Grand Prix Audio Monaco direct-drive turntable Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Continuum Audio Labs Caliburn turntable & Cobra tonearm; Merrill MS-21 turntable; Graham Phantom B-44, Triplanar tonearms; Lyra Titan, Air Tight PC-1, Koetsu Vermillion cartridges.
Digital Sources: Musical Fidelity kW DM25 DAC & CD transport, Musical Fidelity kW SACD player; Esoteric SA-60 universal player; BPT-modified Alesis Masterlink hard-disk recorder.
Preamplification: Manley Steelhead, Einstein Turntable's Choice phono preamplifiers; darTZeel NHB-18NS preamplifier.
Power Amplifiers: Musical Fidelity kW monoblocks.
Loudspeakers: Wilson Audio Specialties MAXX 2.
Cables: Interconnect: TARA Labs Zero. Speaker: TARA Labs Omega. AC: Shunyata Research Anaconda Helix, JPS AC.
Accessories: Continuum Audio Labs Castellon magnetic isolation stand; Finite Elemente Pagode, Grand Prix Audio Monaco equipment stands; Symposium Rollerblocks; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Shunyata Research V-Ray Reference power conditioner; Oyaide AC wall jacks; ASC Tube Traps, RPG BAD & Abffusor panels; VPI HW-17F, Loricraft PRC4 Deluxe record-cleaning machines.—Michael Fremer

COMPANY INFO
Grand Prix Audio
P.O. Box 1948
Durango, CO 81302
(970) 247-3872
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COMMENTS
Vinyl Love's picture

In a world of turntables where bigger is better and biggest is best, the Grand Prix Audio Monaco turntable (or more properly, as you’ll come to appreciate, motor unit) doesn’t just break the rules, it seems to take each one in turn and wantonly ignore, discard or reverse it. It is shamelessly compact, embarrassingly easy and precise to set up, it will accommodate just about any tonearm you might choose and in high-end terms at least, it is ludicrously under-priced. What sort of prop to an audiophile’s ego is this? And I haven’t even got to its greatest transgression, for yes, yes indeed, the Grand Prix Audio Monaco has communed with the devil of direct drive and sold its soul for pitch security like you’ve never heard.

Versatile, practical, stable and supremely easy to use, this diminutive turntable generates a sound of awesome authority, clarity and musical coherence. Its hightech materials and critically damped plinth and platter system deliver an intelligent solution to the mechanical problems of record replay that dovetails perfectly with the supreme accuracy of the direct drive motor. The result is a ‘table that sounds unlike any other I’ve used, virtually devoid of what we’ve come to recognise as vinyl sound. In the review I questioned whether this might be a harbinger of things to come. In performance terms that’s certainly true and now, if rumours circulating are to be believed, it’s true in technological terms too. Sometimes, breaking the mold can be a truly liberating experience.

Roy Gregory - Hi-Fi Plus

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