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For me, when deciding to become an early adopter on something like this, I think it's important to see where the reviews/early impressions are coming from, identify the happiness-level of the company's existing user-base, and see how the company's owners/employees present themselves. I like to see how interested and involved they are with their product line, and they interact constructively with their clients/potential clients. I'm relatively new to this hobby, so I wasn't really familiar with Grace or their product line, but after some research, I can't seem to find any negative or overly critical reviews of any of their existing products. The customer service appears to be phenomenal (not to mention a 5-year warranty). All that said, I'm happily backing this one.
I agree with your approach, but having decent amps already, I start with looking for breakthrough products before I get to the other stuff, and this one is the real deal.
It does look like this one is going to be a great choice, I'm stoked! ^_^
Yeah, I've mostly figured out what works for me when trying out a new hobby... I've learned to enter a few notches above basic gear to test the waters (often clearance or used) and let that burn-in for a while, trying my best to avoid the gear-upgrade fever. if it's not for me, no biggie, a notable investment wasn't made and the stuff goes to eBay or gets gifted to friends/family. If the hobby digs its teeth in, I try my best to skip the middle-ground and buy into the most affordable and efficient high end gear that suits my needs. It's important for me to not get caught up in that ever present spec-battle that exists sits on a hobby's point of diminishing returns.