Monaco Modular Isolation system
"After 25 years of experimenting with different components and cables, I realized that I needed the perfect isolation system. Now I have it..."
Myles G., Somerset, MA
"...I recently purchased a Monaco Modular Isolation System and an Monaco Amplifer Isolation System, both with Formula Shelves. Great products! It is hard to believe that so much detail could be gained simply by changing racks. Wow! ...
Congrats on the Stereophile review! I wish they had put the review closer to the front of the magazine. The improvement with the Monaco Modular Isolation System is significant. It should be duly recognized!...
The Monaco Modular Isolation Systems make quite a statement! Not only is their appearance impressive, the sound from the system is amazing! I hear a lot of detail that I missed when using my old rack... The Monaco is a stunning product!
Thanks again! Mark R., University of Illinois, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Thank you for your kind words. It's always gratifying to have peers in the engineering community respond to our efforts. I have to confess great pleasure, at seeing you confirm our claims that the applied research, science and execution behind Grand Prix Audio is indeed founded in the textbooks and not just empty marketing propaganda. Consumers are rightfully suspicious about claims, especially in the arena of audio resonance control products. Paul Bolin's review in Stereophile, and Srajan Ebaen's on 6moons.com just weeks prior to it, both indicate a promising trend. Properly engineered equipment isolation solutions such as ours are finally recognized for being major components with component-caliber performance contributions. Our products are finally outgrowing the limited-effects tweaky accessories curse that rides on dubious scientific documentation and incorrect explanations of basic physics principles involved.
Alvin Lloyd, Gran Prix Audio
The following letter to the Editor of Stereophile was kindly forwarded to us with express permission for inclusion on this page:
I have always found your magazine's equipment and record reviews immensely informative and entertaining, and they have helped guide me through numerous equipment upgrades over the 15 years I have been a subscriber. Although I certainly have not always agreed with all your writers' ideas and recommendations, I have always believed your editorial objectives were well intentioned, contrary to the constant stream of angry letters that question the integrity of your editorial content, along with everything else connected to the publication and the writers (although the periodic "flame" attacks on your higher profile writers over the years such as J10 and Mikey F have had a tabloid-like entertainment value).
After your magazine's recent favorable review of the Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular Isolation Systems, and being in the market for improved storage for my recently purchased hi-fi system, I was prompted to go visit my local hi-fi dealer again (Definitive Audio in Bellevue, WA) and discuss the merits of the GP racks with them. After very favorable input on the racks from their representative Chris Dove I made the purchase, along with their optional carbon fiber shelves for my CD transport, D/A, and preamp (after some arm twisting on his part that the optional carbon shelves were indeed worth the extra money). I was somewhat skeptical, however that a mere "tweak" such as vibration isolation and RF isolation from the composite shelves would benefit the system very dramatically.
I am now, however still scraping my jaw off the floor from the benefits this purchase has made to both the sound and aesthetics of my system. The improvement in sound was extremely substantial across the board (transparency/clarity, soundstage depth, low frequency extension and detail) in a system that was already by most measures of reasonably high quality (Mark Levinson components, B&W 802 speakers, Transparent Audio cables and interconnects, PS Audio power conditioning). Even my wife, a non-audiophile, noticed the improvement right away (and liked the aesthetics of the product).
I would like to take this opportunity to thank both your writers for their equipment reviewing skills, and Alvin Lloyd at Grand Prix Audio for making such a wonderful product that is both incredibly functional, and attractive to boot. Mr. Lloyd was even nice enough to personally respond immediately to a cc of an email I had sent to Definitive Audio detailing my initial observations on the racks, and thanked me for the purchase. Although I've frequently suffered from indifferent or downright lousy service in the hi-fi business over the years, especially when I was just a curious 20-something music lover on a very limited budget, it's experiences like this product that renew my faith in the hobby.
Sincerely, Jeff H.
Well, I set up the new Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular Isolation System today, fired the equipment back up, and at first noticed only a mild improvement. The one thing that struck me right off the bat though was that every little change I made (changing the frequency setting on the PS Audio power plant, toggling the polarity switch on the ML 380S preamp) was more noticeable than before. But, I also realized that everything had that grainy sound that un-warmed-up solid state components tend to have, so I let the whole thing sit for a while. When I returned in the evening, it was now like someone had rolled a (very good) subwoofer into the room while I was gone, cleaned the wax out of my ears, and remastered all my CDs. I would dare say that if you're gonna spend the Long Green for Hi-Fi, these racks are a must in order to get what you paid for out of the rest of the system...
No Bull. My highest recommendation, Jeff H.
"Sweet Jesus!!! Holy Grail of Shelving!!!!"
"Holy Mother of Pearl."
In this hobby, much is written by industry "experts" touting the next big thing. Sometimes it is a product that does have a plus, but it turns out not to produce the bang for the buck that we'd hoped. Then of course, our expectations are dashed a bit until we try the next big thing that comes along, all in the name of audio nirvana. And so the quest for the Grail goes on.
Now I won't be able to help adjust that psychology based on individual experiences, however I can say that on par with some of the great improvements that I have encountered that could justify their investment, i.e. the PS Audio Power Plant, there is another area that has been neglected, albeit from a scientific perspective. I am talking about isolation.
Now I've tried some of the solutions in this and was for a while an avid participant in the great floating experiment with the Aurios MIBs. I must have dropped over $2,000 to float my entire system and this inlcuded B&W 803 Nautilus speakers. After a year of what I thought was a most positive experience, someone noticed a post and emailed me a detailed view of what they called the "great bass suckout" due to the Aurios. I thought about what this guy stated in his emails and did give it a whirl first taking the devices from my speakers. After having them sit on stands, I realized that more gains were probable (overdue) with an attempt at spiking. Turned out to be the right move after two plus years of improper application.
What this told me along with experiences using different cones, Aurios etc., was two primary things:
One, changing the sound with the use of a device such as rubber, steel, etc. would produce a change and this change would not necesarily be one desired. To a degree it all came down to taste. Thus, for the amount of objects on the market to tweak your equipment, none could claim to be a model for everyone's system.
Two, the changes were not measured in any scientific fashion so the "desired" changes could not be appreciably replicated.
So not to long ago, I thought that maybe it was time to take another look at the isolation world. Having recouped some money back from my original investment, I decided that the time was right to see what was going on. I came across many racks on Audio Asylum, but one product in particular stood out: Grand Prix Audio. So I looked into the website and contacted the creator, Alvin Lloyd who, as it turns out, spends way too many hours a day researching and developing solutions in this area.
He however has one differential from the army of people selling products in this arena. He takes time to do objective measurement testing to see where the improvements are, how much and what is left for improvement. He allowed me to use some component feet as an initial test for my equipment. I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. He said that there were other approaches we could take in lieu of a stand but that his Monaco Modular Isolation System would produce by far the greatest return on investment.
Skeptical but armed with a trial period, I took him up on his offer.
Boy was I surprised. Music by any measure in reproduction has numerous obstacles to overcome. Having returned from the 2002 HES show, I can say without qualification that there are many great systems out there but many are lacking in the emotion they produce, no matter their overall cost. Many high priced systems did not move me much from an emotional standpoint. The Wilson Watt Puppy 7s were one exception but then again, this is a $22,000 investment.
What the Monaco Modular Isolation System does is take a large degree of vibration throughout the environment and reduce it greatly allowing a component's "original" intent shine through to a great degree. The clarity and blackness added into my system was not in any way an incremental improvement. People have commented about the rack as a system and/or component. The real determining factor is your head and what hits your ears
The results are stupendous. And Alvin Lloyd is about as dedicated to his craft as one could hope for in the modern era. At the HES Show, Sony apparently felt strongly enough about the Monaco that they used it for their presentation of SACD multichannel with the upcoming Rolling Stones' releases.
Test drive one and you'll see for yourself. You've got nothing to lose but the grunge.
Product Weakness: Design is too beautiful for rest of decor Product Strengths: Improved clarity, background and soundstage. Construction is superbly designed and crafted.
I finally set-up all 100+ lbs. of my TT rig on the top shelf of the Monaco Modular Isolation System, after replacing the dampers as you provided. I had to re-adjust balance as the TT platter is sitting towards the front of the Rack, and that's where most of the weight is. Well, other than that, I haven't had to give another thought to the TT isolation. The rack performs superbly. I have heard several non-suspended TTs, even ones sitting on custom racks with high-end isolation products (never tried a vibraplane though), and nearly all of them had problems. Either footfalls would cause some skipping, or tapping the TT would cause resonance through the cartridge etc. My wife can dance next to the TT, I can even bang on the arm-board, and there is no problem - I am not exaggerating here. More importantly, the dynamics are as life-like as my current amp/speaker combination will allow. I don't have to give suspension a second thought, and that justifies the price I paid for the Monaco...unfortunately, I now feel a craving for horn speakers. Rony W.
My name is Steve Rodriguez. I want to thank you for expediting the custom Monaco Modular Isolation System you built and hand-delivered to Ambrosia Audio for me. Your products are unbelievably beautiful and functionally perfect. We are installing this weekend and I can't wait. Hope all is well.
Regards, Steve R.
"...The Monaco Modular Isolation System has moved my system up yet another notch, by giving me a deeper and more detailed soundstage, as well as somehow physically reducing transformer hum coming from my tube amp that used to be audible from around 8 ft away in a quiet room. These benefits alone were worth the purchase, not to mention the stunning good looks and extra bit of class that it added to the music room. I do also appreciate the quality packaging for shipping safety purposes... well done! Thanks again for a great product! I will be sure to let others know what I think of it as well. Keep in touch! ..."
Eric W., Bartow, FL
"... Just wanted to let you know that I received everything Monaco Modular Isolation System today. I have done the set up but have not had much time to tweak and or listen. First Impression...WOW!!! Thanks again and I will talk to you soon ..."
Mike A., Huntington, NY
My overwhelming first impression is of substantially increased detail across the spectrum. This improvement is most noticeable on higher-quality LP's such as Classic Records' reissue of "Balalaika Favorites" on the Mercury Label. The 45-RPM reissue of this album is one of my all-time favorites. I've been relentlessly spinning it since setting up the stand. Suddenly, I clearly hear the difference between the attack and decay of individual balalaika notes -- notes begin as almost an explosion of sound and emotion, then gracefully decay into the background.
Also revealed are the sounds of a plectrum striking balalaika strings, especially on my favorite track "In The Moonlight". Even on this very familiar album, your stand reveals gigantic amounts of music that previously went un-retrieved and un-enjoyed. On a recent Sony Classical (CD) recording of previously unknown Vivaldi works, the "woody" tone of a solo cello dramatically increased. The sound seemed to float in front of me for much longer than usual. This is an interesting (and unexpected) aspect of your Monaco Modular Isolation System: The Monaco clearly increases the amount of detail audible to me, but it somehow manages to amplify the sense of emotion in a recording as well. I understand that this probably strikes you as illogical and counterintuitive, so I'll try to further explain my conviction in the following paragraph:
Typically, any gains in detail I've accrued in my system have come at the result of "listenability" and emotion. For example, swapping out the Mullards in my amp for Telefunkens returns huge amounts of detail, but I can only listen to my system for about 15 minutes before painful listening fatigue sets in. In stark contrast, your Monaco Modular Isolation System seems to provide a near-equivalent increase in detail, but without the fatigue and "dryness" I've come to expect from tube and interconnect swaps. I can cheerfully agree with you that employing the Monaco Modular Isolation System is at least the equal of a major component upgrade - and probably even better.
Paul H., Cambridge, MA
My Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular Isolation System is a source of enjoyment each time I walk into my theatre. The striking design and precision craftsmanship is the first thing that people notice when entering the room. In fact, it is so eye-catching that I have to point out my 12-foot screen on the other side of the room to get people to notice it. The quality and attention to even minute detail was apparent from the moment I opened the box. I really got a sense that the Grand Prix System is an engineered component, not just a rack that other components sit on. I felt like I was dealing with aircraft components, not furniture.
The sonic improvements are noticeable immediately. Expect richer and more effortless sound from your high-end equipment. I am completely thrilled with my purchase. Even among my fairly formidable components, my Grand Prix Isolation System is the centerpiece of my Theatre.
David D., Orlando, FL
I first came across Grand Prix Audio when I was looking for a solution for how to support, and display, two turntables and a 4 chassis pre amp. A/V racks might have done the trick, but I was looking for something that performed, too. I read about Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular Isolation System in Stereophile and decided to contact Alvin Lloyd. He spent a long time on the phone with me describing how his equipment racks differed from the rest, and, after also enlisting the opinions of industry professional, I decided to take the plunge.
When the rack arrived, my first reaction was how incredibly well packed it was - virtually everyone in the audio industry could learn a lesson here. After completing assembly -- which was simple -- and mounting my equipment, my next reaction, and that of my wife, was how attractive the rack was, and how the listening room never looked better.
My third and most important reaction was that everything sounded a lot better too - greater clarity, focus and ease, and above all, more musical. I'm not necessarily an analytic audiophile - my main consideration is whether a given product sounds more or less like real music so I can lose myself in the experience.
The Grand Prix rack fit the bill on all counts. The time later came when I wanted to get a stand for my amps, no easy task because I have 4 monoblocks and didn't really want them spread all over the floor. Grand Prix had the solution in the form of a double tier amp stand. Still, I was skeptical that the sound quality of my solid-state monster amps would be affected greatly. Appearance was less of an issue because the amps are in a separate room. Nonetheless, again after talking to Alvin, I went ahead and ordered. Again the same reaction - greater clarity and ease, more music.
I'm convinced now. The Grand Prix products have made a far greater difference than swapping cables. If I had to rate it, I would put it on a par with going to a substantially better pre-amp.
• Basis Debut Vacuum Mark V turntable, with Air tangent 10B arm and Dynavector and Koetsu cartridges
• Chord DAC 64 and Proceed transpor
• Jadis JP 200 pre amp
• Bear Labs phono stage, or Audionote transformer with Jadis JP 200
• Bear Labs Symphony 1 solid state amps or JC Morrison tube amps for high pass
• Crown Macro Reference for woofers
• Wisdom Audio Dipoles with active crossover
• Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular Isolation System
Eric S., New York, N.Y.
"... F.Y.I.- I'm so pleased with your work Monaco Modular Isolation System. I'm spending more time enjoying music than ever before. Recently, I've been playing music that I know well (Allison Krauss to Van Halen) and am hearing distinctly more than ever before..."
Glenn T., Las Vegas, NV
"... I have to say that the unit (Monaco Modular Isolation System) is gorgeous and I am already very proud of ownership. I have not had much time to listen, but cursory CD playing showed substantial improvements in bass detail and control, more natural vocals, better dynamics. Image focus for some reason is not as precise as before but I suspect that I will need to readjust speaker alignment and it will be better than before ..."
Rony W., Paris, France
"... Monaco Modular Isolation System is beautiful! Sound is great - had to remove the Art Audio Jota tube amp from the Isobearings I had it mounted on - bass was mushy until I removed the Isobearings..."
Being a Software Engineer I am always looking to quantify values and performance in order to fully understand the inner workings of any particular project that I'm involved with. As such, in audio I need to hear, see, touch and get back something that is different or an improvement on what was there before. When I first got into Hi-End audio I honestly couldn't tell the difference between a pair of $1.99 cables and $399 cables. I've since improved upon that to the stage where I can switch a power cable from a both CD-player and pre-amp and hear and 'see' a difference in performance.
I've known Alvin for about two years as we are both into audio, we frequent the same store.
I was also present at the early concept stage when the initial design wasn't even a CAD drawing. Yet, there was this awe in the room as we discussed various options that could be accomplished. I also know that because of Alvin's racing background, he does not do things half-measure. Every thing he does is 110%. There is a racing term he often uses "always make sure ALL the bolts are tightened down". I use the same methodology myself when engineering software, the difference with motor racing is that if you aren't on the ball 100% of the time, people die. Yet, the exact same concepts are being utilized on Grand Prix Audio racks. I'm at least fortunate enough to have some knowledge of the 'behind the scenes' environment, I can honestly say, "it's inspiring", from the attitude to the physical attention to detail.
Knowing all of this and with only limited 'real' A-B-A listening tests, I was confident in acquiring a Monaco Modular Isolation System simply because of what people have been saying in the industry and because Alvin gave his word that there would be a difference. Being a person who needs the ultimate proof (I'm was still a doubter at that point), I decided as soon as I got a single shelf built, that's what my CD player will sit on and do a single test with that only. I was also impaired by the fact that my primary interconnects couldn't reach from the current rack onto the single shelf and therefore needed to use cables of less performance, I simply wanted to throw a 'worst case scenario' at the rack.
I spent the next two hours (until I HAD to sleep) throwing in various CD's, Lisa Loeb, Lenny Kravitz, Santana (SBM). Every one sounded clearer than before. Less 'fuzziness' in the sound stage and better bass dynamics. Since correctly setting up all my equipment again on the Monaco, I've managed to get a few more runs up the ladder to Audio utopia. I'm no longer a doubter! Plus guests give a plesent 'wow!'
The Grand Prix Audio products are one of those rare commodities that not only looks good, but performs like it too.
• Arcam Alpha-9 CD
• BAT vk3i Pre-amp
• Pair of Arcam Alpha 8-P's as mono-blocks
• Hales Design Group Revelation 3's
• Hales Design Group Revelation center
• Hales Design Group Transcendence 1's
• Cardas interconnects and power cables
• MIT 750-HE speaker cables
• Furman powerline conditioner
• Monaco Modular Isolation System
Happy listening to everyone in audio.
Paul Fisher, Software Engineer
Le Mans Isolation system
Well, finally my system is up and running and it sounds stellar. The equipment isolation performance provided by the Le Mans Isolation System HI-FI racks is unbelievable. It's like each component is floating on air. I have used about six different racks over the years but nothing like the Le Mans. There is no noise or "electronic garbage" in my system anymore. The sound of rifle casings hitting a concrete floor, an attack helicopter blasting through a canyon or a pick on an acoustic guitar string is so incredibly realistic. Super clean and smooth is the best way to describe it. In addition to the sound quality I have to say, coming from an automotive emissions laboratory testing background, I can really appreciate the engineering and build quality of your products. There are many who claim their racks provide great vibration isolation but I would be willing to bet that none of the "other guys" use shaker tables and accelerometers to verify and document vibrational attenuation. Great engineering and fantastic performance, but Alvin, you accomplished something that makes all those things totally irrelevant and when my wife saw the Le Mans Isolation System all set up she said "WOW, those look great!" There isn't much else to say after that.
• Lexicon MC-1
• Theata Digital Carmen DVD Transport
• Rotel 971 HDCD player (electronically hot rodded - op amps, etc.)
• 2 ATI 2505 amps
• Paradigm Studio 100 L/R Bi-amplified
• Paradigm Studio CC Bi-amplified
• Paradigm Studio ADP Dipolar side speakers
• Paradigm Studio 20 rears
• JPS Labs Superconductor + interconnects
• JPS Labs Superconductor + speaker cables
Thanks again Alvin. You are a great guy with a great product. Best Regards and happy listening, E. J. Josephson
Hi Alvin, We installed the Apex feet under the Polycrystal rack. (Mind you, I had tweaked the Apex [this client has Apex as component feet on his Polycrystal stand; Alvin Lloyd] before like nobody's business, and had recorded their exact positions.) ... now the sound is just as "round" and full as before, but it is more vivid and clearer... and I hear lots more of the inner details - things I never heard before. Instruments sound more like themselves. Nuances in the middle of the tone and on the outsides of the tone abound, making everything sound new and right.
Dear Mr. Lloyd,
Although I've only had a short time to audition the Apex footers and levelers, I wouldn't think of removing them from my Monaco Modular Isolation System. Impressed would be an understatement. It is as if I have an entirely new system. I like Broadway London Cast recordings and the voices sound so realistic and full. It is not like I was hearing them unamplified from the second balcony in the 1970s in Boston theaters. I've cured the RFI problem using PS Audio Statement powers cords and your Monaco Modular has resolved any vibration issues.
A good slogan for Apex footers might be: Apex footers - a solid base for audio. I hope to hear from you when you have the opportunity to write. Thanks again for including the levelers to audition.
I am very pleased you are satisfied with our product. Regards tightening, you want to have the levelers screwed in as far as you can based upon your individual leveling needs. When empty adding ballast to that bottom shelf is a good idea but you want to make sure you have the right dampers for whatever load you have on it. Let me know if you need some different dampers we will be happy to send them no charge.
Dear Mr. Lloyd,
As you suggested, I tightened the (Apex) levelers more fully. It has even improved the overall clarity and made the sound even more impressive. It is nice of you to want to include my remarks about the apex feet and levelers on your website. Thanks again for being so helpful to me and making products that really improve audio. Unless you make some important new discovery about controlling vibrations, the Monaco Modular Isolation System should be the last one I will own. I will continue to recommend it to everyone I know.
Novel uses for Apex: We originally envisioned Apex as component footers and for use as spike replacements underneath our own and other equipment stands. But there may yet be another application. As first reported by Srajan Ebaen in his second part of the 6moons.com Apex review, to decouple loudspeakers from the floor (by replacing their spikes with our footer in similar fashion to replacing a stand's spikes) might reap unforeseen and highly audible benefits. The following are three end user findings published on Audio Asylum:
"...posting a statement that sounds like my ghetto blaster has been turned into a $100,000 system by adding wooden pucks. I would not have believed what a difference the Apex footers could make! It is all Srajan's fault. He is responsible for making me spent far too much money. His early reviews of the Audiopax 88 monoblock amplifiers led me to eventually owning them. Now he's done it again, with Apex footers underneath Avantgarde Duo speakers.
Srajan writings about this combination at his 6moons site encouraged me to order a set of 6 Apex footers (3 for each speaker) and 6 stainless steel levelers, with 10mm threads to screw into frame supports on the Duos. The idea is that the floor - suspended in my case - normally acts as a sounding board for the bass, and conducts vibrations to the equipment via the rack, with a highly detrimental effect . Bass notes sound louder but that loudness is at the cost of distortion. According to Srajan, 10% higher bass distortion equates to a subjective 3dB gain in bass output. Read about it at 6 Moons and at the GPA site.
My initial assessment is that the Apex footers have made a greater change to the sound of my system than any other 'tweak' I have made in the past. I would go further and say they have made more difference than changing any component, with the possible exception of the Duo speakers. Note that I said 'change', not necessarily improvement! However, there IS considerable improvement - more clarity. a more open sound, more detail, more interesting, more pleasing, soundstage is broader and deeper, performers seem to be more forward, more, more......
The change really is significant, and - forgetting all my hyperbolic words above - enhances my enjoyment of music in a very natural and non 'hi-fi' manner, allowing me to listen in a relaxed and easy way for long periods of time.
The downside - a significant one - is that bass has changed character in a major way. It is now not nearly so pronounced; in fact it is really quite subdued. The quality and calibre of bass is still there - probably improved - but there is less of it. Srajan found exactly the same, and said that for most people it would be a question of deciding whether the positive aspects outweigh the negative. It may be that playing with speaker placement and sub settings will recover a little more of the bass that I had before, but I'm not expecting too much.
The effect of the Apex footers is obviously very room dependent and, in my case, I knew beforehand that my suspended floor was a highly negative factor. It 'floats' a little - despite my efforts in getting into the crawl space and putting wedges between the underside of the supporting joists and the block walls they rest on. It is one big sounding board, and I think this is why the Apex footers have had such an effect. Incidentally, I also think it is why I had not found spiking my Duos to be beneficial; all I was doing was increasing the sounding board aspect.
I shall need to live with the Apex footers for a while. The benefits at the moment far outweigh the loss of bass - I'm not a bass freak anyway - but I shall want to see how I feel after a week or two of listening. I have a feeling they will be staying in my system, and another set will be going beneath my equipment rack. Thanks again Srajan!" Posted by Jeremy B on April 14, 2003 at 08:26:30
If Apex can make this amount of difference underneath speakers, just imagine the compound effect of decoupling your components, first from the floor by replacing your stand's spikes, then from the shelves by using them as component footers!
We make threaded adapters to fit virtually all spike sizes and allow for convenient substitution of rack and speaker spikes.
The Apex footers arrived in good shape and I placed them last night, first under the Cary CD player, then the Art Audio amp. What can I say that you haven't already heard? These things are a miracle! The musical benefit was more than I could hope for, even having read the reviews and comments."Cleaning the windshield" is the phrase that I dwell on.I won't try to quantify the effect at this point, except to say it was BIG! My system finally is showing some similarity to the better systems I've heard at shows, where it really gets down to the rawness of trumpets and other instruments.
Thanks much! Dave Sturdevant, Audio Persuasion, Alaska
"I am in awe. The Apex is a flat/cylinder-cone - made with space age materials and auto racing know-how - with a concavity on top for a 1/2" ball. I have tried a number of different isolation/vibration control devices, but this one is absolutely phenomenal in its effectiveness. So much clarity, detail, and great soundstage! And then, Alvin Lloyd - the designer/manufacturer - let me know about two other types of balls (in different materials) that can make it sound even better. I just got them today and have three different types under the CD and DAC. I CAN'T BELIEVE THE AIR, TRANSPARENCY, DETAIL AND SOUNDSTAGE IMPROVEMENT!!!!! I thought it was great before, but this is... I'm speechless! Previous to this, I invited the fellow who sold me my Spendor SP1/2e's over for a listen - he said this was the best that he had ever heard the Spendors. Then he spent 3.5 hours reading the white paper, etc. on the Apex. And he was even more impressed than before. What can I say?! Audition these babies!!!!! Just Google "Grand Prix Audio" and you'll get the site. And no, I'm not a dealer, nor am I affiliated with one. :-) PS: They are $550 for a set of three. But as in all things that make major improvements, they are worth it!!"
Posted by tpcarter on April 09, 2003 at 19:37:31 on Audio Asylum
"I concur. I have 6 Apex couplers in my system at various spots, and what they do is pretty amazing. They have a much larger effect on a component then any BDR stuff I have used."
Posted by tireguy on April 09, 2003 at 20:10:34 on Audio Asylum
The first thing I did was substitute the Silicon bearings with the steel ones for the Apex¹s I am using under my Monaco Amplifer Isolation System. I felt there was a quieter background, greater sense of depth, more transparency, improved dynamics, smoother more analog like. Next I replaced the Apex bearings under my Monaco Modular Isolation System - found an improved width of the sound stage, system became more revealing, more natural sounding, more accurate timbre, pleasant pace to the music. Next I placed a set of Apex¹s with the silicon bearings under my Krell Amp as a component footer - found more definition to the bass also a tighter, more analytical presentation overall which is to my liking. Lastly I placed a set of Apex¹s with the silicon bearings under my Krell KPS-25sc (CD/Preamp combo). I found the soundstage to be more balanced in terms of the overall width, system became even more revealing, more definition to bass info, music extended well beyond the width of the speakers.
Nothing is ever subtle when it comes to Grand Prix Audio ! Thanks again,
Trickle-down technology. Do you currently own an equipment stand, shelves to put your components on, and loudspeakers to listen to music with?
We thought so. Using the same high-tech, vacuum-cured, 90-degree cross-fiber Carbon composite technology of our highly acclaimed stands, our Apex footers and Formula Shelves get you on the Monaco race track without paying for first-row seats. Apex is a tri-application device. Use it under components to decouple them from their support structure. Use it underneath your stand to decouple it from the floor which transmits high amplitude impulses from your loudspeakers. Use it underneath your loudspeakers to significantly minimize floorborne vibration to begin with.
Apex is a tri-laminate cone with an outer shell and inner plug/base fashioned from Carbon composites. These structures are separated by an intermediate layer of damping polymer derived from aerospace and customized for our application. The concave tip houses a steel (or ceramic Silicon Nitrate or Tungsten Carbide) ball halfway enclosed by a rim to prevent undue range of motion. A leveling "knuckle" adjuster cups the ball from above with a smoothly machined stainless steel socket and is threaded into a stand to replace the spikes.
The 2.5 inch diameter of Apex serves as contact patch with the floor and was specifically designed with carpet in mind. Rather than coupling your stand and thus equipment to the floor, Apex properly decouples them to become the first barrier of defense against vibration propagation between your speakers and equipment stand.
"... I got the shipment today. The Formula Shelf is a work of art. It is hard to believe that this is a prototype and the final one is even better. I put the transport and DAC on the Formula Shelf . The Hydra is on the amp stand (which looks great - and the build quality is excellent). The sound now is even better. The depth and 3-d imaging is unbelievable. The bass and focus is even better..."
Grand Prix Audio carbon-fiber Formula Shelves install our proven performance on non-GPA stands and are sized to fit most equipment supports on the market. Our Carbon-fiber Formula Shelves offer cutting-edge technology even if you don't own our stands. The reason for their superiority? Unlike directional wood fiber or ringing crystalline molecular structures of metals and natural materials like marble and granite, the resin-impregnated, vacuum-cured 90-degree cross fibers of our composites turn each individual strand into a constrained layer member and maximize the measurable amount of energy attenuation generated. Additionally, our weight-rated Sorbothane interfaces between shelf and support attenuate further energy transmission for highly effective two-prong damping protection against vibration contamination.
Simply, for the quietest shelves on the market, Grand Prix Audio Formula Shelves platforms are the only choice. Visit our website's White Paper section to learn about the scientific principles incorporated in our products, and how to distinguish between ambitious claims and measurable proof that we design and manufacture the most effective vibration attenuation technology available in High-End audio today. Also visit our Apex and Formula Shelves product pages to learn more about how these cost-effective add-ons can transform your system and help you access our accoladed performance enhancements for less money than you thought.