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Review: Grand Prix Audio • Monaco 2.0 Turntable

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  • Review: Grand Prix Audio • Monaco 2.0 Turntable

    I've known this review was coming for a while now. My own article First Sounds: Grand Prix Audio Monaco 2.0 from June '17 was is its place setter. Nine months later Roy Gregory's full review (finally) arrives:
    Grand Prix Audio • Monaco 2.0 Turntable.

    The biggest problem with the Monanco 2 is that its not easy to find one to hear or try. There are lots of 'tables with better marketing
    . If you're thinking about a new 'table - particularly if you plan it to be your last turntable - its worth a trip to the dealers that have the Monaco for a listen.



    Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

  • #2
    Your review of this table got my attention, Tima. But this review made me yawn reading.

    Comment


    • tima
      tima commented
      Editing a comment
      Given my considerable enjoyment of and respect for Roy's writing, I'm hesitent to say this but I think you just gave me a compliment. :-) I find his work best appreciated on a second reading. If I may be so bold: yourself as a true connoisseur deserve hearing this 'table under proper conditions; .you 'get' how to listen.

  • #3
    I rather liked both. Roy spends more time from a engineering perspective...Tima thanks for posting. I need to get my 2.0 upgrade done soon !
    Speakers: Rockport Altair 2
    Amps: Nagra HD Pre Amp & HD Amps
    Cables: Transparent Magnum Opus Source and Opus Gen 5 Pre to amp and Speaker
    Power Transparent Opus Power Cords & Opus Isolators
    Digital dCS Vivaldi full stack w/ Transparent Reference XL Digital cables
    Phono: Grand Prix Monaco 2.0 TT, Spiral Groove Centroid, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement, Nagra VPS/VFS/MPS
    Racks: Grand Prix Audio Silverstone F1 (x4)

    Comment


    • tima
      tima commented
      Editing a comment
      Get thee to Ne Plus Ultra!
      Fwiw, I believe (not completely certain) the upgrade package does not include the new clamping system.

    • jfrech
      jfrech commented
      Editing a comment
      Ne Plus Ultra needs to issue me a frequent flyer card ;-). I was aware it does not include the clamping system. I am so used to the way it works now, so the LED system won't bother me by not having it...I am curious how the new donut shaped compression dampers help ....

    • tima
      tima commented
      Editing a comment
      They are a bit too sticky, at least the ones I received a year ago, so I'm still using the originals. Alvin said he was working on that but its been awhile, so maybe they are updated.

  • #4
    Great review by Roy....highly detailed and informative. Complements your review very nicely. SAT recently posted an image on their Facebook of a Monaco 2 with SAT arm. That could be an amazing combo.

    Comment


    • tima
      tima commented
      Editing a comment
      I'd love to hear that combo. Fwiw, the Kuzma 4Point is a real sweetheart on the Monaco - for those of us whom the SAT is beyond.

  • #5
    I found this review brilliant. Not for the way it was written - Roy's writing, if you have the patience for it, is probably the best we have nowadays. (We all have our preferences.) I suppose its my bias - no, not bias - my direct experience over the past year that found itself agreeing with virtually every point Roy makes, sonic observations included. Despite language philosophers having destroyed truth beyond the propositional, I found myself nodding my head as I read what he wrote.

    Particularly enjoying for me is the way he tweaks the audio establishment "that thrives on dogma and received wisdom." There has been little meaningful advance in the construction of turntables just as there has been little advance in assessing what is important in their operation. Nowadays the discussion seems on vibration abatement and how to acheive that. Extra-source vibrational noise is certainly important, but source noise is the truest villain within that arena.

    The heart of the matter - what ultimately counts more than other factors - is stable rotational accuracy - and the proof of that is in the listening. As Roy points out, poor speed stability has become a an accepted part of analog replay. No one really wants to talk about it seriously. Manufacturers and dealers get all hand wavy - most don't want to talk about a 'tables drive system much less its motor. Some cite cyrstal oscillator specs for accuracy. "But, but, It says right there in a digital read-out on table itself - it says 33.33." People proclaim the truth of their phone apps or laser marks on a wall. (Toys.) Others cite the weight of their platters as deterring inaccuracy. Some claim "if I cannot hear any pitch instability that's good enough for my ears." Still others attempt to turn the discussion by claiming no one factor is pre-eminent - everything is important not just stable accuracy. A point granted in the vacuity of its value.

    I suspect there will be those well invested in that dogma and received wisdom who will not be swayed. Or maybe not be swayed until they hear something better.
    Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

    Comment


    • Cohnaudio
      Cohnaudio commented
      Editing a comment
      Amen!

  • #6
    Originally posted by tima View Post
    I found this review brilliant. Not for the way it was written - Roy's writing, if you have the patience for it, is probably the best we have nowadays. (We all have our preferences.) I suppose its my bias - no, not bias - my direct experience over the past year that found itself agreeing with virtually every point Roy makes, sonic observations included. Despite language philosophers having destroyed truth beyond the propositional, I found myself nodding my head as I read what he wrote.

    Particularly enjoying for me is the way he tweaks the audio establishment "that thrives on dogma and received wisdom." There has been little meaningful advance in the construction of turntables just as there has been little advance in assessing what is important in their operation. Nowadays the discussion seems on vibration abatement and how to acheive that. Extra-source vibrational noise is certainly important, but source noise is the truest villain within that arena.

    The heart of the matter - what ultimately counts more than other factors - is stable rotational accuracy - and the proof of that is in the listening. As Roy points out, poor speed stability has become a an accepted part of analog replay. No one really wants to talk about it seriously. Manufacturers and dealers get all hand wavy - most don't want to talk about a 'tables drive system much less its motor. Some cite cyrstal oscillator specs for accuracy. "But, but, It says right there in a digital read-out on table itself - it says 33.33." People proclaim the truth of their phone apps or laser marks on a wall. (Toys.) Others cite the weight of their platters as deterring inaccuracy. Some claim "if I cannot hear any pitch instability that's good enough for my ears." Still others attempt to turn the discussion by claiming no one factor is pre-eminent - everything is important not just stable accuracy. A point granted in the vacuity of its value.

    I suspect there will be those well invested in that dogma and received wisdom who will not be swayed. Or maybe not be swayed until they hear something better.
    Interesting comments and adaptation of the Monaco feature set.

    Alvin has always had a good team and a sound 'table design for his vision of that approach.

    Very generally, how is the Monaco 2.0 audibly perceived, to you, as different from other tables you have owned or are intimately familiar with?

    Can you name some of those tables you have owned (or intimately familiar with) that would be a reference for your response above?

    Thanks in advanced,
    Dre
    **************************************************
    Every day is a good day to play analog.
    - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
    - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
    **************************************************
    Every day is a good day for live music.
    **************************************************

    Comment


    • #7
      Originally posted by Dre_J View Post

      Interesting comments and adaptation of the Monaco feature set.

      Alvin has always had a good team and a sound 'table design for his vision of that approach.

      Very generally, how is the Monaco 2.0 audibly perceived, to you, as different from other tables you have owned or are intimately familiar with?

      Can you name some of those tables you have owned (or intimately familiar with) that would be a reference for your response above?

      Thanks in advanced,
      Dre
      Hi Andre

      Overall, the Monaco reduces distortion; its presence as a mechanical in my system is reduced, music sounds more like live music. The particular areas where I perceive the Monaco 2.0 as different - better - are in dynamics, tonality, mid to low frequency resolution, clarity, coherence and psycho-acoustics such as depth. Essentially any sonic characteristic associated with timing, which covers a lot. I've owned a SOTA Sapphire (belt) and a Teres 320 (rim); I'm somewhat familiar with, for example, other SOTAs, the original Kronos and some of the Japanese direct drives. I'm reluctant to claim anything about those 'tables given my sonic memory across several years. There are more turntables that I've not heard than those I have.

      The best comparative (for me anyway), is between the Monaco 1.5 and version 2.0, the latter succeeding the former in ownership. The Monaco 1.5 (no longer in production) exhibited a high degree of speed stability and accuracy along with very low noise; both to a degree of improvement in the area I mentioned above. I encourage you to read my write-up on the 1.5, here, and Roy Gregory's review of the 1.5, here; both written before the 2.0 came into existence. The Monaco 2.0 comes with a wholly new drive system that is more accurate and stable than the 1.5 - a lot more. To my ears, the difference between the already highly accurate and stable 1.5 and the 2.0 was stunning - it blew me away. The 2.0 was also quite a bit quieter. I went round and round attempting to assess, to guage, to analyze what could make such a difference. I used the same tonearms and cartridges, same system in my evaluation of both 'tables; I had them side by side; the only difference was the 'tables themselves. The conclusion I came to was, while the lower noise was definitely a contributor, it was the substantial increase in speed accuracy that came with the new drive and controller software. That was the primary factor in their significant sonic differences. I discussed this at length with Alvin. He said that he and his team had the same debate among themselves. The thought that increasing accuracy and stability would likely make an improvement, but they were taken aback at what was achieved. And they arrived at the same conclusion as I. From my read, Roy arrived at that same point too. In the opening post is a link to my initial take on the 2.0. I'm confident today in what I wrote then.

      I don't think my comments are bold, but I imagine they are controversial. Unlike Jeff Dorgay, who knows far more 'tables, I'm not claiming the Monaco 2.0 is the best turntable. That's not my approach. I don't think Roy is saying much different than I've said. The proof of the numbers is in the hearing.

      I'm certainly open to discussion on any of this.

      Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

      Comment


      • #8
        Originally posted by tima View Post

        Hi Andre

        Overall, the Monaco reduces distortion; its presence as a mechanical in my system is reduced, music sounds more like live music. The particular areas where I perceive the Monaco 2.0 as different - better - are in dynamics, tonality, mid to low frequency resolution, clarity, coherence and psycho-acoustics such as depth. Essentially any sonic characteristic associated with timing, which covers a lot. I've owned a SOTA Sapphire (belt) and a Teres 320 (rim); I'm somewhat familiar with, for example, other SOTAs, the original Kronos and some of the Japanese direct drives. I'm reluctant to claim anything about those 'tables given my sonic memory across several years. There are more turntables that I've not heard than those I have.

        The best comparative (for me anyway), is between the Monaco 1.5 and version 2.0, the latter succeeding the former in ownership. The Monaco 1.5 (no longer in production) exhibited a high degree of speed stability and accuracy along with very low noise; both to a degree of improvement in the area I mentioned above. I encourage you to read my write-up on the 1.5, here, and Roy Gregory's review of the 1.5, here; both written before the 2.0 came into existence. The Monaco 2.0 comes with a wholly new drive system that is more accurate and stable than the 1.5 - a lot more. To my ears, the difference between the already highly accurate and stable 1.5 and the 2.0 was stunning - it blew me away. The 2.0 was also quite a bit quieter. I went round and round attempting to assess, to guage, to analyze what could make such a difference. I used the same tonearms and cartridges, same system in my evaluation of both 'tables; I had them side by side; the only difference was the 'tables themselves. The conclusion I came to was, while the lower noise was definitely a contributor, it was the substantial increase in speed accuracy that came with the new drive and controller software. That was the primary factor in their significant sonic differences. I discussed this at length with Alvin. He said that he and his team had the same debate among themselves. The thought that increasing accuracy and stability would likely make an improvement, but they were taken aback at what was achieved. And they arrived at the same conclusion as I. From my read, Roy arrived at that same point too. In the opening post is a link to my initial take on the 2.0. I'm confident today in what I wrote then.

        I don't think my comments are bold, but I imagine they are controversial. Unlike Jeff Dorgay, who knows far more 'tables, I'm not claiming the Monaco 2.0 is the best turntable. That's not my approach. I don't think Roy is saying much different than I've said. The proof of the numbers is in the hearing.

        I'm certainly open to discussion on any of this.
        Thanks for the reply. The first part of your response is what I was most interested in reading; "Overall, the Monaco reduces distortion" and the follow-on comments of that section.

        I understand the synopsis of the reviews of 1.5 and 2.0 from previous readings (although, it is helpful for any readers that haven't read them) and my own knowledge of GPA's approach to 'table design.

        Again, thanks for the reply.

        Dre
        **************************************************
        Every day is a good day to play analog.
        - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
        - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
        **************************************************
        Every day is a good day for live music.
        **************************************************

        Comment


        • #9
          Originally posted by tima View Post


          The biggest problem with the Monanco 2 is that its not easy to find one to hear or try. There are lots of 'tables with better marketing
          . If you're thinking about a new 'table - particularly if you plan it to be your last turntable - its worth a trip to the dealers that have the Monaco for a listen.
          It the GPA is hard to find and listen to in the USA, you can only imagine down here in Brazil... I´ve always been curious about this table due to the fact that Zanden - which I own and love - always uses the GPA at shows, and of course due to all the positive reviews (such as yours and Roy´s) and, most of all, the technology behind it. I also have a fair amount of experience with Technics SP-10´s and though many people claim - probably without ever listening to it - that it´s way past its prime, a wobbling belt-drive never seemed SOTA to me. Considering all those variables, I´m really curious about the GPA and I´m certainly a believer when it comes to speed accuracy.

          As much as I like my Stabi Ref 2, I´m quite certain that my journey will not stop with it. Thank you, Tima, for the post and for your review. It confirms my thoughts and impressions about this table and about my next moves with my setup. What about adding a second tone-arm, though? Do they offer any solution?

          Thank you!

          Best,
          Luiz F Coimbra
          ___________________

          Magico S5 Mk. II
          Zanden 120
          Zanden 3100
          Zanden 8120
          Kuzma Stabi Reference 2 / 4 Point
          Benz LP-S
          Argento Serenity

          Comment


          • tima
            tima commented
            Editing a comment
            Your comments are much appreciated, Luiz. I hope you get a chance to spend time listening to the Monaco 2.0.

            All Monaco 'tables support (only) a single tonearm mount. Given the compact design I suspect there is no internal room for adding another.

            I can say this: the tonearm mounting mechanism is super precise. Requiring a separate mounting board for each different tonearm, you can remove the armboard without dismounting the tonearm and then re-install the armboard+'arm and nothing changes. The tonearm specs and cartridge alignment remain stable and reuseable, until you need to change cartridges.. This means once you've setup each tonearm+cartridge combination and keep those on the same armboard, it is easy to (carefully) swap 'arms - once familiar with how to do that, a change of tonearms takes at most 10 minutes. However, even knowing (and trusting) this technique I confess to checking VTF with each swap. Sometimes I'll get out the protractor and confirm - once again - that nothing changed.

          • bonzo75
            bonzo75 commented
            Editing a comment
            I am in London though my gf is Brazilian, and Rio was my favorite holiday (along with San Sebastian) due to the food (in both places). I do agree with you, I am a fan of idlers and DDs.

        • #10
          LFC,

          You're probably thinking of the wrong table, SP10 isn't belt-drive, let alone "wobbling".
          BTW I am also from Brazil, but I'm currently living in the US (San Diego area). I used to own a table like yours Exact same setup, down to the cartridge! Great rig!


          cheers,
          alex

          Disclosure:
          Alma Music and Audio - La Jolla, CA
          Aqua Hi-Fi - Audio Research - Audioquest - Audionet - Audiopax - Auralic - Aurender - Bergmann - Brodmann - D'Agostino - darTZeel - Devialet - DEQX - ELAC - Evolution Acoustics - Hegel - iFi - Innuos - IsoTek - Kii Audio - Koetsu - Kronos - Kubala Sosna - Kuzma - Larsen - Linn - MSB Technology - Music Hall - Ortofon - Solid Steel - Technics - Wharfedale - Wilson Audio - YG Acoustics
          [ http://almaaudio.com ]

          Comment


          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            its time for caipirinhas...in fact anytime is a good time for caipirinhas. god I miss Brasil and churrascarias

          • Alex Siufy
            Alex Siufy commented
            Editing a comment
            Bill,

            If that's the case, then yeah, the Kuzma is far wobblier than the Technics for sure
            I am not in Brazil, but they're 4 hours ahead of Pacific time now, so it's 9:50pm there.

            Rob,

            We keep some cachaça here in the store, just in case somebody prefers it to the usual single malts we offer

          • Bill Hart
            Bill Hart commented
            Editing a comment
            I was in Rio a thousand years ago. Man did I have fun. I was young, stupid and wild. (Not much has changed on that front except I'm older now and less wild). Then, Rio was glorious. I have no idea what it's like now.

        • #11
          Bill Hart

          My point exactly...!
          Luiz F Coimbra
          ___________________

          Magico S5 Mk. II
          Zanden 120
          Zanden 3100
          Zanden 8120
          Kuzma Stabi Reference 2 / 4 Point
          Benz LP-S
          Argento Serenity

          Comment


          • #12
            Originally posted by Alex Siufy View Post
            LFC,

            You're probably thinking of the wrong table, SP10 isn't belt-drive, let alone "wobbling".
            BTW I am also from Brazil, but I'm currently living in the US (San Diego area). I used to own a table like yours Exact same setup, down to the cartridge! Great rig!


            cheers,
            alex
            Thanks! I'm really enjoying the rig! Just to clarify: I meant that even though the SP-10 is dated, it looks far more advanced than belt-driven tables (and usually sounds that way too, mostly when pitch stability is considered).

            I think we've met once at Nemesis; I was with Mutuano and André Maltese and we might have briefly discussed the YG speakers. Or I could be totally mistaken 😂
            Luiz F Coimbra
            ___________________

            Magico S5 Mk. II
            Zanden 120
            Zanden 3100
            Zanden 8120
            Kuzma Stabi Reference 2 / 4 Point
            Benz LP-S
            Argento Serenity

            Comment


            • Alex Siufy
              Alex Siufy commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for clarifying I really like what Technics is doing right now, even the lowly 1200GR is amazing, in terms of pitch stability. We're getting the SL-1000 in today, for the event tomorrow, so I'll post more about that one later

              And yeah, I know the two guys you mentioned, as well as Tomas (the Nemesis guy), so it's likely we've met

              Congratulations again on the fantastic set up! I know it isn't easy to put together such a great system in Brazil...

          • #13
            Gauging the effects of rotational accuracy in terms of pitch or wow is antedeluvian. Our ears are so much more sensitive.
            Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

            Comment


            • #14
              Hi Tim

              I am a believer that better speed accuracy can correlate to better sound as you have heard going from Monaco 1.5 to 2.0.

              I have now heard similar improvements with a new Fidelis Analog FA6042 Pitch Synthesizer replacing the faulty Technics chip. Speed control now accurate to Quartz Lock reference stable to +/-0.00003Hz

              I just had the Technics Technics MN6042 Pitch Synthesizer IC replaced with the Fidelis Analog FA6042 Pitch Synthesizer as well as getting my SP10 mk3 calibrated, caps replaced and bearing serviced. The original Technics NA6042 chip failed.

              The SP10 mk3 now has better measured speed accuracy compared to the very nice 40k Monaco DD table.

              I am very happy with the increased performance of my SP10 mk3, although I was not expecting any improvement. The stability, speed, dynamics and drive in the entire bass range is special and addictive.

              The Fidelis Analog FA6042 is mndatory for SP10 mk3 owners imo.


              http://fidelisanalog.com/product/mn6042/


              Description
              Being early MOS technology, the Technics MN6042 Pitch Synthesizer IC is by far the most failure prone IC in the turntables that use it. Further, at their current age, even working MN6042 ICs typically are not working well due to gate damage sustained over their lifetime.

              In our testing of three different Technics ICs, we found all three exhibited an average frequency variation of 8Hz, which directly affects the Quartz Lock frequency of the turntable, leading to increased flutter. With today’s technology, we can do far better.

              The Fidelis Analog FA6042 Pitch Synthesizer is a drop-in replacement for the original Technics part, designed for absolute reliability and vastly improved performance. Our Pitch Synthesizer is stable to +0.1/-0.2Hz, making the Quartz Lock reference stable to +/-0.00003Hz as measured in our SP-10 MK3.

              Comment


              • #15
                Originally posted by Metamatic View Post
                Hi Tim

                I am a believer that better speed accuracy can correlate to better sound as you have heard going from Monaco 1.5 to 2.0.

                I have now heard similar improvements with a new Fidelis Analog FA6042 Pitch Synthesizer replacing the faulty Technics chip. Speed control now accurate to Quartz Lock reference stable to +/-0.00003Hz

                I just had the Technics Technics MN6042 Pitch Synthesizer IC replaced with the Fidelis Analog FA6042 Pitch Synthesizer as well as getting my SP10 mk3 calibrated, caps replaced and bearing serviced. The original Technics NA6042 chip failed.

                The SP10 mk3 now has better measured speed accuracy compared to the very nice 40k Monaco DD table.

                I am very happy with the increased performance of my SP10 mk3, although I was not expecting any improvement. The stability, speed, dynamics and drive in the entire bass range is special and addictive.

                The Fidelis Analog FA6042 is mndatory for SP10 mk3 owners imo.


                http://fidelisanalog.com/product/mn6042/


                Description
                Being early MOS technology, the Technics MN6042 Pitch Synthesizer IC is by far the most failure prone IC in the turntables that use it. Further, at their current age, even working MN6042 ICs typically are not working well due to gate damage sustained over their lifetime.

                In our testing of three different Technics ICs, we found all three exhibited an average frequency variation of 8Hz, which directly affects the Quartz Lock frequency of the turntable, leading to increased flutter. With today’s technology, we can do far better.

                The Fidelis Analog FA6042 Pitch Synthesizer is a drop-in replacement for the original Technics part, designed for absolute reliability and vastly improved performance. Our Pitch Synthesizer is stable to +0.1/-0.2Hz, making the Quartz Lock reference stable to +/-0.00003Hz as measured in our SP-10 MK3.
                Hey Shane - Thanks for that. It's really cool that such an upgrade is available for your SP10mk3 . And its also cool that you hear the difference that improved speed accuracy can make. I found it a pretty big improvement and I agree just the difference in dynamics alone is addictive - its really anything time related. Do you hear differences in soundstage, image stability, tonality?

                After focusing on noise reduction for so many years, the frontier for turntable manufacturers remains stable rotational accuracy. For too long wow and flutter seemed the basis for valuing it - a very low bar - while 'table development went in the direction of more and more mass and unusual stuff like counter-rotating platters. Skeptics only need to listen. Sounds like this Pitch Synthesizer chip is a genuine advance, and that's a good thing.

                As far comparing the two 'tables, ultimately I'd do what I think you'd do, and that is listen - that's what really matters imo. As far as more technical comparison there would need to be some way to get to an apples-to-apples valuation. Best I can tell, the fidelisanalog people are talking the specs of their chip and how that impacts the quartz crystal in the SP10mk3, whereas Monaco is measuring platter speed. Although Alvin claims the clock crystal in the 2.0's motor drive amplifier is tuned to ±20 parts per billion. What I don't know much about is any feedback loop in the SP10mk3 where its platter speed is reported back to its controller and how the controller responds - how does that happen and how fast does it happen. If you or another expert can lay that out I'd like to learn about it.

                Throwing technical specs back and forth is one thing while listening is another. I'd enjoy any further account of what you hear in terms of the differences your upgrade makes.
                Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

                Comment


                • Tango
                  Tango commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I would be most interested to hear from you if one day you have the new Technic in your system, Tim.
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