GMA Callisto feedback Green Mountain Audio

Anyone else breaking in a pair of these speakers? I have a pair with about 24 hours on them, and I hear moments of spectacular sound, but not yet at low listening levels. I know 200 hours is the magic break-in time period.

See my system under "Leahy" listed under "evolving system" for other system details.

Let me know if you would like updates as these break in...
Yes please let us know. I have the Europa and have heard from one other new owner only so far.
Oh and the Europas did take 200 hrs or so to sound best.
Thanks, Scott
I own Europas and I think they've really come on song in the last couple of weeks ... and I've owned them for about 2 months, though with not much time for use.

So breakin would seem to be required. I think the europas use the same low frequency drivers.

I also find that I have to turn the volume up a little to get the best ... they can sound a little thin at very low volumes.

I also agree about the spectacular sound ... on a good recoding the speakers completely disappear, and there's a huge and deep soundstage with superb imaging.

If there's a weak point with the Europas then IMO the bass is neither very strong nor very deep for such a large monitor, but I cross mine with a REL strata and the results are spectacular.
I've heard great raves about the GMA Europas, but I haven't heard them in person. Heard great raves about some Magnepans and actually heard some (12 & 3.6) that really knocked me out. Haven't heard anyone weigh in who's listened to both. The Maggies look more like sofa cushions from an RV than speakers, but they sound so alive! I'd be excited to hear another speaker that inspired the same response (for less than $1500). Are Europas one?
Hi guys, I own the Europa's and have had them almost two years. Let me tell you your in for some sonic pleasure as they break in fully. This takes around 1000 hours, regardless of what others might say. At that 1000 hour point they become quite seductive in their sound. From around 200 hours on, they just get better and better and better. As far as bass response goes, although they are not as strong as a good subwoofer, they have very tunefull, accurate bass down to around the mid 40's in my room. In fact they do the low bass string (open "E"?) on a contra bass effortlessly. The bass really opens up with time....but you need to beat the hell out of these things and play them loud. Quiet won't break them in. I'd bet the Callisto's will have similar characteristics. Play em loud!
I've had my Callistos for about 2 weeks now. They arrived with about 100 hours of burn in on them, and I've played them about 40 more since then. Right out of the box they sounded remarkable. Rhythmic, effortlessly tuneful, with engaging voicing on all instruments (voices, guitars, piano, as well as low-end instruments, cellos and bass guitars). Tonight I finally ran my low end test on them -- Beatles' "Come Together" on vinyl. This is incredible! I've got a smaller room (12 x 15) and these 6" woofers just filled it with Paul's cocksure bass lines. I'm not a tech-oriented person,so I have no measuring instruments -- I just know that I've listened to this song in many places, large and small, over many years (too many), on many systems, and it's never sounded this good. Real loud, with no break up, no strain, just pacing and pounding, and John's vocals clear and compelling. A couple of tracks later on Maxwell Silver Hammer I suddenly noticed these 2 acoustic guitars, quite treble-y, playing fast little chords, adding an angle I've never heard before and altering my understanding of the song, after all these years.

Besides great bass, incredible instrument voicing, and captivating pace, I have found one more surprising thing with the Callistos: at least 50% of the sibilance I've put up with for years is now gone. Just disappeared. I had been assuming that most of the sibilance I was hearing was inescapable, built into the source material -- WRONG! I'm listening to Norah Jones, to Indigo Girls, to Ella, Dakota Staton, and there's barely an ssssss to distract me. When I do hear it, it sounds natural, less annoying, and it's gone before I realize it.

It's funny, I've been meaning to post my initial impressions for the past 6 or 7 days, but whenever I have a chance to do so I decide to listen to music instead. The other side of Let it Be just finished in the next room. I'm goin' back for more....
I have the Europas too. I have about 600 hours on them and I agree they get better and better as time goes on. One more plus to the Europas is they actually make bad recordings come alive. A lot of speakers sound so dead and dull on bad recordings, not so with the Europas.
Damn it, I may have to upgrade! I agree that the Europa gets better and better as you go along. I have had them for a year and a half now (how many hours?) and I find day to day that I didn't hear that, or this is smoother etc. I have owned Maggies in the past and they were my other choice but due to room size I picked the Europas. I will say that I am amazed that these "box" speakers can have such an open spacious and lively sound.
Watch out guys. You don't want to get branded as "Hypers".
Winegasman, did you own the Europas before you bought the Callistos? If so do you think they are a lot better than the Europas? GMA thought they were something like 500% better than the Europas.
I had loaner Europas that I listened to briefly, waiting for Callistos to arrive. The Europas weren't broken in, so I'm not sure comparison is fair, but it seems to me that the Callistos have a much better bottom end, more assured and with much lower reach. Mids and highs on the Callistos seem more present and lifelike. These speakers are just amazingly musical. They make it seem easy. Oh, and the crossover and time alignment provide for great pacing! Finally, I will say that these speakers look much better than the Europas -- I've actually gotten positive WAF on their looks, unlike the Europas. Sure they look a bit like a thumb, but as I told Roy J., it's a beautiful thumb.
I have a new pair of Callisto's with about 80 hrs on them. I let mine play continuously for a couple of days with different types of music before I gave them any critical listening. I cannot say enough about the MUSIC these speakers make. My room is small, 13x15x9.5 and I have brought out cd's I haven't listened to for years. I never heard all the music before or known the artist to sound so good. I now marvel in their talents and Roy Johnson is a genius. The break in period is very short to achieve great sound, but they get better every time I listen to the Callisto's. As far as low level listening, I have found with most speakers, wire and tubes will change the sound. Low level listening in my situation has been extremely satisfying and this is with 15 watts of tube power. Best speakers I heard at the Denver Audio Fest.
I am running an old NAD 2200 pe and 1155 pre. room dimensions are pretty similar to yours, with some doorway opening on the long wall and french doors on one short wall ( windows on the other). any sense of going with a europa and sub or just callisto? any sense of how th GMA stuff compares with the Von S VR1 + sub, VR 2, or Dynaudtion 52SE, 72 SE, which are now short-listed. So very hard to buy blind, as there is no GMA dealer in the northeast. The GMA stuff has been so well received and I don't want to dismiss it out of hand.
John, my room is a disaster compared to most. I have 54" windows on two sides, a 60" doorway, then french doors on another wall that I leave open when possible. I cannot say enough about the Callisto's. The sound is not directed into one "sweet spot" like most monitors I have heard. The bottom port and the adjustability of the Callisto's makes music in every part of the room. If I am in another part of the house, I turn them up a little and go about my work and the sound is still very good. I went to Audio Fest in Denver and planned to return with Von S. or others. I was drawn back to Green Mountain every time. No other sounded this good. I bought the Callisto's on the spot and waited three weeks for Roy to build them. It was worth the wait. I believe you can demo the Callisto's in your home. I'll be surprised if you send them back. Give Roy a call at 719-636-2500. Green Mountain Audio are good people that care about the music.
Elsneb - Much appreciate your response. I first heard from the new GMA ceo and then got a very long and informative note from Roy re my question. If customer relations/service was the sole factor in sealing a deal, no question about GMA. Sounds like the Callisto may very well be a'go'.
It is not easy buying without hearing and also being one of the 'first on the block' to purchase a rather new product.
Janet, the new CEO at Green Mountain will go out of her way to make you happy with their product. I have not known Green Mountain long, but their speakers speak for themselves. The people have a real passion for their product and the music. What more could I ask for in an audio company? I am buying more music since I purchased the Callisto's.
I'll add my vote to the customer service from GMA. It is absolutely outstanding. I don't think I've ever had the level of followup on anything else I've bought, ever. And they're so enthusiastic about the music. I just hope they're paying equal attention to the bottom line because I only spent $900 when I got my europas.

I get the impression that they're run off their feet though, so they can take a few days to respond.
my overall impression is that the musicians have been captured by RJ, minaturized, and are performing live inside the Callistos - right now it's Darden Smith and some pals...
Roy is a one in a million ,I am a small hifi dealer in the U.K .I owned a 0.5 awhile ago and I new was on to something I now ordered 2pr of Callistos ,and hope to get the continuum-3 juniors in the near future ,I emailed roy no lie 20 times and he spend several hours and answered every question,he is totally dedicated to his fans.
And I spoke with his new C.E.O Janet is a excellent lady and she will put GMA on the world map for some time to come , thanks again Roy. I will give a detailed report next week after I unglue myself from the chair.
New review by 6Moons on the Callisto.
Can anyone comment on the comparison of the Callisto and the Europa? Also, are both speakers using the same drivers?
Roy can answer your questions on the drivers. I hope to be doing a side-by-side comparison of Callistos and Europas later this month. I will post a detailed comparison and review when I do.
It looks to me like both the callisto and europa use the same LF driver (from Aurasound). To get the higher sensitivity I suspect that the Callisto (and Europa max) use a more expensive Morel tweeter, as the more expensive MDT-31 and MDT-33 are more sensitive and have better low frequency response, but are similar in other respects to the tweeter used in the Europa (which might be a MDT-30 ... I don't know, I haven't remove it).

I really like my europas, but I have to say that the Callistos, on paper, don't look like they justify the additional cost. That said, I've never heard them, and I'm sure a big portion of the cost is recovering the engineering and design time, rather than the increased driver/crossover cost.
Dear Sean,

Yes, the tweeter is better, and more expensive in the Callisto. The woofer is the same, with added Marigo damping materials on its frame. The crossover is almost the same, but those few changes in it are significant. The cabinet also makes a large difference.

The cost difference does help in recouping our R&D costs, which numbered many hundreds of hours spread over two years. However, the lion's share is for the many elements of its production: Molding, assembling, and finishing the Callisto's curved cabinet is very complicated. Much more time is needed to cut and install its acoustic absorption materials, to install the drivers, crossover and wiring harness, and to fabricate and mount the ports. There are two lacquered hardwood-trimmed bases to make, and finally 125lbs shipping weight in three custom cartons. These details will also be on our new website in about a week.

It takes about ten working days to complete a pair from the day the liquid-marble composite hits the molds. Thus, a few tons of cabinets are always occupying several hundred square feet of workbenches, to fill that pipeline. The cost for that extra space and the benches is not trivial, nor for that inventory.

The Europa's cabinet is simply two cast-marble moldings, and 94lbs shipping weight, in stock cartons. It takes about six days for a pair's production cycle.

The Europa is also sold only factory direct. The Europa Max (and all other models) are sold by authorized retailers, who have their overhead.

Remember, there would be no such thing as high-end audio without retailers, which is why on one level, I find it irritating whenever I read how retailers cheat people by not giving products away at large discounts. Would you ask your doctor for a discount?

I can also see this is an attitude created by many manufacturers- asking a lot for a product which isn't that special, or by publishing an inflated suggested list price with room for an automatic discount before one even asks.

Those affect anyone's perception of value, and have set many audiophiles to thinking about "zero loss on resale", instead of expecting that "I can find something worth investing in."

The full list of our retailers will finally appear on the new website. None carries "products of the month". Nor are any in the discount business to "make a sale". They present their products as the investments they are, and are fully prepared to back that up with demonstrations. Searching for that attitude is one big reason we have been slow in acquiring new retailers.

Fortunately, everyone who has heard the Callistos has had no problem justifying their extra cost over the Europas, or the Europa Maxs (which do use the Callisto drivers, et. al., in the standard Europa cabinets).

We are certainly very pleased with Paul Candy's review on sixmoons- any manufacturer would be, with a review so positive. Yet what really made his a special review, and I think useful to his readers, is how Paul challenged the Callistos with such a wide range of music and loudness'. Also, it was important that he was so experienced with many other speakers. Thank you Paul, for your hard work, and thank you Srajan, for publishing my technical answers at the end. Speaker design can be a science. If we do it all, and do it right, I find that all music becomes accessible.

My thanks also to all of the GMA owners for your continuing thumbs up. I am so glad you are enjoying all your music.

Best to everyone,
Roy Johnson
Founder and Designer
Green Mountain Audio
Thanks for posting Roy, and don't get me wrong ... I wasn't implying that GMA are gouging on the Callisto vs the Europa. I was simply saying that the Callisto is more than twice the cost of the base Europa, and as a buyer there had better be a substantial difference in performance for my extra outlay.

Additionally I think the Europas are much more capable than my sources (LP & CD), so more money would have to be spent at the front end before the speakers.

I also work for a small manufacturer so I understand very well that the cost of product is a lot more than the cost of the parts, though sometimes our customers have to have this explained to them.

The Europas are excellent speakers that I can recommend without hesitation. I hope I can one day hear your other speakers, but I'm not a tire-kicker, so it would have to be at a show.
I have owned the Europas longer than any other speaker that I have ever owned and my wife and I enjoy them. If I ever get the upgrade bug, the Callistos will be our choice. If the Callistos are that much better than the Europas, the Callistos are a bargin. Thanks to Roy for making a great, reasonablly priced speaker.

PS every audiophile friend that has heard them, loved them, some even ordered a pair!
I too have owned the Europas for over a year, a very good speaker. I just upgraded to the Callistos. I discussed the details of the purchase with Roy today for 20 minutes. Customer service like you can't believe. This guy reeks of support, from remembering my wifes name to hints of speaker set up. I will report back to this site on the differences between Europas and Callistos when they arrive next week.
Mijknarf- please do post on the difference between the speakers. Looking forward to it!
I'm looking to upgrade from the Europas to the Callistos too. Can I call GMA for the retailer list or is GMA still selling facory direct?
Only the Europa is sold factory direct. All other GMA speakers are sold through dealers. Roy said the dealer list will be on the updated site soon, or you can call GMA for the dealer in your area.
the dealer information is on their website. click on the callisto picture and you will be taken to the callisto page. on the bottom right of the page you will find dealer information. you, may, of course, call GMA direct for the information.
I've had the Callistos for six days. They arrived from GMA with 50 hours on them, so not totally broken in yet. All I can say is "stunning". I'm not going to gush here, but the Callistos are the real deal. Differences from the Europas are more bottom end for sure. On some recordings, I can feel it in my chest and feet. You can't believe what you are hearing from these little (relative) speakers in front of you. They seem to dissapear in the room. Are they 500% better than the Europas, certainly not. Are they better than anything else out there, certainly not. Would these outperform other "well known, well advertised, well supported" speakers, maybe (A/B in home trials are best). Am I loyal to the brand, perhaps. Do I want others to experience what I am hearing, absolutely. I'll post other observations on my system page when I update the pics and get a little more time.
Thanks for the update. I would be vedy interested in your comments about how the "character" of the two speakers differs: Do you have the same "hall position" with both? Is the Callisto more "refined" (naturalness, truth of timbre). Etc.
I just ordered the Callisto. I own the Europa so hopefully I will be able to post some feedback on the improvements the Callisto offers over the Europa. It may be awhile as I don't even have them yet and of course I want to give them a good breakin.
Drubin, I don't know how to describe "hall position". What I do addition to increased bottom end, the music has more weight: piano notes are more defined, male and female voices have more body. They seem to dissapear, as I face my system, I can't tell that the sound is coming from the speakers, it sounds like its as wide as my room.
I have owned the Callisto's since Oct. 2004 and I am done looking for speakers. It is nice to have a speaker that is so enjoyable to listen to the music. The sound not only fills my room, I can turn them up and work in another part of the house and enjoy the music. I have listened to more music, bought more music and am now enjoying doing little tweaks to my system with power cords and tubes. I did not know Green Mountain Audio before the Rocky Mountain Audiofest. I was sold on the sound alone. Now that I know the company and designer Roy Johnson, I am compelled to share what I hear in their great sounding speakers. Hearing the music all over again has made this journey well worth my time. Enjoy!
Either here on Audiogon or start calling dealers to see if they have stock they are looking to move (since they are now a discontinued model).