Grace Design m101 by gt2009
The Grace M101 preamplifier has been firing up my Shure KSM-32 for some-time now, and I have to say that I am very impressed with its clarity.
Starting with the design, it's nice and slim yet built like a tank as far as the outside Metal (Aluminum?) casing. Being the equipment junkie that I am, I can (and have) pretty much set anything on top of the M101 and it's a beast, no problems. It's also a sleek black color with silver knobs. I call mine the Batmobile: chicks dig it, and my microphone sings to it.
Its controls are not overwhelming at all, which is a plus for the ever-busy Home Recorder. It's got the standard 48v phantom power - and plenty of gain for even a dynamic mic such as the Shure SM7-b! Woot, woot! The Microphone gain goes from 10db to 65db, and in easy-to-remember increments of 5db "clicks." It's also got 0-10db of output trim and a Ribbon -switch that optimizes the signal path for non-active Ribbons.
The best part, in my humble (on the weekdays) opinion is that there's no distortion and the sound is really glassy and clean. I've always thought it's best to get the most accurate Recording of what's going on in the room - and this is the gal for that.
As far as features go - I'll list them below as they're worded in the Manual; however, the reason I rated it a 5 is because I wish there were more inputs for mics or other instruments, but wusho0gunnadoo0 ya know?
The Bang for the buck was rated a 7 because - although in my opinion it's under-priced and well-worth the $565 average retail - I do realize that there are other pre's out there that are half-decent @ a much more po' strugglin' musician friendly price. If you can, and you're close, I'd save up the extra few bucks though and go for it. You won't be dissatisfied, GT promises!
Here are the listed features.
GT (Genius Tracks)
-Fast, Musical transimpedance amplifier architecture
-Fully balanced, transformerless XLR microphone input
-High impedance 1/4 inch instrument DI input
-Output connectors: XLR balanced, TRS balanced and TS unbalanced
-12 position precision gold contact rotary switch gain control
-0.5% precision metal film resistors in signal path
-High quality conductive plastic 10db output trim control
-75Hz 12db/octave high pass filter
-Two colod LED peak meter shows signal present and peak
-Ribbon Mic mode (also great for dynamic mics) -Optimizes signal path for Ribbon Mics
-Aluminum 1/2 width 1u chassis / two units fit together in a standard 1u rack tray
-Sealed gold contact relays for signal switching
-High precision active balanced output circuit
-No electrolytic capacitors in the signal path
-Ultra clean 48 volt phantom power
-Minimal internal signal wiring
-Built in universal AC power supply / no wall-wart!
-5 year warranty on parts and labor