Grand Sound from Grand Prix

Alvin Lloyd has just introduced the handsome new Grand Prix Audio Monaco V2.0 turntable (price somewhere between $35,000 and $38,000). Set to ship in February, the turntable offers multiple advancements that can be added to existing Monaco models. "The plinth is the same, but virtually everything else is new," Alvin explained. "You can even request a platter color to match your speakers." In this case, the color of your hat or gloves really can match your shoes or, to honor the speaker analogy, your lipstick, should you so indulge.

Advancements include a new, computer-controlled platter-speed function, which Alvin claims makes the Monaco V2.0 "without question, the most accurately controlled turntable at any price." The encoder disc on the side of the platter has 75,000 individual index marks—too small to see with the naked eye—that are read by two precision LEDs. That readout heads to a computer that adjusts the speed of the 'table's entirely new motor. The platter also achieves optimal speed in just two revolutions.

Given that the only contact with the platter is a single ball bearing, Grand Prix has been unable to measure any platter noise whatsoever. "You can't tell by listening if the unit is turned on or not," claims the company's literature. Included adjustable APEX footers undoubtedly help.

Finally, the Monaco V2.0 offers an upgraded, lighted, and total new "True Pressure Clamp System" which indicates when you've reached the correct clamping pressure. Even the clamp can be ordered in a custom color, which means that your coat buttons can also match your hat and shoes and lipstick and dog's collar. Hey, and it also honors music with accurate reproduction. Those who visited the room on the last two days of the show, after cartridge alignment and all that goes with it had been fine-tuned, know how beautifully the table made music through Wilson Audio loudspeakers.