The popularity of direct-drive turntables which would support the direct connection of the record platter to the motor has steadily declined among users who prefer analog audio in favor of belt-driven systems. However, Grand Prix Audio is looking to give direct-drive turntables a great comeback with their new creation, the Parabolica, which made its debut just a few weeks ago at the Los Angeles Audio Show.
Named after the big steep turn at Italy’s Legendary Monza circuit, the Parabolica is Grand Prix Audio’s latest attempt to merge racing car power and accuracy with the detail and precision that a turntable would require. The design of the Parabolica looks almost similar to that of the previous model by Grand Prix Audio, the Monaco 2.0. However, this new model borrows a few materials and manufacturing processes from the creators of supercars, and its chassis features a carbon fiber structural skin design that provides both resonance damping and extra rigidity while also giving the turntable that unique race car sheen.
Its base is capable of supporting a 13-pound aluminum platter which is driven by a brushless DC motor. The Parabolica is expected to approach the speedy milestones of the Monaco 2.0 despite the fact that it has opted for an internal speed controller rather than external speed box, thanks to some new specific design choices by Grand Prix Audio.
Unlike the Monaco 2.0, the electronics of the Parabolica have all been contained within its body thereby saving the cost of the Monaco’s separate speed control. This new design by the manufacturer solves some major challenges that were faced by previous turntable models. It features a drive system that is capable of maintaining speed correctly and the design also eliminates the mechanical noise of the drive system itself. One significant advantage of using a direct-drive turntable is that the system is more than capable of continually updating the motor with information concerning the accuracy of its speed. The Parabolica is capable of taking measurements at almost 150,000 times on a single revolution of the platter, thereby allowing the motor to make adjustments in real time.
The bearing of the Parabolica is factory sealed and mechanically separated from the drive system and works in collaboration with the carbon fiber chassis design so as to properly isolate the resonance which is produced by the motor resulting in a very quiet and very stable drive system that never interferes with the sound.
The Parabolica also features quick release arm boards that are easily removable and make the swapping out of tone arms fast and straightforward. The turntable currently retails at approximately $16,500, and even though its purchase does not come with a tone arm, Grand Prix Audio has custom-built an arm board that is capable of fitting any type of tonearm that a buyer would wish to include into the Parabolica. The interesting inclusion of capacitive touch sensors into the turntable will also mean that there would be no traditional buttons to push and users would only be required to tap the sensor and spin records.
The Parabolica became available for purchase early last month and could be brought from select dealers in the Western United States. For more great vinyl related topics take a look a Premier Records’ best turntable stand post.