Nearfield vs. Ambient sound

After moving from a 10 x 15 room into a 21 x 17 one I realized my criteria for coherent sound had dramatically been altered. My Quad 12Ls which performed so flawlessly in a near-field set-up were being challenged by sheer square footage. In a "reference" application with a listening distance of 5ft they provided a hyper-detailed, imaging galore my new enviroment...their forward presentation at a distance of 10ft cames across as very flat and uninvolving. I longed for a more spatial, ambient sound that projected more into the room in a 3D manner. The test: Green Mountain Europas. After reading Roy Johnson's many posts on this site regarding time/phase issues and his phase coherent designs, I had to find out if he was A)full of himself or B)really knew what "time it is" regarding speaker design. Happily, the latter is true. The Europas presented a much more full-bodied, sonic experience...with a soundstage that literally wraps around you...and eery 3-d imaging that is almost "reach out and touch" like in appearance...remembering that phase correct designs are at their best at a 8-10ft listening distance (due to first order crossover/driver overlap)...(and thus a poor choice for nearfield applications)...I was pleasantly surprised to find the answer to my image that is extremely coherent, large, and very "live" sounding...not to mention non-fatiguing....the Europas are a pleasant surprise in the otherwise homogenous monitor world...they are a must audition...
A side note: I spent a couple hours chatting with Roy on the horn and he is truly a very intelligent, charming, and down-to-earth righteous dude! Although the Europas will not win any beauty pagents...they are a true GIANT KILLER in a market of over-hyped and overpriced fare...thanks Roy!
Phasecorrect... I completely agree with your impressions of the GMA Europa! I have them set up in a fairly large room where the listening position is about 9.5 feet, and the speakers sound fantastic. Everything from the imaging to the reproduction of instruments/vocals is dead-on precise. There might be some slightly more musical speakers out there, but when it comes to precision and detail, I've been really impressed with the Europa's.

As you mention, another bonus with Green Mountain is the fantastic customer support. Roy is a great guy to talk to, and is always ready with helpful suggestions on everything from cabling to hardware. Not to mention the most thorough and informative user manual I have ever seen for a set of speakers! Setting up the speakers and my room per Roy's recommendations really snapped everything into place perfectly.

Enjoy the speakers! I know I am!


I also have the Europa's
and they are fantastic even in my 20x20x12 room. I
cannot wait till the C-3's arrive.
Thanks for the comments and compliments guys- I'm glad you're enjoying the sound. Phasecorrect- regarding the 8-10foot listening distance you mention:

There is nothing special about a first-order circuit that demands this distance, except that first-order designs do have a "focal point", which is set mostly by the arrangement of the drivers.

This is why our new Continuum 3, like its forerunner the C-2, lets the user adjust the drivers for proper "Soundfield Convergence" at most any listening distance and height. With that, we hear substantially the same image size, sharpness and depth, and dynamics and tone balance whether at six feet away or beyond 20 feet.

The Europas, as a two-way, can be focused by tilting them, or raising or lowering them, for a listener from four feet to >20 feet.

What often happens with any speaker as you move away, is at some point you are sitting beyond the nearfield/farfield transition point (where the room's reverberation is as loud or louder than the direct sound)- as you suggest in your title.

That is why we recommend the setup in our manuals- so that you'll either be completely inside the nearfield zone, or at least no further back than just inside the transition point between the near and farfields.

Best regards,
Green Mountain