SET amp for Gallo ref 3.1

I am currently driving my my Gallo Ref 3.1 (with Gallo subwoofer amp)with vintage Marantz MA 1 monoblocs(class A). Preamp is McIntosh C220, analog front end VPI Superscoutmaster with a Shelter 90x, digital front end OPPO BD 83. I have recently become addicted to SET tube amplification and wondered if anybody had any experience with tube amplification for the Gallos. I listen mostly to orchestral music and Jazz at moderate levels (80-85 dB) in a rel. hard middle sized room.
Dave Poge has a VERY nice tube-based setup and his system sounds marvelous. IIRC, his amps are pushing out only 30 watts/channel. But he has massive transformers and the sound is glorious. The 1st time I heard it, I KNEW that I had to have a pair of the Gallos for my system.

Well, as it turned out, I didn't just settle for a pair. I now have a complete surround sound system comprised of Ref. 3.1s for the Fronts, and Ref. AVs for the Center and the 2 rear speakers. All of this is being powered by a Butler Audio TDB-5150 5 cheannel, 150 watts/channel tube hybrid amp. Look 'em up, these are very special amps:

I am tickled pink by the quality of the sound this system produces and I want to thank Mr. Pogue for turning me on to the magnificent goodness that is the Gallo Reference line of speakers. These are speakers that I could easily spend the rest of my life with...

I would not think many SET amps would be suitable for the Gallos except 845/211 based amps or possibly some of the Art Audio amps (Jota and Diavolo)

Might be able to use some other amps with 300B's IF you are using the Gallo sub amp for the bass.

Merry Christmas to all!

Thanks, Richard, although you overstated the wattage of my SET monoblocks (actually 12 wpc). They have driven the Ref 3s with no problems or clipping or over 4 years. Another friend who heard mine bought a pair of the same amps from the designer/builder. I'm also using the Gallo subwoofer amp on the speakers' second voice coils, so the SETS don't have to deliver the goods below about 42 Hz.

The amps do have huge Magnequest trannies and I think this contributes strongly to their ability to control the Ref 3s. They have three tubes per side -- 845 outputs, EL34 (or KT77) drivers, and 6N7 (or ECC31) inputs. Solid state rectification. I listen at fairly moderate volumes, but in a quite large room (18x40'). Good luck, Dave.
Thanks Richard for making me aware of the Butler Amps. Having read some on the internet I can not claim to know whats going on inside them - but they shure look like a great match for the Gallos.

As for the SET glory I see that I would need an ultrastable current delivering design as pointed out by Jeff and Dave. What make amplifier is your 2x12WPC design.... if I may ask ?

Thanks for helping out

Hans, my amps were designed and built by a friend who is no longer in my area. There are only 3 pairs in existence as far as I know. They are by no means "commercial" products and were constructed on Mapleshade maple platforms, like a glorified breadboard design. So everything is out in the open and they're not safe around children or pets. Dave
I have been on a general tube quest for my Gallos as well. I currently run a PrimaLuna Prologue 3 as a preamp and Wyred4Sound monoblocks along with the Gallo Ref SA. I had a Prologue 5 tube power amp for a while but it just did not seem to have the juice at 30watts (or so) per channel to drive the Gallos.

I have been looking into the PrimaLuna monoblocks, the McIntosh 275, and the Cary 120. Anyone have any experience with these and their Gallos or others that are worth a look & listen?

(I know that this is a slight change from the OP, but tubes & Gallos seems mostly relevant)
I have the 3.1's hooked up to my Canary CA-339's. The sound is pure bliss. The 339 is a 50 watt 300B amp. It is a great match. My brother has the 25 watt version of the amps and they do a pretty good job as well. As somebody pointed out, we all hear differently. I must say that 12 watts just doesn't sound like enough. The Gallo's are not that efficient. I think there are better speakers out there that are priced similarly. Let us know how you make out.

I had the opportunity to hear the Gallo sub amp. It wasn't for me. It seems that amp goes both ways with people, some like it and some don't.
I am using a Music Reference RM-200II, using the four ohm taps, puts out a little more than 100 watts per channel. I also use the Gallo sub-amp. I love the amp very much on the Gallos, it is very neutral, and I've never run out of steam, and I listen to heavy metal cranked up about once a week. The amps do not deliver any tube bloom, but sound, to my ears, like a good neutral amp. should sound.
From the posts I glean that I seem to value SET "glory" over neutral sound....shame on me! The Music Reference have been on my list to listen for a while as they seem to be well built and powerful. The Canary would currently break my bank - although I would love to play with bias. Having a precision multimeter next to my poweramps all the time....

SET vs. push -pull: I have tried the push-pull KT88 (or 6550) based Triode TRV M88SE monoblocs (around 40Watts) on the Gallos with subamp and it sounds fine - its just lacking the magic that the the SET Audio Mirrors (6C33 based 45Watt design) can do. In my room at at my listening levels it looks as if 40Watt plus is ample for me. I could probably get by with some 20 clean and stable SET Watts from a 211 or 845 based amp.

Sub amp: I am using the Gallo subamp set for enhancing the below 40Hz region only. All other setting I have tried seem to mess things around 100 Hz up. Using a SPl I get decent output at 25 Hz and some at 20. Switching off the subamp takes the oomph factor out of good modern recordings (i.e. Eric Bibb) and makes orchestra play in smaller halls. I clearly could not live without the subamp. But then many people love speakers with little output below 40Hz.

I have gone thru somewhat the same experience as you. I owned a very high quality 300b amp and just totally enjoyed the listening experience even though my speakers were not really designed for a low powered SET amp. Being the typical audiophile I sold the 300b and bought a great 70 watt k88 tube amp looking for better sound. I enjoyed that set up for about a year and when on to a different speaker. 6 years later I have gone back to a 8 watt 300b amp and I could not be more happy. If you are drawn into the SET sound like I am then you must get a SET friendly speaker. You will never know how good a SET amp sounds unless you get a speaker designed for a SET amp. I now have a SET friendly speaker (96db) and the music to my ears is the best I have ever owned. So my suggestion is to buy a SET amp and see how it works on your current speakers, then down the road purhase a pair of speakers that really shine with SET amps.

sounds a bell with me.....driving a pair of Klipschhorns in my basement with a slightly modified set of the old Quad 22 (not SET I know). Each time I listen to some small scale jazz on that setup it sounds REAL.

Unfortunately my living room has some space constraints and I cant think of any SET friendly speaker that would replace my Gallos and not my wife.... (by the way, the Quads do not work well on the Gallos, they run out of steam even at my modest listening levels)

lack of fantasy ???

There are many great SET speakers and they don't have to be large ugly looking. When I finally got back into a SET system I spend months researching all type of SET friendly speakers and believe me there were 10x,s as many as I ever dreamed. I got the chance to listen to many great horn systems, single driver, Lowthers,Tannoys
altec's, Phy's, Audio Note, Feastex ,Audio Reproductions great DIY speakers, ect. Most music lovers and audiophiles have never explored a all SET setup. The ones who have many have discovered what I have and will never go back to to a inefficient loudspeaker.
My 8 watts sounds glorious but I will be looking down the road for a 1 - 2 watt amp. The Feastex speakers are absolutely the best I have ever heard but these drivers cost more than most complete speakers. I ended up having some custom made large monitors that sound wonderful. It makes my 300b tube amp sound like a SS muscle amp. My whole point is if you really like the SET sound the chances are nothing for you will satisify but a great SET friendly speaker. Chances are 5 - 10 years from now you will still be searching for that SET enjoyment. If you are like me you will spend lots of money on gear and never be completely satisfied. I am now and I won't ever go back.

I could not agree more with you - but as you state yourself size maybe a part of the SET fancy; to get a good below 50Hz response you simply need a lot of bass membrane surface combined with enough cabinet volume to get there on puny power with authority. My Klipschhorn fare great on meagre 15 Quad Watts (all the way down to 30Hz (which is fine for most music). The low ferquency power output was one reason why I choose the Gallos with the subamp setup - still hoping that some 211 or 845 based amp will take care of anything >40Hz...

Happy New Year