Gallo Ref 3.1, what amps do they love?

I am looking to replace an Aragon 8008BB that is driving a pair of Ref. 3.1 speakers fed by a VSE modded Sony SCD-777ES into a Pass Labs X0.2. I know that Gallo recommends Spectron amps but they are out of my price range. Currently I am considering two high power amps, Emotiva XPA-1 and D-Sonic Magnum s1000 both rated ~500W into 8ohms.

I'm curious as to what amps other owners are using with good results, especially if anyone can comment on the two that I am considering. What will my Gallos love?
DaveN is online now Report Post Edit/Delete Message
I am using a Butler Audio TDB-5150, 5-channel, 150 watt/ch, tube/MOSFET hybrid to power my all-Gallo Reference surround system. It sounds marvelous. Basically, the Gallo Refs love to "see" a high-current amp, and the Butler delivers that in spades.

The last time I looked (a couple days ago) there was a Butler TDB-2250 (2 channel, 250 watts/channel) for sale here for less than 1/2 retail price. This is a smokin' deal. I bet that amp would really make your Gallos sing...

Dave, Gallo 3.1 speakers love amps that deliver high current into 4 ohms (their actual impedance in the bass).
I have used them successfully with Gamut D200 and McIntosh Mc402 amplifiers.
I do not believe one needs more than 200W RMS/channel into 4 ohms to play Gallo 3.1s very loud in a domestic environment.

There is something fishy about the Emotiva's power ratings. The power transformer is rated for 1200 Watts and the amplifier outputs 1000 Watts into 4 ohms???? There is no way to make a class AB amplifier output 1000 Watts continuously from a 1200 Watts transformer (not enough headroom). The over-optimistic spec is probably one of those IHF or PMPO dynamic readings that were banned in the USA 20 years ago, good for 1/10th of a second, until the fuse blows.

The DSonic amp is rated ONLY for 8 ohms loads. Most Tripath and ICE-based (class D) amps deliver less power into 4 ohms, meaning that they are current-challenged, therefore not a good match with the Gallo 3.1.

I suggest that you buy a good, honest, used high-end amp that doubles (or nearly doubles) power into 4 ohms, made by the good folks at Classé, McIntosh, BAT, Gamut, Bryston, Parasound or any other honest manufacturer that clearly states power and distortion at 8 ohms AND 4 ohms.

Unfortunately there are no great bargains in high-end, high-power amps.
A manufacturer's marketing department may try to fool the consumers, but the engineers are unable to fool mother nature, which happens to have firm laws.
One of those laws is Power = V squared/R, meaning that a 1000 W RMS power amp must be able to continuously push 63 Volts into 4 ohms speakers at low distortion, not an easy task...we are talking about dumping 15 Amps into the load, enough current to weld the speaker cables if poorly connected.
Power costs money, period.
I hope this helps
I have a D-Sonic Magnum 1000S at home. It has bettered my Aragon 8008BB. It really sounds good in my system. That said, I like the idea of class D and Gallo uses Spectron amps to demo their speakers at shows. When I last spoke with tech support, they recommended the Spectron. Spectron is running a huge sale and I'm toying with the idea of getting a Musician III MK2.
They claim to have 65 Amp peak power:
What do you think of their specs?
The specs look good and seem compatible with your speakers, though there are no distortion measurements @ 4 ohms.

65 Amperes is the figment of an over-enthusiastic marketing department, the amp has built-in overcurrent protection, the website states clearly that the protection circuit clamps any attempt to go over 50A down to 12A, until things cool down.

Let's calculate the current the other way around:
Specs: 800 Watts into 4 ohms

Power = Impedance * Current squared
800 = 4 * Current squared
800/4= Current squared
200 = Current squared
Current = 14 Amperes maximum into 4 ohms (makes sense given the 12A "comfort-zone")

The damping factor was also colored with rose-tinted glasses.
8 ohms divided by 0.018 equals 444 in my calculator, not 500. This figure is useless, it was measured at 1 Khz, where damping factor is unimportant. There are no published output impedance figures in the bass region. Anyway, this is a minor case of marketing BS...any damping factor above 20 is enough for your speakers.

However, specs are useful only for weeding out the non-compatible candidates, good specs do not guarantee good sound quality.
Any inexpensive far-east receiver can have vanishingly low distortion and most sound mediocre at best (at least for music).

So, the usual advice applies:
Proceed with caution and if possible, audition before buying or arrange for a trial period.

I would like to point out two examples of manufacturers that lead the field in specification completeness and honesty. These products have no distortion/impedance/current limitations and BTW both sound amazing: Click on specifications

I suggest that you read the specs above and compare to what you have been reading elsewhere. Notice the blank lines, the missing specs...those are the figures that the manufacturer does not want you to see.

BTW, before you reach the conclusion that I am a spec maniac, quite the contray, I use tube amps. However, your speakers demand some homework to sound their best.
Good luck