If you want vandersteen sound, buy a vandersteen. The GMA speakers are not at all what I would call lean, just very true to the source. And I mean that in a good way, not analytical or dry. But I can't think of any of them I would describe as "warm". You should definitely try to hear a pair, you are welcome to hear mine if you are anywhere near virginia.
I think Shakey's comments are entirely accurate. Most GMA models are smaller speakers that put out less bass than a typical three-way floorstander. But by no means should they be considered "lean" in the manner of the legions of speakers fitted with metal-dome tweeters and such. They are extremely revealing, so one could conclude they are cold, analytical, or dry if that's the sound of the amp/source upstream. But that would be a mistake - GMAs do not introduce anything cold, dry, or analytical themselves. Unlike a lot of lesser speakers, they don't need to be "balanced out" by overly warm components upstream - they just need to be fed by really good components. Personally, I do think they do best with at least one tube somewhere in the system. But it should be said that these speakers actually err on the side of smoothness, especially in the higher frequencies, and if you hear anything different it's because they're simply revealing an issue in the system upstream. That, at least, has been my personal experience.
>and if you hear anything different it's because they're simply revealing an issue in the system upstream<
I agree completly, but would like to add one other observation. GMA speakers are not plug n play in the sense that they need a little extra attention to get it right. Especially the larger models like my C3s which are user adjustable. Get it wrong and you will experience a sharpness in the upper midrange. But when it's right, you know it too.
I have a pair of the C-3s, the matching Vortex center channel and a pair of Europa's in my bedroom system. I think the GMAs just let the music through. Roy's time and phase alignment with low order crossover and minimal cabinet coloration approach let more of the signal pass through and therefore you can hear the effect of better components upstream. I would not call them lean. Room placement can play a major effect on perceived leaness of a speaker
His speakers are relatively easy to drive from an amplifier load standpoint. I drive my C-3s with a McIntosh MC402 or a pair of Viva Aurora SET monos..Both work well but are like different flavors of ice cream. You can enjoy both. They also image very well. I can choose to stare down either speaker and still never hear music directly coming from the speaker... I can sit far left or right and did get a reasonable stereo image.
Call Roy at GMA. He is great to talk to. Backs up most of his ideas with physics principles
I havent heard the bigger GMAs but the bookshelf models I have heard are clearly flawed in the bass region IMO. The mid-upper bass which gives an acoustic instruments its woodiness character and to some extent the body was lacking seriously IMO. I have heard it with at least 4 different sources, 5 different amps and a similar number of cable iterations and nothing did anything to change my opinion. If you want me to believe that all the equipments were flawed and only the speaker was truthful (because it can be explained through Physics), hmmmmm you very well know what my reply would be. Moreover it is not all that difficult to identify the characteristic sound of a speaker, at least the fundamentals come through pretty early. What I guessed about GMA on my first audition remains true even today, say after 20th audition.
Having said that I am pretty aware of what "revealing" speakers do and sound like. I have owned some studio monitors from Dynaudio Acoustics in the past and currently use ATC at home. In my experience, just showing up differences in cables or an isolation device is just the beginning of the "revealing" chapter. There is lot more to it. Nowadays even a $500 speaker can easily show differences between cables !! Not a big deal in my books. I know GMAs are better than that but saying that they dont have very little signature sound and all they do is show up the rest of the chain is an extraordinarily exaggerated overstatement IMO.
Disclosure: I sell 'em, Departure Audio.
All GMA speakers are voiced the same way, i.e. to be neutral, natural sounding and accurate. I have never found "dry" "bright" "warm" "cold" "woody" etc. to apply to these speakers. They all adhere to a few simple design principles:
- time and phase coherence
- simple, simple first order crossover
- dead cabinet (cast marble)
- wide bandwidth drivers
- good sensitivity
To my knowledge, only Vandersteen and Theil are taking time coherence in speaker design as seriously as GMA. They both use much more complex crossovers which, to my ears, choke some of the life out of the music.
Most (not all) people who seriously audition GMA speakers experience a bit of a revelation as they hear the real benefits of time coherence for the first time, benefits that make the music so much more alive sounding.
I've only heard GMA's top Calypso HD in an unlikely pairing with Cary 2A3SE SET monoblocks. Up to a moderate volume this combo was transparent across FR with well delineated LF. Excellent build quality and price/performance. At the demo I swapped in a 100wpc Acurus amp on hand and LF took on more authority-- sounding far better than one would expect from this budget Mondial SS amp.
First order cross over, Time Alignment, Phase Alignment are all very good things and I agree GMAs do it well. But I dont listen to them individually, it comes as part of music, if piano sounds like an instrument which is just 2ft long and 2ft wide and made of some thing rigid like Aluminium then I get definitely get turned off in spite of all the time/phase coherence etc.
I have a pair of Continuum 1.5s from around the year 2000 and I had the privilege to hear several other GMA models, as Roy Johnson used to let me hang around his shop in Old Colorado City and help burn in new speakers while I was trying to decide if I wanted any of his speakers and then later while I was waiting for mine to be built.
I also am familiar with and like the new Vandersteens. I just heard the new model threes (I think that's what they were) this weekend and they were terrific. The Quattro Woods I also like.
I'm not really sure what you mean by "warm", though.
I can tell you I love the Continuums for their ability to play loudly (and still sound good) and their ultra-modern looks.
The smaller GMAs, I think they're called Callistos, are also very cool but I don't recall them sounding, well, as big.
Those Vandersteen threes I heard this weekend did sound kind of mellow; maybe that's what you mean. Smooth and easy to listen to. The GMAs do not have that quality, at least not as much. But I think they make up for it in other ways, particularly in detail and realism. Listening to drums through GMAs is always surprisingly realistic and makes you wonder why quick sonic transients like that are so shortchanged through other speakers. I think this makes the GMAs ideal for rock and pop, maybe less for classical or bluegrass.
I'm sure I didn't help much, but I think if you get a chance to hear the GMAs you'll be able to tell right away whether or not they're for you.
I havent heard the bigger GMAs but the bookshelf models I have heard are clearly flawed in the bass region IMO. The mid-upper bass which gives an acoustic instruments its woodiness character and to some extent the body was lacking seriously IMO.Agree. The lack in the mid upper bass is due to the tiny cabinet volume of the bookshelf models. Anybody know how many litres Rio uses?
Apart from that, the driver they use is an aurasound woofer. For the price of Rio, you would expect accuton or scanspeak revelator etc.
Not a $20 woofer!
I've had the Green Mountain Audio Callistos in my system for the past ten years and have not had the desire to upgrade speakers since that time. Before that time I was always looking to upgrade my speakers. If I ever do upgrade it will be to another newer Green Mountain Audio speaker. I've listened to four of their models and they all have a very similar sound signature from the upper bass on upward. Most of the models use different drivers but I believe the sound is so similar due to the unique first order crossover and dead quiet cabinet construction.
The speakers are very efficient, easy to drive and play very loudly. Transparency, soundstaging (especially depth), microdynamics, inner detail, and reproduction of the human voice are extremely well done and I really haven't heard better in those areas from most other speakers I've listened to. Six moons gave these speakers a phenomenal review ten years ago. I've had several members over my house from an audio club I belong to and all agree they are first rate speakers and cannot believe such sound quality coming from relatively small monitors.
I do agree that the monitors do not have a lot of deep bass however the bass is very tight and controlled. I'm using a Rel Storm III sub which integrates seamlessly with the Callistos. I'm using a hybrid integrated amplifier so I agree having some tubes in the playback chain is worthwhile. I have not compared them to the Vandersteens.
Just my opinion.
Apart from that, the driver they use is an aurasound woofer. For the price of Rio, you would expect accuton or scanspeak revelator etc.kenjit, it's not about how much a woofer costs w.r.t. the total cost of the speaker that dictates whether or not it gets used. It's the specs & the freq response that it far more important as that tells the speaker designer how it will integrate with the tweeter & midrange. So, if a $20 woofer has the correct attributes over a $200 Accuton woofer, then, the $20 woofer will be used. I'm sure that Accuton builds good woofers but for this particular Green Mtn Audio speaker the Aurasound woofer was a better fit. I know that Roy is always looking for the best drivers & I understand that the choices are limited to independent OEMs. So, that also puts a big constraint (unless the OEM wants to order a very large batch of Accuton drivers as a minimum order from the manuf which many small OEMs cannot afford).
I've heard a few Accuton-based speakers incl a stand-mounted Tidal - I cannot say that i was impressed with the sound. The Green Mtn Audio speakers sounded way better to me.
There is no minimum order for most drivers including scanspeak. you could buy one single accuton driver if you wanted to.
It’s a question of getting your moneys worth. If the parts used in the Rio/chromatose only cost say $100 yet it is sold for nearly $4000 the price you pay is going towards the rent for the factory and profit. Your hard earned money isnt going into the product you are spending it on.
Now the basic Rio model costs $2800 but they are charging you $1000 bucks more for their magic wire and burn in process. Audiophiles need to be educated so that they dont fall for this nonsense. Ask for proof that any of this makes a difference.
For $4000 you could buy a whole hifi, or a pair of devaliet phantom etc.
There are many more companies now producing products using more technology for less money. If you pay $4000 and all you get is a $20 woofer a few crossover parts, and a marble cabinet, it doesnt seem to me like good value. But then again, you could also buy $4000 interconnects so its up to you whether you want to spend your money wisely or stupidly.
As I said before, if you want to feel how much distortion is going into the Rio tweeter, just put your hand on the tweeter while the music is playing and feel the vibrations. Tweeter are not designed to play such low frequencies. The seas tweeter they use rolls off at 1khz. So you should only be using it down to about 1500 if you want best sound quality. If you cut corners, then you push the tweeter beyond its limits.
This is exactly why most companies dont use just a single capacitor on a tweeter.
There is no minimum order for most drivers including scanspeak. you could buy one single accuton driver if you wanted to.That’s not what I’ve heard. I’ve heard that a lot of the speaker driver manuf have stopped offering their drivers to OEMs OR if they do sell to OEMs their pricing is very high. This was the case for Audax woofers when they were used for Green Mtn Audio speakers. Same thing happened when Dynaudio won a large contract to outfit some European auto manuf (Volvo, I think but don’t quote me on it). Similar deal on Morel tweeters when there was a scandal concerning the Israeli & American Morel outfits.
Maybe an OEM could buy 1 Accuton driver but it’s not going to be cost effective for the OEM.
It’s a question of getting your moneys worth. If the parts used in the Rio/chromatose only cost say $100 yet it is sold for nearly $4000 the price you pay is going towards the rent for the factory and profit. Your hard earned money isnt going into the product you are spending it on.This applies to the entire audio hobby - you’ve already alluded to the stupid-high pricing of audio cables. There’s been much written about how speakers & audio electronics is priced - 4X the manuf cost (conservatively) before it reaches you & me. Green Mtn Audio is only following the industry standard on this. I’m neither denying it nor condoning it; merely stating it. Plus, if you’ve been to the Green Mtn Audio factory, as i have on a few occasions, you’ll know that all the cabinets are hand made. There’s a lot of time spent in making each cabinet unlike many other manuf that use CNC machines. The Green Mtn Audio production is much smaller scale. So, I’m sure that this also figures into the price.
Now the basic Rio model costs $2800 but they are charging you $1000 bucks more for their magic wire and burn in process. Audiophiles need to be educated so that they dont fall for this nonsense. Ask for proof that any of this makes a difference.Forget "asking" for proof - words do not satisfy me. I ask to hear the difference before I spend that sort of money. And, I can say that it most definitely makes a sonic difference. It’s definitely not nonsense as you wrote. Now, is it a sufficient difference for you to fork out more money? That’s upto the buyer - each one make your own choice.
For $4000 you could buy a whole hifi, or a pair of devaliet phantom etc.$4000 for 2 (two) Devialet Phantom. Are you sure about this pricing?
If you cut corners, then you push the tweeter beyond its limits.I’ve never know Roy to cut any corners. In fact, he’s just the opposite - many of his designs never saw the production floor because he was not satisfied with the sound or the cabinet curves & lines were not just right or he was having issues with sourcing sufficient drivers to ensure replacements if a user fried a driver or drivers, etc. In such cases I would say Roy’s time to research & produce a prototype for a new model has gone down the drain to his (Roy’s) detriment i.e. he never made money on effort spent. I personally know this hence I state it with confidence. I wouldn’t call such a mentality as one who would cut corners. I believe that most of us here (& you might be included) know very little about how a good speaker is designed & manufactured.
You could try to derive the value of an hi-end audio product by summing the cost of the BOM & you will fail each time. We all know that hi-end audio is not priced that way for better or for worse. If you are in this camp of deriving hi-end audio’s value by the cost of its BOM, I ask why are you even in this hobby? You seemed to be a misplaced person & you need to find some other hobby.
And, the reason that most manuf don’t use 1st-order x-over ckts is that they simply don’t understand how to design a speaker using 1st order x-overs. It’s not easy at all & most manuf don’t have an in-depth understanding. In comparison to design with 1st order x-overs, it much simpler to design with higher order x-overs. But, if you crunch thru the math & the physics of 1st order filter design & compare it to higher order filter designs, you’ll immediately see that only 1st order filters preserve the phase relationship of one freq w.r.t. another freq over the entire audio band. No other filter does that. And, we know exactly how important it is to maintain this phase relationship over the entire audio band to ensure an accurate & realistic playback. First order x-overs weren’t chosen on a whim.
It is true that more signal bleeds over to the other driver when using a 1st order x-over simply because the filter roll-off is not that steep (compared to 2nd, 3rd, 4th & higher orders) hence one will able to feel the drivers vibrate more. It is also for this reason that most drivers' specs are not sufficient for use in a 1st order x-over speaker - the driver has to be linear for a much wider freq range. And, I believe that Roy does spend a lot of time doing deep dives into finding the correct drivers from the choices that he can afford.
If you buy an Accuton driver for a couple 100 $ that speaker will not be priced at $4000; it's going to be priced more like $20,000, if not more.
I remember now, kenjit, you are that person in London who created a huge stink on Audiogon a couple times in the past few years when a Green Mtn Audio speaker did not work in your tiny little apartment in London. I remember that you wasted a whole lot of Roy’s time in trying to make the speaker work when he told you explicitly that a Green Mtn Audio speaker was not the correct speaker for you to buy since your listening position was too close to the speaker & you did not have sufficient distance for the drivers to integrate.
I believe that you are the same kenjit who used a Green Mtn Audio speaker (forgot which model) for 3 years & after being dissatisfied with it, you wanted Roy to pay for return shipping + you wanted him to refund your money. After your using it for 3 years!! Give me a break, puh-leeese!
I remember that Audiogon considered that thread to be inappropriate & it was removed. I also remember that many, many of the Audiogon members found that you had become beligerent & unreasonable & had told you to go away & cool off for good but you did not listen & kept on flogging a dead horse. I see that you are back with that same chip on your shoulder & an axe to grind.
It’s clear from the previous threads (that occurred during the previous ownership of Audiogon) that Green Mtn Audio time-coherent speakers will not work in your home. Not every speaker works in every environment - that’s very reasonable. So, go find another speaker & stop slandering manuf when you have no grounds for it.
I did not know this at first but green mountain audio is a one man show. They have apparently been around for a long time but for better or worse, they have not grown their company and become a B&W.
And ultimately if a company produces speakers which only appeal to a small subset of audiophiles, this means it is does not have universal appeal and that is because of the unique way it sounds. That is to say, it is colored.
more discussion threads that discuss Green Mtn Audio sound.
kenjit, if the Green Mtn Audio sounds colored to you - fine. Buy something else that you like.....
Compared to the other speakers available in the market, Green Mtn Audio speakers sound the best to me (& many others as is evidenced by their posts in the link provided).
I am not going to slander anybody as it is illegal. But this is an audio forum where audiophiles are free to express their opinions. Its not just just compliments, we need to hear complaints as well. I will make sure everything I say respects the rules of this forum. Thank you very muchreally???!!! you did a few times in 2012/2013 & Audiogon’s previous ownership was forced to remove those threads. The illegality of the matter did not stop you back then. Will it stop you now?
good to read that you might be a bit more civilized in 2016....
bombaywalla, what did i say that amounts to slander? Everything I speak is based on experience and true facts to the best of my knowledge.
If you want to bring slander into this then how about I question all the claims about time cohesion, magic wires and 'burn in' which are used to advertise their products?
By the way in response to your comment, my room is not faulty. The dealer from green mountain came round to set them up himself. Furthermore, I have had many speakers from pmc to b&w to cheaper ones whose tonality was just fine. If you read both the original Rio review (and the Eos review) you can see that there were issues with tonality. Roy Johson does not admit faults with his products. I am not afraid to condemn this attitude.
Newer versions of the Rio have been introduced using the pretext of 'better time coherence' which audiophiles accept without questioning, whereas if you listen to the speakers, (which i have personally done) what you find is a difference in the TONALITY. For example the difference in sound between the rio and the chroma, is that the forwardness noted in the review is now gone but its still not right, in my view.
I really dont have an axe to grind. I have happily moved on from my bad experience with these. That doesnt mean I should not post in any thread about GMA.
As you say people are free to choose what they like. If my opinion is rubbish I am fine with that.
If one thinks GMA is no good then one is free to produce and sell better speakers.
If you want to buy them that is fine too.
I was going to leave you alone, but you have now gone too far. You lie, just as before.
Your Green Mtn. speakers were not setup for you by a retailer. You purchased them from us, directly. I have your invoice, emails, Paypal receipt and shipping documents.
They are Chroma speakers, with the time-domain improvements in the crossover circuits compared to original Rio.
Upon delivery and for years afterwards, you had the speakers in a very poor room, quite acoustically inferior in every way. I have your cell phone video showing this and your emails describing it. And you have my helpful response suggesting the best and least-expensive ways in which to fix its acoustic problems and what (and WHY) you would hear along the way.
Six months or more later, after I had not heard from you for quite a while, you took these speakers apart and removed their fiberglass linings. I have your email describing this. In it, you also remark how you cracked at least one marble cabinet by not putting a screw back into its correct hole.
You removed the tweeters, laid the cabinets on their sides, and set the tweeters on the 'new' cabinet tops. I have your email.
You removed the crossover circuits and modified them to second-order circuits, which negates any time-coherence. I have your email.
More than a year after your purchase, after I informed you that these modifications voided your warranty, you lied to American Express by telling them you had been promised a refund. I provided proof to them that this was false and they denied your request for refund. I have the emails on this.
Another year passes without contact, and you lie to AMEX again. This time, their agent did not contact us or Paypal, so AMEX leveraged Paypal to give you a partial refund of US$1200, which you accepted. Paypal removed these funds from our account with no notice. I have the emails to Paypal showing them how you were not promised a refund, and that you had already owned these speakers for YEARS, and that you had modified them. They agreed with me, then told me their contract was with AMEX, not us, so they had to do what AMEX told them. We had to take this financial loss and so I decided we could no longer accept Paypal from any customer, thanks to you.
After receiving this false refund, YOU KEPT THESE SPEAKERS.
Two years later, with no provocation, you began new threads on Audiogon attacking me. Audiogon removed them at my request, after many others posted their responses that something was 'not right' with you, as you would not answer their questions and instead began insulting them. These folks did not even own Green Mtn!
I would add that you know nothing of speaker design, literally nothing. I have your long emails showing how you never did understand any of the math even after I carefully and simply explained different topics about which you asked for more detail.
Now Kenji, if you follow previous form, I expect you to address nothing of the above, but instead change the subject and invent a new attack. Instead, please just fade away from your tiny vendetta. Perhaps look for something else to occupy your time?
Otherwise, I wish you a happy and healthy life!
Green Mountain Audio
I did not enter this topic to start an argument or complaint about my purchase. I already did that with the relevant organisation, the Better Business Bureau. THAT was your opportunity to respond to my complaint and engage in a discussion but you refused to reply to any of their numerous letters sent to you on my behalf.
This is not the place to discuss such matters. You already chose to refuse an invitation to discuss this off the forum.
Here is the proof of the complaint: http://www.bbb.org/southern-colorado/business-reviews/audio-visual-equipment-rent-and-lease/green-mountain-audio-in-colorado-springs-co-6362500/complaints
They certainly did not dismiss my complaint and the fact that you refused to enter into any discussion at the time, diminishes your credibility.
I have no axe to grind, so I won’t bother to get into a discussion about anything that does not pertain to the technical aspects of Green mountain speakers.
Exactly as I predicted, you have denied nothing of what I wrote, including that I still posses proof of your theft.
Anyone can file a BBB complaint. They do not judge the veracity of any complaint. Their small local branch did not notify us until the period to challenge had passed. The date of your complaint is long after you obtained your illegal refund, a complaint in which you lied about receiving your refund.
Yes Kenji, you do intend us harm. I have your email threatening exactly this sort of behaviour from nearly four years ago.
There is nothing more I can or need to say about this subject. My only defense is to encourage Audiogon management to let this thread remain open so that, in the future, others see how you have behaved.
I am not currently a GMA customer and I have no stake in this dispute, but I will add that when I started a recent thread asking for feedback on the Chroma HX
you jumped in to say bad things about the Chroma, Roy and GMA. Checking on your posting history, the great majority of your posts here are almost exclusively attacks against GMA. For whatever reason, you seem intent precisely on harming Roy and the company, and that seems wrong.
My dealings with Roy over the years have convinced me that he's a fine person who is very devoted to his work and his customers. I'm sorry you are unhappy, but maybe it's time to give this a rest and move on.
you jumped in to say bad things about the Chroma, Roy and GMAI wish i had seen threads like this before my purchase. Look, GMA make speakers which are divisive. I will not apologise for saying i hated their sound. It is the absolute truth.
Why would I lie? if I loved them why would i say theyre horrible?
Ive owned PMC, B&W to name a couple and they were a fraction of the cost of the GMA but the GMA did not sound better it sounded (far ) worse.
Now as far as the other points i made about cheap parts, thick cabinet walls, no chamfering, lobing, if you dont agree, then attack the points I made, dont attack me.
4th order crossovers are HARDER to do than 1st order not easier. They require more parts and each has to be chosen to within a tighter tolerance than wit 1st order.
And GMA say that they are 1st order but their tweeter is rolling off at 2khz so obviously its not going to be first order below 2khz once you add that roll off onto the natural rolloff. There is also no impedance correction on the tweeter so at its resonance you wont be getting much attenuation there either. The 14cm centre to centre distance between their drivers causes lobing at all frequencies above 1.25khz. (1.25khz is the frequency such that half of its wavelength is 14cm.)
Clearly with a first order crossover the only way to avoid lobing is by using concentric drivers
You can see the rolloff at 2khz
I currently own EOS HDX, and have owned just about every model of GMA speaker over the past 10 or so years. I run them with a 2A3 SET and couldn't be happier with the sound. I would describe them as being detailed and revealing. Once you have heard time coherent speakers, I doubt that you will go back. As an musician, I feel that they remain true to the recording and the intent of the musicians and producers. Thus I have not had the desire to roll speakers although I have heard many competing designs and brands.
As important as the sound though is the fact that Roy is a great guy who is really passionate about producing a great product. There are few companies who provide personal service AND upgrade existing products rather than forcing you to buy their new latest and greatest. Green Mountain is one, Ayre is another one (oddly enough, both are in Colorado). At any rate, if you are considering Green Mountain, you should definitely give them a listen, they are a bargain at the price.
It’s a question of getting your moneys worth. If the parts used in the Rio/chromatose only cost say $100 yet it is sold for nearly $4000 the price you pay is going towards the rent for the factory and profit. Your hard earned money isnt going into the product you are spending it on'.
Kenjit, I don't think you thought through your statement very well.
That is in fact what every part and and thing made for public consumption amounts to. A small amount of material costs, labor, fixed costs, resupply costs, and profit. Including an accuton driver. It is not any different. Now if you have a company using the most expensive drivers in their speakers that cost the same as GM speakers, you are trading more expensive drivers for development and engineering talents. There are tradeoffs. I am glad we have both to chose from.
You can decide for yourself which you prefer. I do not need to know that.
So it is going into the item you have worked hard to earn the money to by such a product. In this case you, unlike many manufacturer's we have a very capable engineer putting these parts together in one of the single most effective results that you can hear. That is exactly what one would want in a speaker designer. Not someone putting a silver ring on a pigs nose.
Please Kenjit if you don't not have much to add to the thread please do not respond. I do not care that is your right to bring your thoughts to this thread. Having a right and doing the right thing are two completely different things.
Not even close to the right tweeter, Kenji.
You have no credentials in speaker design to present, nor any technical education, as you told me. Yet, anyone should believe you know what is wrong with the speakers because you can sound technical. On the other hand, my reputation and that of my company are both well established, worldwide, for twenty-five years. We have thousands of Owners. So we are not small, as you would believe.
A big thank you to everyone else who has posted! Funny how in forty years of my career, this fellow is the only one bitching that I ripped him off, treated him badly, don’t know at all what I am doing, and so on.
Really? You are not that special, Kenji.
Anyone is free to contact me privately to read the two vicious emails I just received from this fellow. Wow.
What makes GMA so special that it requires a special room to work in? Why is it that my PMC sounded acceptable in the same room? and the cheap B&W speakers before that? And every other speaker I've tried?
But not GMA?
Is there any aspect of GMA speakers which CAN be faulted? If so, what? Can they be improved? How?
Does the title of this thread allude to the fact that GMA are not 'warm' sounding?
How do you explain the reviewers same opinion that there is a lack of warmth and tonal neutrality? Are we all wrong?
I’m a bit late to the "party", but am happy to add my support of Roy.
I have purchased two sets of speakers from GM, and was not only very happy with their performance, but was extremely impressed with Roy’s personalized attention to my various queries. He spent a remarkable amount of time answering all of my questions, and making sure that I was ultimately a very satisfied customer.
He also facilitated the return and repair of one of a Callisto that was cracked during shipping. That was handled very well, too.
Frankly, I didn’t need any details to know that Roy and GM were being slandered by kenjit, but the evidence produced on this thread is obviously damning.
Furthermore, I was using my GMs (currently in storage) with a Jeff Rowland Concentra amp, and Electrocompaniet EMC-1UP CD player, and they were superb. No lack of warmth at all.
Oh, and my listening space was small, and far from ideal.
Thanks very much. I realize I should not rise to this abuse, but there are technical assertions made that would be good for folks to know more about. So here goes, for one last time--
I answered Kenji’s first question above years ago, about a small, undamped room’s problems. It is certainly a fair question with a technically-correct answer. After learning about his room, I gave the normal advice on wall treatments here and there, etc-- the advice we always read about. I also sent him a difficult test CD I burned. He then emailed that he appreciated now the time-coherence and that this test disc sounded just fine. He said he was happy. The song list for that test disc is available to anyone. The songs on it are literally torn apart by non-coherent speakers, making women leave the room.
For benefit of the others, the answer to his first question is:
"Your small 10x10x10 foot painted-cinder-block room makes every wall reflection reach you very soon and very loud at all frequencies. This is a very unusual situation for such a learned audiophile as yourself.
"When a time-coherent speaker’s sound reflects from very-close-by, acoustically-untreated hard surfaces, these reflections are then clearly audible as distinct reflections, especially in the voice range and low treble, because that is how we hear (Haas effect). In the bass, such strong and early reflections produce the standing waves that all audio books predict, made louder and more numerous by this small sealed room’s rigidity and therefore its lack of damping in the bass. Numerous means that the speakers can then sound warm in this room.
"When a non-time coherent speaker’s sound reflects from very-close-by, acoustically-untreated hard surfaces, these reflections are then less audible as distinct reflections, since they are scrambled in time, therefore sounding more diffuse in the voice range and low treble, precisely the region in which those speakers have the most time-smear."
These statements are facts.
I have no time to answer his second question of how I may improve my speakers, and this is not the place. Just follow my website. There, anyone will find that I always presented far more details of my technology, and WHY I use it, and provide far more specs than any other speaker manufacturer.
Regarding that review: Anyone should read it through to see how Kenji is mis-characterizing what the UK’s most experienced reviewer/editor, active since the 1970’s, wrote. And then find out he also awarded this model Product of the Year status six months later.
On my subsequent speaker models, including Kenji’s, I finally figured out how to fix a mechanical time-delay issue present in all speakers, a problem no one has ever solved. This is clearly explained on our website, in the technical papers on Rio II and Chroma, and for Eos HX.
Before this last correction of mine, our speakers could sound forward, because their low-tone range was still lagging behind just a bit, albeit less so than what other time-coherent speaker manufacturers thought to be audible. It is our lack of cabinet reflections, lack of cone breakups, and our very simple crossover circuits made of the best-sounding parts we’ve ever heard that make this last time-delay issue audible. The reviewer noted in detail how the speakers made a couple of recordings sound forward, yet NOT OTHER RECORDINGS for which he expected to have also sounded quite forward. Again, all fixed in Kenji’s speakers.
How much longer can he keep changing the subject? I know-- endlessly.
Perhaps Audiogon should ban him. If he keeps up this nonsense, others thoughts on that would be welcome. I don’t know what I can do to fix this situation.
Electrons travel at the same speed whether going through a first order crossover or a 100th order crossover. The electrons will reach your tweeter at the same time as they do your woofer. There is no such thing as ’’time coherence’’ it is a false marketing term just like the false claims of burn in. Please do not be fooled. Do your homework. Dont just jump on the bandwagon and believe what this guy says.
Its a false argument given to differentiate a product from the rest of the bunch.
See point number 8 on the list of gimmicks
Lobing on the other hand is real and first orders create the worst. If you dont believe me, move up and down in front of any first order speaker and you will hear severe changes in sound making it difficult to get the correct tonality.
The other fallacy which Roy perpetuates is the false dilemma that you either choose a first order or a higher order crossover. Neither are ideal. Both make different trade offs.
Roy is extremely generous with his time. And should not have to waste it any further with justifying himself or his products against kenjit's claims.
Maybe eight years ago I helped out a friend wanting to buy a stereo. Based on threads on agon, I scored him a pair of Europas, and then consulted with Roy about appropriate amplification in reach of a non-audiophile with a realistic budget. Roy steered us to a Sony ES integrated, which is their higher line of product. Weights around 50 pounds, cost a few hundred bucks on eBay, and from the get-go sounded great together. Every time I travel the three hours to visit my friend, and we listen to music together, I think to my self "why spend more money than this... this is a completely engaging musical listening experience". So much so that eight years later, I decided to get a pair of Europas (used) just to have kicking around, for my enjoyment or to sell to a friend who is ready for such a high value product.
I don't find them at all lean with the Sony. Full bass, excellent imaging, just musical as all getout. I always find myself amazingly engaged with the music and my friend is always thanking me. I am thanking Roy. And on several occasions, when I wanted product support or advise, Roy has been most generous. You don't find that kind of support so often.
Thanks for posting a link to the BBB complaint. I needed a good laugh today. My favorite part of the complaint is:
Recently I opened the speaker up to see if I could in any way fix it to make it sound better. But despite this I have been unable to make it better.
Roy, just let Kenjit keep on ranting...I can't wait to see what he posts next. Here's my favorite quote so far from the thread:
Electrons travel at the same speed whether going through a first order crossover or a 100th order crossover. The electrons will reach your tweeter at the same time as they do your woofer. There is no such thing as ’’time coherence"...
Like Taylor Swift says, "Hater's gonna hate...trolls gonna troll..."
Keep up the great work!