'New' Gallo Reference vs. 'old' B&W Matrix 802

Hi Everybody,

I happened to audition a pair of old B&W Matrix 802 Series 3 and I was truly impressed. I always wanted to have Gallo speakers and I read a lot of good things about the Gallo Reference III. Unfortunately the local dealer does not have on here to demo. The price of the new Gallo and this old B&W are about the same (2500$). So, I ask you guys if somebody out there can help me in my decision.

Thanks in advance
My vote is for the 802 series 3 hands down! It's one of the finest speakers ever made,better than the Naut. 803 which can be bass heavy.I've heard the Gallo at a local dealer.Neat looking and sound is interesting,but they were bested by other similarly priced and less expensive speakers(Consonance Eric 3,Von Schweikert VR-2)in the store.
If you ever get a chance to hear a pair of Ref 3s that are fully broken in, I don't think there will be any question. Read the review on 6moons where they replaced $20,000+ speakers in Srajan Ebaen's system. THAT is what they sound like. I understand, though, that the Ref 3s are substantially back-ordered. Good luck.
The Gallos easily bested the 802s when I auditioned them recently.They are really that good.I am now waiting for the sub amp they are offering to drive the second set of coils.I also own Martin Logan Odyess and Vandersteen 3A Sig.
I'd go for the Gallo's. The 802's are no longer supported. The driver's are $300 if you blow one(Repair not replacement and are 16 ohms which are'nt made anymore). You'll need the Northcreek Xovers and Soundanchor stands to get the best performance.
Thanks all of you for the answers. They are very insightful.

Yes, Gallos are insanely backorder (good luck to me!). Also, I want black with a wood-base, but dealers only carry black on black or black on aluminum. They told me about 2-3 months!

Ohh well. At least I have more time to make up my mind.
I use to own a pair of B&W 802s. I have owned them for many years but I wasn't able to get them to sound good regardless of what gears I use with them. I have gone from Classes, to Manleys, to Macs. The 802s are very hard to drive and do not have enough low ends. The aluminum tweeter of the 802 also make them extremely bright sounding.

I have even tried putting damping materials on the walls and ceilings. No matter that I tried, the 802s are very bright sounding, and they have a standout midrange which really shouts at you. And unless if you get the 802s with the arcici stand, the bass response will be pretty bad.

Try playing violins on the 802, and the horsehair on the bow will sound like metal rather than horsehair.

Yes yes, my audiophile friends have called me an audio nervousa, having a bad case of tinni Itous, the audio version of abhorance of all things bright. While this may be true, but I have no issues with brightness with the Gallos.

Get the Gallos..... while the Gallos may not be the speaker of choice for me personally, it is still a very good speaker and will outperform the 802s EASILY.

BTW, I just sold my old MINT condition 802s on audiogon for $ 1500 USD. So $ 2500 is a little steep in my opinion. I sold them with my Arcici stand too, they're worth $ 200 bucks.
Looking elsewhere I finally found a place which has the Gallo Ref 3. I went and spent quite some time listening to them, also fully aware that they might require some break in to exploit their full potential.

Anyway, I was impressed with [what all Gallo owners know] it soundstage, transparency, speed, etc., but only with certain type of music. Also I don't know if it was the room (small) or the Gallo arrangements (woofers were facing out, not in) but there was a certain lack of bass (not bi-amp with it second coil 'though). I like them but for some reason not fully convince.

Suddenly the salesman makes me audition a pair of Monitor Audio GR-60 and GR-20. It blew me away and also spoils me! I almost bought them on the spot. The GR-20 cost a little bit more (3K). I'd like to give the Gallo one more chance to convince me since I like them a lot: Could it be the arrangement? Or may be that there were not properly broken in?

I just auditioned the Gallos at a dealer who, according to Gallo (I called them with some questions), sells the most of the Ref 3s of all dealers in the U.S. The setup was a Musical Fidelity A5 driving the Gallos with MIT cabling -- without a bass amp for the 2nd coils. I too was unimpressed. Though the Gallos did create a "big sound" for little speakers, they just didn't grab me. They imaged fine, but they still seemed like...little speakers trying to be big. I dunno. I was rfeally disappointed. I thought the room I heard them in might have been too big, LOL (compared to your room being too small). I walked out of that dealer amazed that he is Gallo's top rep. What possessed people to buy them in that particular setup?
Marc dc, please contact me off-line if your moniker indicates that you are in the Washington, DC area (davepogue@comcast.net)
Not sure if you acted on the choice yet but hope it was with gallo's even though I have yet to hear abything other than the terrible little spheres to compete with Bose.But in past I had a pair of Gallo Ref II's in the box frames and they were great.I aslo owned the 802 Matrix III's with Sound Anchors and while adequate I can't disagree with Transnova in any more possible terms.I worked at a shop where we has Matrix II's for about a year and a half and when I saw the upcoming price increases for same model numbers I thought they were nuts.But the old numbers were outdated and remmbeer the old 801 in all it's forms was the best selling audiophile loudspeaker of all time (followed second my Maggies).But the new Nautilus blew away the old models in every parameter.Especially the high end and acccuracy of the mids plus the depth of soundstage etc etc etc.For $3500 they are a a great bargain.Now if somebody has $8K to spend on new speakers the new 803D with it's diamond tweeter and extra 7" woofer would be a great choice to listen to./They are fantastic and go as low as the old 802N (the 802D is $20K!!!!!!!! up from $8K).Now i am bargin hunter and have a love/hate affir with a a number of spekers beacuse of there strengths and weaknesses (How many vetrans bought and sold ESL63's two or three times-,maybe each time they thought "This time I will get the sub to integrate and the short soudnstage won't bother me!).Maggies of all types have that can't be beat mid range with bass extension and dynamic problems)>But with an $8K budget you have used Revcels ,used new Qaud 988 for $3500,and for $5K or less Infinity Preludes.Still if you have a chance to hear the new Diamond series of B&W listen to them.I lkeft th business durring the Nautilus era and was blown away when I went to look up my old compadres and heard the 803D's.Yeah there expensive and don;'t exist on the used market yet but for full whack of $8K if you can afford it you'll forget the higher value of uised speakers and pull ou the plastic.But at tha sam,e price and much less there are fine speakers like Audio Physics,Revels a myriad of them and now from all I have heard the new Gallos give eveything the old Ref's CDT tweeter magic did and much more a la the Preludes with the dual voice coil bass units.I might give 'em a twirl myself since now if I trade my German Odeon semi horns up for 803N's I'll wish I had saved for the extra $3K Diamonds.But for cripes sake that's the whole price of the Gallos!!!It's gotten such rave reviews I have to stop spinning jazz Lp's in my spare time long enough to see if it';s worth the hype.And this mentiuons nothing about the new new $6K NHT sub sats which use hughly sophistictaed DEQX room correcion and made such a stink at one of the major shows last year that everyone said confidently that "DEQX blows away every of the current room correction hard/sfotwareand iut along with ICE digitalamps will DEFINITELY take over Hifi in th near furture".Man this post was all over the place.I gotta cut down on late night coffee
Correction: N802Ds are $12K/pr., not $20K.