Anthony Gallo Reference 3 Speakers
A Little Background
Anthony Gallo has always gone his own way in speaker design. His original Nucleus Solo combined his unique vision, and unusual design skills with exceptional sound qualities. They were instantly hailed as a classic system. The design had everything to do with first principles and nothing to do with following the herd. Later he extended the bass response by adding a second bass ball. Thus creating his first reference system, the Nucleus Reference.
His first systems used his unique CDT (Cylindrical Dynamic Tweeter) for high frequencies. Its designed in properties included very high power handling capacity, extremely wide horizontal dispersion (330 degree) and no need for a crossover to remove lower frequencies. Indeed the tweeter received a full range signal. The bass ball in its spherical enclosure also needed no crossover. Again the design of the enclosure becomes the crossover. A full range 2 way speaker with no crossover and truly exceptional sound. Wonderful!
Need I comment on the odd appearance of these speaker? They looked alien. As in outer space. A bent tubular frame with a basketball sized steel sphere, the dynamic transducer mounted front and center. No grill cover either. Grill cloth would have compromised the sound. Perched on top was the CDT looking like a soup can dressed in a perforated skin. Yes, odd as in outer space alien. But the sound, the sound was presented cleanly, clearly and effortlessly. You heard the music, not the speakers. The speakers just vanished from the room.
Anthony went on to produce his Nucleus Micros when Home Theater began its rise in the collective concious. A very diminuative version of the bass ball from the Solo and Reference speakers. A four inch diameter sphere, filled with styrofoam pellets, holding a three inch driver. A separate basketball sized sphere holding a ten inch driver for the low frequencies. The bass driver had dual voice coils to enable stereo use with two of the new Micros. And no CDT. Still one cannot argue with the sound. Once more the music is brought into the room while the speakers dissappear. Put five Micros in your theater and enjoy the experience without crowding the room with big boxes. The Micros can be placed on a shelf with plenty of shelf space left over for the things people like to put on shelves, like pictures, and books.
The Micros were greeted with more favorable reviews and even more importantly became a big seller. Paving the way for Anthony’s Due. Featuring two Micros and a new version of his CDT arranged in D’Appolito array. Increased efficiency and greater power handling. Even better for dynamic theater soundtracks. And then came the A’Diva. A larger Micro (five inch sphere with the same three inch driver from the Micro) for people who want the Gallo sound without a subwoofer cluttering up the room.
Ah yes, the subwoofer. Anthony developed the astounding MPS-150. A powered sub with placement flexibility no other sub can match. A ten inch driver mounted downward in a steel cylinder. The 150 watt amplifier in its own enclosure with connections for line level in and out (both left and right channels). Also provided are speaker level connections (both left and right channels). An adjustable crossover (50 Hz to 120Hz) control, volume control, and 0 or 180 phase control. Two chassis allow separating the driver from the amp by many feet if desired.
As all Anthony’s designs, the MPS-150 is exceptional. Deep, tight bass. Easy integration with almost any speaker system. And very easy integration with every room. So small that it can be hidden under furniture!
The New Reference
How shall we begin? First sight of the Reference 3 reinforces our understanding of the Gallo design esthetic. Unusual. Unique. Definately, odd. They do not look like any other speakers available today. Surprisingly small, petite even. Standing just over 30 inches high and barely 10 inches wide. Using a D’Appolito array similar to the Due mounted above a side firing low frequency unit in a housing like the bottom section of the Gallo MPS-150 subwoofer.
But the similarity is just that, a similarity. The details of the construction reveal that the midrange balls are larger by one inch than the Micros and Dues. And they contain 4 inch carbon fiber drivers, a first for Anthony Gallo, again 1 inch larger than the Micro and Due drivers. That bass driver is also more unusual than it first appears. The housing connects to the backbone of the design for additional volume to provide deeper bass.
On the back of the backbone is a tweeter adjustment switch with three positions. Giving 0 and + or – 1 dB settings. Down the length of the backbone are the three fasteners for the shroud. Down at the bottom are two sets of hefty metal binding posts. But the posts are not for Bi-Wiring. No, these are Gallo speakers remember. The upper set are for a full range signal from your amplifier. The lower set? They are used for the second voice coil in the low frequency driver. Used with the Gallo dedicated subwoofer amp to provide a linear extension to the deepest bass. The Gallo subwoofer amp has two channels of power and a low pass filter to ensure the sub voice coils get what they need.
The Reference 3 Sound
Open, airy, with a solid image, deep bass, tight and focused. No smearing from the baffle board, there is no baffle board. Wide high frequency dispersion of 300 degrees spreads out the sweet spot. Yes another highly unusual, highly successful design. Each audition brings smiles of disbelief from the listeners. The Reference 3 is so small yet produces a wide and deep soundstage. Once again the music is presented and the speakers vanish. The music comes from the soundstage not from a speaker system. Thank you, Anthony.
These speakers have the resolution to reveal all the information in a recording. Differences in cabling are readily apparent. That’s a sure sign of resolution. The Reference 3 lets the best equipment and cables strut their stuff.
Come in for a listen. Bring some music you are familiar with. Be prepared to hear more from those recordings and get more enjoyment from the music. The Reference 3 from Anthony Gallo is a very special speaker.