Gallos how good are they?


Just toying with the idea of getting these speakers.
I like the sound of the mbl's and the gallos speakers were mentioned as a more affordable option.
I am spoiled with the merlins I now own for 3 or 4 years, they do most everything right, I consider them as one of the best speakers out there.
But I just heard the 116's again and I like their sound, it's the imaging thing I like. I consider the merlins in the same league just different.
One other note: my merlins will sound even better when I get a bigger room, hence the mbls would need that too and so too would the gallos. My room is about 11'x 15'.
Thanks for any input, by the way the merlins are staying, the gallos would be a second system.
pedrillo
Hi PEdrillo,

I sought out and auditioned the Gallo Reference speaks when last shopping for speaks + liked them very much. Didn't have a chance to listen in great detail though.

I did like Quad electrostats the same dealer had better, but these cost 5X as much as the Gallos.

I ended up buying the Ohm Walsh (f)5s Series 3. With sale price, trade ins and such these ended up costing me about the same as would have the Gallos. After living with these for a year, I'd assert these are superior to either Quad or Gallo, which are two of my favorite more esoteric designs.

Consider also Ohm 100s Series 3 which could be had new with nice cabinets and with no financial risk if not satisfied for under $2K. These are probably closer in design and sound to the MBLs you covet, are easier to place compared to pure omnis relative to walls, and you could end up saving considerable $$$$s down the road by not feeling a need to go MBL.

The Gallos are indeed excellent and represent a bargan for their price, however they have their caveats.

The image height is a bit low, the the extreme treble is polite, they do throw a very panoramic image.
I tried the Gallos 3.1s a few years back and thought they were fantastic. With the optional sub amp, they really were a great full-range speaker, great dynamics, and threw off and an enormous soundstage. As Audiofreakgeek mentioned though, the image is low. The IsoRock stands really help that though. I thought that Gallo should include them with the speakers.

Go ahead try it, you can always turn around and sell them if you don't like them.

good luck!!!!!!
For 3,000 bucks you are not going to find better speakers IMHO.
I have the 3.1's also and room size is just a little bit bigger ( 13w x 21 l ) and they seem to be just the right size for the room.

The sound ....have yet to find a night where I got tired of listening to them.
Second Mapman's assesment. I listned to the Gallos 2 years ago and chose the Ohm 100's M3. After living with them for 2 yrs, they sound to my ears better than the Gallo's at 1/2 the cost. They provide a very large detailed soundstage but not pinpoint imagery, the sweet spot is very wide. That's one of the differences.
You should resist the "itch", IMHO. If you like the MBL 116 then try Mirage or Ohms as suggested but be wary of the extra ambience that comes with these designs - they can really shine but you'll need lots of space...
the gallos are good, as are the merlins. the ohm however would be a blue collar mbl....and a benchmark for an out- of-the-box design.
08-12-08: Shadorne
You should resist the "itch", IMHO. If you like the MBL 116 then try Mirage or Ohms as suggested but be wary of the extra ambience that comes with these designs - they can really shine but you'll need lots of space...
I took delivery on a pair of Mirage OMD-15s a month ago and couldn't be happier.

The Mirage's soundfield dispersion is not a pure omnidirectional or cylindrical soundfield. It is based on 25 years of research into the dispersion patterns of instruments, the reflection patterns of rooms, and how the human ear perceives sound and music. The OMD series energizes my living room just like the live musicians that played there for my wedding, and the similarity is uncanny, as is the large soundstage. I can sit to the side of both speakers and still hear a centered stereo image between them.

Mirage has not been standing still in any way. The OMD-15 has several Mirage innovations and patents. Their tweeter is wonderfully fast, detailed, and linear without a hint of edginess or ringing. The midrange and woofer on these use their patented ribbed elliptical surround for more sensitivity and greater control and linearity at the excursion extremes. All I can say is that it works. I have never heard such quality and quantity of refined, high-resolution bass from a pair of 5.5" drivers. Furthermore, these 5.5" drivers have phase plugs, so the acuracy of the imaging, plus the slightly forward throw, provide more accurate imaging than you typically get with a full omni.

I heard a pair of Gallo Refs a couple months ago, driven by much better electronics and cabling than I'm using with my OMDs, and the Gallos--in addition to the low image height combined with the big wall-sized panoramic soundstage--sounded rough and unrefined in the midrange and low treble. Could have been a setup issue. The room was pretty large, but maybe it needed to be larger yet.

The thing is, my OMDs sound more refined, are far more resolving, and are more forgiving of setup. They took awhile to break in to completely show their stuff, but I can't *believe* how resolving these are. We're so conditioned to think that omnis throw a nice big seamless soundstage but offer little else. I hear into the music with these speakers as I have only experienced with a few much more expensive speakers. The quality of its tuneful bass rivals defies the driver size and the asking price. I've never owned any speakers that approach the resolution of these.

If you're thinking Gallos, or wish you could afford MBL, listen to the OMD-15s, and if you have the cash, the OMD-28s.
"The Mirage's soundfield dispersion is not a pure omnidirectional or cylindrical soundfield. It is based on 25 years of research into the dispersion patterns of instruments, the reflection patterns of rooms, and how the human ear perceives sound and music."

The dispersion pattern of most conventional speaker designs is nothing like that of live acoustic instruments. This is perhaps the biggest reason why even many of the best stereo systems sound like stereo systems and not live performances.

Designs like the Gallos, Ohms, MBLs, German Physiks, and Mirages of the world attempt to address this inherent issue with how most conventional speakers reproduce sound in various innovative ways.
The dispersion pattern of most conventional speaker designs is nothing like that of live acoustic instruments. This is perhaps the biggest reason why even many of the best stereo systems sound like stereo systems and not live performances

Agreed, even and wide dispersion is indeed a major factor in producing a natural & convincing sound. Our ears/brain seem to sense when reflected or reverberant energy is inconsistent with the primary/direct signal. Narrow dispersion speakers rarely sound convincing unless you sit so close at to almost completely drown out the reverberant sound field. This has been known for a long time and Dr Floyd Toole performed rigorous listening tests in the 70's that confirmed this. Mirage is one of the offshoots from Dr Toole's work in NRC labs (Energy and PSB are too).

The only issue with Omni's, dipoles or panels are the rear reflections which need to be sufficiently delayed in order not to be in danger of collapsing the soundstage/precise imaging. 10 Msec is a good rule of thumb, which translates to around five feet (or more) from the back of the speaker to the wall for optimum sound.
"The only issue with Omni's, dipoles or panels are the rear reflections which need to be sufficiently delayed in order not to be in danger of collapsing the soundstage/precise imaging"

That is very true.

Ohms solution to help address this with the Ohm CLS drivers compared to some other omnis or bi or multi polar designs is to physically dampen or attenuate the output towards the rear and side walls using sound absorbing material within the CLS "cage".

I've found this approach to be very helpful with enabling more flexible placement of the CLS Ohms nearer to walls, which also helps provide more meat in the low end without compromising imaging and sound stage.

Also, I think the difference between omnis and conventional box designs tends to lessen when the listener is positioned a good distance back away from the speakers. In this scenario, there is less difference between the two designs in regards to the relative paths the sound waves take prior to arriving at the ears.
The Gallos don't sound anything like the MBL's. I really like the Gallos, and don't like the MBL's at all. (they sound like German tanks to me- heavy, lumbering, etc.)
"The Gallos don't sound anything like the MBL's".

No doubt.

They also do not sound like the Ohms.

The Gallo's are a unique design that addresses may of the same issues as the more "purist" omni designs, yet they have a distinctive sound.

The low soundstage issue is one I have heard before, but did not take particular notice of when auditioning. Still, they are very short and do not project upward that I am aware of, so the statement rings true.

Also, they were not as refined, detailed or smooth from top to bottom as the top of the line and 5X more expensive Quad ESLs I heard in comparison and which I still consider to be one of my favorite reference speakers when things are going right.

These are about the only faults could find. For the price, that's pretty good.
Mapman,

I would agree with the statement that 'the dispersion pattern of most conventional speaker designs is nothing like that of live acoustic instruments', but I would stop there. Just as most speaker types have different radiation patterns, so do acoustic instruments. So in theory at least a horn will sound better (more realistic) thru a speaker with a strong direct sound field and a harp will sound better with a bidirectional dynamic, panel or electrostat, or and omni.

Now what kind of speakers would you choose if you wanted accurate replication of a horn/harp duet? Don't laugh now, one of my favorite jazz recording s is of a trumpet/piano duet, acknowledging a piano does have a lid which acts to direct the sound field, assumably forward.

Just a thought. :-)
Newbee,

Are you saying that a horn is more directional in nature than a harp?

Probably true in a relative sense, tough I'd argue the sound waves emitted from a horn still radiate largely in a 3 dimensional half sphere in front of the mouth of the horn and will reflect of venue walls and reach the ears of the listener from different directions at different times, depending on his/her location relative to the player.

However, an omni speaker can still handle directional sound which is just a simplified case of omnidirectional sound, so the speaker design is less of a limiting factor.

Not true the other way around because the dispersion pattern of conventional box speakers cannot match the omnidirectional sound pattern produced by the instrument.

Therefore I'd assert the omni design is inherently better able to handle a mix of instruments all the way from more directional to more omni-directional in nature, so , all other things aside, I would pick the omni for the trumpet piano case and for large scale classical or ensemble pieces as well.

Now with electronic instruments that normally produce their sound through conventional speaker design by nature, there is less of an argument there alone for omnis, but good omnis properly set up will do an equally fine job in the simplified case of electronic instruments as well.
Of course, every instrument has its own dispersion pattern, but there are many things about the dispersion pattern that most instruments and the human voice share: They are sort of omnidirectional with more treble thrown to the front because the player or singer's own body blocks some treble energy to the back. Some instruments, such as trumpet, have a stronger front-to-back bias in the treble region, but others, like cymbals and drums, are pretty much omnidirectional right up to the high treble. String instruments are fairly omnidirectional. Your ears don't have to be in line of sight of the soundhole to hear the upper overtones, as long as you're in reasonable proximity of the soundboard or spruce top. Again, the guitarist's body blocks some of the back wave, but still, quite a bit of it will disperse backwards and reflect off the back and side walls, and the ceiling as well.

The Mirage speakers with their Omniguide disperse the sound very similar to the average pattern--omnidirectional with more sound thrown forward and somewhat upward. It really works. The timbre of some instruments (such as piano) is shaped significantly by how the instrument energizes the room.

One speaker design can't duplicate the individual dispersion patterns of each and every individual instrument and singer, but the Mirage Omniguide-based speakers largely replicate the core of that dispersion pattern that they share, and averages out the rest.
It was just a passing thought. But on the subject of omni's vs direct radiating speakers, wouldn't your preference be somewhat influenced by the location you prefer when you are actually in the hall? Row A where the halls contribution from reflections is less influential vs Row M where you are hearing almost equal parts of direct sound and reflected sound? Isn't this an issue you would have to deal with in 'properly' setting up your omni's in your room as well?

I respect your reasons for your personal choice, but for others making these decisions I would suggest that most live unamplified performances are recording with a fair amount of hall sound, or reverbrant energy added into the mix by the recording engineers, so having omni's in your home may only be adding more indirect sound to the mix. If you like your music to sound as it might in row M you have probably made a very good choice. You could get a similar response from many good bidirectional speakers as well.

In my home I selected and set up my speakers to minimize the influence of my room so I could hear clearly what the engineers had put into the pits and grooves, probably reflecting what I would hear were I sitting in row A. Horses for courses. :-)
Newbee, yes like most of audio, its a personal choice thing.

TO my ears, the complex spatial queues captured in recordings from the live performance in concert hall or studio are reproduced more accurately by speakers that lean towards a more omni radiation pattern rather than those that tend to beam forward and in the case of bipolars, backwards as well.

In the case of box design speakers, wouldn't most agree though that wide dispersion is always better than beaming straight ahead only?

Some would disagree with this though and state a preference to minimize the interaction between the speaker and the room they listen in. Those folks should avoid Ohms, MBLs, Gallo reference, and the like.

All sound is subject to room acoustics, be it live music or reproduced on a system. My strategy is to accept the room I'm listening in as my own personal concert hall and then try to make it work for me as best as is possible rather than try to fight or avoid it. Why chose a strategy based on fighting the laws of physics?
Ok so we have a few designs to choose from: Mirage 15 or 28, Ohm 200's or 100's, Gallo 3.1 ref, or duevel's models.
Which one gets the most nods?

Mapman-- chose the ohm's over gallo's.
Macdadtexas-- likes gallos
bostonbean-- likes gallos
riley804-- likes gallos
analogphil-- likes ohms
shardorne-- suggests mirage or ohm's
jaybo-- says gallos are good but ohm resembles mbl's
johnny53-- couldn't be happier with mirage omd-15, and says gallos sound was rough and unrefined, says the mirage's are refined and resolving and never owned speakers that approach the resolution of the mirages.

3 like the gallo's
2 like the ohm's
1 likes the mirage's
0 like the duevels

I would like to hear from owners what they think of these speakers.
Since I am getting excellent resolution, imaging and bass with my current setup I would like to get that as well with the second system.
HEy Pedrillo, your original question was ABOUT the Gallos, so I think you have to give the others mentioned some kind of handicap accordingly. LOL
Pedrillo, seriously, these are all fine recommendations, but you really need to listen and decide.

The thing is Ohms are sold direct only so you won't find a dealer to listen.

THe choices are to find someone who has Ohm Walsh CLS drivers and listen or do Ohms in home audition with the latest and greatest CLS drivers.

If you hear Ohm Walsh CLS's somewhere, make sure you know which series driver they are.

You want to hear newer series 3 or maybe even series 2 (closer to 3's but different tweeter), but not originals, which are inferior though still pretty good and also far and away the most common version out there. The cans housing the driver look pretty much the same from the outside with all of these and are not always clearly labeled, so it can be hard to tell what you have unless someone knows for certain.

Also, Ohm offers CLS driver upgrades for every Walsh model ever made, so the model indicated on the cabinets does not necessarily indicate the exact CLS driver used.

This can be very confusing I know, but potentially worth it. I guess the bright side is it helps add to the mystique of the line for better or worse.
Pedrillo: Gee, I'd love to get a pair of those MBL 116's. How much?

Salesman: $21,000

Pedrillo: (cough, cough) Do you have something more affordable.

Salesman: How much do you have to spend?

Pedrillo: About $3,000

Salesman: How about these Gallo's?

Too funny.

Seriously, I love my Gallo's and they are imaging fools but I am not sure they are built to hang from bungee cords. :)
"Seriously, I love my Gallo's and they are imaging fools but I am not sure they are built to hang from bungee cords."

Could solve the low soundstage issue, perhaps at the lost of some low end.......

I'd stick with stands probably though.
What's with the bungee chord jokes--- ouch.
Just kidding, but some day I'll show at the expo what they do then we'll see who's the one laughing ;~)
I got my pots and pans hanging from bungee chords, my engine block hanging from bungee chords, my laundry hanging from b. c., my light fixtures hanging from b. c., my paintings, venetian blinds, potted plants, shower curtains, my drying oregano, my girlfriend-- oops never mind.
Good to see you have a sense of humor.
What do you mean ? Oh yeh I thought the house would look funny with bungee chords all over the place!
When I figure out how to suspend the cartridge with bungee chords I think I'll pack it in and check into bellevue.