Great speakers. Worth much more than $2600. Big, musical sound despite their diminutive size. Can sound like hell during their extended (like, 200 hours) break in, but otherwise I love 'em. Dave
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They have beautiful industrial design and lots of people say they sound great. The TAS reviewer says the "midrange drivers and tweeter are time-and-phase aligned" and I take him to imply that the bass driver is not time-and-phase aligned with the others. So here's a question for the audio engineers out there:
We all know that bass energy is non-directional, but is it possible to achieve time alignment when some drivers do not face the listening position?
Have any reviewer actually measured the timing of any claimed fully or partially time-and-phase aligned speakers, e.g. Dunlavy, Gallo, Green Mountain, Meadowlark, Vandersteen, etc? Or are the claims taken on love, hope and faith, "love being the greatest of these?"
Apparently, yes. See the Vandie sub, which is down firing. (Actually slot loaded.) They are still crossed over at 6 db per octave and you'd want them in the same acoustic plane as the speakers.
You can search out reviews for Vandersteen and Thiel at stereophile.com. They show the step response graphs to give an indication of time alignment. The answer, imo, is that there are speakers which are time and phase coherent over parts of their range under certain measurement conditions, but that no one has yet really proven how much of an advantage this provides. Every design approach has theoretical pluses and minuses. I happen to like Vandersteen speakers a great deal.
These speakers sound like crud, perhaps even worse. They sound as BAD as they look cool. I went in to the store to hear these just for fun, I have no agenda to bash Gallo speakers, but, wow, I could never listen to these. My ears were hurting after 5 minutes. A fine example of a company puchasing great reviews and hype ruling over reality.
Bostonaurdi, since many reviewers, owners and future owners have express opinions radically different than yours, could it be that you were listening to either defective equipment or that the room dimensions were awful. One should never be to certain of an opinion based only on one audition. I have heard the Gallos in the same store 3 times and each time the sounded different, but at know time did they sound as you discribe. In my humble opinion the Gallo tweeter is incapable of producing harsh sounding high frequencies, unless the source material is pure garbage.
Bostonaudi and Audio_girl, I seriously question whether the Ref 3s you heard were broken in. I almost gave up on mine for sounding so grim until the first 100 hours was up. Also, I've head that more than one audio store is wiring them wrong, using the subwoofer (second voice coil) inputs instead of the main inputs by mistake. Right after I got mine, my salesman said he had sold 11 pairs in six weeks, and no pairs of any other speakers costing more than $2K, and this was BEFORE the first Absolute Sound review.
Just goes to show how subjective a thing the "sound" of a speaker system is to different people. The VR-4jrs and Ref III's were in my final 3, and it was a fairly easy call for me...for the Gallos. I've always been a proponent/addict of planar/ribbon tweeters, and although the CDT in the Gallos is not your typical ribbon transducer, it shares more with that configuration than it does with a conventional cone tweeter. Also I felt the Gallos had more slam, and although the JRs probably have a lower low end, their bass sounded looser and less well controlled than that of the R-III's. I think when you add the sub amp to the R-IIIs their bass performance is substantially better than the JRs, still for several hundred $'s less.
BTW, if anyone wants to know the definition of frustrated, I ordered my R-IIIs in late October and have yet to receive them. I've now been told something about there being a quality issue with the spine supplier that has set their production back. At least it's good to know they're rejecting substandard parts.