Gallo 3.1 vs. B&W 804 vs. faber grand piano

I am looking to stay under $3,000 used. The only one I have heard is the sonus, faber. I liked it. I also have had jm labs in the past, so they are not out of the question either, I like there sound siquature.

The speakers will be used for Home theater use also. I mainly listen to rock music.

What I want is a speaker that is very fast, tight bass, with great imaging. Also I kind of like a speaker to be a little on the bright side, but not fatiguing.

Oh and the amps will be a theta Dreadnaught or Bell Canto ref II's.

Thanks for the help in advance!
The ones you suggest are very good speakers. I am especially intrigued by the Gallos. But how about Triangle Celius? I listened to them recently and found them great...and they're going to save you some money.
The Gallo's excel at imaging. Their bass is very good, especially with the Gallo sub amp. High end is very sweet, and very extended. They are however, extremely sensitive to placement, so due care should be taken when setting them up.
I listen mostly to Rock, Industrial, & Punk, with some Folk, Jazz, and Classical thrown in for good measure. I really like my Gallo Ref 3.1s, but I'm not extremely familiar with the other options you're looking into.
Have heard all three speakers.
Loved the Gallos,
liked the Sonus Fabers a lot(just a bit too romantic),
the B&Ws are snoozers and need a very lively front end.
I agree with Magnumpi205 except I haven't heard the gallos. I would also suggest a look at von schweikert 4jrs.
Well then the B&Ws are out. I defiantly do not want a laid back speaker.
Contrary to the above, I find B&Ws to be upfront and dynamic, certainly not laid back. They are great with rock material and sound best with warm electronics due to the metal-dome tweeter. On the other hand, I find the Sonus Faber Grand Piano to be laidback and excels in jazz and vocals. B&Ws do rock music and HT better than Sonus Fabers. Both are colored speakers that have a distinctive house sound of their own. I have owned the B&W N805 and SF Grand Piano, the latter for 3 years.

Since you have listened to the Grand Pianos yourself and liked it, it's a wiser choice to go with that speaker rather than taking a chance without listening to the other two speakers.
I have to concur with Ryder, I used to have B&W 804S speakers and they are anything but laid back. The thing that I loved most about them was the forward presentation.
I apologize that I didn't read the post that I referenced carefully if laid back is what was meant. The B&Ws are definetely not laid back. I found them to sound very precise, but lean and forward and too easily fatiguing.
I sold the original 804N's for years and have to agree with above .If you going to go HT with these the rare Due might pop up for rears but you'll have a great HT timbre matched set with the $1200 Gallo center.Would suggest you look at the Class D amps sold here by Underwoodwally.Great reviews and much cheaper than other Class D.Always thought the 804's gave up imaging and you'd be better off with 805's and fast sub or go to 803's (used for $3K either N or S are great speaker and work well with different amps.Great Soundstage too).Go for Gallo's.SF's are great for piano and concerto music but given what you music described not forward enough.I am thinking of same issues but thinking Usher,Totem,or Dali since I tilt toward tunes and HT is much less an ambition.But if you look at price Gallo's HT is hard to beat.
the sonus faber pianos do just keep getting better with time.
I have an all-Gallo surround sound system and thoroughly enjoy it. The speakers are very fast, sweet, smooth, and clear. Try to stay within the Reference line, the timbre-matching is very important in a surround sound system. I originally had the Dues for Center and Surrounds, replaced them with Ref. AVs - WOW!

Keep an eye out here (this is where I got of ALL mine), the Gallos can be found for very good prices if you don't mind buying used.

Fronts - $1250

Surrounds - $1495 (smokin' deal!)

Watch for a Ref. AV Center, I got mine off Audiogon for $895 delivered...

With some careful shopping, you could put together a complete Reference surround setup for $3500-4000. You'd have to spend over $20,000 to beat 'em...

Just out of curiosity, why are the Gallo surrounds more costly than the main speakers? My thought is it should be the other way round.
Ryder, The "Front" speakers in that add, are the Reference 3.0 which are not the current issue. Reference 3.1 speakers usually sell for more than that set of 3.0 speakers, and also those surrounds listed in the other add.
I think I am leaning towards the gallo's. It sounds like they are just what I am after. Just how much better are 3.1s to the standard 3s?
Well I think that depends on how bad your audiophilia nervousa is. If I hadn't just bought my used 3.1s for $2K, I'd probably jump all over those 3.0s for $1250. YMMV
Thanks for the clarification Barry.
If you can believe reviews, there's a comparison between 3.0 and 3.1 on
What will match good with the 3.1s like center and surrounds? Or do I have to stick with the gallo line?
Back to the original questions.

SF - colored, and too warm sounding. It's cool if you like SF (no flames plz), but if you are looking for fast, accurate sound, this is not where it's at

B&W - I agree with most above posters. I have heard great sound out of 802N and larger B&Ws, but only with huge krell amps in front. The smaller ones have also sounded thing, bright, fatiguing, and boring to me

Gallo - These have piqued my interest personally. They are fast, detailed, and image and soundstage great. They have a unique percussive effect to the highs which I like. I'm strongly considering purchasing a new pair from a local dealer after auditioning them in home
"01-30-09: Him
What will match good with the 3.1s like center and surrounds? Or do I have to stick with the gallo line?"

With multi-speaker set ups it is best that the speakers be as close in sound as possible. So yes, you should stick with the Gallo line.

Why is it that no one asks if they can use different speakers on the left and right channels of their stereos?
Thanks to Goatwuss for defining my B&W snoozer comment. Thin, bright, fatiguing, boring and, yes, dynamic.
Great for home theater!
[quote]Thanks to Goatwuss for defining my B&W snoozer comment. Thin, bright, fatiguing, boring and, yes, dynamic.[/quote]

Nice try, it's too bad that dynamic and boring are antonyms:
Scramble the words a little and we get

thin, bright, fatiguing(don't think this word exist), dynamic = boring

On the other hand, the respective antonyms

fat, warm, smooth, laid back = exciting

Can be a possibility although technically speaking it should be the other way round. Some like it hot while some like it cold.
Branislav: Are you loving the 3.1's?
Sorry Branislav that was my co-workers username.... anyhow, HIM: you can't go wrong with the Gallo's. Period. However, if you like the Focal JM sound, it will he hard to find much that will compare to that. Look for a used pair of Profile 908's, these sound amazing and have fantastic imaging.
this is camdenyard
Buy the Gallo's. They are more affordable, and I think even smoother than the B&Ws. I got mine new for 2100 and change (internet sale). Best deal in audio. Shame that they are discontinued. You won't be able to get them soon, and the 3.5s (their replacements) are going for about 6K. Shame the price has doubled, but I guess Gallo figured out he was selling a bargain.
The 3.5 is a definite step up from the 3.1. A far bigger difference between 3.5 and 3.1, than 3.1 and 3.0. I've heard them side by side and the 3.5s are worth the extra money.
Never heard the Gallo 3.1... but for me the nod goes to the B&Ws.

Your tastes are the same as mine "What I want is a speaker that is very fast, tight bass, with great imaging". I also listen mostly to Rock (... and metal, industrial... uhm all the usual audiophile stuff too....) and have really like the 703s. For the first year I had them I thought they were a little bass shy but learned they just needed more current to get moving.

For what it is worth the 703s don't sound that much different from the 804s. The 703s are a little more forward and a tad brighter. The 703s are only $1800 used. But if you want to use them for home theater the 804s would be better because they make centers to match.

I know the next to models are out of your budget but It will give a little insight to JM lab vs B&W. I listened to Jm labs Focal 1037 and B&W 803D (and 802D...) back to back. For me (a big fan of high energy rock music) the B&Ws were much better. Rock requires the same tasks as Classical music. The speakers need to be coherent, dynamic, and image well. I thought the B&Ws did all these things better than the 1037s. The 1037s had a little more detail in the upper mids but as a whole the speaker lack integration to my ear. The sound stage is also huge on the almost all B&Ws.

But here is the thing with B&W. You will hear a lot of people they are they are laid back. This is true for the 802Ds and up but the smaller speakers 803s and down have a different sound... one that lends it self to rock.

So all in all the Gallo may be good and B&W will also fit the bill too. I would scratch the grand pianos off the list and add Thiel CS2.4 (used). The Thiels are a little out of your budget but are GREAT speakers! The only fault they have IMO is they are a little bright. But you said you like things a little bright so it might be a match made in heaven.
I think with certain speakers bass can be so tight and so fast that you can't even hear it.