Grace Design M101 Mic Preamp
Clean, Detailed, and Transparent Single Channel Microphone Preamp
What we think:
Grace did a lot of things right when they re-designed their popular Model 101 mic pre. Ribbon mode is a nice touch of additional gain, but it also incorporates a relay that bypasses phantom power when the mode is engaged. Improved, lower noise resistors and an internal power supply round out the upgrades implemented in the new M101 and M501 mic pres. No corners were cut in the construction of this little tank. The rugged all metal design is perfect for the traveling recordist who wants something they can throw into a laptop bag and go. I use the M101 whenever I need lots or super clean, transparent gain. For example I do a lot of voiceover work with dynamic mics like the Shure SM7b. I really appreciate the M101s ability to deliver accurate, crisp detail with a remarkably low amount of added noise even at extreme gain boosts.
This mic pre does nothing more than deliver tons of clean gain for all types of mics and instruments at a best in class price point. It will also tell you exactly what your performer and room sound like, which isn't always desirable. If my room or performer leave a bit to be desired, occasionally the M101 leaves them a tad exposed. In these cases, I’d lean more towards the Great River ME-1NV or the Phoenix DRS-1 to hide and slightly round out some of the idiosyncrasies. That said, in at least a fairly controlled room with a solid performer, the Grace M101 can compete with the best “wire and gain” mic pres out there.
In 2000, the model 101 helped fuel a revolution. When people took professional recording into their own hands, it was there with all of the quality and performance of a high-end mic preamplifier, but with a price that made it available to the masses. 8 years later, and the cause moves forward with the newly redesigned m101.
With its impressive list of new features, the m101 is ready to give any mic preamplifier a run for its money. Consider the new audio signal path with 0.5% precision metal film resistors, 12 position gold plated rotary gain switch, a built-in universal AC input module, or our exclusive RIBBON mic mode - and the picture becomes clear: This is now a fully professional, state of the art precision mic preamp that roundly outperforms anything in its class. All this at the same affordable price of the original model 101.
From podcast to concert hall, the m101 brings the build quality, refinement and performance to revolutionize any recording facility.