Short Gallo 3.5 review

Category: Speakers

Let me start by saying I really, really loved my Gallo 3.1 speakers. They were very transparent, imaging and staging were wonderful, awesome tweeter, good mids and great bass. I believed that the 3.1’s were real giant killers.

Well 3.0/1 Gallo owners, I hate to tell you this but the Gallo 3.5’s are far and away better sounding speakers. The mid-range with the new Stradas on top is awesome. Coherence, clarity, resolution, etc, is magnificent. Voice on the 3.5 is jaw dropping. Some way or another the voice on the 3.5’s is somehow separated from the supporting instruments but at the same time is still part of the music giving me the ability to listen to words in songs that I could not clearly hear before.

Tweeter, no big change from what I can hear, still great.

Woofer, this is a bit more nuanced. Quote from 6Moons review, “More important than ultimate bass extension and output is articulation of course. Here the 3.5 seems to go farther than its predecessor which—comparatively speaking—was more one-noty instead.” This really sums it up nicely. I now hear with much greater clarity the plucking of bass strings, the mallet hitting the skin of a bass drum.

The soundstage on the 3.5’s is wider, deeper and much, much higher. No more need to tilt, or elevate off the floor in an attempt to raise the soundstage. Imaging is much more 3 dimensional where instrument and voice placing is more discernible.

Also, the 3.5’s not only disappear, they vanish. The 3.1’s were good at disappearing but I could always hear a little bit of a sound difference when an instrument was recorded to only come out of one speaker. The 3.5’s do a much better job in this area where it can be impossible to differentiate between what may be coming out of one speaker only with the rest of the soundstage, i.e., solo guitar and the rest of the band playing.

Another quote from 6Moons, “with speakers as time-tweaked as these”…the timing on these speakers is awesome. I am tapping my foot to music from C.P.E. Back for crying out loud. This is also an important issue for those of you thinking of doing the upgrade with regards to the plinth. If you have for example a Mapleshade base and would like to use it or you would like to save a few dollars on the plinth and keep the one you have on your 3.0/1’s I would check with Gallo to see if this would affect the timing aspect of these speakers. May not be an issue at all but it wouldn’t hurt to ask. I believe, though, that Gallo’s new plinth should be used.

Finally, the 3.5’s do look nicer, i.e., rounder/smoother lines. The 3.1’s look gangly by comparison.

Regarding the price increase I can’t quantify the price of any speaker whether it be $900 or $50,000. All I know is the $6,000 that I paid for the 3.5’s feels the same as the $3,000 I paid for the 3.1’s, they are both bargains for the sound I get from each.

Equipment –

Spectron Musician III SE MK2 amp
BAT VK-D5SE cd player
Elrod power and speaker cables
Thank you for your review. I hope more people will chime in once they have heard 3.5. I too had 3.1 and it worked extremely well in my small room. They disappeared very well and I'm intrigued to hear that the 3.5 takes it to the next level. They had very clean sound, never bright and tweeter was to die for. Ultimately I've sold them because of the following deficiencies - lack of dynamic impact, small, especially short soundstage and most importantly the lack of midrange. I'm excited to hear that the 3.5 addressed all these issues, i was like they read my mind. I will go next month for an audition and I'll bring my own amp.
Yes, I should have mentioned that the mids a very dynamic with real punch.

Be sure to share your experiences with the audition.
Have you played with the polarity?
Yes, I switched polarity at the amp (due to not knowing what to do with the OPT connection at the speaker) and it really did enhance the sound from tweeters, mids and bass.
So you don't use the OPT connection?
Yes I do. I just didn't know how to connect it if I switched the polarity of the speaker cable at the speaker so I did the switch at the amp.
Can you tell any difference if you disconnect it?
I have not tried disconnecting the OPT and listening without it. I am already in love with the way they sound and really don't feel like experimenting.
My new 3.5's are insanely good.
I'm using them with a Audio Research vsi60 and a opus 4HD server.
Watch for this upcomming review within the next 90 days or following complete break-in. Speakers will be compared to a Strada + Sub. Computer Audio + Analog TT. Cables: Audience E versions

Please join the thread with questions or comments, including recommended tracks both Analog Sources and Digital Files.

Here's to good audio friends, musical moments and two channel toys!
I currently own Maggie 1.7 and 3.7, NHT 3.3, NHT xDS and Gallo 3.1. I love the Maggies for most music, but there are times I long for more dynamics and extended bottom end.

After a recent trip to audition PSB Synchrony Ones, B&W 804s, Wilson Sasha W/P and Revel Ultima Salon 2, I have the following thoughts. With the exception of the Synchrony Ones, I could live with any of these. The larger, more expensive speakers provide a lower octave that depicts a larger volume cabinet, but that's the problem. They sound like a larger speaker, but don't necessarily sound more natural. The Synchrony Ones just produced a non-musical bass sound and the imaging was not on a par with the others. It did do a good job on brass with a realistic "blat" sound.

The most completely integrated sound came from the Gallo 3.5, which had a great balance. Dynamics were crisp and impactful, soundstaging was amazingly wide and deep, and its bass sounded less singled out as a feature than on the larger speakers. I had long been a fan of the Revel, and my preconception was that they would be clearly superior to the Gallo. They were actually not as good in most aspects.

I will be getting a pair of the Gallo's and am looking into the Gallo amp, which purportedly allows the speaker to reach down into the 20's.
Anyone have experience running the 3.5s with lower power amps? Wondering about compatibility with my 30wpc Pass INT-30-A.


Another question:

Any thoughts on placement of the 3.5s? I've a 14'x 21' x9'h room, speakers will go on a short wall. Do they like more breathing room, less, etc.?


If the 3.5s are like the 3.1s, they *really* like to be driven by a high-current amp. Anthony Gallo uses Spectron amps for demos.

I use a Butler TDB-5150 to drive my 3.1 and Ref. AVs in my 5.1 system. The Butler is a high-current, tube/MOSFET hybrid with 150 watts/ch. into 8ohms, 225 watts/ch. into 4ohms. The Gallos sound superb when driven by the Butler...

Thanks, RW. I took a chance on the Gallos with my 30wpc Pass in part based on the 6moons review. Heard them sounding very good at RMAF with Spectron.

Hey, I'm another guy who made the Ref 3.0 to Ref 3.5 transition. I had a hard time believing the 3.5 could be that much of an improvement, but it is. They "disappear," which is what a speaker is supposed to do. I bought the 3.0s with the Gallo Ref Subwoofer Amp. With the amp I had at that time, it was critical. I'm now running NuForce Ref 8 v2 monoblocks that have a wicked low end. Arguably, the Subwoofer Amp isn't "required" any more, but I'd never give it up. These puppies really will get down around 22 Hz. It's fun to play them for visitors because they're always startled to hear so much bass from such relatively small speakers. Also, I recently upgraded my DAC from the excellent PS Audio DL3 to the mind-blowing NAD M51. With the M51, I drive the NuForces directly. Improvement was way beyond expectations. But the pleasant surprise was the Gallo Ref 3.5s rose to the occasion. My old DAC (and pre-amp) had been holding them back!
The Gallos like power unless you are powerering the Bass separately if so then the small Pass labs or 30 wpc tube amp is 5 watt amps the tweeter likes the extra juice.i am running a Parasound Halo A-21 which is around 300 wpc actual wattage and is excellent. I am buying sound city Outriggers with 2/14 bass spikes to give it another 2/12 in height and
Further enhance the lock on imaging, and Bass.