Massdrop x Grace Design m9XX DAC/Amp
Massdrop x Grace Design m9XX DAC/Amp
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Product Description
Well reviewed on Head-Fi, HiFi Insider, and beyond, the Massdrop x Grace Design m9XX was inspired by the world-class m920 DAC/amp—offering the same performance level for audiophile applications, now at a far more accessible price. Working with Michael and Eben from Grace Design, we stripped the m920 of its lesser-used pro audio hardware and improved upon the audiophile features where possible, all while retaining the high-res DAC implementation and super-clean solid-state amplification Read More
Here's what our community has to say
All of our reviews are from verified customers.
4.6
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18
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ciregreg
1
Sep 2, 2019
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Unfortunate
I purchased this item quite a while back. It was excellent when it was working. But recently it developed a potentially catastrophic feature. It randomly causes my headphone and/or speakers to pop and distort at a very high volume. In fact, I count myself fortunate to have disengaged it before it caused damage to my very expensive equipment. That is unfortunate, because, as I said, it was an excellent unit when it worked. Something like this should not malfunction in this very potentially damaging way.
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Would not recommend to a friend.
patrck
17
Aug 12, 2019
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sounds much better than Topping D70 and DX7s
if you have m9xx, don't buy Topping D70 or DX7s because of XLR output. m9xx sounds warmer and able to deliver much dynamic and detail especially on bass/mid. If you need XLR, just get a switch box like JBL M-Patch 2 , it can switch RCA to XLR... Don't make the same mistake I did....
Helpbot
300
Dec 26, 2019
So you sold your d70? That's interesting that the dac is better but grace designs has a history in good quality audio Edit: I just compared my d70 to my sdac and it was beaten easily in resolution. I imagine this dac to be even better
(Edited)
Baddog
28
Mar 7, 2019
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I bought this little DAC/AMP about two years ago and have to say it has been a work horse, built like a tank and I love the sound. Plus I love the flexibility of multiple headphone outs and an RCA out as well.
Fatfox
10
Sep 28, 2018
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Asking for the one that close to the original Grace Design flavor? Must be this one. Update to the most recent firmware for more functions. Cross feed is the must have. Good for most indoor headphones, having enough power for up to 500Ohms.
geocisco
1
Aug 10, 2018
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i like it
priyadi
567
Aug 9, 2018
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I'm not an audiophile by any means. Quality-wise, I can only say it has sufficient audio quality for me. But I like the interface. I don't think I could find other units that cover all of my use cases at the time I bought this.
My setup: active speakers connected using RCA, headphone connected to the left jack, IEM connected to the right jack (using IEM to avoid waking up sleeping wife and baby).
- When both jacks are plugged in: speakers are off, headphone is on, IEM is on - When only the left jack is plugged: speakers are on, headphone is on, IEM is off (obviously) - When only the right jack is plugged: speakers are off, headphone is off (obviously), IEM is on
To turn off the speakers, I simply plug an IEM into the right jack rather than reaching the harder to reach speakers. And it doesn't even have to be an IEM, a lone 1/4" to 1/8" converter works as well.
The big dial serve as volume control and mute button. it mutes, not turn it off, the computer still sees the unit and it works instantly.
jammuu
54
Aug 9, 2018
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Great sound, great size, great functionality. My first DAC/Amp and I love it. I got it when it first became available on massdrop. No regrets. One complaint is however the power is derived from micro-USB, so if you move it around it resets.
Sophonax
8
Aug 8, 2018
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I love the performance and simplicity of this unit. I've owned and used the m9XX for over a year now and I've been very happy with it. No issues whatsoever with drivers/setup; my experience with it has been smooth all the way.
Regarding performance, the m9XX delivers. Tone is very neutral and even from top to bottom, with no undue emphasis on any frequency range. The sound is smooth, grain-free, and dynamic. The noise floor is vanishingly low. Prior to owning the m9XX I had a Schiit stack of the Bifrost and Asgard 2 (also a very good setup), but I'd say the m9XX gives up nothing in performance to the Schiit and in some ways even betters it.
The m9XX has an amazing ability to drive anything I throw at it. I've used it regularly with low impedance headphones (such as the Sennheiser HD598 and Fostex TH-X00), high impedance headphones (such as the Sennheiser HD600/HD650 and Beyerdynamic DT880/600), and high-sensitivity IEMs (such as the 64 Audio U4-SE) -- the m9XX handles them all with aplomb. The 600-ohm Beyerdynamics in particular can sound flat and lifeless on many other solid state amps, but the m9XX makes them punchy and dynamic, elevating them to a level of performance I've only been able to get with OTL tube amps in the past. I find that the digital volume control works great for the high-sensitivity IEMs, much better than the analog potentiometers found in most other amps. It allows you to make finer adjustments to the volume with none of the scratchiness / noise you can get with analog pots.
The m9XX offers two options to power it -- you can run it from your computer via the USB cable, or you can run it from a separate USB cable plugged into an AC adapter to get additional power output capability. With all the aforementioned headphones, I've never once felt the need to connect the AC adapter for extra power.
Many other headphone amps can double as space heaters with the amount of heat they produce, but I'm happy to report the m9XX runs cool and is very efficient.
Regarding simplicity, the m9XX is dead simple. Power up your computer, and the m9XX powers up along with it. Two headphone outputs on the front, one RCA output on the back, and a nice volume knob on top. The menu system (which I've only used once when first setting up the unit) is easy to navigate and well-explained in the owner's manual. Cables are kept to a minimum -- one USB cable from my computer to the m9XX, and one set of RCA cables from the m9XX to my speaker amp. Nice and clean.
I have only one complaint about the m9XX -- when I want to use my speakers, I have to unplug my headphones. The m9XX is designed so that it can be used as a preamp, so the RCA output level is also controlled by the volume control. You have to turn the volume up to 90 to get a proper 2V line level on the RCA output, but 90 is way too loud for any of my headphones and could damage them, so I have to unplug them. It would be nice if either:
1) There was a menu option to disable volume control on the RCA output, so that it stays at a fixed 2V, or 2) The headphone outputs could be muted while leaving the RCA output active.
That is my suggestion for Grace Design if they happen to read this. Otherwise, I find the m9XX to be beyond reproach.
jakubb
3
Aug 3, 2018
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I've had this DAC/Amp for about a year and a half at this point, using it almost every workday for 4-8 hours. After dealing with really annoying Windows/USB/Driver issues with other DACs, I'm happy to report that I haven't had a single issue with either the XMOS or standard modes. Sound-wise, it's also phenomenal; I have it paired with the Fostex TH-X00 and nothing makes me happier than listening to that combo.
WNovizar
75
May 9, 2020
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