Monaco Turntable v1.5

Monaco Turntable Upgraded to 1.5 Version


Never resting on our laurels, Grand Prix Audio's latest version of the Monaco Turntable v1.5 has many technical improvements not possible when the original design was released.

What does it do better?

Design improvements enable the Monaco v1.5 to achieve speed accuracy in excess of 2 times the speed accuracy of the original ground breaking Monaco Turntable. These improvements have also reduced its already lowest in the industry noise signatures even further to unrecognizable levels. The Monaco Turntable v1.5 is the quietest and also the mostspeed accurate, and thus frequency accurateturntable design at any price. You can certainly spendsignificantlymore on a turntable, butyou will be paying forfar less performance.

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, a tremedous accomplishment!
  • 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—punny, but true!

DSP Signal Processing / Active Feedback Loop Technology: The speed control features a CPU with Digital Signal Processor (DSP) which creates an active feedback loop to interrogate and maintain the speed of the platter thousands of times per revolution. Enhanced monitoring ensures frequency accuracy and distortion-free playback not possible with conventional systems. Speed error is reduced to an extremely low 0.002%--a remarkable accomplishment in audio engineering! This achievement in speed accuracy equals frequency accuracy for virtually no distortion on playback.

Floating Platter, DC Motor, Phosphor Bronze Bearing and Internal Flywheel: The Magnesium Platter and Phosphor Bronze Flywheel are supported by a fully immersed hydrodynamic bearing system. The combination provides a pressurized film of oil to both suspend and damp 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 gives the turntable plinth its dramatic and efficient structure. Use of Carbon Fiber material allows design of hollow and organic shapes, with material thicknesses manipulated to improve rigidity and damping without compromise to elegance of form. Addition of internal polymer damping magnifies the performance of this plinth providing unrivaled rigidity and vibration management.

No mechanical Contact Oil Suspension Bearing and DC Drive System: Our innovative and unique oil-suspended bearing and drive system achieves ultra low noise levels. There is no mechanical contact in the horizontal plane since the bearing is fully immersed in and the platter is fully suspended by a pressurized film of oil. To maintain absence of mechanical contact, power is supplied through the magnetic field produced by the custom brushless DC motor.

Separate Isolated Thrust Bearing: The vertical position of the platter is fixed by a uniquely designed rigid single point contact thrust bearing constructed from a rare and proprietary hybrid alloy which is separate from the platter bearing. This state of the art Ceramic Thrust Bearing is also fully immersed in oil.

Out-of-the-box Performance: The Monaco turntable is painstakingly manufactured and carefully handmade entirely in the USA. It is repeatable to near 100% consistency by each and every owner anywhere. Simple assembly and stable from shifts in settings over time, it has 10 mounting options to accommodate virtually any tone arm. The Monaco Turntable has “set and forget” design and unforgettable performance right out of the box!


  • Materials: Carbon Fiber Plinth, Magnesium Platter, Phosphor Bronze Flywheel
  • Turntable Dimensions: 13” diameter, 5” height
  • Controller Dimensions: 8.25” deep x 6” wide x 1” tall
  • Weight w/ Controller: 40 lbs.
  • Upgrade: APEX Footer, and custom color platters and record clamps available

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.

"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.

Reviewed by The Audio Beat

"But at the end of the day, if push came to shove, if I had to live with only one record player, I’d throw in a few more metaphors to delay the inevitable before plumping for the Monaco 1.5. This turntable has been my desert-island disc spinner for the last decade, and reacquaintance with the current model has only reinforced that view. At $23,800 that’s a bitter, not to mention expensive, pill to swallow, but the GPA Monaco 1.5 is worth every penny."

Reviewed by Hi Fi Plus

Poy Award

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.

Industry and User Reviews

Danny Kaey of Inner Ear does direct head to head comparisons with Finite Elemente, Townsend Seismic Sink, EquaRack, and clearly details the significant superiority of the Monaco Modular Isolation System to each one of these competitors. Danny states "…handily outpaces them by a wide margin" Nothing compares to Grand Prix Audio! Read More Reviews

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