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Yet another Gallo Nucleus thread...

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by baileych, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. baileych

    baileych
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    Hi,

    I've got this itch which I'm trying to scratch...

    At the moment I've got:

    source: Arcam DV88
    proc/pre: TAG AV32R bp192
    power: Arcam A85 + P85/3
    speakers: B&W DM603S2, CC6S2; Mission 78ds.
    sub: REL Q150E

    Things which I would like to change:

    (1) I'd like an identical (or at least a much better match) centre speaker to my FL/FR speakers. (Happy to change all three!)

    (2) More accurate and deeper (but not louder!) bass.

    [Sometime later - not too important now: (3) I'd like to go EX/ES, but the only speakers that I 've seen which will go in the centre rear position are AG NM's and other egg on stalk models (e.g. KEF, Klegg neither of which would be an upgrade).]

    Things which I don't want to change:

    (1) Nice full deep sound, esp. in stereo that I get from the B&W floor standers at the moment.

    I've been really attracted to reviews (here and elsewhere - except WHFS&V) of the AGNMs and also Velodyne subs.

    I see my options as follows:

    (1) Replace all speakers with AGNMs. Keep REL. Cheapest option. Do AGNM's really need a better sub though?

    (2) Replace all speakers with AGNMs. Replace REL with AG MPS150 sub. Will I be happy with the depth of the MPS150?

    (3) Replace all speakers with AGNMs. Replace REL with (something like) Velodyne CHT-15. Will the velodyne be happy melding up to the 100Hz or 120Hz start of the AGNMs?

    My questions are:

    (i) Are the AGNM's (which are only more expensive than my current speakers if you include the AG sub) going to be a step up from my current set up? If not what should I look at? Dues? B&W Nautilus 8xx...

    (ii) Will I cope without a full range stereo pair at front? (I admit, I'm a bit of a sub/sat - o - phobe!)

    (iii) Am I being too miserly for partners for my prize component: the TAG?

    (iv) (Carefully lays bait...) If I went for AGNMs and a Velodyne where would it be best to get them from?

    Budget is not a huge issue. If I get value from £750 now then that's great. If I need to spend £3000 to make any great improvements then that's fine too it just won't happen for a year or so...

    Thanks for your patience,

    Charles.
     
  2. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    Well, I went from Monitor Audio PMC703 floorstanders to a sat/sub setup and the things I noticed were:
    1) better imaging;
    2) deeper and more accurate bass;
    3) better dynamics.

    I found it easier to get the bass sounding good with a sub rather than floorstanders because I could move the sub around, whereas the left & right speakers can't really be moved very far from where they are (either side of the TV).

    This applies to stereo music as well as films (using Arcam Alpha 10 - definitely a step down from your processor and amps).

    The satellites are M&KS85 which are a little more than the PMC703's were new for a pair, and the sub is a second-hand REL Q100E.

    Hope this gives you food for thought.

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  3. siluro

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    Hi

    Well the gallos are superb and, tho i havnt heard the B&W i sure going the sat/sub route with the gallo/velodyne package would be a definate step up from the B&W also giveing you your matching lcr. The velo subs are deep and tight and if im thinking of the right rell you have either the cht 10 or 15 would be a definate inprovement hands down, being exellent for movies and extremly musical so there there wont be any loss for stereo sound

    Im sure there will be others along who will be better at answering your q`s but, You already know the best place to buy velo and gallos without even having to ask:D

    cheers
    lee
     
  4. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Read Matt F's review of his M&K 1525 monitors which are available from the usual source if you want quality sounding speakers, but if looks are a priority I can't advise.
     
  5. warrj

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    Well the gallos are superb and, tho i havnt heard the B&W i sure going the sat/sub route with the gallo/velodyne package would be a definate step up from the B&W also giveing you your matching lcr.

    Are you seriously suggesting that the balls are better than B&W 600 s2 speakers?

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  6. Lowrider

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    I also don´t like floorstanders, hard to set-up in the living room, but Sats are too much of a compromise, subs are better playing low bass, well bellow 80hz...

    My solution is the best monitors you can afford, (I have Sonus Faber), matching center, better sub, (when you can afford), and xover at 50hz...

    I have FMJ27 + AV32R...
     
  7. baileych

    baileych
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    Food for thought everybody, thank you for your help.

    warrj:
    I hoped that that was something that somebody would answer.
    B&W DM603S2 were about £550 a pair new (?). Gallos (2 + sub) are £300 + £500 = £800.

    They certainly should be better! Significantly better? Anybody?

    IanJ: The 1510 certainly look nice. The downsides are that I'm not sure that I could fit one under my plasma for the centre (do they go horizontal?) and I probably can't fit them as centre rears. What (roughly) is their price? Looks are not a priority, space (rear centre and centre only) is.

    Charles.
     
  8. warrj

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    I must confess that I haven't heard the balls. However just because they're more expensive than the B&Ws it doesn't necessarily follow that they're better. After all much more engineering compromises are required in order to make the balls than to make a more traditional loudspeaker.

    I would be very very surprised if the balls were superior in absolute terms to the B&Ws. They may be a better choice if their form factor is more appropriate to your needs but I wouldn't expect a step-up in sound quality from them. If anything I'd expect them to sound worse.

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  9. baileych

    baileych
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    I agree totally on the price not being equivalent to performance. I too haven't yet heard the balls but given that most reviews of the time of the DM603S2 were very good but not class leading, and current reviews of the Gallos range from very good to gob-smackingly, jaw-droppingly good (except one or two), I was expecting that they would be a step up.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my B&Ws which have given my several years of great service... but if there's something better...

    As for engineering compromises, I have one word: crossover. ;) Sure the Gallo's have compromises but so do floorstanders. They are just a different set of compromises. (And two posts ago I was a sub/sat sceptic! I'm keeping an open mind.)

    Charles.
     
  10. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Are we going in circles again on this one? Comments be passed / inferred of the supposed performance of Gallo balls without actually hearing these devices? I thought we had got past this one. :(

    None of us claim the Gallos are the best speaker in the universe, neither is it the worst either. In fact at it’s price I think it pretty high up the pecking order so is fully competitive with similarly priced speakers regardless of shape / size / religion. It certainly isn’t the only solution re sound quality here but for the ‘restrictions’ placed on the demands on this set up it must be pretty high up the pecking order. Very plasma friendly.

    For more accurate and deeper bass I would match them with a servo sub so look to the velodyne route in this instance though the Gallo sub is pretty fine performer in it’s own right. Certainly my favourite ‘small’ sub at the moment. The velodynes will give you the accuracy and low bass that you are not currently getting. They all work very well with the accurate Tag equipment.

    Due are great in the treble but don’t necessarily better the great performance from the ordinary balls elsewhere.

    hope it helps
     
  11. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I have my "centre" sideways and didn't notice any difference in tone or clarity. I believe that they are available at £425 each
     
  12. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Charlie Whitehouse and I sat and listened to the Dues for quite a while at the Manchester Show and I certainly liked the sound that came out of them via Myriad amplification
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Whilst I have no doubts that the Gallos are nice looking and room/family friendly,they are still only satellite speakers at heart,and won't match up to a good set of purpose designed stand/floor mount speakers.....IMHO....but I again have no doubt they will sound better than your current setup.

    You also mentioned B&W Nautilus 800 series...these are an excellent range of speakers,but the Nautilus 805s are £1800 inc stands,and the Signature 805s are a good load more.....somewhat more than your original budget and likely to place a fairly hefty load on your Arcam amps,good as they are....these have some fairly low impedance swings in the bass area,which will give the amps a difficult load.
     
  14. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    so where do we draw the line with sub sat systems? anything that uses a separate bass unit? If that is the case just about all AV systems are sub sat systems else are we just talking arbitary cut offs. Whose cut off is right, 20 Hz, 50 Hz, 80 Hz, 120 Hz? Any takers

    Taking this further isn't this just why we have separate bass, mid range and treble units anyway? Why on earth a 'resonant' box makes a better speaker is beyond me!

    Ian

    I have enjoyed the last four + months with the Due, they are another class bit of kit. I just wish I got hold of the original Ref Gallo back in 1995 (when they designed the tweeter on the Due).
     
  15. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    :confused:

    You've lost me - he's running a set of purpose designed speakers - the 603S2 voice matches the CC6S2 well, and the Mission bipoles will give a good rear soundstage.

    Am I alone in thinking that going from a very good pair of B&W floorstanders, a very good B&W centre, a very good pair of Mission rears and a good REL sub (cue flaming from the Velodyne fanboys :D ) will be at least as good as, if not better in terms of dynamics and midrange, then the Micros - I can't help seeing this as a backward step.

    And yes I have demo'd the Gallos - I eventually went for 5 B&W VM1's (plus my existing REL Q150) - they sounded better to me.
     
  16. baileych

    baileych
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    Oh, boy! Lots of juicy thoughts for me. Thanks again everyone for your help...

    I am really sold on the idea of identical speakers in all positions. I know the CC6S2 is "matched" to the DM603's but in reality all they share is the tweeter and some styling. You really notice if you switch from stereo + sub to PLII Movie, say on just something like watching the news, that the voices, while 'locked' to the screen also have a different (less open, almost more compressed) sound.

    The missions are also a very good speaker. I'd have loved to get some matching B&W bipoles but of course they didn't exist. When I had the 601S2's as rears I had too have them too close to the corners of the sofa and they didn't produce a proper audio 'image'. The missions can be a bit further away as they're wall mounted and, being bipoles, give a reasonable image at quite close even if direct radiators would give a more precise image if they could be optimally placed.

    I don't know that I'll be able to get rid of my DM603s though. I like them a lot... perhaps they'll split off and form a 'splinter' stereo system with some other rebels in the next room!

    I also caught myself measuring up my plasma stand for how I'd have to move the shelves to house an M&K MPS1510 on it's side and playing with smile.co.uk's loan calculator :rolleyes:. Looks quite promising. No stop! stop the voices! Bad, Ian J, bad thoughts...

    I must listen to Radiohead (poster not band) for he is the voice of reason and happing savings accounts!

    Do you think that P85 amplification is up to MPS1510? I suspect yes as I don't listen at very high levels.

    I don't suppose it's easy to audition the MPS1510 anywhere. It would be good to compare these, the balls and my current speakers.

    Thanks,

    Charles.
     
  17. Lowrider

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    Nic, sorry, Beekeeper... ;)

    I draw the line with sats that wont go down to 50hz or so... Sorry, but i feel that bass above that is very directional and no subwoofer will handle it as well as any reasonable "resonant" box...
     
  18. tk2001

    tk2001
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    baileych,

    Where abouts do you live in the UK?

    If you live near London, then you are more than welcome to demo my Gallo/CHT-15 sat/sub system.

    Prior to buying the Gallos, I did actually demo the Kef Q1's and the B&W 602 S3 and although they sounded good (I prefered the Kef Q1's better), when they were driven quite loudly - but nowhere near reference level - they did start to distort quite noticably especially the B&W.

    I had heard so much possitive posts about the Gallos in the forums and decided once and for all that I would have to demo these speakers to see if uncle and eric amongst many others were telling the truth. So I called uncle eric to arrange a demo and he was please to invite me over.

    When I arrive at his house, showed me into his living-room where he had the gallos set-up. He first put on a music CD with male vocals and played it at reference level using the Denon 3802. Make no mistake when I say that what I was hearing was blisteringly LOUD:eek: and what was even more shocking was the fact that I could not believe the sheer clarity and natural sound coming out of these tiny round balls:eek:

    He then put on Attack Of The Clones and played chapter 7 (the taxi scene) also on reference level. Again, I was very impressed that I could not hear any distortion what so ever. Imaging was superb and don't forget all this was being driven by just the 3802 - your Tag should sound much better:)

    Well after that demo I was convinced that the Gallos were the speakers I was looking for - I was looking for satelites that sounded natural, to display good imaging, have good mid-range, and importantly were able to be drivin at reference levels without sounding distorted.

    One word of warning though, unless these speakers are fully runned-in (took me 3-4 weeks) they will initially sound slightly tinny, mid-range won't sound as good, and will sound slightly hard-edged and bright.
     
  19. uncle eric

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    Thanks TK,
    As TK mentioned, the Gallo's do take a few weeks for their "edge" to wear off. Once run in, they give off a smooth neutrality that is far, far beyond their size and compete with any speaker in their price range (and just above) no matter what size or shape.
     
  20. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    As ever you make a good point but I have heard similar cases made for a wide variety of freq from 20 to 120. What do we pick and who is right?
     
  21. Lowrider

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    Besides the directivity problem above around 60hz, there is another problem of subwoofers not beeing that good above the same 60hz, at least my Strata III aren´t as good as decent monitors, even the Concertos I had before...

    I believe small subs, like the Gallo´s will handle up to 120hz ok, at least comparing with small sats, but then they dont go very deep, surely not to 20hz...

    And I also think xover above 60hz breaks the consistency of sound, some instruments will sound from two different places...

    In the end it is personal taste that matters, and sub/sat systems have high WAF...
     
  22. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I think it is also confused by mixing up AV and Audio. CDs rarley have much info below 30 Hz on them, certainly not of the natural acoustic variety. DVDs are a different kettle of fish with info down to 5 Hz and much below 30 Hz. We try and make one think do everything and it doesn't always work.

    Ah the compromises of AV / Audio systems, don't you just love them ;)
     
  23. Lowrider

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    Compromises, thats what it is all about... :cool:

    I love when my audiophile friends, (pure stereo only), pop over, I always play direct, after a while, and ask them if they prefer that way, without sub, (my speakers go down to 35hz), they always ask me to go back, some started to buy subs... :D

    Same thing with DPLII... :eek:
     
  24. uncle eric

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  25. baileych

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    Can I have my thread back?

    Good, thanks! ;)

    Just a brief update to let you all know what progress I've made. Thanks to tk2001's offer I managed to get a listen to his Gallo/Velodyne CHT-15 system. (Thanks, tk2001!)

    Unfortunately, having made it away from the office a little later then I meant to, I was recalled by my boss and had to leave earlier than I wanted to. :mad: Ah, well we all have to earn the home cinema budget somehow.

    [ Just to be totally fair tk2001 had only just put new speaker cable on the Gallos which probably could do with some running in, and he may have been suffering from unscrewed speaker terminals as mentioned in http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=63608.]

    We had a listen to Gladiator, the opening battle and the Coliseum "Battle of Carthage" recreation scenes. We listened to these mainly because they're test scenes which I've used before so I have a chance of a fair comparison.

    My first impression was that the Gallos made quite a harsh sound compared with my B&W set up. However, there was no mistaking the wide sound stage and benefits of having exactly the same speaker in every position. All of the pans were totally smooth and the Gallos never sounded strained (listening at -5dB).

    What I really loved though was the bass. The CHT-15 was low and clean. Sure, it's impressive when you see the fire bombs hit the trees at close range but what actually impressed me more was when the shot is a much wider angle and you see about three fire bombs hit the trees in the distance. Through the cacophany of battle you can hear the distinct low thud of each impact despite the relatively low volume of these. My Q150E (which, while I now know to be severely overpriced, really isn't as bad as all that) will produce the low(ish) rumble of battle but individual quieter bass sounds just seem lost in general noise.

    Next up was Titan AE ice field scene at reference level. Mmmmm, at this point uncle eric was destined to receive another CHT-15 order. All I can say is wow. The words low, loud, deep are just words, to really have to experience it. Unfortunately, I haven't listened to many subwoofers so I don't have the experience to give an fully informed opinion. Suffice it to say the my poor little REL is so out of its depth to make a comparision all but pointless. Structural damage? No, not with this track - but the CHT-15 made you believe it could cause it if it felt like it. (I dread to think what would happen to your house insurance premiums if they found out you had an HGS-18!)

    So, CHT-15? Definitely.

    Gallos? Not sure, there seem to be pluses and minuses. I would really love to do a head to head comparison with my current equipment (plus new CHT-15...) in my own room. I don't suppose I could have anyone's balls for a weekend long play? ;)

    Thanks for listening,

    Charles.
     
  26. tk2001

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    Thanks for giving an honest opinion on the Gallos. Shame you couldn't demo more dvds though :(

    In the gallos defence, just before the demo I did mention that the gallos sound slightly harsher than usual which I simply put down to the new silver an speaker cables not being fully runned-in and the fact that having Gladiator played at -5dB probably didn't do it any favours due to the sheer loudness of the soundtrack combined with the very high frequencies of the swords clashing along with the arrows flying (playing that chapter at -5dB on any speakers probably would have sounded slightly harsh too). Gladiator is another example of a dvd soundtrack that simply doesn't benefit from being played at reference level, especially during the action scenes :eek:

    To demo two dvds just isn't enough to get an idea of what both the Gallo & CHT-15 are capable of.

    As for your possitive comments on the CHT-15 (I've yet to hear one negetive comment on the sub BTW), I couldn't agree more with you ;)

    BTW, Charles have you ever played chapter 2 of Gladiator on
    -5dB using your B&W's? If you haven't then can you try when your not busy just to see how they sound compared to the Gallos? - I feel I should have taken your advise by playing chapter 2 at -10dB:blush:
     
  27. sinister_stu

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    My opinion:

    I recently went in to my new local hifi shop and had a listen to these speakers. They were driven by some TAG power amp and processor, can't remember which one.

    After the short demo I received, I was very impressed with the clear sound they produced and also the precision of the imaging. I would definitely buy some if I was building a Home Cinema setup.

    However, I did think that while they were good for music, they were soundly beaten by the Monitor Audio S6's I listened to the week before. The S6's were driven by a NAD C320 and still sounded significantly better, if you factor in the price difference (£600 - £800) then there really is no contest.

    To Gallo or not to Gallo? HC yes, Hifi no.
     
  28. James45

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    you should demo them with music as well, the presentation of vocals still leaves me speachless.
    gladiator is a 'harsh' soundtrack its not at all pretty either in terms of content or sound and if I remember rightly it has a fairly high recorded level to begin with so god knows what it would sound like at ref level.
    the performance of my Gallos is beginning to push me down the DVD-A and mid-high end DVD player route. Eric I blame you!;) :D
     
  29. tk2001

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    BTW, QED silver anniversary cable does fit through the sunflower stands.:)
     
  30. James45

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    how does the silver anniversary sound now? I may get some if it fits through the wallflowers.
     

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