Massdrop x Grace Design Standard DAC
Massdrop x Grace Design Standard DAC
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Product Description
Made in collaboration with Grace Design, a company known for its incredibly accurate, transparent studio gear, the Standard DAC sets a new standard in entry-level DACs. It applies Grace Design’s pro-audio expertise to a simpler, more accessibly priced model that makes a great addition to any home or office system Read More
Here's what our community has to say
All of our reviews are from verified customers.
4.7
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89%
would recommend to a friend
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ALLCAPS
55
Nov 15, 2018
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Having a few DACs in my stable, I think the SDAC is best compared to the Topping D10. Both offer compelling sound quality for under the $100 mark, but are differentiated by their I/O, file support and DAC chips, and less so by the quality of their sound. While the D10 may have the edge in dynamics, linearity (besides the ESS hump) and clarity, the SDAC is more smooth, listenable over long periods of time, and generally more forgiving with hardware pairings. Both are competent however the D10 has more connectivity options as well as DSD support. Subjectively, the SDAC is more reserved and may blend in with a system easier, while the D10 has an informative display screen which will either look endearing or tacky. Can't go wrong with either... and can't go wrong owning both! Notes:
  • FLAC files spanning hiphop, electronic, jazz, rock and classical
  • Tested with the Sennheiser HD580 and Beyerdynamic T1.2
  • Source is a Macbook playing via MusicBee
  • Amps tested are both the Liquid Spark and SAP-II
Nov 15, 2018
phoenixsong
886
Jan 11, 2020
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As you can see, I'm not impressed with my current setup, but as your 1st dac any of the ones you mentioned should suffice. For something else that's single-ended and just a little more expensive you can look toward the Topping D50s which can be found here as well! The Atom should be good enough as a single-ended amp :)
Jan 11, 2020
Bingo84
27
Jan 13, 2020
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i will say go for sdac or sdac balanced. i think everyone should have sdac to compare with other dac . it is very right sounding dac to me. i own otherd dac too (odac rev b, khadas tone board, el dac, ol dac, schiit modi 3). just waiting for sdac balnced to appeare in drop.
Jan 13, 2020
GrantmanNZ
10
Jan 9, 2019
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Great unit with great audio specs and measurements. I have paired with a JDS Atom and am very happy. *6 month update. Very happy with the SDAC paired with JDS Atom amp. Note that a couple of times I've had completely garbled audio from the SDAC fixed by unplugging/plugging back in. Also occasional popping. I'm thinking this could be inconsistent power supply from my laptop. I purchased a FX-audio Dac x6 and used it for a month to drive my HD6XX headphones. Unfortunately I felt the mids and highs of the X6 just weren't crisp and lows were boosted, but muddy. My laptop onboard which uses Realtek ALC668 had nicer sound. So in frustration I threw money this SDAC and JDS Atom amp to see if things would be better. I have to say a marked improvement to clarity that I feel was certainly worthwhile. Yes it cost 3x as much, but it bought the satisfaction I had been frustratingly denied with the onboard and X6.*
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Jan 9, 2019
verifonix
726
Mar 19, 2019
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SDAC/Atom seems perfect indeed
Mar 19, 2019
Noon6
11
Jan 20, 2019
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Enjoying it greatly. Huge difference between this and my D30 Dac. Magni 3 is my amp, using 6xx's. Sound: Better bass and separation between instruments. Sound-stage feels widened. The Topping D30 was ok but everything sounded "cloudy/foggy". It felt like I had to really pump the volume up to get real results. Tbh using my Magni 3 with my on-board sound was arguably better. I remember first plugging in the D30 and thinking "wow this sounds...odd?" I wasn't able to quite put my finger on it. In comparison the Grace feels awesome. Less volume for more results. My ears are thankful haha. Even in videogames I hear the difference. Sounds seem that little bit more accurate. Unfortunately I HAVE heard a few odd jitters while listening. In one song it sounded like it was cutting out for a few seconds. Upon going back to the same part of the song it was fine. Very odd. Possible cable issue. Will get a better usb cable and test it out. Build: Build quality is fine, simple black metal. Feels sturdy enough. Goes well with my black everything else desk haha. Verdict: Awesome :) If I ever upgrade will be looking at a Grace Design product.
Jan 20, 2019
Bingo84
27
Jan 25, 2019
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I am also planning to buy atom amp.i am realy curious how it compare to o2.
Jan 25, 2019
FDkevin
3
Oct 21, 2019
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weird, I had the exact opposite experience than you, which is SDAC sounded more muffled, and D30 got more detail up top. Whenever I read a review that's 180 degree opposite than mine, I really want to meet up with the person and do a A-B test and discuss how we are hearing things so differently :D
Oct 21, 2019
Highdrone
15
Mar 29, 2019
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Oh wow! Just trying this out for the first time with my HD 58x & the O2 amp. I'm having a tough time working at my desk because I keep hearing sounds around me that were never in the music (or so I thought). I'm a newb at this so this is blowing my mind right now. If you are reading reviews because you're on the fence about purchasing this, just buy it. Anyone who would have anything negative to say is either doing it wrong or an audio snob. I can't imagine why anyone would need more than this setup (HD 58x + O2 Amp + Grace SDAC). It's overwhelming in the best way imaginable. *I'm using quality cables (USB & Audio) and an Isotel Ultra for filtered power isolation (no hissing from electrical interference).
Mar 29, 2019
Kpmajka
17
Mar 5, 2019
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It's great as a basic USB DAC. If it was $10-20 more and had optical too I would have loved that option! MAC, Chrome OS, Android - all work great. Super simple. Works well for my work setup with the matching amp. The separate DAC version of this should have had optical or coax vs just USB in my opinion. I should have bought the combo unit instead.
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Mar 5, 2019
Bingo84
27
Mar 23, 2019
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yes me too.. make optical and coax version of it...
Mar 23, 2019
TheWalkman
9
Mar 27, 2019
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Nice little DAC. Dead simple to use. Sounds fine. One minor complaint - yes, nit pickings here - I'm using this's with the O2 headphone amp and it would have been nice if the power LED's color matched.
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Mar 27, 2019
TM80
33
Apr 24, 2019
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Had the same OCD with the LED. :D
Apr 24, 2019
Kozato
8
Apr 18, 2019
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I dont know how to review audio stuff but no more popping sounds from my PC motherboard. I bought Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master and this motherboard has ESS SABRE 9118 DAC build in. It has good audio sound but the noise and random popping sounds from PC makes me annoying. Now, no more weird noise and popping sounds and I am so happy to buy this DAC. I paired it with JDS Labs Atom and it is the best and clean sound ever.
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Apr 18, 2019
GrantmanNZ
10
Jul 11, 2019
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I'm using the SDAC + JDS Atom with the HD6XX and it does not need high gain. 95% of the time anywhere beyond 11-12 on the volume knob on normal gain is getting too loud. This is in line with other comments on ASR forums.
Jul 11, 2019
Graham43
20
Jul 15, 2019
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I have the same setup. Had the SDAC and an O2 amp and 6xx since last year and while the sound was good it wasn't spectacular. Now with the new Atom i just got today it's taken my music to another level!! Amazing!! I only use low gain and it's plenty loud enough at 2 o'clock and that's with Windows volume on 64% Spotify or Musicbee on 100%. Little Dot Mkii coming this week so that'll be another level again hopefully.
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Jul 15, 2019
dcha12
297
Nov 7, 2018
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This is really a great little DAC even without considering the price. The presentation of music is very clean and natural; just a nice full-bodied sound that is relaxing and enjoyable. The only thing this DAC could potentially do better is increased micro details (tested against a Schiit Yggdrasil, a DAC about 20 times the price), but even the most critical of listening won't really reveal this unless in a direct A/B comparison, and I honestly doubt one could tell the difference in a blind test. Setup was dead simple on my PC running Windows 10; plug and play. Highly recommended*. *note: I am running it with a USB decrapifier; it improves the sound by presenting a blacker blackground and better transients and microdynamics, with better imaging and soundstage. Still recommended even without the use of a decrapifier (you can always get one later).
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Nov 7, 2018
Bingo84
27
Jan 3, 2019
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Which USB decrapifier U own???
Jan 3, 2019
dcha12
297
Jan 3, 2019
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Schiit Wyrd
Jan 3, 2019
Bingo84
27
Jan 21, 2019
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First my pursuit in sound(music + vocals+movies +youtube+little bit games)quality is neutral or reference sound (but not fatiguing at all). For that I own many DACs ,couple of amp and many headphones as follow DACs Fiio e10k ,fiio e17k,fiio x3 2nd gen, jds labs odac rev b,jds ol dac usb+optical and finally grace sdac. HEADPHONE AMPS Fiio a3, fiio e12a,fiio k5, jds labs o2 HEADPHONES hd598se,hd439,hd 280 pro,ath m40x,dt 770 pro 80 ohm. Now I find SDAC✈O2 AMP✈DT 770 PRO 80 OHM Ends up my journey or my pursuits in sound quality. Any one enjoying same or different setup is welcomed for comments plz do comment👇👇👇👇 Reason for asking is I do settle down on dac and amp but open for one more headphone. Your comments will help me find one Thanks Particularly intrested in Hd6xx, hd58x, dt 880 pro 250 ohms Thanks in advance
Jan 21, 2019
Bingo84
27
Dec 30, 2019
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Is the grace with the o2 better in your opinion than with the odac? YES Why so? SHORT ANSWER BECAUSE IT SOUNDS RIGHT LONG ANSWER i tried lots of dac including old dac ,odac rev b,el dac,modi 3,sdac. I tried compared all dac side by side with o2 amp and i found all dacs are good but sdac is very very right sounding dac i will say transparent and musical sounding dac. I come back to sdac after testing all above dac. It just sound right. In every aspect of sound.forgot to mention i tasted khadas tone board too and i liked sdac over it. If i ranked above dac as transparency of sound or neutral dac. 1 grace sdac 2 odac rev b 3 khadas tone board (Analytical sound) 4 el dance 5 ol dac 6 modi 3 Amp o2 And i am going to get sdac balanced in future Go for sdac you will never regret. It is just right sounding dac.
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Dec 30, 2019
Kronhigh
1
Dec 30, 2019
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Thank you, very very helpful to me!
Dec 30, 2019
jesse04030
153
Dec 30, 2018
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Easy to use, no need for any drivers. Price is excellent. Seems to be built well enough, just the red LED can be a bit too bright at night. I cant hear any audible difference between this DAC and my Topping D50.
Dec 30, 2018
jesse04030
153
Mar 16, 2019
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JDS Atom at the moment
Mar 16, 2019
phoenixsong
886
Apr 6, 2019
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I was thinking of trying the topping d50 before reading your review XD
Apr 6, 2019
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