Just bought a pair of GMA continuum 1s...

Hey everyone,

I just bought a pair of continuum 1s off of eBay in great shape. I have been looking at GMA speakers for over a year. I've been mostly focusing on used Europas as that is my price range.

Looking for the best sound I could get on a limited budget, I put together a high end headphone setup about 8 months ago. Well, I felt the need to change and thought it would be fun to jump back into the speaker realm.

Anywho, I just bought these for $600 plus another $200 for shipping. Based on what I have read, I think I did pretty well here... but I figured I would run it by the pros just to make sure.
Good deal or no?
Thank you for becoming an Owner! You will be greatly surprised at the performance. You got a great deal in my opinion!

Please have your seller contact us for proper packing and shipping. New foam grilles for the upper cast-marble modules are available from us, as well as a copy of the original Owner's Guide, necessary to adjusting the module for best sound.

Let me know if any difficulties are encountered! Your seller is apparently in Denver, and our factory is only about an hour south, fyi.

Best regards,
Roy Johnson
Green Mountain Audio
Hi Roy,

I'll relay the message. Thanks for the response!

I talked to you for quite a while about a year ago. You were very clear, informative, down to earth... this spoke loudly about your genuine passion for your art (something of a rare quality), which in turn peaked my interest in GMA. Keep up the good work.

So, the seller said he was going to ship the speakers in 4 separate boxes, all well-packed (2 for base, 2 for midrange/tweeter). Does this sound adequate?

Just out of curiosity, how do these speakers compare with your also discontinued Europas?

Thank you for the kind remarks.

If your C-1's are to be shipped in their four original cartons, know that since they were originally shipped by truck freight strapped to one pallet, those packing materials will not protect against UPS or FedEx Ground... please have someone contact me for suggestions on double boxing if they are using UPS or Fed Ex Ground, thanks.

The C-1's are a three-way design of which I am still immensely proud. They are far better than Europas from bass to treble. Expect much more clarity, low bass and dynamic subtlety!

Best regards,
Roy Johnson
Green Mountain Audio
I'm excited.

I suggested to the seller that he/she contact you prior to shipping. Thanks for the help.

I have a question about my amp. I have a very nice headphone amp right now... which does me no good for speakers. My only amp for the time being is an integrated 50wpc Pioneer that is somewhere around 10-15 years old.

I know this is far from ideal. Is there any reason I shouldn't use this in the meantime before I pickup a better amp? I guess my main thought is that maybe it will under-power the woofers which, in turn, may generate heat and damage the drivers. I thought I heard that this can happen, but I'm not sure to be honest. What do you think?

I will not be pushing these speakers to extremely high SPLs (I'm more of a quiet-to-moderate listener) so hopefully my amp will stay reasonably low on the distortion curve.

I used to push a pair of Paradigm Atoms with it and they sounded surprisingly good... and the Atoms are rated as having about the same efficiency as the C1s... so I'm hopeful that my little Pioneer will tow the line until funds allow an upgrade.
The Pioneer amp will be fine. The speakers are an easy load for any amp, and the Pioneer has enough power to play quite loud. I doubt you will hurt it.

The quality of the source, that is, the CD player and the interconnects hooked to it, matter more than your amplifier, so always upgrade those first.

Best regards,
Roy Johnson
Green Mountain Audio
GMAs have sounded great everytime I have heard them. Always one problem- WAF ,says they don't look Victorian!
you are going to fall in love with those speakers !! Make sure
you follow Royi set up guidelines and the images will captivate you in a 3-Dimensional way ( that you didn't know existed).I really love my Calypso's and think that they speak in a very special way.Hope this helps and welcome aboard! Cheers Dennis
I will add my 'welcome to GMA club' salutation! :-)
Like Royj I feel that you got an incredible deal! I think that you will enjoy listening to these speakers immensely - they are "organic", real, vibrant & immediate in their sound. These speakers should involve you & bring out the emotion in the music. I personally feel that Green Mtn Audio makes the best cone-driver speakers in the market.
Additionally, you will find that dealing with Roy will be a pleasure - he is a fine gentleman, always very helpful re. shipping, re. tweaks, re. setup, re. diagnosing any issues you might in your setup & is very passionate about building speakers that sound right.
It's good to hear all the positive input! This is the result of much research into different options and opinions.

Roy, my amp is the weakest link in my chain, so it's good to hear that you put a bit more weight on the upstream components.

I have an Audio Mirror NOS DAC that sounds very nice, Jellyfish power cables and blue jeans interconnects and speaker wire. Not 'SOTA' stuff, but sounds good to me with my headphone setup.

On that note, it will be interesting to compare my headphones (AKG K701 w/ APSv3 cable) with the C1s. It will be tough to beat the clarity and accuracy, but I'm not looking for a 1-up on those attributes. K701s are great, but a bit harsh on the high end at times, and a bit lacking on the low-end. Being tethered to your sound system can feel a bit limiting as well.

Plus, I heard that well designed speakers image much better than headphones. I can't judge whether this is true yet or not because my listening awareness just wasn't in an 'audiophile' realm until fairly recently in my life. K701s are known for a deep soundstage, but it seems to only really stretch out on a select number of recordings... often times I still feel like everything is very close to me, which can be a bit confining / tiring.

Also, there is something to be said about experiencing music with good company at times... which obviously doesn't happen with headphones.

Anywho, thanks again and take care all.
We appreciate everyone's support, thank you all!

Do let me know what you hear, and do consult the speaker's Owner's Guide to obtain the best sound.

Best regards,
Roy Johnson
Green Mountain Audio

These speakers are beautiful. This is the most balanced, lucid sound I've ever heard. My Pioneer 50wpc integrated sits at about 9:30 usually... so efficient. I can play them quite soft as well while still maintaining a clear image.

About the owners guide - I actually don't have it, but I read the one posted on your website for the GMA continuum 3's.

My room now is a bit small... it's under 8 feet wide. I brought the speakers out about 2 and a half feet from the back wall and separated them by 5 feet. I sit about 5-6 feet back... this sounds great to me.

Hello, Tejay

I'm glad you love the sound! Thank you for the kind words. They do look pretty cool in person, don't they? I'm also glad your Pioneer sounds fine on them.

I have sent you a copy of the original C-1 Owner's Guide.

I answer a lot of questions regarding the soundstage one should hear. With the speakers set up as in the Owner' Guide, very occasionally you will hear sounds to the far left and right of you- they have to be in the recording.

Specifically, Roger Waters used phase-cancellation tricks between your two ears, on his album Amused to Death, to place a barking dog directly to your left? side, through an open door ten feet away, 20 feet down a long hallway.

Overhead sounds can be heard on Chesky-label's Clark Terry Live at the Village Gate. During the spoken introduction between the first and second songs, you can hear what sounds like a very large party, up and over a high wall a little outboard of the left speaker and at least ten feet behind the speaker. You can look right up at that sound as in real life, and it does not vary as you move your head. We can even hear it up-and-over-there when not seated in the middle. It sounds like a bachelor party over that wall.

Such a height-event is happenstance, a by-product of mic placement(s) versus the sound source and its distance to the mic(s)- three variables, so height cannot be predicted ahead of time by the recording engineer.

The Clark Terry recording was made using a single stereo ribbon microphone, which lets you hear the sax player walk up to the mic as he slides into his solo, then fall back about eight feet. You can hear the drummer always back about 8-10 feet.

All of these locations are audible because simple microphone techniques captured some of the sound of the acoustic space in which the artists played. Our speakers let you hear that space, that distance, if it is on the recording. This is because space to a microphone is simply 'distance' with no angle. We get only one dimension from one microphone, which is 'depth.' Two microphones = stereo, and hopefully two similar images of the same 'depth', such as on the older classical and jazz recordings.

Distance and echoes occur in time after hearing the 'direct sound' from the artist(s). Our speakers preserve the timing on all sounds from low to high, so that a tweeter's too-soon arrival does not push its range of sounds towards you (one example). Which sounds like height for reasons I do not know.

Multiple microphones on the same sound-source confuse the depth of image, because there are now two or more of everything, which also do not sound 'the same' at those different angles and/or distances.

To hear natural studio/small-nightclub imaging, try older jazz records from the Blue Note, ECM, and Verve record labels- just the regular CDs are fine. Some of the echo may be fake, generated by an EMT Echo Plate or Capitol Records' echo chambers, but still sounds natural. Try some of the old Mercury Living Presence and RCA Living Stereo classical CDs, where only the natural ambiance was captured. All were recorded with only a few microphones.

Reminder: To hear the best imaging (and most enjoy the music) take off eyeglasses and close your eyes. It takes about 30 seconds for the visual part of your brain to relax, to then be used for localization of what the ears hear. You find your eyes moving behind closed eyelids, watching the performers.

Note on our speakers how steady, sharp, and real those images are in space, regardless of their tonality, timbre, loudness, or the complexity of other sounds around. If you hear shifts in location, it is not our speakers, assuming you have the midrange and tweeter modules properly aligned (see Owner's Guide).

Maximum depth of image I have heard is upwards of 50 feet way, behind the speakers. I don't think there is an upper limit to that distance. There is a true reference recording for such imaging (and with breathtaking dynamics): http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo.asp?number=GSDX002 Major talent on this disc, not 'audiophile-grade' artists, but ones truly world class. Originally an analog recording done on reel to reel in 1981.

On that recording and many others you will hear the precision and placement from left-to-right and front-to-rear, out there in front of you, sometimes with the performers standing outboard of the left and right speakers from 5 to 15 degrees. This happens even on rock and pop recordings, at least with our speakers. On rare occasion, I can hear the concert hall wrap around me- usually on a classical piece. It has to be a really good listening room at that point, with great gear and a very quiet background.

Speakers limit the accuracy of such imaging when they are not time coherent between woofer, mid, and tweeter. In fact, almost of what you read about images floating up above speakers is the audible result of tweeters that are `way out of phase with their midrange drivers, possibly with a polarity reversal too! I write about this on our website- http://www.greenmountainaudio.com/recorded-sound/

For whatever reason, we interpret that phase shift/timing smear as height- and any listener can point directly to that image up there (usually reported on violins and high voices = tweeter time-coherence problem).

That height, though, is not in the recording, because microphones do not know 'height', but only distance without any direction attached, exactly like listening through a hole in a wooden fence. Since that height is an indicator of a lack of tweeter time-coherence with the mid, then that speaker also distorts aggressive rock recordings enough to make women leave the room-- the common excuse by the man is "these speakers are too revealing!" Bull.

Hearing the best imaging leads directly to hearing the most music. With careful setup, you are not too close to these speakers in your present setup. Have fun!

Best regards,
Roy Johnson
Green Mountain Audio