The Gallos certainly throw a wide soundstage and do not restrict you to a narrow "sweet seat" location. To me they rank very high from an "overall musicality" standpoint. I've heard them described as height-challenged, but I don't hear that, though I do have mine up on 6" stands. You should be able to get a used pair cheaply enough (say $1300-1500 if you bide your time) that you can flip them at little loss if they don't work out to your satisfaction. Good luck, Dave
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I second the Gallos. In fact, Mr. Pogue is the one who got me addicted to the damn things. I now have a pair of the Ref 3s, a pair of the Ref AVs, and 3 Dues. The do throw a very wide and deep soundstage and are exceedingly musical.
Used prices are right around 2k right now, however I snagged mine for $1700 a year ago. Keep an eye out here and on Videogon, you might get lucky...
Also look into Quad 22L,Usher,Totem if you have decent power and want competion.These are all over achievers at price point.I have not heard popular Aperion line but getting good press.And the former owner of a company called Audio Alchemy came out with a $2K floorstander that is supposed to very good at $2K.Think also ahead f you are going to want 5.1 in same room and realize that matching center/rears of Gallo go for $1200 since they discontinued lower priced (lesser though) Gallo Due.Generally speaking you are going to get better sound with separates but used over 100 MINNIMUM with Gallos.They can suck it up.What will you be using for power?Using a underpowered sounding receiver will hold back some speakers more than others and this is the case with Gallo's.I have budget a champ that would just push these if not last forever and that is the HK 3480 rebuilt receiver you can get from Harman on Ebay.120 watts lot's of current.All for less than $200.But hey deserve at least 120 watts and better separates or amp in $1K list range.If you want HT Denon is best but really good can cost.Your digital and wiring can be improved down pike.If you play LP's I'd prioritize 1)speakers3)amp 4)cartridge,phono section,turntable and pre-amp at about equal 5) again wiring and digital down pike.Others disagree being "equal links in chain/garbage in garbage out but you have to pony up with some priorities.But being muiscian and non-m,uiscian does not factor in.Good sond and value are same for us all.Better is better.
Chazz is right about the Gallos loving current. Mine are mated to H/K Signature separates: 2.1 amp with 2.0 preamp. Amp kicks out 100 wpc into 8 0hms, 150 into 4 ohms. But it has MASSIVE current, +- 100 amps. I bought the amp for right around $500 and the Pre was $350 - I think I did pretty well for the money spent [smile].
You might want to check out the Emotiva products, they appear to be a real bargain and they're having a sale right now - look at the Ultra Theater Series: $799 for killer separates, a smokin' deal!.... http://www.emotiva.com
Whoa, there, Richard. Remember that the Gallos you first heard and loved at my
place were -- and are -- driven by 12 wpc of SET power, in an 18 x 40' room.
They LOVE tubes. And they do NOT need high current amps to shine.
Not that this has anything at all to do with the original poster's thoughts and
I second the above comments as I also have the 3.1 and find them to be very musical and I listen to hard bop jazz 99% including morgan, brooks, ammons, mobley, donaldson etc...had the magnepans before and these and definitely more dynamic however the maggies were better in the vocal dept. Be aware that the gallo's need at least 100 hrs of break time to sound really good and that many people dismiss these speakers too prematurely. I don't have the experience with the amps you mentioned but currently using tubed audio research gear with 12ax7 tube rolling with success.
Mr Pogue, of course, is right. I did not mean to disparage tube gear. His system sounds spectacular, better than mine as a matter of fact. He is driving the 2nd voice coil, using a Gallo Sub Amp, to very good effect.
So, looks like the Refs sound great no matter what you drive 'em with, as long as it's good quality gear...
Friends, I am greatful for your replies. The Gallos will remain top on my dance card.
Some of you mentioned what you use to drive these speakers. I'd appreciate any other suggestions.
Forgive my nubeness, but is "power" from a tube amp the equavlent to "power" from solid state or are there other considerations.I ask because Dopogue runs them with 12wpc SET and others suggest a min of 100 watts (I assume from SS), with more the better. I am tending towards a tube rig for that tunability. Any specific recommedations for this type of power source would be very helpful. I live in rural Maine. Radioshack is my closest "high end" dealer. And they appear, at the moment, to be out of SOTA tube gear.
A few notes. I see there's a pair here on Audiogon today being sold by a dealer who's asking $1845. Says the original MSRP was $3,000, but when they were introduced they cost $2595 (got mine for $2500 new). All this is just to help you in bargaining :-)
As to tube vs. SS watts, there's something in what you say about the greater "oomph" from a tube watt, but I know for a fact that some of the pre-production tweaking was done using a 10 watt SS amp. I think the Gallos must have a very benign impedance curve, because their 88 dB sensitivity suggests that low powered amps shouldn't work. Yet they do, at least some of them, like mine. Feel free to contact me off-line if you think I might be able to help further. Dave
I have been in the live touring space for 25 years and work with arena level sound gear. I own the Gallos above (my wife's home theater) and ATC pro gear (really accurate studio monitors). With that said, the best value system I have heard (and recently bought) is the new Blue Sky Audio (www.abluesky.com) editing stations. I much prefer them in a small room situation. I just bought it for my son who is a musician as well. They are available via Guitar Center and the base level unit, EXO, cost $250 for an integrated and enclosed amp/speaker that blows me away for their clarity and nearfield soundstage. My client Electronic Arts uses them for their computer games. You can record directly into a Apple and use these for editing and playback.
I have been trying to find the perfect amp for the Gallo 3.1's recently. I tried Parasound, Arcam monoblocks, Carver Silver 9T monoblocks at 575 watts. I have a 250 watt Krell that sounsd great, but a little on the dry side with the Gallos. My former B&W's loved the Krell. I now have a customer Butler 2250 S.S./Tube hybrid mated with a Cary Cinema 6 and it is an ecellent combo, the best I heard yet with the Gallos. I have friends who use tubes with the Gallos, with the Gallo SA amp runing the low end.
Check out the 6moons review of the Butler 2250, they use the Gallos on part of the test and mates great.
Tweaks I found necessary with the Gallos:
1- At least 200 hours of break in. They sound constrained before that point.
2- Need more height. I use the Sound Anchor stands.
3- The tweeter has a very wide soundstage, but the mids are more conventional. I found tow-in worked wonders.