m103 channel strip

m103 channel strip

Channel Strip – mic preamplfier / EQ / compressor

The m103 starts with the tried and true m101 microphone preamplifier circuity. For many engineers, the m101 is an introduction to what quality mic preamplification is all about, and the perfect starting point for a channel strip – musical, transparent and pure. Headroom, detail, clarity – its all there. Complete with our exclusive ribbon mic mode, a 75Hz HPF and 48V phantom.

The 3 band EQ section is built around single stage parallel tuning architecture, which minimizes circuitry and delivers natural tonal shaping from 20Hz to 20kHz. Controls include a fully parametric mid, with sweepable high and low bands which can be operated in shelving or peak modes. Because of its accuracy of this design, smaller increments of cut or boost can be heard, providing a greater level of control over tone shaping.

“Instead of searching for that ever elusive box that’s going to magically make your sh**ty mics sound like rainbows, consider investing in an m103, which will afford you the ability to capture the true color of the source and the dynamic detail of the performance.”

-Scott McChane, TapeOp Magazine

  • the m103 channel strip EQ section

The compressor circuit is based on an optical attenuator – the purest, high fidelity gain control mechanism available. It provides gentle limiting to fairly heavy compression, while remaining neutral and transparent. The perfect way to zip it all up and send it downstream – clean, intact and alive.

10 segment gain reduction and output meters make monitoring compression and output levels simple. The front panel accessed HI-Z input makes this an amazingly high quality instrument preamp. Comprehensive I/O options allow the mic pre and EQ/COMP sections to be accessed independently of each other, and the order of the EQ/COMP is switchable.

A dual function link/ sidechain input on rearpanel is provided for inserting external sidechain signals (for de-essing, ducking) or connecting two m103’s together for stereo compression applications. Predictably, the m103 is built to last, and proudly backed by our 5 year transferable warranty. So there it is, we’ve done it. The m103 – a channel strip by name, a powerful tool by design.

Check out a track which features m103’s on overheads and electric guitars.

The Grace Design EON and STANDARD Warranties

We back up everything we make with either our unrivaled 20 year EON limited warranty, or the 5 year standard limited warranty. These represent the best coverage in the business and prove our commitment to the quality, serviceability and long term value of Grace Design products.

  • Fast and musical transimpedance microphone preamplifier architecture
  • Updated audio path with 0.5% precision metal film resistors
  • New 12 position gold plated rotary gain switch
  • High performance output line driver amplifier and HPF amplifier
  • Ribbon mic mode (also great for dynamic mics) -Relay bypass of phantom power decoupling capacitors, increased input impedance, and 48V lockout
  • 3-band presicion EQ, fully parametric mid band, peak and shelf mode for hi and low bands
  • newly designed optical compressor
  • Mic amp direct output
  • EQ/COMP section line input
  • Bombproof laser-etched black anodized frontpanel
  • Sealed gold contact relay for Hi-Z input switching
  • Built in power supply
  • Led indicators for +48V, Ribbon mode, and HPF
  • powerful 10 segment meters for gain reduction and output level
  • Five year transferable warranty on parts and labor
  • Made in the USA
Gain Range (5dB steps)
Mic input10-65dB
Hi-Z input-10-45dB
THD+N 1kHz, 22Hz-22kHz BW
@ 20dB Gain +20dBu out<0.00085%
@ 40dB Gain +20dBu out<0.0010%
@ 60dB Gain +20dBu out<0.0050%
Intermodulation Distortion
@ 40dB Gain +20dBu out
SMPTE/DIN 4:1 7kHz/50Hz<0.0020
50Ω source<-130dB
150Ω source<-128dB
600Ω source<-124dB
CMRR @60dB Gain, 3.5Vcm
Mic input @ 40dBm Gain -3dB3.7Hz-140kHz
Hi-Z input @ 20dB Gain -3dB1.2Hz-112kHz
Mic input8.1kΩ
Mic input, Ribbon mode20kΩ
Hi-Z input (unbalanced)2.5MΩ
Hi-Z input (unbalanced)5MΩ
Balanced Output300Ω
Unbalanced Output150Ω
Green Threshold-10dBu
Red Threshold+16dBu
Maximum Output Level
100k Ohm load, 0.1% THD+28dBu

EQ Comp Section

Gain Range
Output Trim-10 – +10dB
EQ: 3 Bands of 0-12dB Cut or Boost
Low Frequency Range20Hz – 750Hz
Mid Frequency Range500Hz – 4kHz
Mid Frequency Q0.5 – 5
High Frequency Range3kHz – 20kHz
Low and High Frequency Peak/Shelf switches
Compressor – Inserts Pre or Post EQ
Threshold Range-15 – +15 dBu
Attack Range3 – 200 ms
Release Range0.03 – 3 s
Ratio Range1:1 – 12:1
Gain Reduction0 – 10dB
THD+N 1kHz, 22Hz-22kHz BW
@ 0dB Gain +20dBu out<0.002%
@ 0dB Gain +20dBu out
SMPTE/DIN 4:1 7kHz/50Hz<0.002%
@0dB Gain<-78dB
CMRR @0dB Gain, 3.5Vcm
@0dB Gain -3dB0.016Hz-150kHz
Line in24kΩ
Main Out balanced350Ω
Main Out unbalanced150Ω
Link In – sidechain mode100kΩ
EQ Peak threshold6 dB below interstage clipping
Output Level VU Meter0dB VU = +4dBu output
Gain Reduction Meter0-10dB Gain Reduction
Maximum Output Level
100k Ohm load, 0.1% THD+28dBu
Weight and Dimensions
4.5 lbsH1.7” x W19” x D9.0”
2.05 kgH4.3cm x W48.3cm x D22.9cm
Power Consumption
85-264VAC / 120-370VDC14 Watts Max

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