Currently using a Edge M6m amp ( 125 wpc ) with my 3.1's.
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SET monoblocks designed and built by a friend, 12 wpc, single 845 output tubes with EL-34 (KT77) driver tubes and 6N7 (ECC31) input tubes, huge Magnequset transformers. Easily fill 18x40' room. I Use Gallo subwoofer amp on 2nd woofer voice coils. Extraordinary sound. These are the original Reference 3 (not 3.1) bought in 2004.
I am surprised that you had such bad results with the Mac. I auditioned the 3.1s with a full set of Mac 402, and C2300 pre. Absolutely inspirational superlative sound, in a so-so room with minimal treatments. Easily much better than many other auditions I've had with more expensive speakers. Complete bass authority and dynamic control, incredibly musical.
Could it be that their seperates are that much better than the integrateds?
I bought the 3.1s, and tried with my Cary sixpac amps. Too rolled off in the bass, and missing the control and authority of the Mac setup by a landslide. Great amps - just not with these speakers for me. I know others have had other results (d pogue, hello from the audioasylum thread (: ) but I would hesitate to use tubes on these. They dip down in the impedance with that bass driver. 2 Gallo dealers that I've spoken with, along with Gallo themselves, have recommended to use either SS or class D amps with high levels or current for these. Anthony himself demonstrated the new 3.5s at CES with a huge Spectron amp, for what that's worth.
I'm awaiting a Wyred 4 Sound class D 250 WPC in 8, 550 in 4 amp to be delivered. We'll see how that works out!
Thanks for the input guys.
I too was surprised that the Mac wasn't a good match with the Gallo's. As far as high current amps are concerned, at low volumes does it have much impact on the music? I don't have any idea but it seems like it would only become appearant as you turned up the volume and started to tap into the power reserves.
I am anxious to hear what you think of the Wyred 4 sound amps. I have been thinking about trying one myself.
"As far as high current amps are concerned, at low volumes does it have much impact on the music?"
Yes, that is exactly where it matters most.
"I am anxious to hear what you think of the Wyred 4 sound amps. I have been thinking about trying one myself."
I have heard good things and it is high on my list of high value, high power, high current amps.
I have now been using a Wyred 4 Sound ST1000 and a Cary slp98 preamp with my Gallos for almost 2 months. I feel I can comment on this combination now having let everything settle in for a while.
This is probably as neutral and detailed as my system has ever been while not becoming sterile, boring, or harsh in the process. There is excellent balance throughout the musical spectrum. Prodigious bass, excellent midrange and the sweetest highs without a hint of glare or fatigue. The touch of sunkist sweetness is thanks to a pair of RCA Red Base Military 5692 tubes in the Cary. These tubes took this system from very, very, good to just wonderful.
Soundstage is very balanced with pinpoint imaging of instruments and vocals. Soft music passages are relaxed and richly detailed, when the pace picks up the explosiveness and incredible speed can be startling!
MAPMAN You were correct that the high current would be most noticable at low volumes! I have never enjoyed music played at such low volume. All of the detail, prat and balanced musicality is right there even at very low volumes.
This is a very satisfying and incredibly musical system. Just a joy to listen to!
I have a Clayton S40 Class A 50 watt amp coming in a week to compare to the Wyred 4 Sound. I will post the results in a couple of weeks.
This is off-topic, but I just bought the Mapleshade upgraded stands for my Ref 3s and they are awesome. Four-inch thick maple platforms with brass "Megafeet" underneath and a more pronounced tilt than you get with the stock stands. A friend who also has these speakers brought one over and we compared it in stock form to mine, using mono LPs as the source. The difference/improvement was so pronounced that when we had them level-matched, it was as if all the sound was coming from one speaker (mine). Much more open, dynamic, and full-bodied with superior bass.
They cost a bunch (mine were $775) and won't win any beauty prizes, but if you want to know how good these speakers really are, the Mapleshade stands will tell you, IMO. Dave
Leatherneck, you need to know that Mapleshade uses only 4 of the 6 bolts holding the speaker to its base (the front 2 and the back 2). Also they use threaded brass studs and contoured brash washers between the speaker and the base that hold the speakers approximately 1/16" above the bases. This may sound unimportant but after hearing them, I would recommend ignoring it.
Visualize one of those brass washers with a "shoulder" on it, often found under the heads of brass wood screws. Sorry, that's the best I can do. :-)
Each of them is mounted "with the concave side upwards toward the speaker enclosure (i.e., so it "catches rain")." I'm quoting from the assembly instructions.
The 6" brass studs -- four of them -- are screwed into the bolt holes at the bottoms of the speakers (after you remove and discard the existing Gallo bases) and go down through the brass washers and all the way through the 4" maple platform. They're held underneath the maple by flat brass washers and nuts.
Clayton S40 50wpc amp
You can read what I said about the Wyred 4 Sound ST1000 540 wpc amp I have had for the last 4 months with my Gallos, it is in all respects a great amp, and sounds great with the Gallos.
I am sitting in my living room listening to the Clayton S40 50 wpc Class A stereo amp that arrived last week.
Compared directly to the Wyred 4 Sound the Clayton is better at resolving the inner details, the leading edge of the piano, the sound of the fingers on the guitar are much more organic. I have a 1925 Steinway piano just about 15 feet from my listening position. Both amps on piano sound wonderful, the Clayton goes beyond the Wyred 4 Sound in that it not only gets the tone right, it does a better job on the texture, the intent of the musician. The intensity or subtlety of the individuals are more richly portrayed.
There is also better soundtage width and depth by an appreciable margin with the Clayton. The Wyred 4 Sound has more bass punch, but I don't miss it with the Clayton which by comparison seems more balanced. Brass and wind instruments sound similar in tone, both very brassy or woody as required, but the space the Clayton gives to each instrument and singer is superior in creating space and prescence making the percieved image more realistic.
The Clayton S40 50 watt class A amp is a superb match for the Gallos. It is fast, clean, rich, and organic. When the music is soft it is sublime and intimate, so rich with texture, nuance, and detail. With rock and big band the stage is huge and the pace and sense of space is incredible. I have plenty of power for even the loudest (Stevie Ray and Joe Bonamasa) rock cranked up to concert levels.
I am, for now, a very happy camper!