Grace Design m102

1-channel Optical Compressor
Grace Design m102 image 1
Grace Design m102 image 1
$765.00
Sweetwater Savings: $85.00 MSRP: $850.00
Special Order
Special-ordered from Grace Design and usually arrives to you within 1-2 weeks. Please note: special orders cannot be canceled or returned.
Note: While most of the items we sell ship for free, this item does not qualify for free shipping due to special circumstances.

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Grace Design m102
Special Order

This Opto Compressor Gives You Clarity and Control!

The Grace Design's m102 single-channel opto compressor gives you extreme control over your dynamics, without affecting your tone. It's the affordable, totally transparent optical compressor countless Sweetwater customers have been looking for! We're talking about the kind of tonal transparency that Grace Design has built their reputation on. Use the m102 liberally to smooth out erratic vocal parts or reshape bass, without introducing the least bit of distortion or coloring your sound. Go ahead, squeeze all you like - your tone is safe in the hands of the Grace Design m102.

Grace Design m102 Single-channel Opto Compressor at a Glance:
  • Extreme tonal purity
  • Straightforward operation
  • Seamless integration
Extreme tonal purity

We could go on all day about the technical differences between the current-feedback-based transimpedance amplifiers Grace Design uses and typical voltage-feedback op amps, but it's the kind of clarity you simply have to hear. The best part about the m102's extremely clear optical compression is that you can couple it with any other gear and get amazing results. Paired with a transparent preamp (such as the m101) and you get the compression you need, without coloration. Paired with a highly colorful preamp, you get sonic warmth without adding too much character to your sound. That makes the m102 a perfect addition to any rig!

Straightforward operation

These days, it seems like gear manufacturers are downright obsessed with adding every extraneous bell and whistle to their gear that they can get their hands on. What's nice about the Grace Design m102 is that it gives you exactly the controls you need (threshold, attack, release, ratio, as well as both input and output gain), so you can simply dial in specific level of compression you need. That kind of control is extremely rare for a genuine optical attenuator-based compressor!

Seamless integration

How will your Grace Design m102 fit into your studio? One of the nice things about the m102 is that it's ready to drop into any system. Its handy 1/2U format lets it butt up nicely next to your Grace m101 preamplifier, or you can link it with another m102 in stereo mode. A pair of parallel balanced inputs and outputs also let you choose from XLR or TRS connections. You also get a sidechain input for extra versatility, and a bypass switch lets you easily A/B your dynamics.

Grace Design m102 Single-channel Opto Compressor Features:
  • Elegantly simple, ultra-clean optical compressor that lets you level signal without distorting your sound
  • DIal in anything form subtle dynamic control to heavy compression, without significantly altering your sound
  • Comprehensive control set includes input level, threshhold, attack, release, ratio, and makeup gain
  • Bright, easy-to-read 10-segment LED gain reduction meters
  • Bi-color output peak LED lights green with signal present and red 8dB before clipping
  • Dual balanced inputs and outputs on XLR and 1/4" TRS
  • Precision audio path with 0.5% precision metal film resistors
  • Heavy-duty laser-etched black anodized frontpanel
  • Built in universal power supply
  • 5-year transferable warranty on parts and labor
  • Proudly made in the USA
Get the smooth, transparent, and crystal-clear compression you've always wanted, with the affordable Grace Design m102 opto compressor!

What Does "Special Order" Mean?

A special-order product is one that we don't normally keep in stock. We order it from the manufacturer as soon as you order from us. We have great relationships with all the manufacturers we carry, so we can get your special order to you as fast as or faster than anyone else. Remember that special orders are non-returnable and non-cancelable, so make sure the item is right for you. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer can help you decide — call (800) 222-4700 for assistance!

Additional Media

m102 User Manual
Signal Processing Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Type Optical
Number of Channels 1
Controls Input gain, Threshold, Attack, Release, Ratio, Output gain
Threshold -15dB to +15dB
Ratio 1:1 to 12:1
Frequency Response 0.016Hz-150kHz
Side Chain Inserts Yes
Inputs 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" TRS
Outputs 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" TRS
Sidechain I/O 1 x TRS
Rack Spaces Half
Height 1.7"
Depth 9"
Width 8.5"
Weight 2.4 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number AM102

Customer Reviews

5/5
Based on 2 reviews
Write your review
5/5

Exactly What I Was Looking For

I've been really thrilled with my Grace m101 pre, and wanted to complement the rich, clean gain with some smooth, transparent compression. I've had good experiences with the FMR Audio RNC, but have been frustrated by its unbalanced connectors, and also find that it can sometimes rob my recordings of some richness and detail. I record storytelling/narration pieces, and it's imperative that they feel intimate and present, so I decided to see how the m102 fared. I'm here to report I couldn't be happier. As others have said elsewhere, you really don't know it's there until you really drive it hard, and even then it's still fairly subtle compared to other compressors I've used. It doesn't seem to color the sound at all on more gentle settings, and while I can't comment on how well it would be suited for recording music, it's pretty much perfect for the spoken-word work I'm using it for. Naturally, it pairs beautifully with the m101--but I can't imagine you'd have bad results with any pre's input. For my budget, it's a lot to spend for compression on a single channel, but it's also delivered exactly the sound I was hoping for, and that's worth a lot! I was really happy to see that Sweetwater's carrying them--they're hard to find. You should buy one so that they continue to stock them!
Music background: Podcaster
5/5

A perfect Match

I have been looking at the Sweetwater catalogue for a long time now in search of a match for my Grace m101 pre-amp. So when they came out with the m102 it was a no brainer. I have a nice input chain for my DAW that consists of a Robbie pre-amp by Blue and a Summit Audio TLA-50 and love the warm sound that the tubes bring. But when i do background vocals with the same input chain the tube character makes it difficult to place the background vocals in the mix. No problem now though, with the ultra clean Grace pre and compressor combo placing background vocals is a snap. Also great on percussion because of the ultra fast attack and clean compression. I love both of my Grace products and dollar for dollar the just can't be beat.
Music background: Engineer Producer
See also: Compressors, Grace Design, Grace Design Compressors / Limiters