I don't know the Totem, but the Gallo Due' is an amazing speaker for its size. Even better, if not cosmetically, if you remove the metal shield and the "grill cloth." You'll need a sub, though.
10 responses Add your response
What I mean is that Totem speakers are usually very good as it's Canadian high-end and offers a better value. The Gallo Due's are $600 a piece so the Totem's are $200 a piece which is cheaper and does down to 57hz as it uses a 4" woofer and a 1" titanium tweeter. The Gallo Due has some specs that are out of sync since their webpage lists 89dB sensitivity, 80hz-40kHz frequency response. Dealers lists it as 93dB sensitivity, 60hz-40khz frequency response. The brochure from Gallo lists it as 93dB sensitivity, 60hz > 20khz frequency response. Supposedly $600 would be a better speaker than a $200 speaker but remember, Canandian brands usually have a better value than US brands like Gallo. Ofcourse the sensitivity is way better than the Totem. What is weird is why two out of two dealers who sells high-end audio/video and sells both Gallo and Totem would recommend the Totem for 1/3rd of the price because they said the Gallo Dues don't have mid-bass/mid-range, is that the same thing since I doubt they would make more money on a speaker costing 3 times less. I won't be getting a sub though because I live in a apartment and until I get a house and get floor space, I don't want to have angry neighbors. As for size, the Gallo Due's are 11.5" x 5" x 4.5" while the Totem's are 11.25" x 5" x 7".
Could you perhaps drive to one of your dealers and actually listen to them? It sounds as if your mind is made up, especially with the built-in jingoism of Canadian brands vs US brands.
I would think 57 Hz with a 4" driver is really pushing it; how far down in dB response is it? Also remember, the Dues have two 4" drivers which would push more air, all things being equal, and drive up the actual manufacturing cost of the speakers. That may be a clue why they cost more, plus their unusual, non-drop-in tweeter. Would their enclosure cost more to make than a box? Who knows?
Having heard neither one of 'em,
I had Due's and sold them. They are good, but IMO, not great, and they are quite bright. That may or may not be your taste, but I ended up being much more happy with comparably priced (ok, a little more expensive) speakers from Linn.
The Due's were fed with some very nice gear, so it wasn't the front end.
I haven't heard the Totems.
Bottom line -- the Gallo speakers are certainly pretty and have their qualities, but you are paying extra for the fancy set up.
For less money, I'd look for a used pair of Soliloquy Sat 5's. They are a real killer for the size and price.
Actually, the problem is the nearest dealer is not within 100 miles and I don't have a car so public transportation will not get me there.
My view on Canadian brands versus US brands was more that Totem is considered a high-end brand but is Gallo considered the same as their Nucleus Micro's are sold by The Good Guys which is a chain store that sells mass market stuff.
The Gallo Due's actually have two 3" drivers and not 4" drivers, it's the sphere that is 4". The A'Diva's is still the same 3" driver but the sphere is 5". As for the dB response rating, Gallo Due's are the ones who don't advertise the dB rating for the response. Totem is actually -3dB and may go even lower at -6dB or -10dB. I mean the other thing is Gallo has bigger marketing and labor probably costs more in the US to drive up the cost. It seems like lots of people like the Due's and lots of people like the Totems but the people have only heard one and not the other. The Gallo enclosure is probably a lot more heavy than the Totem as well since the Due is close to 9 lbs, not sure how much the Totem's weigh.
Were the Due's fully broken in though since I thought that was one of the reasons people didn't like them at first. I guess the real question is on the Gallo Due's, was it a pretty transparent speaker sonically and what did people mean when it has no mid-bass or mid-range and is there any coloration in the sound? I'm just trying to figure what quality it's lacking in the sound as the Totem is the only other speaker at the same physical size that seems to be highly recommended.
You're right that Totem is a great company to deal with since I have met Vince B of Totem at the Stereophile 1998 Show and he did give me some pointers. I have the Totem Model 1 Signature for the front L/R speakers and when I tried the Totem Rokk's out, they just didn't have that Totem sound or the Dynaudio sound. My friend used to be selling Totem's but that was 3+ years ago but he's no longer in the business.
You are correct about the size of the drivers in the Due's. When I read in the literature that they had 4" speakers, I was thinking drivers. Sorry for trying to mislead you. And, according to my old math formulas, 2 - 3" drivers only have an increase of 12% cone area (air movement) than a single 4".
Too bad there isn't someone who could send you a set of each to try for a week.
I actually got a friend who bought Gallo Due's to lend me one set so I can break it in for him but I can't really tell how it sounds as I have concrete walls and ceilings here in this apartment so that was one other reason I would trust opinions from others more. While 2 - 3" drivers have more air movement than a single 4" driver. What about if the 4" driver was a actual woofer and the 2 - 3" used by the Gallos are full range drivers? Wouldn't that have a effect since I thought full range drivers don't perform as well as a woofer of the same size for the frequencies that the woofer would cover. Not to mention, doesn't the Gallo Due's still require a crossover network as there are 3 drivers or do they just let each driver including the tweeter reproduce the whatever the driver is capable of by sending the full signal to it? I think I already figured out what makes the Due's more expensive. The Tweeter is made out of some Aerospace plastic but coated with Silver which does tarnish after awhile from what I heard.
Also, the other thing is that I talked to two dealers today. One carries Gallo only but they don't have the Gallo Due in stock and only have a display model so not even anything for in-home auditioning. They can special order it and there is 30 day money back return policy. The other one is the nearest Totem dealer to me and also carries the Gallo Speakers. They do not have any Gallo's for audition or even on display and only the Totem's. They have no return policy at all so you have to live with what you buy even though you can upgrade and use the value as full credit but you have to buy something twice as expensive atleast. So maybe the Gallo Due's are just low in supply or something or maybe it's so good that it's making their more expensive speakers look bad so they have the Totem's and then expect people to spend more than the Gallo price to get better sound.