Sound Equipment Carmel IN
Audio / Video, Home Automation / Systems Integration / Home Networking, Home Theater, Lighting Control, Multi-Room Audio
One or more employees at this company have achieved CEDIA Professional Certification status:- Chris Chopp, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II
Home Audio, Design & Installation, Appointment Only
Grand Prix Audio Formula Shelf
grand prix audio
Formula Shelf and Apex Footers
as reviewed by Greg Weaver
It has been nearly three years since I reviewed the superlative and, to these ears, unsurpassed, Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular Isolation system. Since that time, I have gradually been able to improve upon its original spectacular effectiveness, one-step at a time.
The first improvement came when I was asked to review the Redpoint Model D turntable. Alvin Lloyd was kind enough to send me a Formula Shelf to evaluate in its roll supporting the 135-pound behemoth music maker from Peter Clark. Even though the three-quarters of an inch thick clear acrylic top shelf of my original system would have been adequate to support the weight of the Model D, it somehow seemed the appropriate opportunity to make the move to the cost-no-object, unique cellular structure and cross-linked resin system Formula shelf.
The distinctive core material used in the GPA Formula Shelf was developed originally for nuclear facilities, aerospace, and aviation isolation applications. The distinctive looking carbon fiber shell, combined with this proprietary core, exhibits a high strength to weight ratio, and provides substantial resistance to the transmission of vibration across a broad frequency range.
To stop at calling the GPA Formula Shelf merely effective would be like proclaiming the Arctic Circle can get "chilly" in winter. Replacing the clear acrylic top shelf under the Model D, the formula shelf's impact and contribution was more significant than I could have imagined, even given my previous experience with all things GPA. I was afforded even more space than previously, in all three dimensions, as well as more accurate sizing and more clearly defined localization of instruments. The original velvety black quietness became even quieter! The overall background calm established from which the music emanates was even darker with the formula shelf in place... I sent my check!
Interestingly, at the same time he had sent the Formula Shelf, he included a set of the Apex footers. Each of the three just under an inch and a half tall Apex footers is fabricated from two hand-laminated, high-pressure vacuum-cured layers of Carbon fiber. Those two layers, both the outer skin and the core/base of the device, are decoupled via a proprietary damping polymer.
The super-dense polymer (also used in the upright columns of their Monaco SE) separating the core/base segment of the Apex from its outer skin was developed in collaboration with one of their former racing aerospace partners. Alvin claims that it exhibits a far higher energy dissipation ratio than any of the metals or compounds commonly used for other component isolation footers, and is just one of many claimed technological advances Grand Prix Audio enjoys over its competition.
By presenting three dissimilar materials boundaries to the e...