Grace Design m502 Optical Compressor

500 Series 1-channel Optical Compressor
Grace Design m502 Optical Compressor image 1
Grace Design m502 Optical Compressor image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $75.00 MSRP: $750.00
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 m502 Optical Compressor
Special Order

Add Crystal-clear Compression to Your 500 Series Rack

The Grace Design's m502 single-channel opto compressor gives you the same amazingly clear compression as their rackmount m102 compressor, but in a handy 500 Series format. Everyone at Sweetwater is excited about this amazing design from Grace. It's the totally transparent optical compressor you've been waiting for, and it's ready for anything you can throw at it. Pair it with an m501 for a perfectly colorless channel strip, or add neutral compression to your favorite vintage-style preamp. Not matter how hard you hit it, the Grace Design m502 will deliver incredibly clear compression!

Grace Design m502 500 Series 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 m502'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 m501) and you get the compression you need, without coloration. Paired with a highly colorful preamp (think API, Chandler, etc.), you get sonic warmth without adding too much character to your sound. That makes the m502 a perfect addition to any 500 Series 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. That's particularly frustrating when it comes to 500 Series modules. What's nice about the Grace Design m502 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 the 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 m502 fit into your system? One of the nice things about the m502 is that it's ready to drop into any 500 Series rack. Whether it's your tracking rig or your mixing rack, the m502 is perfect for the job. Grace Design built the m502 with the latest 500 Series rack technology in mind. Its circuit board header and connector layout allow for stereo linking, and it even includes inputs for side chaining and advanced routing over the Radial Workhorse Bussfeed. There's also a handy front-panel bypass switch, so you can easily A/B your dynamics.

Grace Design m502 500 Series Opto Compressor Features:
  • Elegantly simple, ultra-clean 500 Series 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
  • Circuit board header/connectors allow for stereo linking, sidechain input, and Radial Workhorse Bussfeed
  • Precision audio path with 0.5% precision metal film resistors
  • Heavy-duty laser-etched black anodized frontpanel
  • 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 m502 500 Series 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

500 Series Buying Guide
m502 User Manual

Tech Specs

Number of Channels 1
Controls Threshold, Ratio, Attack, Release, Input, Output
Threshold +15dB to -15dB
Ratio 1:1 to 12:1
Frequency Response .016Hz-150kHz
Height 5.25"
Depth 6.6"
Width 1.5"
Manufacturer Part Number AM502

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Write your review

Super Clean Compressor

My salesman Paul Rowan put me on this little jewel. I needed something to go with a Vintech 473 for out of control vocals.This little unit works great. WOW ! I liked it so well I ordered three more.Thanks Paul for your spot on advise.
Music background: Recording Engineer

A Solid 500-series compressor

I got this as an exchange for the Lindell 7X-500 compressor, which I found to be unmusical and not quite to my tastes. I was very glad to upgrade to the Grace 501, even though it was twice the price. The build quality is excellent, even down to the smooth operation of the knobs. It has a sturdy housing with a futuristic and minimalistic appearance. This is a very TRANSPARENT compressor. At low or high levels, it sounds smooth and does not distort the audio. I have run it on vocals and guitar (electric and acoustic) to great effect. It's easy to use and sounds good. The tone is comprable to an EL8 Distressor. I use this in a chain with an API 512c preamp, and it is a good matchup. Because the preamp colours the sound alot, the transparency of the 502 does a good job of reigning in the peaks without affecting the tone.
Music background: Professional Recording Engineer, Producer, Guitarist
See also: 500 Series Compressors, Grace Design, Grace Design 500 Series Dynamics