Gale 401a speakers

Anybody else here using these old wonders?
I bought a pair of these for my second system.
A year later and now with three rebuilt pairs I have come to love these things and they now reside most of the time in my main system.

A thirty five year old design has no right to sound so good.Or look so good.
Over the years I have owned all sorts of speakers-electrostats,BBC monitors,horns and all sorts of dynamic speakers and on balance I have to say none were better than these Gales.A very complete and coherent sounding speaker.Most of all they sound really big but never like boxes.

A much misunderstood speaker.By reputation they they are very current hungry and require monster SS power amps.
But in reality they sound best with good tube amps like the Almarro 318B.Tubes seem to take their sound to a different level-some sort of electrical compatability going on I guess.

They warrant fastidious reconditioning.It is very easy to ruin them if reconditioning components are not appropriate.

There is a lot of information at the Gale Google Group.
Haven't seen one of these for a long long time. I used to own a pair with the matching stands in the late 70s. I drove them with a SAE 2600. In a right size room, they did sound big when scale was called for but they also sounded delicate with solo instrument. I love how they played violin concertos.

I had never gotten good result driving them with tubes. Mid range and above sounded great but if you want some real bass impact, it needs a big SS amp.

Have you ever rebuilt the crossovers? We can get much higher quality capacitors now, I suspect they will sound better than when they were new.
Yes crossovers have been rebuilt.
Also bypassing the attenuators and fuses helps free up the sound.Fixed value resistors have replaced the attenuators.
The woofers have had both surrounds and spiders replaced.New midranges from the last production run too.
Also the fibreglass damping can pack down so all this has been replaced too.
A lot of work and expense but the result is something pretty special.

Agreed not all tube amps will drive them.The Almarro318b has big SS type bass control.Also the humble but excellent Ming Da EL 34A/B drives them very well.
I bought a pair of reconditioned 401s about a year ago - to use as part of a seconday system while my house is having a major overhaul. Yes, they are extraordinary - even more so when one considers their age. Shortly after I set them up, a friend came over and thought the main system speakers(Apogees) were engaged. He soon appreciated his error, but it's astounding that those little boxes could even hope to briefly masquerade as big ribbons.

I played with them with a variety of amps - starting with the tiny Sonic Impact T-amp (which played for about 3 seconds before giving up!) Excellent results with the well-priced HLLY T-amp, but by far the best sound was with my Threshold s/500.

I agree with the reputation that the Gales have for liking power and current, but they do quite nicely on a leaner diet. Currently in the retro 70s back-up system with the era-appropriate Lecson AC1-AP1 (only 35 WPC) and Thorens 126. Amazingly non-boxy sound with a stunningly liquid midrange. I think these speakers are often forgotten, but with a little TLC to renovate them, they become easily competitive with current offerings at far beyond their price point!
Of course these were pretty expensive in their day.They were slightly cheaper than the QUAD ESL 57 so in todays terms given the price of current QUADs this equates approximately to the cost of a small car.

Also their design aesthetics are timeless.People assume they are very modern.I also love the story behind their designer Dr Ira Gale.A very colourful character.When not running a speaker company he was Andy Warhols art dealer in London.
My pair of 401A has been reconditioned with new Clarity Cap capacitors, inductance free resistors and Van den Hul driver cables. The chrome cap ends have been reformed by a local Harley Davidson guru. I do not have the original chrome stands but to me this is not a fault since the originals were dancing with the music, if you know what I mean.
The sound with the right ancillary equipment is so fantastic with a great soundstage both wide and deep, the middle band has the clarity of a good electrostatic loudspeaker without the annoying beaming while the highs are so fresh and extended that you can feel the air like that of the K2.
They play everything with competence and conviction even if I feel that music with great dynamic contrast like rock is their house.
One of the most jaw-dropping systems I ever heard was way
back around 1984.
It was comprised of a Linn LP-12/Syrinx PU2/ Supex 900 front-end,
Berning T-10 preamp, Threshold 300 amp, and of all things, Gale 401 speakers.
Simply unbelievable!

I have a pair of Gale 401a speakers
They have been in my possession for over 20 yrs they were given to me.
I recently took them to an electronics person to see if they worked properly as i was thinking of trying to sell them.
He tested them but found that only the bass speakers worked.

They have been stored well & are in fairly good nick.
I dont want these to end up on the scrap heap.
I would like someone to have them for free (who might want the parts)
I live in Richmond Surrey, TW9. UK
So if u are interested please post a reply to this thread on this website.
I dont want my personal details on the web
You can email me -
I dont use this website (until tday) or use that email account for day to day use.
Im not an audio head or want to make a listing on this site as it cost money & time etc
So please share this post to anyone who may be interested…

Hello all,

IM pleased to say that my post on this website did the job.

A man in USA saw this & passed it on to Dave Smith at Vintage Gale.

We made contact & an arrangement (a good man), he collected them a few days ago…