With my Ref 3s, I'm using custom-made SET monoblocks with 845 output tubes that effortlessly fill an 18x40' space. Not a specifically viable alternative for you, the only point being that you CAN use low-powered tube amps with these and they sound fantastic. My amps put out only 12 wpc, the designer/builder sez, but you sure wouldn't know it. Good luck, Dave
PS If your speakers are really new, you're in for a hundred-hour break-in during which they sound borderline awful. It's only temporary, but you'll think they're damaged or defective. They're not.
With my Ref 3s, I'm using a BAT VK-60 (and the Gallo sub). I agree with the prior post with regard to power requirement of the Ref 3s. The VK-60 is 60 wpc and is more than adequate. I am using the 4 - 6 ohm taps. Rumor has it that the Manley Snappers are also a good match for the Ref 3, but I have not heard this combination. The Snappers are optimized for a 5 ohm load. I suspect that the Ref 3s are actually closer to that than to 8 ohm.
I would like to point out that according to the manual; these speakers need to be broken in with some power. While they will work with low powered tube equipment, they need to be broken in with power. I am using 50 watt canary 339s on mine. They are not broken in as yet. But they are sounding better every day.
I am using a pair of Cary 805Cs w/o the sub amp for my Gallo Ref 3.0s. The combo is fantastic.
I agree with Jjmali. Break them in for a few weeks/months before spending much on an amp. They will "soften" up over time and will have less of a need for the tube sound.
agree with Elevick...the overall mellow character of the gallo doesn't need tubes...that said, a cj amp is pretty good with jusy about any pair of speakers.
Jjmali, excellent point, which I forgot. The more power you can throw at them during break-in, the better. My understanding is that they're close to a true 8 ohm load as the factory specs indicate; my amps would be hard pressed to drive 5 ohms.
I'm running my Gallo 3.1s (thanks Dave Pogue!) with a Harman/Kardon SS amp, approx. 150w per channel. The speakers (hell, the whole system) sound great!
According to Gallo, these speakers LOVE to see a high-current amp. Guess what the H/K is? However, I can tell you, for sure, that Dave P's system sounds terrific. Not as good as mine, but good nonetheless [very big smile]...
I am aware of the break-in period. For more than two weeks I have left them cranked when I left for work...the neighbors love me. I have been using a Rotel amp (200 wpc), for the break-in but I want to experiment with something different and a little further up the quality chain. I am getting conflicting info with respect to the power requirements. Some say they can be driven with SETs, others say they like power. I would like to know what amp could remove the grainy quality that I get with the Rotel playing the Kronos Quartet. The C-J MV60 looks appealing.
Why not the same amp that Anthony Gallo uses himself - Spectron Audio Musician III Signature. Many other speaker designers also use this amp (Albert Von Schweiker, late John Danlavy etc).
These speakers are really love high current!!!
All The Best
Thanks Rafael. I've heard that pairing Class D amps (which is what I believe the Spectron Audio Musician III is) can cause problems with tube pre-amps. I don't understand the reason. But until I know what to look out for, I will avoiding the whole class D thing. Also, I live in a smallish apt and 600 W would put me in the street.
I'm driving my ref 3s with a bel canto evo 6 and I like the match very much. Even at low sound levels, the combo is detailed and quite musical. By brother who is impossible to impress praised the sound of my system on his recent visit. I'm in the camp of you can't have too much power. I'm even suspicious of the "tubes rule" dogma band wagon thats in vogue these days.
I once talked to the manager/owner of maple shades. They love Gallo. I havent heard them myself..but they mentioned that they make an amp and integrated tube amp thats very very good with these speakers. I would give them a call. I think they have a pretty good reputation of what good sound is.
Hey Chaz801, I read some of that stuff on their website. Lost in what seems like useful info is a whole lotta nonsense and marketing gibberish.
In reference to your reply Gallo ref speakers. In your post you alluded to problems reported with tube preamps when using class D amps. I have been having some problems with my class D amp. I have several different tube preamps I use with it. My problem is an exaggerated bass almost like puffing or an announcer blowing into the mic-very exaggerated bass. What was the problem you heard about and where did you see it posted.
Driving mine with a CJ CAV-50 wired in Triode (22 Watts) and they sound amazing! I also have the Sub-Amp and a Sep Sub.