High-end hardware manufacturers Grace Design released a new product at this year’s AES show, called the M903. The M903 combines the functionality of a few different boxes, namely a headphone amp, a D-A converter and a monitor controller.
A 1U, half-rack-width device, the M903 has an impressive six selectable stereo inputs to monitor: S/PDIF, AES3, optical TOSlink, balanced XLR, unbalanced RCA, and USB (the M903 can function as a one-way audio interface, at up to 24-bit/96kHz quality). Both balanced and unbalanced quarter-inch jack outputs reside on the rear panel, their levels being governed by a large, stepped rotary encoder on the front. There are also two headphone outputs (also controlled by the encoder), and these are apparently parallel-wired, transimpedance designs capable of driving even extremely low-impedance headphones.
The D-A converter is said by Grace to be a “next-generation, ultra-low-noise” design, and it incorporates a unique dual-stage phase lock loop (PLL) to minimise jitter. The M903 will apparently be shipping later this month, and will carry a US MSRP of $1895. For more information, visit the Grace Design web site.