The Grace Design m103 is is an amazing channel strip! The preamp is nice and transparent, and both the optical compressor and equalizer follow the same design principle: powerful, yet uncolored. Master technician and designer Fred Forsell designed both the compressor and EQ, and his design lives up to his reputation - they are nothing less than top shelf. The m103 is super-versatile - good for everything from ribbon mics all the way to being an in-line processing tool for mastering. I couldn't help myself and bought two for mastering, but I'll also use them for on-location recording with my ribbon mics!
Great sound, easy to use.
The Grace Design m103 is the first channel strip I purchased. I chose it because I had been using the Grace Design m101 pre and liked the clarity. I am a novice at recording and am basically teaching myself, learning from errors as well as successes. This product has been easy for me to navigate, and learn about EQ and Comp.
I use it with tube powered mics, the Lauten Torch for acoustic guitar, and Mojave M300 for singing vocals. So I get the best of both worlds (in my mind ) warmth with clarity and articulation.
I use it with the Royer 121 for spoken word and WOW! Even tough it has a boost for ribbon mic's I use the cloud lifter for quiet sources.
If you can afford it, this is a great Channel strip to learn on. You will get great sounds with it.