New m905 Firmware Supports DSD Playback!

Greetings from sunny Lyons, Colorado!

We are cautiously welcoming spring, while still hoping for some late season snow to stoke the flowers and pad down the ongoing western drought.

The big news from here continues to be our m905 reference monitor controller. It has been amazingly well received, much more so than we had planned on, so we are busy trying to keep up with orders. If you have ordered one, THANK YOU! If you haven't but are considering one for your studio, well, let this be a gentle reminder to talk to your Grace Design dealer now, because production runs are selling out well before we can finish them.

And if you haven't considered it, possibly this will pique your interest: The new firmware version 1.10, which includes three remarkable enhancements to an already remarkably enhanced product.

  • First, we have enabled DSD 64x (2.8224 MHz) via DoP v1.1 (DSD over PCM frames). DSD audio can be sourced from the AES3, S/PDIF or USB digital inputs. While definitely a niche playback format, DSD has held its ground over the years, and now more and more content is available via download. And playback is now supported by a number of players. DSD sounds stunningly natural, especially rendered through the rest of the playback circuitry of the m905. So If you're the type to seek out this kind of fidelity, we can't recommend it enough.

  • Secondly, the m905 now supports AES dual-wire mode. This is primarily for users with legacy interfaces/converter products which require dual-wire AES for higher sample rates. The m905 is shipped with this feature turned off, with internal jumper setting change in the m905 mainframe to activate it.

  • Third, we have added the ability to set reference speaker volume levels. This enables the user to, for example, set the reference level to a specific SPL reference listening level – so a reading of 82 on the level readout would equal 82dBSPL at the listening position. Very handy.

Also, some other features which have previously been undocumented are now out in the open and supported. These include:

  • The m905 offers the ability to transfer up to 10 channels of digital audio (8-channels of ADAT and two of AES3, or S/PDIF or TOSLINK) over USB to a computer, making the m905 capable of operating as a standalone USB audio interface. This is an advanced feature as there are clock issues to be aware of, but it works and is documented in the new owners manual.

  • Finally, the external mic amp input and dedicated output on the m905 mainframe can now be configured as a standalone mic preamp. This is essentially the same quality as the preamps in our standalone mic preamplifier units, so this could be incredibly useful for anybody needing a handy, single channel of world class mic preamplifier. This feature also requires a simple jumper setting in the mainframe to be changed.

For existing m905 owners, upgrading to v1.10 is as simple as downloading a .zip file and connecting your computer to the USB upgrader ports (one on the RCU and one on the ACU). They can be found here:

Plus, all these features are explained in detail in the new owner's manual:

Please note that currently this firmware update can only be accomplished with a Windows computer.

So, in conclusion, It just keeps getting better. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

- The Grace Design Team


About Us

Grace Design was established in 1994 and is a leading manufacturer of world-class hardware for the professional audio industry. Grace Design’s mission is to provide audio professionals with exceptionally engineered and built products coupled with best-in-class customer service. The product line currently consists of the m801, m802, m802RCU, m201, m101, m501, m103 microphone preamps, m102 and m502 compressors, the m903 reference headphone amplifier, the m905 and m906 reference monitoring systems, and the Spacebar precision microphone positioners. The company’s customers include audio professionals in the music, film, television, live sound, education and corporate markets.

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