They had display models only of those two. The Callisto and Contiuum 3 (in two rooms) were the only live demos as far as I know.
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I spent a lot of time with Roy in the Callisto room. He didn't play Europas for comparison, but my impression is that the Caliisto's are more "refined" (not sure how to explain that). I suspect they have more and slightly deeper bass, but hard to say for sure without a direct comparison. Apparently they will play louder. Also, the Callisto is now $2900 as the cost of raw materials for the cabinet has gone way up. I came to the show hoping that the Callisto would be the upgrade I'm looking for, but left feeling that it's probably not a big enough improvement to justify the expense.
I spent only a couple of minutes in GMA's Continuum room, but much longer in the Audio Magic room, which also had Continuums. Pretty great sound I thought, though I felt the system may have suffered from too much silver, which is Audio Magic's thing. Sounded a touch "cold".
The Calypso was nice looking in that odd, GMA way. The Pico line will have more traditional looks, thankfully.
I noticed on another thread that you said that you thought the Europas were perhaps a little unrefined for classical music.
That hasn't been my experience, but I do think that they are brutally honest about upstream equipment and recording quality.
I also agree that at $2900 the callisto has vaulted several price brackets, so it's going to be up against much stiffer competition than my $900 Europas. I'm afraid that price increases may kill GMA's customer base.
I think I agree with Opalchip. My guess is that GMA are moving from pricing based on a profit margin to pricing based on what the market will bear.
That's a fully justifiable decision for them to make. If they think $2900 Callistos will sell against their competition then good luck to them. It is every business' right to charge what the market will bear for a product regardless of the cost of production of that product.
I can say, however, that the chances that I trade up in from my Europas is now absolutely nill.
GMA is honoring the $2295 price until the release of their new website. This may be this weekend or as late as January, depending on what is posted first. I love my Callisto's, but I agree, I would have to demo many speakers in this price range before I made a purchase. At 2295, I could not find a better speaker for my small room.
I dont think the price jump will hurt so bad, I mean an amazeing speaker is still just as good for $600 more, and this happens all the time, Loyd at Walker had to put a huge jump in his prices to get Audio idiots to pay attention.
The ultra high brow Audiophooles are to blame, they wont buy equipment if it is cheap, so screw it raise prices.
Just a quick note to say that IMO Tlday's phrasing is very interesting as it describes HIS experience in a revelatory way and THIS experience is intriguing:
Tlday's description would seem to indicate that either the speakers OR the amp OR both, were inadequately driven -- RATHER than the spkrs themselves are badly badly designed.
Now, this would be very strange given that at an audio fest the manufacturer himself chooses the partnering equip -- but there it is...
What is impressive in a short-term show setting is probably deep bass and treble extension. What will be enchanting over a long relationship has little to do with these qualities though. In fact, deep bass might be overbearing long term, and what tickled your fancy with sparkling treble might end up being bright, analytical, unnatural.
So, a brief, unspectacular audition COULD mean the speaker is well balanced and doesn't highlight the audiohead touchstones. My Zu speakers are this way. Until the room is quiet and you can pay attention, they don't jump up and demand attention. But when proper focus is given, it is rewarded.
Why would I inquire about the model of the speaker that was unimpressive? We listened, and then moved on. I was expecting a great sound, based on previous postings. I did not hear it. Hearing and taste are personal. It did nothing for me.
By the way I forgot to add the Zu speakers as also impressive.
I can understand Tlday's response - I doubt Europas will impress anyone on first listen unless conditions are appropriate.
I bought my Europa's used, having not listened to them previously. I did so based on all of the raves on this site and elsewhere.
On first listen I would say my reaction was the same as Tlday's - unimpressive. Actually, I was a little dissapointed. That was after one or two cd's; however, I played on, and shortly began to hear things I hadn't before. I also had to tweak the placement and they got better. I read more more of the discussions here - especially regarding break-in, and even though mine were used, they had less than 100 hrs on them. Long story short, I played on and as they burned in (I would say about 300 hrs) they lived up to the hype.
For the money they can't be beat. Some recordings they treat rudely, but more often on most recordings they will blow you away.
Bd, I'm glad to hear you're happy with the Europas, I had exactly the opposite "first impression" with the Europas... I home demo'd a pair from a dealer and I placed them on top of my Totem Forests, no special s/u and from the first listen I knew they were something special. After I switched the speaker cables back and forth several times, it just confirmed my first impression.
Regarding Tlday's comments about his impressions, not really a big deal or suprise, some people just aren't ready for the 1st order time aligned sound, I think it can catch folks off guard if not prepared to appreciate it, kind of like what you experienced. On the other hand, everyone has their own likes/dislikes.