Amp for Green Mountain Europa

... Building a new system around the Europa's; also Discovery Essence IC's, Sony TA E86B preamp( to be replaced in time), Tyler Reference subwoofer.

Someone I trust strongly suggests 125-150 watt Edge or Blue Circle for amp. Soundstage, imaging, detail, power reserve are important, plus other common attributes of a higher quality power source.

~$2000 budget, new or used. What other amps should be on my short list to take advantage of the full potential of the speaker? I would also appreciate comments from those with experience with the Europa's and the two amp families mentioned.

I live where there is little or no access to audition finer gear so my decision will be made based on literature and on info gained from this sort of feedback. Thanks.
Have you asked the manufacture what they use and what they suggest?
Are there reviews and owners opinions at AR that you can read?
Is there a BB for owners of your speakers?
If there are speakers that use the same drivers see what they use also.
In the under $2000 price range you can get alot of great amps used.

Good luck!
Hi Wray - I think you'll be very happy with the Europa's. I love mine. They get better and better as they break in. Very musical and involving. But if you own them already I think I must be preaching to the choir. Anyway, I'm driving mine with a Mark Levinson 331 - 100 watts per channel dual mono amp. I use a Balanced audio technology vk5i preamp. The combination sounds dynamite to my ears. I think you would enjoy the levinson and I think used it may be in your price range. Plenty of power and more than happy with the 4ohm load!

Good luck - I hope you enjoy the europas as much as I enjoy mine.

- Scott

Your amp must be powerful! My 60wpc Vecteur Club Six wasn't enough and I blew a tweeter. I would go all tubes if I were you. If I had $2000 I would get the Manley Stingray. I think the GM would sound better with a powerful tube amp as opposed to solid state.

What kind of music do you listen to? I've used both tubes and solid state (and a hybrid integrated) with my Europa's, and each combo had its own strengths and weaknesses.

With tubes, the Europa's really conveyed a beautiful, smooth, sweet sound. Midrange was incredibly pure! But the bass was a little weak in my opinion, and a little on the mushy side. As a disclaimer, however, this might have been a characteristic of the tube amp (Jolida 502A) I was using.

With solid state amplification, the sound has been much more precise and "tight" (for lack of a better word), with crystal clear highs, and much better bass. Bass extends lower, and is noticeably tighter than my experience with tubes.

If bass is a priority to you, I would suggest sticking with solid state. I've used both the Audio Analogue Puccini SE and the Audio Refinement Complete with excellent results. Make no mistake, with the right amp, these speakers are capable of very good bass reproduction. If bass is not too important, I'm with Pete... Tubes really do make some sweet music with the Europa's.

I would e-mail Roy Johnson (the designer and owner of GMA), username Royj, and ask his opinion. He's been very helpful to me in the past with respect to choosing cables and equipment to match with the Europa's. Having said that, I've heard a lot of Blue Circle gear, and I imagine a Blue Circle tube amp would be an excellent match.

Best of luck! You are wise to build a system around such a top-notch set of speakers.

Hi guys-
As you listen to amplifiers, consider things that hide a lot of the differences:

off your eyeglasses
off your stereo gear (drape with a "poorly folded" bed quilt)
off a coffee table/footstool (move it- the quilt method won't help much)

Close your eyes!!!

Cables from the source component-
We recommend recent production from Audio Magic `cause we know they have that "special something"- I'm sure there are others, but at least with AM you cannot go wrong. Placed at the source, they do not inject any grunge, so that cannot develop into "distorted distortion" on down the line. If this happens with the AM, then suspect the next set of cables and even the speaker wires before you suspect your amp or preamp.

Listen late at night- after 3AM

Matching loudness' is tricky-
There are some (usually solid-state) amplifiers that have an "off/on" sound, which gives lame-sounding speakers a kick in the seat of the pants, but on ours or other good speakers, you will hear, after many recordings, that there are actually NO small dynamic nuances- listen to the overall sound on MANY recordings, without concentrating on any particular detail or aspect. Subconsciously, you will hear that problem via becoming bored. This may take a week.
There are amplifiers (and cables) which sound "soft" on some speakers ("laid back"). Heard on ours and other good speakers they are actually more dynamically graceful, with less overshoot and less "mechanical" sound. These nuances are plainly audible, especially when you are not even listening for them.
The finest amplifiers do not change in "gracefullness" or clarity when (A) the music becomes more complicated behind that first instrument or voice, (B) the performance becomes louder, or (C) you slowly turn up (down) the volume.

Power cords
They do change the personality of an amplifier- and I am not sure that one brand of cord (or power conditioner) is best. In fact, I AM sure that there is not ONE. So listen to many before you buy.
Any thoughts here guys?? This is one of the suckiest areas of audio... I'd really like to hear from their designers on WHY (or IF?) they think their power cords and conditioners should be "universally good".
I can dream can't I?

There are CDs we know where dynamic nuances can be glossed over- making the music boring.
There are others that can have a harsh sound- which is NOT in the recording.
We will have comments posted about those, and what to listen for, on our website (one reason it is taking longer to get it up and published- will advise).
In the first category, I recommend California Guitar Trio "Yamanashi Blues" CD and also Acoustic Sounds' "All-Star Percussion Ensemble" CD.
In the second category, I would recommend the Mercury re-issue CD of Morton Gould and Samuel Barber works, and also the DG-label of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra playing Prokofiev, Britten and Bizet (an out of print CD- go to orpheus chamber orchestra's website, and then do a search for it on both and at

Most recordings have peak-power flickers reaching many times the average levels, and that is one thing most cables screw up (the AM's do not). If those flickers are cleanly sent to the gear, then a preamp which fouls up just puts out "grunge", as it is having problems no matter where the volume control is set. A power amp on the other hand, especially the ones without high negative feedback, will start to "harden up" with just that one last click of the volume control. If it goes away when you turn it down that one click, then YOU WERE CLIPPING THE AMP, briefly.

For that reason, on our speakers we recommend at least 70Watts into 8 Ohms for a well-built tube amp (w/big power supply) and at least 120W/channel (8 Ohms) for solid-state amplifers (the Europa is an "easy" 4 Ohm load).
With that in mind, at average listening levels, you will rarely exceed 35Watts/ch PEAK (8 Ohms) on our products (89dB sens), but when you want to turn it up, you will eat up your headroom pretty quickly- hence the higher-power recommendation if you want to put the hammer down. You hear it because our drivers, unlike most out there, have very little dynamic compression (a function of drivers' thermal capacities, magnetic field focus, cone/dome rigidity, as well as the quality of crossover parts, and the simplicity of crossover circuit, and extreme time coherence).

This is why we recommend Edge and Blue Circle for solid state. And Manley and VAC for tubes- because they do everything correctly, musically. Are they the best? Who knows? But at least they are greatly satisfying, on every recording we have ever played. So you can buy one, forget about it and get on with listening to the tunes. And this would sum up, again, why we also recommend the AM cables, and the Birdland DAC. Because they make music.

And to Pete- I have used the Manley Sting Ray here a lot. I do not think it has QUITE enough power for your style of listening, but it is a gorgeous-sounding amp..

Best to all,
Roy Johnson
Green Mountain Audio

Hi Roy,

You know I like it LOUD! When that tweeter went I assure you that the amp was pegged.(<: I'm using a Jolida 1501RC(100 watts) now and it sound much better. I wish that I could afford a Stingray or the like. Maybe one day.

I heard that you have improved the crossover in the Europa's. Is mine a pre or post improvement?

Hello Roy,

Even tho your post (above) is in the "amp recommendation for Europa speakers" can we assume that the amps & cables recommended by you are applicable to all your speakers?
Or do you have some other amps & cable recommendations for your floor-standers?

Muse has been added to my list of prospective amps and I hope for additional comments.

I have really enjoyed your enlightening remarks. Thank you all.
Pete- you are "post-upgrade", and I say more about that in the Time Coherence thread- the very last post in it.

Bombaywalla- from what I have heard from those cables and amps, they are eminently suitable for all our speakers, and many people have the SAME reaction to them without using our speakers- very many people. Which to me indicates these products have attained a certain level of clarity, as opposed to people preferring them because of some kind of "synergy". And I forgot to add Analysis Plus wires are a really good value too- musical/proper tone balance for the most part. I am sure there are others- just hard to hear a lot here in Colorado (not exactly high-end country...)

Y`all have a good weekend!
Green Mountain Audio
Have you started to ship the Continuum 3's yet?

Any idea when the web site will be up?
FYI - Green Mountain Audio has a temporary site up at Interesting info!
Roy J is GOD! The Europas are the most musical, involving speaker I have ever encountered...the only thing that beats it is probably the higher end GMA products! That being said...I tend to lean towards solid state amp with tube of both worlds...happy listening people!

ALso...I use NORDOST spk cables and they are IMHO the most transparent wire I have heard yet...peace
Hi Phase,

I have my second pair of Europas coming tomorrow. I agree
100% about them. one ever told the Europa's
they were a small speaker. Don't give them a mirror! :o)
Was wondering "which" Nordost cable you like with them, as
I like nordost also...very tranparent & fast cable. Can't
afford the top of the line though....Red Dawn good enough?? SPM?? Blue Heaven??

I am using Purist Audio Colossus now, and like them, but
need a longer cable (6'now) as I am spinning the room around
again. Also thinking about the Audience 24's. Loved them
but with another speaker.
I bought the Edge M-8 amp and T-3 preamp (tube) and will receive speakers and electronics next week. If anyone is interested, I will report my impressions as I ease into ownership and setup. Thank you all for your help.

As I stated early on, I am setting up this new system having had no opportunity to listen to any of these pieces. I consider the process an entertaining experiment informed by the research I've done on this and like forums elsewhere.

My compliments to RJ at Green Mountain and to everyone else who contributes to these dynamic collective bodies of opinion and experience.

As a dealer for Green Mountain I would suggest one of the Belles Power Modules amps. We have been using the hybrid 250I with them and it is an amazing system. The Belles 150A Hot Rod mated with the Belles tube preamp also provides incredible performance. You can read a review of the Belles 350A amp used with Green Mountain speakers at Soundstage to get an idea of the presentation. Another excellent choice would be one of the solid state or tube amps from Consonance. The Consonance C-1(120watts) integrated driving the $7000 Lemniscus speakers was picked by Positive Feedback as one of the four best rooms at CES 2003. The Belles and Consonance amps like the Europas are overall highly musical and emotionally connect the listener to the music.They provide the "magic" that is missing in much of audio today.

I've tried two amps on the Europas, a VAC avatar and a Classe DR-9. Both work great...they are kinda a ying and yang of pedigree amp, the Classe giving a stronger (particularly bass), warmer (yes it's 'warmer' than the tubes) seemingly 'faster' presentation while the VAC has a smoother, more liquid, ambience.

Must first impression on hearing the speaker was "smooth" and the second was "clean". Great integration and transparency lets one really hear what behind the speakers.

Kudos to Roy at Green Mtn! Also to David Reich and Kevin Hayes for beautiful sound.

Peace be with you...
Dolphin- Temp homepage is up at our website.

Final production pix of the C-3 will be posted there late next week, as we will be shipping them by then.

Phasecorrect: I am not God- don't make that much money... but glad you like `em. Wait `till 1000 hours has elapsed.

Happy listening! May I recommend Etta James' Blue Gardenia CD?

Anyone have any concept of how best to deal with the idiots that pop up on Audio Asylum? I've tried a couple of times when related to GMA, but... (search "green mountain"-specific on the General Speakers forum) I don't know how anyone gets much useful info there. Oh well. Thank goodness for this asylum- Wrayray is right!

I might add that the Avatar sounds great in Triode mode with the Europas, literature says 27watts (whatever that really means).

Here is a good article on what makes a speaker tube friendly.

I believe the Europas with their nearly flat impedance chart would qualify as quite 'tube-friendly', even though most of it is at 4ohms. This has been my experience.

The europa sounds like the off-spring between a cone and a planar speaker.

"Mystery Lady" by Etta James is great too - as is most of her older stuff like "At Last".
Hi everyone. I have about 50 hours on my Europas. They are sounding great. I am using an Antique Sound Lads Twin Head MK II tube preamp and an Anthem MCA II power amp. However I have the new PS Audio PCA 2 preamp on the way and am in the market for a new power amp. Anyone have any Idea what the Edge amps are priced at? Thanks

Since you asked about Edge electronics, here is the link:

Hope that you have d-e-e-p pockets!!!! Prices are listed at the bottom of each page of most products.

BTW, I have GMA C1.5i 3-way floor-standing speakers. They are simply excellent. They didn't wow me I 1st played them but now they impress the heck out of me. I've had them just for 1 month so I'm not writing a review until I play w/ them some more.
Thanks for the link Bombaywalla. The Europas sounded good out of the box, but they did not really have that "wow" factor. Now, after 50 plus hours, I am amazed. I can't wait to hear what they sound like after 200 plus hours. I like them so much I am strongly considering the new C-3 for my main system.