Grace Design is now shipping the m902, a stereo reference headphone amp and monitoring controller housed in a sleek new 1U, half-rack enclosure whose industrial design mirrors that of the company’s m904 and m906 monitoring systems.
The m902 provides balanced and unbalanced stereo analog inputs via rear panel XLR and RCA jacks. Both +4dBu and –10dBV analog sources are accommodated. A pair of front panel, parallel-wired ¼-inch TRS outputs are included to allow two headphone pairs to be used simultaneously. The m902 also adds a pair of line outputs on the rear panel for connection to a stereo pair of monitors, allowing the system to also perform as a high-end system preamp. The m902 employs high-current, transimpedance output amplifiers optimized for driving even the lowest impedance headphones. A front panel rotary encoder provides precision level control of both headphone and line output levels, and level adjustments are made in 0.5dB steps within a 95dB range. Channel-to-channel level matching is 0.05 dB.
AES-3, S/PDIF and optical digital sources are accepted via rear panel XLR, RCA and TOSLINK connectors, respectively. A USB input (16-bit, 44.1 to 48kHz operation) is supplied for users who desire a reference-quality listening experience while connected to their computer. A front panel rotary switch selects between all analog and digital sources, and a four-LED array is provided to show valid digital source sample rates between 44.1 and 192 kHz.
A high-performance 24-bit DAC, which includes Grace’s s-Lock dual stage PLL (Phase Lock Loop), is used for conversion purposes.
The m902 also includes Xfeed, which simulates the acoustics of a loudspeaker listening environment. This feature employs carefully designed signal cross-feed, filtering and delay circuits to simulate HRTF (Head-Related Transfer Functions).
The m902 incorporates an internal linear power supply, built with a custom-wound high-current, low-noise 30-watt torroidal power transformer. High-quality 0.5-percent metal film resistors are used throughout, and there are no electrolytic capacitors in the signal path. Sealed gold contact relays are used for all signal switching.
The m902 is also equipped with an infrared sensor that will allow remote operation of numerous system parameters when connected to an (optional) remote-control unit.
The m902 carries an SRP of $1,695 (USD). Visit www.gracedesign.com for more information.
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