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.
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 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.
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!
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 Includes
- Grace Design m108 Preamp
- IEC Power Cord
- Owners Manual
- 5 Year Warranty
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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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?