Opinions? Re-thinking my Gallo reference 3.5's.

Here's my system so far:

Amplifiers - Spectron Musician iii MK2 mono blocks
with Bybee, V-Cap and Premium Fuse upgrades.

Preamp - Joule Electra LA-150 SE

Speakers - ?????????

Please keep in mind, recommended speakers will have to work with the above equipment.

I am supposed to pick up my 3.5's this Tuesday and having second thoughts for some reason. I've read the reviews, listened to them with various types of amps on several occasions, but never with my equipment.

Loved the spatial component to the 3.5's (as there is no "sweet spot" listening position in this room). Certainly thought enough about them to order them.

I believe what I have been concerned with is the "fullness" of the sound. It's difficult to express my 5% of uncertainty.

Of course, sound is subjective. That being said, are there any other speakers, new or used, within the $3,000 to $9,000 range that deserve a last look before the cash goes to the Gallo's?

Thanks in advance for giving me something to review this weekend!
SPectron amps are used by Anthony Gallo when he demos his speakers. I think you have a perfect system for those speakers...

Your new Gallos will sound okay out of the box and then go into an extended break-in period during which they will sound pretty awful, so don't decide whether you like them or not until they have AT LEAST 100 hours on them. The owner's manual will confirm the 100 hour break-in, I understand.
One option (barely) in your price range to think about:

Evolution A-V, a Gallo dealer in Agoura Hills, Ca (roughly 15 mi NW of Los Angeles) has a pair of mint (might be their demo) Gallo Ref 5s and they're asking $9K (50% off list price) . That's at the very high end of your stated range, but it's an unusual deal if you want the last word in Gallo's sound (and looks).

Marty, that's funny you should mention them. I have not heard or even seen the Ref 5's before. Actually, never read anything about them.
The person i am buying the 3.5's from told me on friday that he has a pair of Ref 5's for sale for $6,500.

Not knowing anything about the sound of that speaker, I had not given that a second thought. How does the Ref 5 perform relative to the 3.5's?
I haven't done an A/B in quite a while, but as I recall...

They're rather different animals...even though they're identifiably from the same family. The 5 is a very tall line source, so it's much more dramatic on the imaging front. IIRC, It's also much more dynamic sounding, no small trick since the 3.5 is pretty dynamic in it's own right. Obviously, the 5 is also visually rather striking next to the 3.5.

Tonally, OTOH, it barks up much the same tree as the 3.5. Bass extension and octave to octave balance felt similar. The character of the mid and treble was also of the same cloth. I'd suspect that most people who like the 3.5 will love the 5...tho that's just a guess.

If you have sufficient budget, and really like the 3.5 (albeit with some reservations), and you have the opportunity to audition the 5, I'd absolutely suggest that you do so.

Hope that helps.


Great information, very appreciative! I will look into it further.
Bear in mind that the 5LS (what you're calling the Ref 5) uses the same mids and tweeters as the older Ref 3/3.0/3.1 speakers, plus a bunch of 4" "woofers" pointing to the rear. I heard the 5LS speakers a couple years ago when I was using Ref 3s with the dedicated Mapleshade stands and was not sufficiently impressed to consider upgrading from mine, although the 5LS certainly LOOK impressive.

When a friend brought over a pair of Gallo Stradas, which use Gallo's latest generation mids and highs, I was able to compare them to my Ref 3s and the Stradas were CLEARLY superior, leading me to buy a pair plus a pair of TR-3 subwoofers. The Stradas and TR-3s use the same drivers as the $6K (MSRP) Gallo Ref 3.5. I seriously doubt that the 5LS would sound better than the 3.5, but I have not heard them side by side.
Re: Dopogue's observation

As I noted, my A/B was conducted several years back. At that time, the 5 was still a fairly new model. I don't know which version of the Ref 3.x I was comparing it with. So...take my observations with that grain of salt.

OTOH, a tall line source like the 5 will always sound different in some significant respects than a design like the 3.x. Whether that moves you or not (especially in light of the driver differences cited by Dopogue) is anybody's guess.