Chris...after an exhaustive search that included too many brands to mention...I have found sonic nirvana with the Europas...and as Roy from GMA likes to profess...the sound of a phasecorrect speaker is ONE coherent sound...not two drivers out of phase...at any rate...one could use standard phrases like soundstaging,transparency,etc...but the key area the GMAs excel in is musical INVOLVEMENT...they transport one right into the performance...they are a bit unforgiving of poor recordings(ie. uncolored)...and obiviously one doesnt expect 20hz bass from a monitor...but they do not sound thin...they also require a listening distance of 8-10 ft which means they are not a great choice for near field listening...in my 20 x 16 room they sound HUGE...I am using NAD power and a cheap Sony cd/sacd and it sounds great...
I must point that we hear the Europas reveal poor cables (interconnects), which too often make a sound (a grunge if you will) all of us interpret as poor recordings or poor CD players. With the finer interconnects, you would hear that the Europas are not too hard at all on poor recordings. Even while using $1/foot 12ga speaker wire.
Poor cables we find, also color our judgement of exactly how quick and clean and subtle any amplifier is.
Please note that the 8-10 feet is wrong, as Europas can be enjoyed fully at 5 feet away (ear level = woofer center) to as far away as 30+ feet (ear level = slightly above tweeter's dome). One could also tilt them back/forth a little to fine tune. Use audience applause as the fastest/first test.
This info on ear height vs. speaker height is in our manuals (Phasecorrect- if you need a new copy, just holler).
Any 10-12foot rating applies only to 3-way first-order speakers (if the drivers are fixed in position), as that is probably a designer's focal point for average rooms for sofa height... You cannot raise or tilt that cabinet to make those three+ fixed drivers all lie upon another, different radius arc. We can however, can come close enough when moving/adjusting a two-way.
Best regards and happy holidays,
Green Mountain Audio
Chris - I have posted my impressions here on other europa related posts - but in a few words - my thoughts are clear, articulate, transparent, involving, great soundstaging, tight bass, nice extended airy top end without being harsh, amazingly coherent. The timing of my music has changed a bit, for the better, and I think its because of how well integrated they are. I hear things I used to miss with other speakers (and I had a pair of very very well respected electrostatic hybrids before these). I use a levinson 331 amp with them. I don't feel they fall short in any way. Give them a listen - I'm sure you will be glad you did.
Come on now guys, these things HAVE to have limited SPL's right?
I'm running the Europas with a 30 watt/channel hybrid amp with excellent results. The amp has more than enough power for the Europas. Honestly after listening to many monitors I can detect no weaknesses with the Europas. Their low level detail, transparency and soundstaging are unsurpassed in my opinion. They can play very loudly and at the same time retain all their musicality at very low levels which many speakers cannot do. I've tried several cables recently and in each instance could very easily hear differences between the cables. They are not a warm sounding speaker however they are very fast and live sounding and do an incredible job of bringing the musical event to the listener. They play all types of music well even though they do not have deep bass. The bass they do have is very tight and detailed and I have them supplemented by a rel sub. If I had to point out any weakness it would be the long break in time. These speakers need at least 200 hours to sound their best. They improve tremendously from about 100 hours to 200 hours. Also, Roy the owner is a pleasure to deal with.
I won't bother repeating what the posters above have said, but I will say that I agree completely. They are, IMO, a very rare bargain.
I narrowed my selection down to three: the Sonus Faber Concerto, Revel M20, and the GMA Europas. I auditioned the SF's and the M20's, then decided to give the Europas a try (at less than 1/2 the price). They won hands down, although I still hold the other two in very high regard. Something else that I find rare about the Europas is that you can find them in solid but modest systems like mine (which is very similar to Phasecorrect's) and also in very expensive, truly high end systems such as Tennisjunky's (I think that's the system I'm thinking of). This in itself speaks to the value that these speakers represent.
Where do they fall short? Some are not as fond of their appearance, although I actually like it. They are probably best suited for modern tastes. I like the way they look because they are not the same old wooden boxes. Another drawback (although it is also a BIG strength) is their weight. They are around 45lbs, and require either a very sturdy shelf or preferably a nice set of stands.
As others have already said, Roy is a pleasure to do business with, an added bonus. At this price point you won't find better service and advice.
I'm glad you mentioned the 100-200 hour time frame improvement. I am at the 100 hour mark right now.
I have had my Europas for about a month and am very happy with them. I would say that they are fast, lively, with good detail, transparency and soundstaging. My system consists of Jolida JD100, Foreplay, KR Audio Antares (12 watts/channel) and Cardas Neutral Reference speaker cables.
I also have a Jolida 102B (EL84 tubes) which when inserted into the system results is a more fuller and warmer sound, however, I still prefer the more detailed sound of the Antares.
Does anyone know what drivers they are using in these speakers?
Thanks guys. I had the opportunity to talk to Roy a few days ago and he was very helpful and a pleasure to talk with. I have a Conrad Johnson integrated 45 watt tube amp. Based on your comments, it sounds like I have enough power though I will still bring the amp to the dealers when I listen.
Do any of you guys know Anthony Perrotta? He is a GMA dealer in Brewster New York.
From what they show, it would appear that they are using sand cast resistors, and Solen caps. If so, I would think that some simple upgrades in the speaker's crossover parts might make it sound even better. I am not so sure that the coils are an issue, but you might want to alagator clip in some Alhpa coils just to see if there is an improvement using them. I'd certainly want to Change out the tweeter caps with AuriCaps, the woofer coil with an Alpha Core, and all the resistors with Mills, if not all the caps with AuriCaps, all the coils with Alpha Core, and all the resistors with Mills. OTOH I'd not destroy anything, in the process, sometimes inexpensive coils are used because they have higher resistance, to keep the rest of the circuit simpler, but I'd still have to try some upgrades becasue they could make a great speaker awesome, or an awesome speaker, more so.
I have purchased three pairs of speakers in the past two years from Anthony, including the Europas.He is easy to deal with and carries an extensive range of products.
Well what can I say that has not been said before
dozens of times already? They Europas are fantastic
and it sort of ticks me off as it has taken some of
fun out of trying new speakers. I am now convinced as
I am looking for a new speaker to try. But every time
I listen to the Europas I know GM sound is the only
sound I can probably live with at this point. I am
thinking on ordering a pair of C-3's or adding a
sub or two to the Europas!!?? Don't know which would
be the better move.
Darn you Roy! :o)
They use a 6 inch aurasound paper composite woofer and 1 inch morel soft dome tweeter.
Hello Tcbannon I also own the Europas. They are powered by a Adcom 535 MKII 60 wpc and a Dared SL-2000a tube preamp.I concur with the other posters these speakers have no real signature of their own. You can make them sound the way you want ..just by changing something up stream.They don't have gut punching bass but give you the pitch and definition of the instruments like no other speaker I have heard..of course I haven't heard them all.They seem to do this without being clinical.In one word ..Real is the only way to describe them.
Good Luck with the hunt!
Tc, I use the Europa's powered by a modified citation 24 power amp(100wpc)and a straight line pre-amp. They replaced ADS L-1290's in my system. I have heard many speakers over the years both as a consumer as well as a high end audio salesman. In my opinion, the Europa's do human voice as well as anything I have heard. I think thats the key to these speakers. Voice range. The top end is smooth and silky, and the bass is fast and well defined(down to 40-45hz) but the midrange these things produce is simply breathtaking. I have a friend here that listens to live, unamplified music 6 nights/week, and he says these speakers sound better than ANYthing he has heard....ever. And thats the point. The Europa's SOUND like MUSIC. Not like a recording of music. Does that make sense? Put on any live recording.......or any recording with a lot going on in it. You'll very quickly hear why these speakers are so highly touted. Imaging is top notch. I find myself listening to(and really enjoying) music that I never thought I would listen to since purchasing these speakers. I just didn't "connect" with the performance. I think thats the time/phase thing in a real world application. The ADS's were no slouch. But the Europa's made them sound boxy, slow, and to a point, unintelligable. I know the designer(Roy Johnson of GMA) well. Worked with him for a couple of years. Thats not why I bought the speakers. I bought them because they were better than anything I heard under $3K. Roy is one of the true good guys in the audio world. He validates that opinion each and everytime we speak on the phone. I'm honered to call him my friend, but make no mistake. I'm not recommending the Europa's based upon friendship with the designer. I'm recommending them based upon sound. Give him a call. Listen to the product. Make up your own mind. Fair enough?
Dale great post...like you stated...a quality recording "with alot going on" is really where the Europas excel...where other speakers can so flat and congested...the Europas have the ability to pick the best bits out
CHris...with your CJ amp and Europas...be prepared to have a sonic orgasm...and maybe a real one to boot! happy holidays...
Hi Tcbannon, Don't hesitate to get in touch with Anthony Perrotta in Brewster, NY, who will be a Connecticut yankee in Bethel next year. I have had a pleasant email communication with him. If it is not an imposition on your listening plans, please let me know if you would allow a fellow listener when you take your amp to audition the Europa's. Regards, Joel of Danbury, CT.
Thanks for the comments and compliments guys!
Lou- the parts we use are stated on our miniscule website, and as Tennis Junky said- an Aurasound woofer (not fancy looking- resembles an old ADS woofer), a Morel dome, a SonicCap capacitor for the tweeter and a Solen Litz-wire inductor for the woofer. There are a couple of high-voltage Solens in the drivers' voice-coil Zobel networks. That's it. And yes- resistors are high-power, non-inductive wirewounds in ceramic blocks.
These parts produce the best sound for our purposes. We have tried all the other parts you mentioned and more. While excellent choices, they had sonic flavors I could not balance against the rest of the variables in the Europa. We also keep listening, to take advantage of "better" parts asap.
Thanks again for all the feedback. Keep on listening!
Green Mountain Audio
Lou- the "ultimate SPL" really depends on the music. At ten feet away, on highly compressed rock, you would not want to exceed ~98dB (midband energies) on an average-reading SPL meter like Radio Shack's- so you don't burn them up.
Yet on the very best recordings, we have measured 105dB+ peak SPL on voice, piano, horns, snare drum whacks, picked notes on electric guitar and banjo, on decent peak-storing digital SPL meters. This was at 11-12 feet away in stereo, right at the transition from nearfield to farfield acoustics, in a moderately-dead room with a 9 foot suspended ceiling and cement slab floor under office carpet.
There was no apparent distortion, time and again, with professional classical musicians listening. Since our altitude is 6500 feet, that 105+dB becomes 108+dB at sea level. We also also talking about these peaks as being brief flickers of un-clipped, non-slew-rate-limited high power, and not the sustained notes from electric-guitar solos. We need 200W+ (8 Ohms) here to safely do this, and so at sea level, that would be an amp with 120W/channel (8 Ohm rating)- the Europa is a 4 Ohm speaker. And if you do that all afternoon- you'll soon need new tweeter diaphragms.
Of course, race your sports car- you'll buy new tires and race again!
Am I advocating high power for the Europas? No- just telling you the benefits. I have been plenty pleased spending most of the time well under 20W (8 Ohm) peak- as do most owners.
The point is to make a speaker that can deal with any music you want to play, with any recording quality, and which works well with most any electronics without exaggerating (distorting) their distortions.
Joel - I will let you know if I am able to get up there for a demo. I live in Virginia now but my family are all in Waterbury, CT. I drive through Brewster on my way to visit them and want to arrange a trip to see them (and the Europas). I talked with Anthony on the phone the other day and he seams like a nice guy to do business with.
Everyone - thanks for all the advice.
Roy - I get the impression that these folks like your speakers ;)
Best standmount I have heard, and the best bargin in audio.
Run, do not walk to your nearest dealer. Rest of system....
Audio Refinement Complete amp and CDP
Scott Nixon tube dac with power supply and a Amperex 6DJ8 orange globe (Holland)
Carver Knight Shadow sub
Luminous LSS ICs and Luminous Allegro Digital IC
By far the least expensive system I have owned in the last fifteen years and by far the best sounding.
Dennisj I have experienced the same thing.Having owned 8K to 10K in audio gear at one time or another.This inexpensive system stomps a mud hole in it ...for pure musical enjoyment.Thats the only thing that truley matters to me.This will be the last standmount I buy..until Roy comes out with a new one!! I would really like to hear the floor standing models but the closest dealer is 250 miles away.After the eye and ear opening experience with the Europas...I wouldn't think twice about buying a floor standing model unheard!
Has anyone compared these to earlier 1996 or so Diamante II's which I'm looking at....oh heck maybe I'll buy one of each.....
Thanks for the reply. I have debated responding to this, because I figure there is no point. Be that as it may;
"Lou- the parts we use are stated on our miniscule website, and as Tennis Junky said- an Aurasound woofer (not fancy looking- resembles an old ADS woofer), a Morel dome, a SonicCap capacitor for the tweeter and a Solen Litz-wire inductor for the woofer. There are a couple of high-voltage Solens in the drivers' voice-coil Zobel networks. That's it. And yes- resistors are high-power, non-inductive wirewounds in ceramic blocks."
I admit, I have not listened to every ceramic block encased ww resister made, but I have yet to find one I would allow to be in my signal path. I even swaped out the 1 ohm carbon resistors in the non-stasis portion of my stasis amp with .66 5 watt mills, and did a 1 ohm carbon for 1 ohm 5 watt mill swap in the stasis section, so I guess I am just anal.
"These parts produce the best sound for our purposes. We have tried all the other parts you mentioned and more. While excellent choices, they had sonic flavors I could not balance against the rest of the variables in the Europa."
Caps are one thing, but if, and I stress if here, those resistors are in the signal path, and the oem types sound better there, I'd be real worried, cause something HAS to be wrong, IME/O.
Other than that, I do thank you, I am sure your speakers are a great deal.
I may be late to this thread, but here goes...
I've owned the Europas for over a year now. Remarkable speaker. I've used them with monoblock CJ MV-75s (mod'ed by their designer, Bill Thalmann), a CJ Prem 11A, and an Odyssey Stratos. All work just fine. I always like to have more power than too little but even the 70wpc of the single Prem 11A works fine. For the front end I use a CJ PV-12A with various tubes, an Audio Alchemy DDS Pro transport, various DACs and cabling.
The Europas always sound great no matter what I use, though I generally prefer tube gear. I had them set up in a room with initial placement calculated using Cardas's formulas. I listen nearfield in an equilateral triangle arrangement with the speakers nearly pointing directly at the listener. What I've found most important is getting the tweeters at or below ear level. Once your ears are above tweeter level game's over.
Again, remarkable speaker. The only thing I'd want is deeper bass extension.
Thanks for the comments guys!
M2500tvr- contact me about your layout, or request a new copy via e-mail of the Europa manual. The speakers are too far apart, unless there is something about your room we should discuss (I know we've spoken). Try the "equal-legged Tee" layout (10% narrower than an equilateral triangle) discussed in the manual. Then listen to audience applause to hear the most time-coherent axis. It ranges from being at ~the dome tweeter's down to the woofer's center, depending on how close you sit. This is in the manual, and we are urging all owners to contact us for the latest manual, to make sure they have no typos in theirs for this listening height. But the audience-applause test is best (quickest), as applause is half woofer/half tweeter. When the two drivers come into minimum phase, you can easily hear fat hands, flat hands, small hands, cupped hands... Crosby, Stills, N, Y "Four-way Street", "Jazz at the Pawn Shop", Patricia Barber "Companion (?)- her live album". Close your eyes and remove eyeglasses to hear this the clearest.
I am getting much more low end, and more accurate low end, with some new interconnects that have finally reached 400 hours. Didn't think it would be possible to get substantially better bass from Europas, after trying more equipment and cables and sources and recordings than you care to count.
Keep in touch! Thanks again to everyone for their kind comments.
Green Mountain Audio
PS: Lou, we did try the best Mills resistors in place of the wirewounds we use, and the sound was just noticably less grainy, a little more precise- on any equipment.
However, the increased costs of inventory would have driven up the price of the limited number of Europas we can make each year. We need to stock more than 100 each in 40 values, to have enough every month to match into pairs. You'd have to hear the difference side-by-side to tell. It is not a jump up & down thing.
Lou, by "OEM resistors", do you mean the unbranded ones from overseas- ewww... no way. We know who makes ours, and for how long they have, and what their tolerances are year after year, and the materials used. They are quite good.
It's not surprising you've heard differences in resistors, and the amount of difference depends, as you'd expect, on where they are used (amp, speaker, etc) and how employed, as well as how they are made/who makes them.
Hopefully, we'll see more advances in low-noise, high-power audio resistors, in the same manner as capacitors have evolved. The ones in flat-packs requiring heatsinks are not worth the extra cost for our simple crossovers, but, cost be damned- I'll likely be working with them on our flagship unless I can eliminate the need for them.
Is it true that you're rasing the prices of the Europas?......