Grand Prix versus Stillpoints

Anyone compared Grand Prix Monaco to Stillpoints Component stand? In my case it would be for amps.
08c4db3d f2fd 45bc bb9e ee13d7c58122albertporter
I knew this was going to be a tough question.

I searched Audiogon forums and also pro reviews via Google before asking. It's amazing that as well known as these two are there seems to be no direct comparison.
A good comparison of component stands wouldn't be the easiest thing to do. I suppose it probably doesn't happen very often.
For what it's worth, I did a direct comparison with Finite Elemente and GPA Monaco a few years back when I bought my GPA rack. The difference, while not huge, was evident in favor of the GPA to my ears.
I currently have the Grand Prix Audio Monaco stands under my amps and when I first installed them the upgrade was nothing short of amazing.

The only fault with my test previously, the amps were sitting flat on the floor with no isolation at all.
Hi Albert, have you tried the formula shelves? This is a nice improvement to. I've heard the GPA with and with out the carbon fibres shelves, it's a nice upgrade.

Also, I think GPA is coming out with a new higher end line up. You took some great pics of it at ces :)

I performed direct comparisons several years ago. Both racks have improved since that time I am sure so not sure how accurate this is to their current forms, of which I still have the Stillpoints in its current generation.

The Grand Prix I had at the time had the Formula shelves and upgraded carbon fiber bearing feet under the rack. I did not have the amp stands at the time so this is fwiw.

I found that the Stillpoints and GP stands were very close in overall character with the Stillpoints rack allowing the system to sound more open in the upper octaves, more effortlessly dynamic with slightly improved low-level detail retrieval. The GP imbued a slightly darker overall tone but was not the worse for it just different. I was within a few months of needing to replace the neoprene pads under the G.P shelves though so I am not sure if this made any substantive difference.

I did find there to be a significant difference in replacing the standard shelves on the G.P with the carbon fiber Formula and an even more striking improvement when replacing the same type of acrylic shelves in the S.P with their tri-pod stands, eschewing solid shelves altogether.

One thing is certain. In both cases the standard acrylic shelves, while they might look nice, really held back the performance each of these racks is capable of without them. The differences in replacing the acrylic shelves in both cases was enormous and affected _everything_ positively. Both racks are exceptional in their own way and were dramatic improvements over my older JustaRack with double thick MDF.

I think either would perform well in most HE systems. I still have and enjoy the Stillpoints rack system and use their quad-arm stands under my amps--which was a dramatic improvement over my high-mass corian plinth sand boxes of yore.

Shunyata Research
Don't forget that the Sorbothane(not Neoprene)need to/should be replaced every six months. Is the new rack higher than the double-walled SE?
Don't forget that the Sorbothane(not Neoprene)need to/should be replaced every six months
Tab, if addressed to me, I agree. I replaced all twelve pucks about four months ago and it was like getting brand new GPA stands.

Alvin says change dampers about once a year but I've never waited that long to replace mine. The VTL amps are very heavy, I have to request special dampers so they don't get smashed flat and even then their life is likely shorted.

John, I agree the Carbon Fiber shelves are better, some people say a huge improvement.

What started all this was superior performance from turntables using Stillpoints and I wondered what their component stand would do.

I have two (new) JL Audio Fathom F-212 subs that have not even been un-boxed. Before they are put in place I wanted to do one more run at isolation of the amps as I suspect the floor around them will be getting much more of a workout than before and tube amps are particularly sensitive to shock.
The GPA stands require the Sorbathane to be replaced. Like tube gear that needs its valves replaced every so often. How do you determine when the rack is at its peak performance if it goes thru this decreasing term of performance. There must also be a time curve to reach its peak performance level. Just wondering. Tom

Alvin sends a template that shows how much compression is proper for the GPA dampers. Too little compression and there is not good isolation, too much compression and it looses elasticity or spring function.

Deformation can be at the instant equipment is set on the shelf if the damper is not rated for that weight. Deformation also happens over time as the damper is exhausted performing it's function.

It's actually pretty easy to use the template, you put it beside the damper in question and measure deflection. This works but admittedly one of the reasons I'm investigating the Stillpoints option. Alvin has been A+ at getting new dampers out in a speedy manner but it would be nice to have a stand that did not need periodic maintenance.

My guess in advance is there will be better and worse with the new stand. That's what usually happens in high end audio when comparing two world class products.

Are you talking about the four-leg adjustable stand.
Are you talking about the four-leg adjustable stand.

I ordered Stillpoints four leg component with 11" arms. Link below, it's the third image down on that page.

Stillpoint image

What is Stillpoints purchase/return you know?

Someone, some magazine that is not a subject of advertisers will... simply needs to order up a sample of all the big boys and not so big and just listen. I would lend my ear to such a collective shootout and bring along a design that neither proclaims to isolate, constrain or damp. Descriptive words that should not be used in the conductance of music production or of its reproduction.

What is Stillpoints purchase/return you know?

Up to the dealer as far as I know.
Have you changed the pads on the Monaco?
Have you changed the pads on the Monaco?


I mentioned that fact in my post 2-17-10. I have new pads, which have been calculated for exact weight load by Alvin at Grand Prix.
Cool. Have you received the Stillpoints yet?
Saturday I mounted the (4) Stillpoints stands to the VTL amps and gained several square feet of floor space. This is exactly what I needed to accommodate the JL Audio subs.

Sound difference between it and GPA could not be more different, I'm sorting out my feeling about this more tomorrow when a friend visits and I listen with more kinds of music.
I wonder what would happen if an F-1 was placed atop the SP?
I've converted to Stillpoints for my amp stands and the GPA are sold. Both are superb products and this test could have been reversed in another room or with another amp or even due to personal taste.

The one thing that is not a variable, component stands are a big influence on sound, especially with big tube amps subject to vibration and impact near large speakers.

Could you expand further on your personal impressions of each stand's relative strengths and weaknesses in the context of your system, and why, ultimately, you opted for the Stillpoints vs. the GPA?

I ask not to make you write a short treatise, but because both products make promises about vibration control, are similar in price, yet have radically different approaches to how they address the problem. Thanks,

I have not compared the StillPoints rack with the GPA but with the Halcyonics. Actually, that is not really correct. I was able to put everything on StillPoints and only three components (amp, tt, and digital) on Halcyonics units. Everything on StillPoints greatly outperforms three pieces on Halcyonics. The sense of involvement in the music and lead edge were much improved. I do wonder what everything on Halcyonics would sound like but prices on Halcyonics have sored and they take up too much room.

There have been complaints about the acrylic shelves. I have a set of what StillPoints calls their OEM feet between my linestage and an acrylic shelf and this was a major improvement in soundstage precision and dynamics.

Could you expand further on your personal impressions of each stand's relative strengths and weaknesses in the context of your system, and why, ultimately, you opted for the Stillpoints vs. the GPA?

The Grand Prix has very bold bass but it's a bit flabby, it presents music in a soft and sweet manner reminiscent of Audioquest Sorbothane footers. All notes are a bit fatter especially the mid bass. Sound seems slowed down a tiny bit.

The Stillpoints bass is so tight, at first it seems something is missing. You may have to retune the system by moving speakers, swapping tubes or whatever tweak to put tonal balance back where bass is in balance again.

Ultimately the Stillpoints are cleaner, faster, higher resolution with better sense of each instrument placement and much better frequency extremes. They are also less money, take up less space and I prefer their appearance.

Remember I was experimenting to find the best resolution for my system to balance the new twin JL Audio Fathom F-212 subs. Tight bass for the main speaker was a huge improvement and allowed better integration with the subs.

Hope that helps.

While I could have most likely surmised your response simply based upon the materials used in the differing support systems, it was good to have first-hand validation. Enjoy!


Will you try the new version of the Stillpoints rack? Are the subs isolated?
Tabl10s, Don't know about the new rack, but probably not.

My equipment is built into the frame and foundation of the house, except for the two outboard custom stands for turntable and tape.

When you ask are the subs isolated, do you mean electrically, mechanically or ?
Albert, at CES, or really THE Show, StillPoints showed their component stands combined with vertical pillars between them. This allows making a stand with many different heights, widths, and depths. You could fit one into your frame.

I am told that such a rack is the equal of the StillPoints rack. I have yet to compare one with my rack. I will soon have the capability to do so, but the component stand rack is to allow me to isolate all the components that I use, not just that fit on my rack. One real benefit of the component stand rack is not having the acrylic shelves.

I did complete direct comparison between the original Stillpoints rack and the new component stand rack. The difference between the new one one and the original Stillpoints rack with the Acrylic shelves was profound. Everything related to sound became more focussed, more pitch articulate and it seemed as if there was a noticeable drop in perceived noise as I could clearly discern detail I had been missing on familiar recordings. It is probably the most significant change I have heard in my system since completing the room and electronics.


Samuel, so the acrylic shelves do really hurt the sound. I know that StillPoints is going to have an alternative shelf at some point. All that could be done now is to add component stands to the top layer of the rack. Doing so on the lower shelves would make them unusable.

Thanks for the report.
Thank all of you for your efforts to further the accuracy of your systems. Music is a passion. It is a quest that will drive us insane, while necessary for our sanity. I would hope in the long run it brings us all great pleasure.
Your observations do corresponded to our design in the technology. We are quite different from all the dampening products on the market. Our products can move and release micro motion without absorption. All the products work in both directions, upward and downward independently. The acrylic we use was the item we found with the least signature for a reasonable price. There are some items in some systems that require a shelf. For those who can afford the extra expense ( $1100/ shelf for a 26 wide rack) our component stands added to a rack . The skeletal rack is our finest example of what we can accomplish in terms of music.
The newest of our designs is the stacking component stands rack or SCS. This was designed with a number of goals to accomplish.
#1 To bring the strength of our technology to a lower price range.
#2 Give customers a alternative performance wise, in cabinets and closets
#3 Increase the music per $ ratio
This rack is different from the ESS in total isolation per shelf. In our top of the line ESS rack. You get 64 planes of isolation per shelf. In the SCS you will get 16 to the bottom component (same as a component stands ) the next shelf will have the benefit of the 1st shelf technology so it will see 32 planes . The 3rd shelf will have 48 planes. This means the top shelf will always have the most isolation.
This modular buildable shelf structure is capable of being installed in the cabinet next to the fireplace. It will give the audiophile his desire for ultimate reproduction. It will also make the marital partner very happy still being out of sight. With some of the biggest book shelf speakers like the Harbeth and Escalante you can build you mono blocks into the bottom of a stacking rack and the speakers over the top of the amps.
We are always working on new ways to implement our technology. There will be a lot more coming from Stillpoints in audio and other arenas.
If you have acrylic shelves, but need an improvement, putting myrtle wood blocks under my preamp and phono and the shelf really improves the sound a lot. I haven't tried this with amps (weight?), but they are inexpensive.

Physical isolation.

Tbg, I don't believe Acrylic by itself is necessarily bad sounding. All materials have an inherent sound when used as a base, whether Corian, marble, granite, wood or MDF. The component base rack was a step up in their technology and was wider than the original. Also, the absence of any shelf material on the bigger rack probably played a role no matter what shelf material might have been there before.

I thought the original Stillpoints rack was the best isolation I had experienced with the original acrylic shelves, so I was taken aback at the improvement gained from switching to the stacked component base rack. As always, context plays the lead role in our preference and experience. Their OEM footers also made a permanent and positive difference under my MAXX 3's.
As with anything its best to try and compare when possible.

Shunyata Research
I understood, Grant. I must admit that I have a bias against acrylic but nevertheless think the StillPoints rack is outstanding. I found the OEM feet between my linestage and the acrylic shelf added greatly to the sound.
03-06-10: Tabl10s

Physical isolation.

Sorry to be so slow responding, I was at Axpona in Florida until late last night.

I have only the stock footers under the JL Audio subs. Probably would be a big upgrade with Stillpoints rather then the stock.

Forgive me if I missed it, but did you have the Apex footers on the GPA amp stands?

Yes, I had the GPA with 3/4" acrylic shelves and Apex footers. I understand the Carbon Fiber shelves are a nice upgrade over what I had, but I have not had an opportunity to try that.

When I got the GPA the amps were just sitting on the floor and the improvement was mind blowing. I did not think anything else could make it better and in all fairness, other systems might have produced completely different results.
Wanted to thank Roy and Samuel for their posts. I have been looking at various racks and ended up with the TOL StillPoints rack, partially due to their advice and because of previous blessing from using SPs and risers extensively in my syste I also have multiple sets of the Ultra SS footers coming in after hearing what they do under Wilson Sophia III speakers just recently, double wow. It is amazing how much warmth, detail, sweetness, hair-raising emotion,foot-tapping ect. is related to proper isolation. Thanks again Marc. System starts with 3 20A dedicated sockets. one each goes to 2 JL-113 subs. All cable is Shunyata with King Cobra cable feeding V-RayII. Anacondas and Pythons feed rest of system. Audio research LS-27pre and their DS-450 amp. Sources are Esoteric SA-50 SACD player & DAC combo along with their G-03X clock and Clear Audio Emotion turntable & MC cartridge. I have 2 Quantum qx-4s to test also with this system. Speaker cable is Transparent newest TOL and inter-connects are 2 notches from TOL.

Marc777, the same technology that is in the StillPoints Ultra SSs is in the new StillPoints Racks. It is a major improvement akin to that with the Ultras. As much as I like the SR MIGs, the SP Ultras are the best.
Tbg, saw on a thread you have some SP ultras. I recently put some under Wilson speakers and was double-wowed.I have some more coming in along with two sets of Symposium Rollerblocks with #3 balls. Where did you end up with your ultras placed and a little of why if you don't mind, it will be appreciated? Marc
Marc777, basically I now have them everywhere. They are considerably more expensive than the SR MIGs, which are second best IMHO, but so much better than anything else in my experience that I just had to buy them. This includes the Symposium Rollerblocks with the #3 balls. Check out the one review on the Ultra SSs.
GPA is coming out with a new series above the Monaco.
Thanks Tbg and Albert for feedback. i agree about rollerblocks, once zeroed in the roller blocks and balls where nice. The stillpoints ultras, though, were superior especially in midrange where the Symposium units had some glare and brightness. Will be selling Symposium stuff. i have ordered some inserts from Paul so i can test the ultras in different locations. Did you end up with the ultra points up or down on units? Have you tried them on a TT and /or speakers? Thanks again, marc
Marc777, it makes no difference up or down. On components I have the heads up; on the speakers down. On the amp and turntable, I mounted the Ultras on the top of SP Component Stands in the up position on the sliders. This gives two levels of their isolation, although that on the Component Stand is old technology.
Tbg, i have the ultras pointed up on components now. What i will be testing and was wondering if you had yet tried, is to see if having inserts coming out of units where previous footers were, will allow more vibration to be transferred from components facilitating better sound.PS i was told by Paul of SP when using ultras on speakers to tighten ultras to business card thickness between Wilson and SP body and to leave the hardhat loose, i plan to try same on units, just curious has anyone yet been down that particular road, thanks, marc
Best amp stand is Symposium with stealth top had many stands this is by far the best comes with adj copper spikes for leveling and best sound.
Ebm, on what basis do you claim the Symposium best? Perhaps in your personal opinion?
Had many stands in my opinion this is by far the best sounding and best made my thoughts only.
Tbg, I have been back and forth with Paul at Stillpoints and finally have tried every unit with inserts and hardhats down and without inserts and hardhats up. I have to agree with Paul's assessment that most sound better with inserts and hardhats down. The difference was small in some instances and fairly big in others. Thanks for your input. Ebm, whether the Symposium rack is the best is probably system dependent. But one thing I am certain of is the rack is just a starting point and not nearly enough. A rack does little to nothing to deal with vibration from air and, just as important if not more, does not deal with internally generated vibrations which have surprisingly been some of the most important.(amps, pre-amps, CDPs and TTs)
New Stillpoints stands on the way. These are the triple shelf model, 28" tall and 26" wide, two complete units.

Hope to have an idea about performance late next week or early the week after, before I fly out to cover Salon Son and Image show in Canada.