Grace Design m102 optical compressors

By | Grace Design

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High fidelity optical compressors

Introducing the m102  optical compressors. While both share identical audio circuitry, the m102 is built in a half-rack 1U module.

From gentle dynamic smoothing to full tilt squash, these units deliver open, musical dynamic control that is the perfect companion to our high fidelity mic preamplifiers or any recording chain. All your tracks can now have glorious, easy to use compression which regardless of how much you squeeze, will always end up with their sonic essence perfectly intact.

The heart of the compressor circuit is an optical attenuator - the purest, high fidelity gain control mechanism available. With careful attention to control circuit design, we are able to implement a feedback opto compressor that not only provides a wide range of dynamic control, but remains inherently neutral, open and musical.

Both are full featured units, including input and output level, threshold, attack, release and ratio controls. The m102 includes balanced inputs and outputs, both with parallel XLR and ¼" TRS connectors, along with a 1/4" TRS jack for stereo link or sidechain signal input. 

While lots of our gear adorns the most expensive recording and audio production facilities in the world, all of it sounds that way, and the m102 is no exception. We eagerly invite you to hear what truly transparent, musical dynamic control can do for your audio production. The perfect way to zip it all up and send it all downstream: clean, intact and alive.


  • Elegantly simple, purist feedback design optical compressor, optimized for signal leveling with a minimum of sonic artifacts
  • From subtle dynamic control to heavy compression, the sonic character of the source remains intact
  • 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
  • Bombproof laser-etched black anodized frontpanel
  • Built in universal power supply
  • Five year transferable warranty on parts and labor
  • Built by us in the USA

    Input Trim -10 - +10dB
    Output Trim -10 - +10dB
    Threshold Range -15 - +15 dBu
    Attack Range 3 - 200 ms
    Release Range 0.03 - 3 s
    Ratio Range 1:1 - 12:1
    Gain Reduction 0 - 20dB
    THD+N 1kHz, 22Hz-22kHz BW
    @ 0dB Gain +10dBu out <0.002%
    @ 0dB Gain +20dBu out  
    SMPTE/DIN 4:1 7kHz/50Hz <0.002%
    OUTPUT NOISE 22Hz-22kHz BW
    @0dB Gain <-78dB
    CMRR @0dB Gain, 3.5Vcm
    100Hz >75dB
    1kHz >75dB
    10kHz >75dB
    @0dB Gain -3dB 0.016Hz-150kHz
    Line In 24kΩ
    Main Out balanced 350Ω
    Main Out unbalanced 150Ω
    Link In - sidechain mode 100kΩ
    Output Peak Indicator Green: -15dBu; Red: +20dBu
    Gain Reduction Meter 0-10dB Gain Reduction
    (m102) 100k Ohm load, 0.1% THD +28dBu
    (m502) 100k Ohm load, 0.1% THD , 1kHz, API Lunchbox +27dBu
    (m102) 2.4 lbs H1.7" x W8.5" x D9.0"
    (m102) 100-240VAC 5 Watts Max

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