When it comes to product names, some are more fanciful than others, but in the case of Grand Prix Audio’s Monza equipment support system, it’s easy to make the connection. With each level employing 16 bolts (each using one of three different Allen bolt sizes, while eight also sport a self-locking 3/8th inch hex nut), a carbon-fibre base, a bamboo platform, a quartet of one of several different sets of weight-matched viscoelastic interfaces between the two, with Apex feet beneath the whole stand (and ideally beneath the products that rest on each level), the precision engineered parts, high-tech materials, and tuning options, building it makes you feel like a member of a pit crew.
Fortunately, putting the Monza together does not challenge your Ikea-fu, and all that high-tech precision means that everything goes together with ease. One point to note, however, is that the outriggers for the bottom shelf (or the dedicated amplifier platform) are materially different to those of the upper shelves, and this can cause some confusion and potentially inverted platforms for the hard of thinking. It’s also worth noting that you should build up the platforms ‘finger tight’ until you have all the support levels in place, then start locking the Monza down. Once you get the knack, though, you whizz through the build-up like a boss, and there is a sense of achievement to building the Monza from scratch that you don’t get from building a bookshelf made from cheap MDF, even if it has a name like Böjåflürkøne.
This construction reflects the fact that each ‘sub-system’ is designed to cascade spurious energy, ensuring the components on Monza are effectively multiply decoupled from their environment (and each other). It’s an approach successfully used in the company’s flagship Silverstone support system, but here in a less elaborate form. Where the Silverstone’s polymer damped, stainless-steel uprights have an extruded groove allowing infinite height adjustment of the individual suspension units from which each level hangs, the Monza uses a ladder of spaced bushes that runs the length of each upright and to which the outriggers are bolted. This simpler system might reduce the overall degree of isolation and decoupling relative to the Silverstone, but the Monza is still one of the most decoupled environments in the home. You can also add extra bays to the rack, with extension kits of two legs plus the necessary support levels.
Let’s look at this systematically, from the ground up. Monza sits on four Apex or Apex XL couplers, each with a silicon-nitride ceramic ball sitting in a detent at its tip. That effectively decouples the Monza from the world beneath it. The carbon-fibre sub-frames are attached to the four, damped aluminium uprights by metal outriggers. The bamboo shelves (nature’s own, natural ‘carbon fibre’) are supported on load-matched viscoelastic dampers that create a critically damped, constrained-layer interface between the shelf and its supporting frame.