Grace Design M501 500-Series Preamp
The renowned Grace Design preamp known for its clarity and transparency shrunk down to fit the 500 series format!
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.
Presenting the m501, our 500 series module version of the venerable m101 mic preamplifier. Now the signature transparency and detail of our circuit designs is available for your 500 series frame. While the 500 series market has plenty of colored mic preamplifier options, the natural, musical clarity of the m501 makes it a welcome addition to the field. This circuit is for engineers confident with the quality of the source, mic section and placement, and wish to capture it with as little coloration or distortion as possible. The m501 module is a balanced, transformerles preamplifier, with 48V phantom, a 75Hz HPF and a 1/4? HI-Z instrument input. Also standard is our exclusive ribbon mic mode, which raises the mic input impedance, bypasses the input decoupling capacitors and deactivates 48V phantom to protect delicate ribbon mics from damage. Large diaphragm, vintage ribbon or trusty dynamic - the m501 brings out the very best in any microphone and takes the guesswork out of your input chain.