
      • 88.2kHz Fs: <0.25ms
      • 96kHz Fs: <0.25ms
      • 176.4kHz Fs: <0.13ms
      • 192kHz Fs: <0.13ms
  • DA CONVERTER/Headphone Amplifier - All Measurements at Fs=48kHz Unless Otherwise Noted
    • THD+N:
      • 0dBFS In, Volume + 90, +8dBu Out, 22Hz-22kHz BW: <0.0006%
      • 0dBFS In, 1.0V Out (31mW), 22Hz-22kHz BW, 32O Load: <0.0025%
    • Intermodulation Distortion:
      • SMTPE/DIN 4:1 50Hz, 7kHz, 1.0V Out, No Load: <0.008%
      • SMTPE/DIN 4:1 50Hz, 7kHz, 1.0V Out, 32O Load: <0.008%
    • Frequency Response:
      • Fs=96kHz , ±3dB: 0.5-45.9kHz
      • Fs=96kHz , ±0.2dB: 0.5-45.9kHz
    • Dynamic Range:
      • 20-22kHz Bandwidth: 112dB
      • 20-22kHz Bandwidth & A Weighting Filter: 115dB
    • Output Noise:
      • 20-22kHz, Volume=0-90: -104dBu
      • A Weighting Filter, Volume = 0-90: -106dBu
      • 20-22kHz, Volume=90.5-99.5: -97dBu
      • A Weighting Filter, Volume = 90.5-99.5: -100dBu
    • Crosstalk:
      • 1kHz: <98dB
      • 20kHz: <72dB
    • Attenuation Range: 0 to -99dB, 0.5dB steps
    • Channel Tracking Accuracy: +/-0.05dB
    • Maximum Output Level: +18dBu
    • Impedance:
      • Headphone Output Impedance: 0.5O
      • Control Room Output Module Line Output: 47.5O
  • Control Room Output Module:
    • Frequency Response:
      • ± 0.2dB: 15Hz-300kHz
    • THD+N:
      • @ High Gain +15dBu Out, 1kHz: <0.0007%
      • @ Low Gain +5dBu Out, 1kHz: <0.0010%
    • Intermodulation Distortion SMTPE/DIN 4:1 (50Hz, 7kHz):
      • @ High Gain, -10dBFS, +15dBu Out: <0.0020%
      • @ Low Gain, -10dBFS, +2dBu Out: <0.0020%
    • Output Noise 22-22kHz:
      • @ High Gain: -90.0dB
      • @ Low Gain: -97.0dB
    • Crosstalk:
      • @ High Gain, 1kHz, Bandpass Response: -120dB
      • @ Low gain, 1kHz, Bandpass Response: -120dB
    • Maximum Output Level:
      • High Gain Mode, Balanced, 1kHz, 100kO Load, 0dBFS: +23.5dBu
      • Low Gain Mode, Balanced, 1kHz, 100kO Load, 0dBFS: +14.5dBu
  • Clocking & General:
    • Supported Sample Rates: kHz 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192
    • External Clock Lock Range: FS ± 1.5%
    • Intrinsic Jitter, 10Hz-20kHz BW:
    • Internal Clock: < 40ps RMS
    • External Clock: < 40ps RMS
    • Jitter Rejection Corner Frequency: 500mHz
    • Weight & Dimensions:
      • Weight: 5.2lbs (2.3kg)
      • Dimensions: 1U Rack Mount, (Width x Depth) 16.75" x 10”
    • Power Consumption:
      • Volts: 90-250V~ 50-60Hz
      • Power: 25 Watts

Grace Design m108 Preamp Includes

  • Grace Design m108 Preamp
  • IEC Power Cord
  • Owners Manual
  • 5 Year Warranty

Grace Design m108 Preamp Downloads

What We Think

The Grace Design m108 Preamp 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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1 Review Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 4
    Excellent quality, routing could be improved

    Posted by David Bowles on Nov 1st 2016

    The m108 is a high-quality offering from Grace Design. 8 XLR mic inputs and no-compromise preamp and A/D make this unit extremely useful. Most other 1RU units only have 2-4 channels of Mic pre! The headphone amp and Ethernet-based control are also excellent.

    However, the DB25 analogue outputs only pass through Mic pre outputs. It is not possible [with the Dante option] to have stereo speakers connected to monitor let's say a DAW mix - as one can through the headphones.

    Also, the Dante I/O option means running this on a separate Ethernet cable. Most manufacturers have machine control and Dante/Ravenna on the same cable. Perhaps Grace Design envisioned Dante recording/routing on a separate rig entirely?