R.I.P: Rest In Peace Roy Johnson, Green Mountain Audio's Genius


All,

It is with heavy heart that I bring to you the heart breaking news of the passing of one of audio's true geniuses. Roy Johnson passed away this week after a long battle with cancer. He was a truly brilliant speaker designer, and true friend, and an amazing person. For those of us lucky to have known him as customers or friends we know he was infinitely committed to lending a hand, imparting his wisdom, solving problems and creating some of the most amazing loud speakers ever heard.  There were often gremlins in my system not centered around his loudspeakers and Roy would literally drop everything and help me trace down problems, while all the time educating and teaching me, not for gain, not for money, but because that's who Roy Johnson was. 

He will be greatly missed for his humor, his dedication, and his selflessness in audio and in life.

Rest in Peace Dear Friend,

You Are Loved
Previewbirdfan
really sorry to hear this.  I had no idea he was ill.  I enjoyed conversations with him and hearing his speaker designs.
I'll miss Roy as well-- a real gentleman from the old school. 
Oh my, so sorry to hear this.  I enjoyed conversations with him and a set of his speakers. 
Thisis sad news I had owned hisspeakrrsback in 98, then when I had aAudio store in 2004 Roy spend many hours helping me get setup and his latest the Callisto was a smash hit and very popular in the U.K.    R.I.P my friend .
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=13038.0
Sad news. I knew he had been having issues for some time. I spoke with him a month ago and he told me that his health was improving and was looking forward to finishing up new models.
 Oh, my, I am dreadfully sorry to hear this! Roy and I had any number of wonderful conversations on the phone. He was generous with his time, really fun to talk to, and totally dedicated to his vision of time-coherent speaker design. He was working on a new version of the EOS that was really exciting. He was also quite the craftsman, creating the molds for his unique, synthetic marble speaker cabinets by hand. I am awfully sorry to hear about this! 
Sorry to hear about this, Roy.  You and I had many great and long conversations over the years.  Thank you for the work you put in on my Continuum 3/HX speakers.  I'm still not sure I had them working to their best when I sold them to someone who would hopefully appreciate them more.  Roy, you had great enthusiasm for audio and your speaker designs.  I always appreciated that.  May you rest in peace.  I feel bad that we will never get to meet in person as we had planned a couple times.

Bob
Wow sorry to hear this. Had a few conversations with him too. Always willing to talk about his speakers and lend a hand. Sorry to hear of his passing - RIP. 
I'll miss you Roy. You spent so much time giving me advice about building my subs it was like you made them. I'll always remember how happy you were when you finally got your crossovers just right. And you sold me a pair of the Picos with that crossover so inexpensively because my older ones didn't have it. Rest in peace, and maybe we'll see each other on the other side.
I’ll echo others on the thread: this is both very sad, and for me, unexpected news. I did not realize that Roy was ill, and although we never met in person, his passionate and generous customer service had such an impact on me that I feel a real loss.

I have owned two pair of GMA speakers – Europa Max and Callisto. I still own the latter, and have two related anecdotes. When they arrived in my (then) home on Long Island, one of the enclosures had been chipped in transit. Roy replaced the damaged speaker within a week of the return.

Years later, when I was preparing to move abroad, I contacted him about the Callistos, mentioned that they had been in storage for some time, and also asked about any possible upgrades. He encouraged me to keep the speakers, provided detailed instructions for reinforcing the drivers, and sent replacement grills at no cost.

I also spent several hours, over the years, speaking with Roy about various ancillary issues. He was remarkably generous both with his time, and extraordinary knowledge.

RIP
Very sad to hear this news. I know he had been struggling, but he seemed to have stabilized, and I had not spoken to him in some time. I still have "Happy Ears" with hIs GMA Continuum 2 speakers with the latest HX crossover. I always enjoyed talking to him. He was always so knowledgeable and generous with his time and talent. I will miss him.
Roy will be missed. He was working on a ribbon tweeter upgrade for the Eos RX along with his next floor standing model. I loved his updates. I think his approach to cabinet design is unparalleled. It makes me sad to know he’s not out there thinking about something great. 

This is really sad!
I'd never heard his speakers, but Roy contributed a lot of great info in this forum and elsewhere, for us non-speaker-designers.  

In fact I'd just this week read an article (in positive feedback, I think) from a speaker designer who listed Wilson speakers as being "time aligned."I rolled my eyes but was happy to see that Roy had shown up to clear the cobwebs about time/phase alignment and Wilson speakers.
Anyway, sorry to hear of his passing.  I"m sure he left a lot of happy people in this world, listening to his speakers.


If there is a heaven it it sounding much better now!!
I'm in shock.  I had been trying to get in touch with him via text, email, and phone over the past week, and became increasingly concerned because he wasn't getting back to me, which is highly uncharacteristic. Just last night I decided to google his name on a whim, just in case, and my heart sank when I saw this post as one of the immediate results.

I've known Roy for more than 10 years, and we've maintained regular contact over the past 3.  The friendship we developed bridged the divide between personal and business.  I learned so much from him over the past decade, I can only be humbly thankful to have shared time with him through our many conversations.  I always referred to him as my 'audio guru'.  I think half of my current main system consists of components from his recommendations, and likewise is positioned based on his insight. 

Like others have said, he always kindly and openly talked about all things audio related, seemingly mastering a deep understanding of the engineering behind many components.  To say he was generous with his time would be an understatement.  When you spoke with him, you could just feel that he was the 'real deal' -- a person who at heart just really loved music and sound reproduction at the core of his being.  His discoveries in speaker design were touching ground on new territory... he was truly a pioneer in his field, and I believe one of a kind and without equal.

As such, he was also a sole keeper of great knowledge.  He and I spoke in depth about the prospects of passing this on in some form so his findings wouldn't be lost to this world.  We had in depth discussions about prospective plans to work together on creating a series of short, creative, visually charged videos illustrating his findings and sound principles, which would be freely available on his new website for all who were interested to learn from.  I think the fact that he wanted to do this speaks to his character.

One of the saddest parts of his passing for me is that I don't think he had the time to pass most of his knowledge forward.  He didn't expect to pass so soon... I doubt anybody did.  I spoke with him just a couple weeks ago and he was feeling good!  He had been running into bottlenecks with his health sporadically over the past few years... From what I understood, it was mostly having to do with getting proper oxygen supply to his lungs.  He had a health snag a couple months back, but had bounced back and was excited about his work and that he was more energetic and able to move around the shop again.  He was also excited about having hired a few new people recently, including a new engineer which we spoke very highly of.

To conclude on a positive note, I'd like to share a snippet of a text he sent me a month ago. 

"Well, when you break barriers I think you must always look back to see if other questions could have been asked. I had not really ever thought precisely about what "no driver there" sounds like. It sounds like the artist on that recording, and with high emotion and 'swing' if there, even including 'subtle' changes to anything you can imagine. Except you are not Elton John, so how could you imagine what you have never heard him do? Until now. Always makes for a whole new level of appreciation. 
After fixing the last existing phase shifts in the drivers, the XTC breakthrough, I remember listening to a famous reggae woman singing at an outdoor festival. The song and performance I thought I knew well. The speakers were already good enough to tell she sang with a lisp but not when just speaking. Now, I could easily tell it was from an underbite when she sang. Not the usual overbite behind many lisps. 
Fine- more detail to hear.
But surprise to me was hearing the long-term quavering, a weakness she laid out in her song-- her boyfriend had left and didn't know what and it was tearing her apart- right then, right now. Made you choke up, whereas five minutes before you were thinking about mowing the lawn. Pretty obvious 'it's a great speaker.' But with new ribbon inserted, what I hear is no tweeter. Which is weird." 
                                                 -Roy Johnson, June 30 2019

This is in reference to a new speaker I had purchased from him, which he had been working on for years, and had almost finished... The bulk of his work lately was in designing the tweeter, and as you will read, he would settle for nothing less than something truly stellar... a perfectionist at heart.  He sounded truly happy with his results, and felt he had reached a point of completion after all the work he's done over the past years.  These new models were the culmination of all his prior designs and research, new experiments, new discoveries, and the availability of brand new tweeter designs that were previously unavailable.  I believe, in the end, he achieved a new level of sound reproduction just before he passed.  It warms my heart to think that he was able to experience it and enjoy the fruits of his labor with deep satisfaction in a sort of unexpected final celebration on Earth.

Needless to say, I'm deeply saddened.  This took me completely by surprise, and I'll forever miss my audio guru who held my hand as I navigated the depths of the art of truly great audio design.  Goodbye old friend, you will be forever missed... may your new wings take you to concerts in the sky.
Aww, Very sad. I have had a few discussions with Roy over the years. Best customer service I have ever experienced in this field. He took the time to detail out the smallest things, that end up being the big things. Late last year I got 2 of his latest woofers for the Callisto speakers and he was just perfect in walking me through the replacement; 
 
Requiescat in pace
Really sorry to hear about this.
I've heard Continuum 3's many times at a friend's house, great talent, great human.

R.I.P.
Man, this was a bummer. I met Roy earlier this year after asking Jeff Rowland some of the speakers he liked. Jeff knew him pretty well I guess. So we had just met and also had some hour plus long conversations over the phone about how stuff worked and things he had figured out to overcome this or that .. he showed me drawings that I'll post here of possible of his newest speaker that was a floorstander I was completely amazed by. Ive never seen a design aesthetic look like it before. It combined Art Deco with 2001 a Space Odyssey. Almost a humanoid shape looking up at you. I gave him a verbal order on the spot. I said every time I go to listen, my little buddies will be there to greet me..
It was clear to see and feel his passion. Also being an audio passionate myself , I could get caught up in his enthusiasm and somehow wanted to help him get his company rocking and rolling. I knew he was short handed and had been struggling with O2 levels though he also told me he was on the mend. I wondered how he could deal with the altitude, but I dont even know what it is in Colorado Springs.. He absolutely left a memory with me. If anyone is close with his Mother, close enough to go by his shop, I believe he had the molds for the new speaker made, someone ought to build them to celebrate his life. I spoke with him man, must have been days before he passed. I also noticed he did not return my text which was uncommon. Then I got a call from Jeff to let me know he had transitioned. Well hes a lot more unencumbered now. 
I'm really glad I got to catch a little of his energy before he took off. 

Blessings to the energy we called Roy Johnson     
Sad to hear the news ...

Posting on here to represent the far flung customer base to whom Roy had managed to reach out to with his fantastic speakers.  I still have and enjoy my Eos HX speakers which have been a constant in my setup for the past few years.   

Roy will be missed.  May his soul rest in peace!

Sincerely,

Nikhil Nayak
Hyderabad, India

Very sorry and saddened to hear the news - thanks birdfan for letting us know
I knew he had been ailing for some time but did not realize it had gotten worse, though I haven’t spoken with him in sometime. I believe his birthday would have been on July 27
I was fortunate to have had many long, informative and fun long distance conversations with him over years even before I bought a pair of Callistos (which I still use). He was particularly good at phone based customer service being able to guide you long distance - often wondered how he made the time. I recall he had even set up a demo for me with one of his customers in suburban London since he didn’t have a dealer in the area at that time. I obviously didn’t know this person but Roy was the common factor and that was sufficient for this person to throw open his house and his system for me to evaluate the Callistos before I decided to buy a pair! Since then, I have returned the favor by allowing my speakers to be used as demo for other aspirants in my neck of the woods - I believe it was just something we did for Roy - power of the Green Mountain family.
I know he had some interesting designs in the pipeline but not sure if those made it to commercial production - maybe his failing health didn’t allow him to complete those.
RIP Roy - You will be missed
I feel awful about this mostly unexpected news.  I spoke with Roy multiple times with the last time likely a week or two prior to his passing.  I know that myself and several other individuals had prepaid for some upcoming designs that were to include the ribbon tweeter.  It is strange to think that one of Roy's last activities may have been final tweaking of his design on my speakers.  They were scheduled to ship July 24.   My limited interactions with Roy left an indelible impression.  Truly a vibrant genius with a passion to help others understand his designs.  Roy's enthusiasm for his new Eos RX design was so contagious.  Not sure what to do now.  Hopefully someone associated with GMA will be sorting out what to do with completed or in process work.  I was so looking forward to hearing them.  Rest in Peace Roy.  
I'm terribly sorry to read this news. it was only last weekend I was talking about Green Mtn Audio & Roy with a family member & was informed that it was his birthday that day. We almost picked up the phone to call him to wish him but decided not at the last minute realizing the time difference across the globe meant it was deep into the night in Colorado Springs.
Little did we know that he was no more....... :-(

I've personally known Roy since 2003 when I bought my C1.5i both sight unseen & unheard. I never regretted it - loved the speaker! I was looking for a special speaker that would render the music as naturally as possible - little did i know that I was looking for a time-coherent speaker as that word didn't exist in my audio vocabulary. That's how I e-ran into Roy via (what I think is the single best audio thread on Audiogon) the forum topic " Time coherence - how important and what speakers?". Roy's contribution in that thread was superb - as many have posted above before me, he sought to educate us forum members unlike many other manufacturers. I was fortunate to meet Roy personally several times both at RMAF and at his 2 different manufacturing workshops. We spent a lot of time together listening, him educating me & touring his manufactory. I agree - for those interested in his work he had all the time in the world. It's also thanks to him that I know about Garden of the Gods which I've visited atleast 3 times now - spectacular place indeed! 
I'm sorry to see one of the best in this business pass. May his soul rest in peace.
Like others I hope he made succession plans to carry on his work - it would be a shame to see all this work flounder & stop. We still need time-coherent speakers....
All,

If you are in the Colorado area and would be interested in an "Audiophile" memorial in Colorado Springs in the coming weeks (or months). My thoughts are to choose a home here which could accommodate a  number of audio nuts and eat and drink while listening to Roy's deigns. I personally have three sets of speakers to add to this experience: Continuum .5's, Continuum 1.0's, and the amazing Chroma HD's please feel free to reach out to me via PM if interested. 

Best 

Benj
One more thing.. If you go to YouTube and type in "Green Mountain Audio" there's a playlist created by Roy with some great tunes and eccentric curiosities..
Rip Roy. The Europa was my first real speaker .
How old was Roy?
In the mid-1990s I just lusted after a pair of green marble Diamantes at a local dealership. Just gorgeous. Sad to hear this.

RIP
I'm in shock also at his passing.  Roy was such a great guy and I had so many conversations with him over the past fifteen years.  He would do most of the talking but I could always feel his passion and love for speaker building and always felt as though I had taken an informative physics class when on the phone with him.

I started with the Europa, then the 1.5, then the Callisto and currently the EOS HX.  He was also working on the EOS RX model for me which I was anxiously awaiting.  Hopefully one of his workers will complete the pending projects as from what I've heard they would be substantial upgrades from past models.

He will be missed.
Very sad indeed. I always made sure I was sitting down when I called him as he was a world-class conversationalist- incredibly generous with his time. I felt his Europa Max was exceptionally coherent - quite special to be sure. Like others have said, he was the audio guru I knew I could always call with a question, for insight, for a reasoned and humble response. Cheers to you Mr. Green.

When the time is right, if anyone has information on whether someone is sorting out his business affairs, I know I am doubtless the only one who's speakers are currently sitting in his shop, being built, or in various stages of repair or completion. I would love to be able to eventually get them back (mine have been there for several months for a simple crossover cooking). Any information will be appreciated.
Sorry to hear of this sad news! I knew he had been ill for some time but didn't know it was this serious.

I'll never forget how he attempted to help me address the (then) severe room problems I had for 45 minutes despite the slim chances of making a sale of any of his products.

A true gentleman and true music lover. He will be missed.


I was saddened to hear the news of Roy's passing.  As everyone who has spoken with Roy as commented, he was very generous with his time and loved to discuss the physics behind why speakers behaved the way they do. I got to know Roy back around 2000. I was on a business trip to the Philadelphia area and stopped in an audio dealer to listen to a Plinius amp. It happened to be hooked up to a pair of Green Mountain Imago IV speakers. I ended up buying the speakers and calling Green Mountain for advice on installation and met Roy. We had many conversations over the years and I had the great pleasure to visit Roy in Colorado Springs.
   I ended up buying a pair of Europas...then a pair of C-3s, then the matching Vortex center channel and then a pair of his SW15 subs. Later on when came up with his HX crossover breakthrough I bought the upgrade parts for the C-3s and Roy sent me very detailed directions on how to perform the upgrade. That was a fun project with very worthwhile results...  I have become very attuned to the benefits of Roy's phase and time coherent design principles. To this day my main system, which is a hybrid 2 channel/ surround system has Roy's C-3 HX, Vortex C-3 center channel, Europa speaker for surround.  I have listened to many systems including all the systems at RMAF 2018, but I have not yet been lured away from Roy's designs. I will miss our conversations. I know he struggled with cancer over the years and always wished he had greater business success.
Just found this information in The Colorado Springs Gazette.  If anyone is interested in the memorial service details are included.

Johnson
ROY ALAN JOHNSON
July 27, 1953 - July 16, 2019
Son, brother, friend, Manitou Alum ('71) and long-time Green Mountain Falls resident. We have lost all of the above when Roy passed peacefully after an extended illness.
He was preceded in death by his dad Keith and is survived by his mom Dove, brother Tony (Diane), sister Kelly (Chip Swenson), former wife and friend Jeannie Bremer, many nieces, nephews and extended family.
Roy was a unique individual. As a Physicist, he turned his attention to Audio Reproduction and extraordinary sound. Sound so pure, you only have to close your eyes to bring whatever or whoever you are listening to right up front. In the words of a dear friend "Roy was one of the audio's true geniuses. A brilliant speaker designer". "He never gave up on his pursuit of making better sound".
He was just as persistent in his health battle. Never a "why me". Always the belief that he would get better and would persevere with his work. Forever the optimist
Goodbye Soundman and Godspeed. May the heavens be forever graced with your music.
In Lieu of flowers please donate to the American Cancer Society in Roy's name.
A Memorial Celebration to be held at the Sallie Bush Community Building in Green Mountain Falls on Sunday 8/11/19 2pm.

Very sad news. Roy was a true gentleman who gave generously of his time and advice and designed and built great speakers.  I am proud to have owned the  GM "Europa" monitor that provided quality sound for many years.  He was a great and kind man who will be sorely missed by audiophiles around the world.

Rest in peace,

S.J.

   

Very sorry to hear this, I met him at the RAMF about 11 years ago and spent a good amount of time listening to his monitors up above the Callistos. He was very nice as a matter of fact we was rocking out really liked my music I brought with me, RIP a very nice guy...and a incredible speaker designer...
So sorry to hear of Roy's passing. My condolences to family and frirends. Tom Grabosky
I had a pair of the original Diamanté’s in green with black bases.  I visited Roy at his shop in Colorado Springs.  He was a very knowledgeable and entertaining guy.  He spoke of his crossover designs in terms of mathematical models.  He was always working on the perfect crossover.  Roy liked to play music loud and hard hitting selections with a lot of impact, my first introduction to the music of Rusted Root.
 I had my Diamanté’s upgraded to series 2, then to series 3.  The series 2 iteration was the best.  Series 3 was slightly warmer but lost some of the magic of series 2.  There are certain musical selections that they recreated better than anything I’ve heard since such as the the previously mentioned Rusted Root and Pat Benetar.  Ultimately, they weren’t the speaker for me and my room.  They didn’t quite have the lower end weight and warmth for the hard bop jazz I like.
I sold the Diamanté’s here on Audiogon.  I hope the person who purchased them is still enjoying Roy’s creation.
Roy made some unusual looking speakers with synthetic marble, the Diamanté’s easily the best looking of the lot.  
The audio world lost a great guy and innovative designer.
RIP Roy... Wow, what a shock!  I just spoke with him the first week in July, and he seemed in great spirits, full of energy and info as always. Roy was always willing to talk your ear off for an hour or two with advice, info, and whatever he could help you with to make your system sound it's best.  He had a pair of Chroma HX's almost finished for me... they were supposed to ship mid July.  That will not happen at this point unfortunately.  The speakers are insignificant in comparison to the subject matter here.  Such a loss to the audio community and such a shock.  I wish his family the best.  I knew he was sick for a while, but I thought he was doing better and on his way to good health. Very sad indeed. RIP Roy, you are missed.  
I want to share the future logo of GMA with the community. I’ve been rolling around the idea of posting this for a while, being unsure if it's appropriate for a memorial thread. However, I think GMA patrons would be interested in what they would have seen on all their future gear. I also think it’s a sort of waypoint on the path ahead where Roy was taking the company. I imagine he would want it to be seen.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GqkDHRcB6Vpugy_6an3r8duuH5Ilppjn

I should add that I am not looking for input / compliments / criticism on the design here. I’m sharing this with hesitance because I want the thread to remain focused on memorializing Roy and GMA. I’m hoping this just adds another color in the details of the tapestry.
I too will miss Roy and the contributions he made in speaker designs.  He had some good ideas that led to some nice sounding speakers.  I hope he had a legacy plan so his ideas and designs will not be loss.
This was sad news. Although I never met him, he seemed like a great guy. My condolences to his family and friends. I need replacement woofers , payed for 2 new woofers and had been texting him back and forth for a while. He was in the process of finding a matched set for my speakers when I suddenly couldn't get in touch with him. Found out he had passed. Now I don't know what the proper thing to do is. I hope some one steps up to finish his buisiness. I see that the Green Mountain web site is down. RIP Roy Johnson.