Anybody hear the new Gallo Reference 3 speakers???

If so, impressions? Thanks in advance.
I heard Gallo's demonstration of these speakers at CES and was very impressed. For a moderately high level all in one (two channel and HT) system, these would be an excellent choice. Competent audio only speakers which play big and smooth, if not with the most resolution, and top-notch HT speakers that can go up and down with aplomb without sounding harsh or overly sibilant. Also not very big or obtrusive looking with the grills on, and the grills seem quite transparent. I forget what the list price was on these speakers -between 2k and 3k, I think. For that amount, they would be at or near the top of my list for a combo speaker system.
Heard it at the SF HE2003 and was very impress, compared to the big buck speakers they held their own. The bass is very impressive, hope to audition it more in the future.
I have been interested in Gallo speakers since auditioning the Nucleus Minor almost ten years ago. I presently own 2 pairs of Nucleus Micros, which I use as surrounded speakers. For some time I have been hoping that Gallo would introduce a new speaker comparable to the discontinued Nucleus Solo or Reference II (which received virtually unanimous extremely positive reviews from both professional reviewers and owners).

I auditioned the Reference 3's on two different occasions at the same store (The Little Guy's in Homewood, Illinois). I heard them in 2 different rooms and was amazed at how different the bass was from one room to the other. In both case they were demonstrated without augmentation (bi-amping of the woofers second voice coil). In the first room they almost did not require a sub-woofer and in the second room they definitely did. In as much as I am completely aware of the affects a room can have on the lower frequencies I was still surprised at the huge difference. The approximate size and layout of the rooms were as follows:

Room With Full Range Response
About 16' wide by 18' long by 9' high with speakers on the long wall about 30" out with a 65" plasma TV between them. The listening position was up against the opposite wall. (I realize that this was not an optimum set up and that is why I auditioned the speakers again in the room below.) The amplifiers used in this room were discontinued Musical Fidelity mono-blocks (250 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms).

Room With Rolled Off Response
About 18' wide by 20' deep by 10' high, with speakers on 18' wall with the speakers about 42" out and the listening position about 8' out from the opposite wall. (walking around the room made only subtle differences in bass response).This room probably makes the speakers sound more like the designer intended but definitely requires augmentation. The amplifier used in this room was a Musical Fidelity A308 Integrated Amplifier (150 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms)

I noticed that on some male vocals the image seemed rather low. I thought this might me due to the low placement of the woofer. I e-mailed Srajan Ebaen of, who reviewed the Gallo's; with this observation and he wrote that he consistently achieved an image that was about 5.5' to 6' high (he had them fully tilted back which I did not). I also felt the image was not well focused in the 'full range room' (I assumed due to the large plasma TV between the speakers). Image quality in the rolled off room was slightly better but not as good as my home system or the SP Technology Continuums that I auditioned previously. The Continuums are great speakers but after the recent price increase, they are beyond my budget and SP does not currently offer a surround speaker that can be wall mounted.

After my first audition of the Reference III, I was extremely enthusiastic about the speaker. I felt that it had and an extended open response, reasonably good dynamics and good bass extension. The few negative things, such as the diffuse imaging and low image height were in my opinion attributable to the room and set up in the room described above as 'room with full range response'. Upon auditioning the speakers again I was so preoccupied with the drastic change in bass response that I did not pay enough attention to the remainder of the frequency range. I did however notice that the imaging was still not as focused as I am accustomed to. Although the second room did have acoustical absorbing material on the walls it may not have been located properly for the current speaker and listener positions. It is my guess that since the Reference III uses an omni directional tweeter, positioning of acoustical absorbing materials is very important.

There is however one other issue that is troubling me. Like many people today I am interested in surround sound for both music and home theater (with emphasis in my case on music). This requires the use of three front speakers preferably identical or at least as close to being identical as possible. The reference III could have fulfilled that requirement if they could be purchased separately but unfortunately Gallo only sells them in pairs in pairs. I understand they will be introducing a new center speaker to match the reference III, and that this new product may be configured for both horizontal and vertical applications. Personally I think horizontally oriented center speakers are a compromise necessitated by CRT type rear projection TVs. For an ideal music surround systemit is my opinion that three identical front speakers, with identical radiation patterns is the ideal. I find it difficult to understand why Gallo has chosen to only sell their new product in pairs. The current trend in video is away from CRT rear projection televisions to more compact formats such as plasma LCD and DLP, many of which can be wall or shelf mounted. The three foot high Reference III could easily be accommodated below these televisions. I understand that many people still own CRT type rear projection TVs and for that reason would prefer a horizontally oriented center speaker. However it is my opinion that in the future horizontal center channel speakers will not be as popular as they are now, especially for music surround applications. For this reason I think it would be wise if Gallo sold the Reference III separately as well as in pairs. I'm sure that their new center channel speaker will be a good product but like all products it may not suit everyone's needs, but it would not cost Gallo anything to also sell the reference III separately for use as a matching center channel speaker.

Despite the above criticisms, I am still very interested in the Gallo's and I will definitely audition them again. One of the reasons that I have posted this mini review is to illustrate how different these and most other speakers can sound under different conditions. When someone dislikes a speaker based on one audition, they may not have heard what the product is capable of. I am hoping I have not yet heard what the Reference 3 is capable of.
What about the Due' as a center speaker? It appears to have the same mid drivers and tweeter, and it's rated down to 90 Hz. Wouldn't that take care of the "similar sound characteristics as the Reference Three" issue? Then, one would just have to blend the crossover properly to fill in the rest of the bass sounds....
It seems that the Due' may not be the perfect match for the Ref IIIs. I just copied this out of Srajan's 6 Moons review of the Ref.III's:
"Also, the CDT used in the Dué is not the same. Its dispersion and low-frequency extension are far more limited. Ditto for its 3-inch midrange drivers - although the head module of the Reference III does look like a slightly larger Dué, it is mechanically, structurally, electrically and sonically a very different animal altogether."

Hmmm...looks like we will have to bug Mr. Gallo about this issue, as Mr. c-bugbee suggests.
Yup, I own a pair now... They are still low on hours (70-80) and so they still need some time. they replaced Paradigm Studio 40 v3/Signature S-4's for my 2-channel system and I am very happy. Gallo informs me that the prototype LCR Ref. 3's will be ready for CEDIA... Until that time, my Paradigm setup will be used for HT and the Gallo only for 2-channel.

What I like:
1) Holographic speaker! The width and depth of soundstage are still changing for the better but wow! I am in awe of the holographic nature of these small floorstanders

2) Non-fatiguing highs - I am not a fan of the spitty sounding tweeters in most metal dome speakers (even Paradigm straddles the line between resolution and spitty highs) and the Gallo's have replaced this with very natural sounding sibilants that no longer sound "hi-fi". The tweeter is truly remarkable at getting the details correct without sounding harsh. Very transparent.

3) Good bass - if you are a bass freak these will need to be supplimented with a sub but for a speaker this small, the bass seems pretty good down to the mid 30's. The bass is nice and fast, not resonant at all and not boomy

4) Size - here we have a very small floorstander that is small enough to get out of the way yet casts a HUGE soundstage. They work well in the room and are not eyesores like most big speakers

5) Image height - after tilting the speaker back via the feet the soundstage height is around 5 feet in my room, great if you consider the tweeter is about 2.5 feet off of the ground.

6) Musical - I find myself doing less "surfing" of songs and just listening to the music - these speakers are terrific for those that find they can;t listen to hi-fi for more than 30 min becuase of fatiguing highs.

Other stuff:

1) Imaging is not a pinpoint as the best I have ever heard. Mind you it is still terrific but the image is not a razor sharp as some. This may be due to more layering of the music in the soundstage which is quite apparent and very neat.

2) These speakers really do dissappear better than any other speaker I have heard - maybe becuase there is no cabinet but if the lights are off you simply caqnnot localize any of the sound to the speaker - impressive. This is vs. Maggie, Gershman, Paradigm Signature, Vandersteen, B&W, etc.

3) Positioning is crucial. The speakers are that fussy but objects to the sides of the speakers really seems to imapct the sound quality more so than box speakers with a directional tweeter. pull these speakers out until there is no central obstruction and the imaging between the speakers will improve.

Overall I am very happy - I'll be keeping these for many years to come
I just ordered a pair yesterday. It was between these and the Harbeth Compact 7. What sold me on these was how well they disappeared. I heard the Harbeths on a full Naim system including the $10000 CD3. The room wasn't overly treated but was a recording studio compared to where I heard the Ref IIIs. The Gallos I heard on an Arcam system and then on my own Manley Stingray. The room was filled with TVs, speakers, racks of equipment and noise from all over. They sounded amazing on every piece of music I played and didn't want to leave when they needed the room for someone else.

The speakers do seem to be very revealing. I could hear major differences between the two amps. These will probably make good reviewer's speakers. 6moons just put up a short review/info piece on the bass amp module that will augment the bass down to 25Hz and includes a crossover, phase adjustment, etc. Check it out over at as it's not on the Gallo website yet.

I look forward to hearing these in my room on my equipment. Should be a week ship time.
(Repeat from my comments on another Gallo Ref 3 thread:)

I have been living with the Ref 3's for a couple of weeks now. They are fantastically open and revealing in my system.

In fact, they sound too prominent in the upper mids/lower treble in my room. (I have used the tweeter switch to taper off the HF response a couple of dB, too.) Because of power sources, I have to place the speakers at the short wall and fire them along the long wall. This may cause a first reflection room interaction that accentuates the upper mids. The 300 degree-disispersion tweeters may need more "breathing room" than the 32 inches (to the side walls) I am giving them. Despite the open-celled, rippled foam I have placed at those
reflection points, I still hear a fatiguing, forward, (shouty") upper-mid prominence.

Does anybody else have a similar problem with the Gallos?

Putting the upper mid-prominence aside (which may be unique to my set up), the Nucleus Ref 3's open up a detailed, light, and airy window on the source material that surprises me---especially for their price. (My reference is the Coincident Super Eclipse.) The sound stage height is in proportion with the whole picture and not an problem for me. It is somewhat like listening from the first row, mezzanine or balcony at a symphony hall---where the sound is often best anyway--and looking down slightly at the stage. Lowering the listening position compensates for this--if you don't like it.

I would like to bring the Gallos to a dealer to test them against other speakers in a different room just to find out what happens. Maybe that upper-mid shouting will be proven to be in my setup only.

I am currently listening to the Gallos with a pair of 95-watt, triode, push-pull mono blocks (Cary SLAM-100s) and also inserted the Berning ZH-270 amp.

Do folks out there have a take on whether the Gallo Ref 3's "like" solid state or tube amps?