Gallo Ref3 Subwoofer Amplifier

I have had my Gallo Ref3 speakers for a couple of months now. As some of you promised, they sound WAY better after a few tens of hours played at high levels. They are as good as any speakers I have heard overall and the best I have heard in several areas. I have been driving them with a big high-current solid state amp (NAD S-200). Also, I have been using them with a REL Storm III subwoofer. With this setup the bass has been excellent. On a par with my friend's big Fried transmission line speakers. However, I could not resist purchasing the Gallo Reference Subwoofer amplifier when it became available at my dealer (Ahead Stereo in L.A.)

For the past couple of weeks I have been listening to the Gallo Ref3's with the second voice coil driven. To be honest, I have been a bit disappointed. I connected a single-ended output from my preamp to the Gallo subamp. I set up the subamp 0 degrees phase (highest bass gain at this setting), 40 Hz low-pass cut-off, 0 dB bass boost. When I turn off the REL, I can definitely hear more mid to low bass with the subamp driving the second coils. But it does not deliver the bass slam of a subwoofer. When I turn the subamp way up I start to hear undesirable midrange coloration and reduced sound stage depth. If I had to choose between the REL Storm or the Gallo subamp there is no question that I would choose the REL. I am currently running the Gallo speakers with the Gallo subamp at moderate gain and the REL Storm at about the same gain as before.

Summary of my impressions:
The Gallo Ref3 speakers integrate very well with a high-end musical subwoofer like the REL Storm. I would strongly recommend this route over the Gallo subamp. If you are using a lower powered tube amp, the Gallo subamp may make more sense. But if you are crazy (like me) or have lots of money (not like me), the combination of both the subamp and the subwoofer is amazing.
This makes sense to me. I'm driving the second voice coils of my Ref 3s with a Hsu 500A (500 watt) subwoofer amp. Sounds great, but there's only so much bass to be had from the Gallo woofer, two voice coils or not. Dave
I drove the second coil via 2 unused channels on a multi-channel SS amp, through an ICBM crossover for about 7 months. I did notice some more depth on the bottom end, but not the WOW factor that I experienced when I switched to a Velodyne DD-15 subwoofer. The sub integrates beautifully with the Gallos. The bass is tight and visceral both in music and HT. With the upcoming introduction of the Reference AV (basically the upper half of the Reference 3s, if I was making the decision now, I'd opt for these smaller, more versatile units with a sub.
Have any of you used the SA to drive these other subs?

I didn't try that but I doubt it would make much difference with the REL. The REL imposes a super high-impedance load on the high level input. The driving amp basically functions as a voltage source. It has its own low pass filter. It would be interesting to use the Gallo SA to bi-amp a traditional speaker. Especially in combination with a sweet-sounding tube amp for the mids and highs. I did switch the SA to full range and used it to drive the full-range input of the Gallo Ref3's. It sounded pretty bad. Good bass damping though!
Tantra, I live in LA as well. Where is Ahead located? Thanks!

Great thread and information!
Here is the URL:
Tantra, I was very disappointed in the bass response of the SA amp when I first got it. I had the EQ, the level pots and the X-over cranked to the max and I'm like, where's the bass---this is no sub for a sub!!!

As I was leaving for vacation for a week and a half I left an FM source playing only thru the bass amp, making sure I wasn't overdriving it. Upon my return the bass response was much*much*much better. I'm still in the fine-tuning stage but I've backed way off the controls and the overall sound and the bass is much better than before.

Think it was the amp breaking in or the 2nd voice coils?
Bgrazman, I think mostly the 2nd voice coils, even though I had at least 120 high db hours on the Ref 3's already.
I can't see how the second voice coil would require breaking in since the same driver is powered by the primary coil. But I must admit, the system sounds a lot better after playing it for a while. Maybe the SA amp needs to break in. I notice that I am using lower gain settings on my preamp to get similar levels in the room. The bass with the SA amp is very musical, fast and tight without being dry. You don't get the same feeling in your chest that you get with a subwoofer, but this is probably more important for HT than stereo music.
I still think it's the speaker breaking in... if you're getting more bass (with the amp), then at the very least, you're getting more excursion.

and how many angels fit on the head of a pin? (meaning, as long as you like the sound, who really cares...)