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GPA's Monaco Turntable
Roy Gregory, Editor Hi-Fi+ declares “…this is the most accomplished, convincing, and insightful turntable I’ve used at home.”
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Monaco Turntable Upgraded to 1.5 Version

Grand Prix Audio introduces a new 1.5 version of the highly acclaimed Monaco Turntable. Never resting on our laurels, we have continually worked on improving the performance of the Monaco Turntable and our achievements have thus rendered any perceived shortcomings vanishingly small.

Recently, an owner of a widely acclaimed 100K design proclaimed our 1.5 version Monaco in a head to head comparison using a Tri-Planar tonearm as clearly “the machine of the future”. He commented that our design greatly exceeded the detail, frequency accuracy, and musicality of his supposed world leader design. Another audio reviewer myth shattered by GPA engineering excellence. We don’t fib about what we do, we actually do it!

What does it do better?

The new version 1.5 Monaco Turntable has many improvements from the originally released design. These design improvements enable the Monaco 1.5 to achieve speed accuracy in excess of 2 times the speed accuracy of the original ground breaking Monaco design. These improvements have also reduced its already lowest in the industry noise signatures even further to unrecognizable levels. This now makes the Monaco Turntable many times more speed (and thus frequency) accurate than any other designs at any price. It also makes the new version Monaco the quietest turntable design ever, by far.

You can spend many times more on a turntable but all you buy is less performance, and lots of gimmicks and nonsense pseudo engineering versus true performance, value, and real engineering as offered in all Grand Prix Audio products.

What makes it better? The new version Monaco Turntable 1.5 features the following improvements;

New generation encoder disc of higher accuracy. This was not technically possible when we first achieved the design.

New generation encoder technology which was not available when the design was first released.

Revised software programming which further enhances the already extreme motion control accuracy of the platter rotation.

New generation thrust bearing material which further reduces noise and friction at this critical single contact interface to the platter.

New generation custom cabling featuring enhanced RFI and EMI shielding. This new custom cable has two fully shielded bundles of cable. One fully shielded section for the DC power current and another separate bundle with a separately isolated shield for all the signal wires communicating the digital signals which control the platter motion.

Refined grounding architecture which enhances the RFI and EMI shielding.

A totally new and additional circuit board which acts to suppress EMI fields from the digital encoded loop motion control system. This new development reduced these signatures by over 50% from the original table. With the additions of the new cable and several other proprietary addresses we have managed to reduce the EMI signature of the design by nearly 90% over the original version Monaco! THIS IS A HUGE TECHNICAL ACHEIVEMENT!

New generation circuit boards throughout all featuring gold plated circuits versus the industry standard lesser quality tin.

Revised internal plinth configurations which further reduced the already unheard of low noise levels (pun intended on the unheard of ?)

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.

The Monaco Turntable is truly a 21st century design which establishes a new state-of-the-art in design and engineering. The Monaco Turntable raises the bar when it comes to speed accuracy and lack of rumble. It is the first analog device of its kind. With many features simply not possible several years ago.



Monaco Turntable


DSP Signal Processing / Active Feedback Loop Technology:
Our speed control features a CPU utilizing a Digital Signal Processor that interrogates and maintains the speed of the platter thousands of times each revolution and thereby ensures frequency accuracy and distortion free playback that is simply not possible with conventional types of drive systems. A highly accurate test procedure has demonstrated the speed error to be an extremely low .002%! Speed accuracy equals frequency accuracy, which means there is virtually no distortion on playback.

Floating Platter, DC Motor, Phosphor Bronze Bearing and Internal Flywheel:
The magnesium platter and phosphor bronze flywheel are supported in a fully immersed bearing system that provides a pressurized film of oil that suspends and damps in the horizontal plane. Rotation is supplied by a low voltage brushless DC motor custom made to our specifications.

Carbon Fiber Plinth:
A high pressure high temperature cured composite structure is the ultimate for a turntable plinth.This material allows design of hollow organic shapes with compound curves and varying thicknesses to give a carbon fiber structure superior to any other for rigidity and damping with unparalleled elegance in form. When you add internal polymer damping the performance of this plinth is unrivaled in its vibration management and rigidity.

No mechanical Contact Oil Suspension Bearing and DC Drive System:
Our innovative and unique bearing and drive system achieves ultra low noise levels. There is no mechanical contact in the horizontal plane as the platter is suspended in a fully immersed pressurized film of oil. Power is supplied through the magnetic field produced by the brushless DC motor maintaining the no mechanical contact principle. No seals, no belts, no gears, no contact.

Separate Isolated Thrust Bearing:
The vertical position of the platter is fixed by a uniquely designed rigid single point contact thrust bearing. This bearing is separate from the Oil Suspension platter bearing. This state of the art ceramic bearing is fully immersed in oil.

The revolutionary Monaco Turntable is the first turntable design taking advantage of 21st Century technology for speed control utilizing a Digital Signal Processing (DSP) controller coupled with an active feedback loop to control the actual motion of the platter itself. It is simple and elegant, the true measure of design and engineering excellence. It is painstakingly manufactured and carefully handmade entirely in the USA. It is repeatable to near 100% consistency by each and every owner anywhere. It is simplicity itself to set up and is devoid of any shift in settings over time. Truly a “set and forget” design. In this paper we will present the actual physical test results showing the behavior and performance of our design.

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Dealer Owners

"I am thrilled with my new Monaco turntable. Thank you for building a table that brings more out of my records than I could have imagined. Brian Berdan and team set it up late on Thursday night and I was just stunned by the sound coming from my system. The next morning my wife woke up and asked me to show her the new table. I played her a Muse record as we just saw them a few months ago. It sounded clearer, more dynamic and more real than I thought was possible from a stereo. Just as I am being emotionally rocked by the new tables mining for sound, I look over at my wife Mary and see tears in her eyes and she looks at me overcome with emotions that great music brings and says "I get it." I hope you understand why I wanted you to hear this."
Craig R.

Brooks Berdan, Brooks Berdan, Ltd.

“The musical performance is an all-time high — astounding. I’ve experienced some of the world’s best, but I’ve never heard a turntable even close to yours. It’s a different league of source. In a single word, neutrality; it adds or subtracts nothing from the music…” Now, I’m afraid that you’ll have to find a new dealer. I’m closing down at 6PM and retiring from work. I have 6,000 LPs to play. You have my deep respect. The Monaco turntable wasn’t a few weeks’ design work. And to achieve this at a relatively affordable price with relatively simple set-up, makes the achievement even more worthwhile. I just hope I can do my job, which is to find and attract people who are interested in it.”
Jack Lawson, The Music Room

“In my opinion, our Monaco is without equal the first ever commercially available turntable capable of keeping such accurate speed … it is the finest example of serious turntable engineering on the market today… the first and only ever table to allow such enormous amount of detail to be extracted from vinyl un-coloured…”
Steve Eleftheriadis, Reference Audio Visual Pty. Ltd.

"Your turntable is a revelation to me, it has achieved things that I thought would not be possible with the format and has revived my interest in the older medium. The silence in the background, lack of rumble, incredible speed accuracy and level of detail is astonishing. It is a pleasure to use as once it is setup there is nothing for me to do other than listen to the music! This is a welcome change to every other turntable and I put that down to the high level of engineering and "outside the square" thinking that has gone into the table."
Michael Marchant, Reference Audio Visual Pty. Ltd


“For the past four months I have been rediscovering my "new" forty year old LPs. From the tinkle of the triangle at the end of Ravel's Mother Goose Suite to the pedal notes of Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, from the shimmering violins in Grieg's Lyric Suite to the majestic brass in Bruckner's 8th Symphony, from the Pavarotti's rendition of Christmas Carols to Freni's Madame Butterfly, from Led Zeppelin to Joan Baez, from Hendrix to Fairport Convention they are all new and fresh to me even though I have been listening to them all these years. I hear them in a wider space with consistent placement of instruments and voices in space. I hear nuances and notes I haven't heard before. I hear them against a noiseless background. The Monaco is a tremendous accomplishment. Thanks for the hours of pure pleasure I have already had and for the many more to come.”
Ron C.

“I got everything up and running yesterday evening. At first listen, late at night, it was stupendous. The imaging and timbre were right on. The attacks were crisp and life like. The background was dead quiet. I can't wait to listen to more!”
Ron C.

Roy Gregory, Hi-Fi+

For additional discussion about the Monaco Turntable see NEWS and Reviews (Media, Industry and Customer).

Contact your local dealer, distributor, or Grand Prix Audio for pricing.

The Driving Force in Vibration Control.