Grand Prix Audio Monaco direct-drive turntable Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: Direct-drive, suspensionless turntable with DSP-controlled, brushless, 12-pole, DC motor. Speeds: 331/3rpm, 45rpm, each variable by up to ±1%, in 0.2% increments. Speed accuracy: better than 0.002% peak deviation from average speed, or a calculated 0.0014% RMS based on three-sigma statistical protocol. Wow & flutter: <0.002%. Rumble: not specified.
Dimensions: Turntable side-by-side with power supply, 24" (615mm) W by 8" (205mm) H (including feet) by 15.5" (400mm) D. Turntable alone is approximately 13" in diameter, plus the tonearm mount. Weight: 40 lbs (18.2kg).
Serial Number Of Unit Reviewed: Not noted.
Price: $19,500 with predrilled armboard. Dedicated Grand Prix Monaco stand, $4981.78 as reviewed. Approximate number of dealers: 31.
Manufacturer: Grand Prix Audio, P.O. Box 1948, Durango, CO 81302. Tel: (970) 247-3872. Fax: (970) 247-3876. Web: www.grandprixaudio.com.

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

vinylguy's picture

I read this particular review with vigor and a great deal of interest, truth be told, I read it about 3 times. I at one time very much desired this turntable based purely on aesthetics as I had not had a chance to audition at that time. I have now listened to this table about 10 times with the Triplanar and the Dynavector DV507 II arm. This has been across two tables in two systems and both had the Air Tight PC1 Supreme cartridge installed. No offense to Mr. Fremer but I take professional reviewers opinion with a huge nugget of salt (notice the obvious juxtaposition away from a grain :) but this time I must give it to Mr. Fremer. He was dead on target with this review.

Eveytime I have listened to the Manaco (with tubed phono pre and tubed and solid state amps) it has presented a sound which is speed accurate, organized, somewhat dynamic, transparent and COMPLETELY devoid of musical content. The table is not so much sterile as it is thin and harmonically incomplete. Their is no follow-thru with notes, no body to instruments and no emotion to voices. It is, and this is not hyperbole, like listening to a mediocre cd player; simply nothing special about it or even remotely musical, just clean, spic and span clean with no life or emotion.

If I had to venture a guess I would say that a combination of a 'lack of mass', the signature of carbon fiber and the tight speed regulation (micro adjustments to the speed of the motor) have conspired (so to speak) to do this table no good deed. I know I may sound harsh but I am simply writing what I have heard.

This turntable does not sound different because it is somehow the ONLY TT that is right and all the rest have been getting it wrong. This TT sounds completely different because it is completely reticent, devoid of harmonic content, texturally absent and a killer of musical decay; in a word it is wrong.

Happy listening

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