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Drawmer MC3.1 vs Grace Design m905
Old 13th September 2016
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Drawmer MC3.1 vs Grace Design m905

Hi,

I am looking for a monitor controller. I was initially pretty sure that I will end up with Grace 905 Analog (considering digital too) until I saw Drawmer MC3.1.

Drawmer seems to be pretty similar in specs with the Grace (missing some of digital ins from the grace but I don't need them anyhow), both claim to be totally transparent.

I know you can't go wrong if I choose the Grace. I am looking for an excuse why I should end up paying more than 2x the price for the Grace. Do I miss anything, apart for the lovely screen?

Let me now your thoughts...

Thanks!
Old 14th September 2016
  #2
The entire layout of the M905 is just so easy and intuitive. Everything just flows so nicely. I've tried others in its price range, and just found it flows better for me. Soundwise its exceptional. IMO if you dont need to think at all about the gear, you can entirely focus on your music. So for me its well worth it.
Old 14th September 2016
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
mworkman's Avatar
Last year I was in the market for a monitor controller. Researched a number of different units, actually mapped out all the connections I expected to have now and in the future. Settled on the Grace m905 Analog. Now I don't ever ask myself what monitor controller should I get.
Old 14th September 2016
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Oskari J.'s Avatar
 

I have the MC2.1. It's good, but it's not entirely transparent. Compared to listening directly from my Benchmark DAC-1 using it's integrated volume pot (which people also claim isn't transparent), the MC2.1 smoothes out transients/dynamics a bit and takes away some of the depth, detail and immediacy. It sounds analog.

If i had never compared I would likely think it is very good and transparent.
Old 14th September 2016
  #5
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oskari J. View Post
I have the MC2.1. It's good, but it's not entirely transparent. Compared to listening directly from my Benchmark DAC-1 using it's integrated volume pot (which people also claim isn't transparent), the MC2.1 smoothes out transients/dynamics a bit and takes away some of the depth, detail and immediacy. It sounds analog.

If i had never compared I would likely think it is very good and transparent.
I have an MC2.1 and a Volume 2 from SPL. Compared the two... SPL seems more transparent. They both are not 100% transparent.

In short: I second your post.
Old 14th September 2016
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jibber View Post
I have an MC2.1 and a Volume 2 from SPL. Compared the two... SPL seems more transparent. They both are not 100% transparent.

In short: I second your post.
Is ANYTHING 100% transparent? I think its more "colors" and "features" and "sound for the money" kinds of evaluations. Crane Song Avocet, the new converter in the 2 is lovely- certainly one of the best. Better DAC than most. Grace, the set up and calibration is amazing, this is what ATC bought for themselves when gain matching and comparison between A and B is super critical. The Dangerous Source, very nice feature set, love the user remote, excellent sound, I REALLY like the subwoofer options, different sounding than the ones just mentioned but very affordable. Drawmer, MC2.1: for the money, amazing. I've used it for ATC 150 demos with a Benchmark and it does not ruin things like the many of them near the price point and below. Tracks very well L/R down to the bottom on gain, something quite unusual at this cost. Drawmer MC3.1, just started shipping. I would expect since it just designed in the last few months, obviously using the very latest DAC chips (where design progress is rapid) its digital input is pretty darn good and may be better than the older designs. The Cue section is unique and some unique functions like preset level.

Brad
Old 14th September 2016
  #7
Lives for gear
 
bigbaby987's Avatar
Just no question. The 905 is hands down the way to go. May be the best thing I put in my studio.
Old 14th September 2016
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Thanks everyone for the input. I really appreciate it!
Good to be back on track!
Old 15th September 2016
  #9
Lives for gear
I have the MC 3.1, I actually waited this to be out to change
controller. The unit is great, a winner even just for the mix check options.
Old 17th September 2016
  #10
I just ordered one for my mobile setup. The features is exactly what I need.... I'll A/B the spdif input and the DA from the Apollo when I get the unit.
Old 11th October 2016
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
barbaroja's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindell View Post
I just ordered one for my mobile setup. The features is exactly what I need.... I'll A/B the spdif input and the DA from the Apollo when I get the unit.
Any impressions?
Old 11th October 2016
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbaroja View Post
Any impressions?
Still waiting for the MC 3.1....
Old 11th October 2016
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Lunde View Post
Is ANYTHING 100% transparent? I think its more "colors" and "features" and "sound for the money" kinds of evaluations. Crane Song Avocet, the new converter in the 2 is lovely- certainly one of the best. Better DAC than most. Grace, the set up and calibration is amazing, this is what ATC bought for themselves when gain matching and comparison between A and B is super critical. The Dangerous Source, very nice feature set, love the user remote, excellent sound, I REALLY like the subwoofer options, different sounding than the ones just mentioned but very affordable. Drawmer, MC2.1: for the money, amazing. I've used it for ATC 150 demos with a Benchmark and it does not ruin things like the many of them near the price point and below. Tracks very well L/R down to the bottom on gain, something quite unusual at this cost. Drawmer MC3.1, just started shipping. I would expect since it just designed in the last few months, obviously using the very latest DAC chips (where design progress is rapid) its digital input is pretty darn good and may be better than the older designs. The Cue section is unique and some unique functions like preset level.

Brad
Hi Brad. I have a Dangerous Source and I'm not aware of a user remote, is there one available? Also about subwoofer options, do you mean the ability to select the outputs either individually or simultaneously? Or is there more stuff I don't know about?
Old 11th October 2016
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LesC View Post
Hi Brad. I have a Dangerous Source and I'm not aware of a user remote, is there one available? Also about subwoofer options, do you mean the ability to select the outputs either individually or simultaneously? Or is there more stuff I don't know about?
Sorry, I misspoke, I meant the Dangerous Monitor ST. Nice remote, sub LP filter down to 57Hz.


Brad
Old 11th October 2016
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Lunde View Post
Sorry, I misspoke, I meant the Dangerous Monitor ST. Nice remote, sub LP filter down to 57Hz.


Brad
Thanks for the quick response.

I have been planning to get a Grace M905, I just have to rationalize spending that much. The Drawmer MC3.1 looks great, but it's missing two things that are important to me:

1. The Grace has a USB input, which I believe the Drawmer doesn't. This would be useful for me to play non-DAW sounds from the PC.

2. The Grace has an ADAT input, which I believe the Drawmer doesn't. This would be important to me because my RME UFX has only one simultaneous AES/SPDIF output, so I could use that for connecting a high-quality DAC-ADC for an analog loop, and still use an ADAT output to the Grace for monitoring.
Old 12th October 2016
  #16
Lives for gear
 
string6theory's Avatar
You get what you pay for... YRMV!

Due diligence leads to Grace Design all the way! The m905 remote is a design achievement without peer, imo.

It's sibling, the m920 (Hi Res Monitoring System) is also a gem! That's in my family room feeding my HD800s (and will feed the Bryston 2.5B Cubed & ProAc SM-100s, just acquired ).

BTW, don't discount DSD, which the Graces handle with aplomb!


Last edited by string6theory; 10th December 2016 at 12:37 PM..
Old 12th October 2016
  #17
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesC View Post

1. The Grace has a USB input, which I believe the Drawmer doesn't. This would be useful for me to play non-DAW sounds from the PC.
Could you not just choose to output non-DAW sounds through your interface?
Old 12th October 2016
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by digital_io View Post
Could you not just choose to output non-DAW sounds through your interface?
That works fine if I'm using 44.1k for everything. But if I record in 96k, music from other applications in 44.1k plays in 48k, so a little too fast and a little too high in pitch. The UFX doesn't seem to handle switching back and forth between different rates in different applications very well.

It's probably user error, but I've tried everything I can think of. I'm open to suggestions!
Old 24th October 2016
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindell View Post
Still waiting for the MC 3.1....
just checking in.. are you still waiting?
Old 24th October 2016
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
just checking in.. are you still waiting?
Got it the other days. Looks good. Will A/B soon...
Old 24th October 2016
  #21
Lives for gear
 
pentagon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindell View Post
Got it the other days. Looks good. Will A/B soon...
I'm assuming the MC 3.1 is a continuous knob and not stepped/relays just as the previous MCs didn't have this. That's not explicitly specified on the info page. Is this true?

That always eliminates a controller for me since there's no accurate recall/level matching without steps/relays.
Old 24th October 2016
  #22
Gear Addict
 
ToddP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
I'm assuming the MC 3.1 is a continuous knob and not stepped/relays just as the previous MCs didn't have this. That's not explicitly specified on the info page. Is this true?

That always eliminates a controller for me since there's no accurate recall/level matching without steps/relays.
It is not stepped.
As for recall, it does have a preset level (set with screwdriver on the front) for one level matching recall.
Old 16th November 2016
  #23
JGM
Lives for gear
 

Greetings all. I also share the OP's sentiment regarding these 2 units. Thought the MC3.1 has been shipping I believe more than a month or so, it is very challenging to find reviews from every day users. I am confident the Grace is an excellent piece, and would serve me well, but if that MC3.1 is transparent and leaves the signals intact, I'll be all in. For the price and feature-set its a no-brainer!
Old 17th November 2016
  #24
Gear Nut
 
iMixOTB's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JGM View Post
Greetings all. I also share the OP's sentiment regarding these 2 units. Thought the MC3.1 has been shipping I believe more than a month or so, it is very challenging to find reviews from every day users. I am confident the Grace is an excellent piece, and would serve me well, but if that MC3.1 is transparent and leaves the signals intact, I'll be all in. For the price and feature-set its a no-brainer!
I was looking for a controller when I saw the MC3.1 review on Mixbus Tv, i'm ver happy with it, totally transparent yes and the mix check features are really great, very useful, built very well too
Old 17th November 2016
  #25
JGM
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iMixOTB View Post
I was looking for a controller when I saw the MC3.1 review on Mixbus Tv, i'm ver happy with it, totally transparent yes and the mix check features are really great, very useful, built very well too
Thanks for your post. Cpl quick questions.
Have you compared the MC3.1 with any other controllers?
Have you used the digital input, if so what are your thoughts? What does it compare to?
Old 17th November 2016
  #26
Gear Nut
 
iMixOTB's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JGM View Post
Thanks for your post. Cpl quick questions.
Have you compared the MC3.1 with any other controllers?
Have you used the digital input, if so what are your thoughts? What does it compare to?
did not compare side by side but i've worked with several controllers,
to me is totally invisible, volume is very precise all around, sonics are very detailed.
I don't use the digital input for monitoring but i do use it for listening music and it's just transparent, don't know what you'd compare transparent with
Old 17th November 2016
  #27
JGM
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iMixOTB View Post
did not compare side by side but i've worked with several controllers,
to me is totally invisible, volume is very precise all around, sonics are very detailed.
I don't use the digital input for monitoring but i do use it for listening music and it's just transparent, don't know what you'd compare transparent with
Thanks again. I appreciate your responses.
Old 17th November 2016
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
I'm assuming the MC 3.1 is a continuous knob and not stepped/relays just as the previous MCs didn't have this. That's not explicitly specified on the info page. Is this true?

That always eliminates a controller for me since there's no accurate recall/level matching without steps/relays.
Hey Pentagon
I don't think a real good quality large stepped attenuator is possible at this under $1000 price. I think the Drawmer solution is a good one when you are trying to deliver decent L/R tracking down low and a wide variety of features. That extra feature of the MC3.1 of a "preset level" is an excellent design idea to get a reference level that you can specify yourself. Having precise 1/2 dB steps for each step is not simple or cheap.

I will say this, I have used a 2.1 to demo ATC 150s, and the image holds up. Not as good an image as a top level 5K + hi fi preamp, or a Crane Song or other very high end controller, but darn good. Lets put it this way, I can use Accusound cable MX4 vs Pro Co or Mogami on the Mc2.1 or Mc3.1 outputs feeding active monitors and clearly hear the difference in top end, image etc using the Drawmer. SO the Drawmer is passing wide bandwidth, wider than most of this cheap XLR cable being sold.

So I think this one of those products you have to evaluate with a "for the money" measuring stick in mind.
Brad
Old 17th November 2016
  #29
JGM
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindell View Post
Got it the other days. Looks good. Will A/B soon...
Any comments on the unit as yet?
Old 25th November 2016
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGM View Post
Any comments on the unit as yet?
It's excellent. Very clean sounding, nice precise master level control. Overall ok build quality, a slight step up from mackie bigknob.
I like that all the switches is latching so you can listen to whatever whenever.
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