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  1. #1
    RGA
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    I've decided to take the Home theater plunge

    Back in the mid 90s I tried and failed to do it properly - perhaps my fault perhaps the equipment being worse back then.

    I live in a smallish apartment and require speakers that can be wall mounted or use very thin stands - as well as a smallish subwoofer. Small space as in bedroom sized.

    I am of the belief that all speakers should be the same and to this end my front runner is a home theater in a box (on steroids) solution in the Anthony Gallo Acoustics A'Diva Ti Speaker System which was awarded Home Theater magazines best mid price home theater system. It's been getting raves but I would like to know personal experience.

    Why am I looking at Gallo first - well size is a big factor. I looked at the Energy Take 5 but they can't be wall mounted in the same way - they require 6 inches of space from the wall - which is 5 inches too many.

    Further, I chose the Gallo 3.5 as one of the 5 best rooms under $10k at CES. The speakers had some of the best "impact bass" of any system at CES regardless of price. They're also used in recording studios and the reviewer for home theater magazines Anthony Gallo Acoustics A'Diva Ti Speaker System | Home Theater is the mastering engineer at Chesky Records - the worl's best recording studio (or in the mix anyway - pardon the pun).

    Further the unique design allows for their upgraded center channel to likely integrate better as a future upgrade.

    The price is somewhat high at around $2k for the 5 speakers and sub plus $180 per stand. There is a less expensive option but some have noted reduce treble output and it has a lesser subwoofer. But any experience with these would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    I've heard those at my dealers house RGA. Excellent choice!
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  3. #3
    RGA
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    I hope to try them at some point - I am looking at a late August buy since I'm going back to Canada for much of the summer.

    Keeping to the small theme I am looking at the following receiver (or the new 1603 replacement model) to do the home theater duties.

    Marantz NR1602 AV receiver with AirPlay ? reghardware

    Since the Gallo only handle 60 watts anyway there isn't much need for more power - especially in a small apartment.

    The only downside is class D usually sounds completely uninspired and dead - but at least not bright so there's that.

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    I hope to try them at some point - I am looking at a late August buy since I'm going back to Canada for much of the summer.

    Keeping to the small theme I am looking at the following receiver (or the new 1603 replacement model) to do the home theater duties.

    Marantz NR1602 AV receiver with AirPlay ? reghardware

    Since the Gallo only handle 60 watts anyway there isn't much need for more power - especially in a small apartment.

    The only downside is class D usually sounds completely uninspired and dead - but at least not bright so there's that.
    The Marantz + Gallo combo looks like a winner. I predict you'll love the Audyssey EQ.

    What?!? A SET lover worried about 50 wpc? Don't worry about it.

  5. #5
    RGA
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    Good point - 50 watts per channel will be positively beastly. I am interested in the sub pulling dual duty in the home theater system and the 2 channel system and while Audyssey EQ gets mixed reviews I am sure it will be somewhat useful at least saving some time getting it dialed in. They sell a lot of bluray music content in HK.

    I don't know of other slim line devices like the Marantz but I like that it will fit in the TV stand unlike a conventional receiver.

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    Good point - 50 watts per channel will be positively beastly. I am interested in the sub pulling dual duty in the home theater system and the 2 channel system and while Audyssey EQ gets mixed reviews I am sure it will be somewhat useful at least saving some time getting it dialed in. They sell a lot of bluray music content in HK.

    I don't know of other slim line devices like the Marantz but I like that it will fit in the TV stand unlike a conventional receiver.
    In my experience that Audyssey works very well indeed. I suppose it wouldn't be a magic solution to a weird room or weirdly placed speakers.

  7. #7
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    In my experience that Audyssey works very well indeed. I suppose it wouldn't be a magic solution to a weird room or weirdly placed speakers.
    I prefer whatever HK uses, EZset/EQ, over the Audyssey in my newer Integra.

    The room correction may be ok but the volume settings all need to be tweaked after running it. I suppose that every brand of receiver will yield a different result.
    Hyfi
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    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
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  8. #8
    RGA
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    My room is basically one long rectangle. I have separated it into two parts. The audio section I have the speakers in corners on the short wall. Behind the recliner (which separates the audio room into the living room where I have the 37 inch Samsung on the long wall.

    From the pictures below you can see the TV. Behind the curtain is a cutout and I am thinking of placing the TV in that area (it will easily fit) and putting the wall mount speakers beside it and behind the couch.

    To the left of the couch is a nice corner where I Hope the sub will work as it could then pull dual duty with the home theater and 2 channel. If memory serves subs are non directional (although I've always detected them but anyway perhaps 15 years has improved things.
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  9. #9
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    I prefer whatever HK uses, EZset/EQ, over the Audyssey in my newer Integra.

    The room correction may be ok but the volume settings all need to be tweaked after running it. I suppose that every brand of receiver will yield a different result.
    It is going to help RGA that all of his main speakers are going to be the same. I don't know which Integra model you own, but if it has MultiEQ XT32, then it is far more accurate with FAR more filters than the auto EQ HK uses. Only Trinnov and ARC are in the same class as Audyssey.

    I would highly recommend some pre-treatment be done before running Audyssey. Adding some bass traps, and tackling any slap echo with acoustic panels, and carpet on the floor will help the processor be as accurate as it can be. The more it has to process, the more filters you have to use to fix any problems. Also you are less likely to have drastic frequency aberrations from seat to seat.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
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  10. #10
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    My room is basically one long rectangle. I have separated it into two parts. The audio section I have the speakers in corners on the short wall. Behind the recliner (which separates the audio room into the living room where I have the 37 inch Samsung on the long wall.

    From the pictures below you can see the TV. Behind the curtain is a cutout and I am thinking of placing the TV in that area (it will easily fit) and putting the wall mount speakers beside it and behind the couch.

    To the left of the couch is a nice corner where I Hope the sub will work as it could then pull dual duty with the home theater and 2 channel. If memory serves subs are non directional (although I've always detected them but anyway perhaps 15 years has improved things.
    Subs are non direction below 80hz. The become more directional at 120hz, and very directional at 160hz. So you really have to watch your crossover point so you cannot tell where your sub.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Grass Valley Cell based Pro HD A/V switcher
    Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 EQ module
    Audyssey XT32 Sub module
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    5 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    14 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surrounds
    3 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  11. #11
    RGA
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    Yes the Gallo balls supposedly go to slightly under 80hz.

    The room surprisingly has little slap echo and I have about 16 acoustic foam panels. The floor is tiled which probably isn't great but I can purchase rugs. I'm not sure what the glass is but it's not the flimsy rattly kind like in Canada - I suspect most of the buildings use Typhoon resistant grade glass or whatever because it's very strong.

    The subs seem to allow for some choice and their top sub is not to much more $$ than their mid priced one. Anthony Gallo TR-3 Subwoofer

    Part of this is about size and keeping to the "style" of the eyeball speakers but the 3.5 floorstander had way way above average bass drive and starting stopping speeds than virtually anything I heard at CES. Which says a lot since the 3.5 is a very small speaker compared to most.

    I am also going to be exploring bass traps for all of the upper corners. It's a matter of price performance and in some cases availability and whether the retailer speaks any English.

  12. #12
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    Yes the Gallo balls supposedly go to slightly under 80hz.

    The room surprisingly has little slap echo and I have about 16 acoustic foam panels. The floor is tiled which probably isn't great but I can purchase rugs. I'm not sure what the glass is but it's not the flimsy rattly kind like in Canada - I suspect most of the buildings use Typhoon resistant grade glass or whatever because it's very strong.

    The subs seem to allow for some choice and their top sub is not to much more $$ than their mid priced one. Anthony Gallo TR-3 Subwoofer

    Part of this is about size and keeping to the "style" of the eyeball speakers but the 3.5 floorstander had way way above average bass drive and starting stopping speeds than virtually anything I heard at CES. Which says a lot since the 3.5 is a very small speaker compared to most.

    I am also going to be exploring bass traps for all of the upper corners. It's a matter of price performance and in some cases availability and whether the retailer speaks any English.
    Congrats Richard for taking the plunge. Looks like you are off to a great start on your venture. If you have any questions about Audyssey, just let me know. You will find the results of its calibration much more satisfying with pre-treating the room a bit.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Grass Valley Cell based Pro HD A/V switcher
    Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 EQ module
    Audyssey XT32 Sub module
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    5 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    14 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surrounds
    3 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  13. #13
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    Subs are non direction below 80hz.
    That's certainly true, but many folks directly correlate that to the low pass crossover frequency. While better subs like yours most likely have a steeper 18 db/octave slope, many like mine are only 12 db / octave. It is for that reason I set mine to 50 hz - which still has pretty significant output above that frequency.

    I think I would always prefer having dual (or more) subs for better balance and to eliminate localization. The satellites Rich is looking at have 4" drivers - which is tough to reach solidly down to 80 hz.

  14. #14
    RGA
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    It is somewhat of a concern - The Gallo has gotten great press in the Home Theater Magazine as being the best thing it's class - I have the advantage that my TV can go behind the curtain in the picture and I could place the sub directly in front of the TV between the two speakers. This set-up would alleviate the directionality somewhat and I auditioned a similar set-up with M&K years back. The sub in the center I found has generally worked. (Or two subs).

    Thanks E-Stat for pointing this out - I carefully re-read the Home theater review and it turns out that the reviewer did the same thing as per Anthony Gallo's instruction that the sub be placed between the two front speakers as the reviewer had trouble blending them.

    This has always been a problem when I have used or owned subs - they sub maker will tell you to cross it over at 40-80hz and you can place it in a corner but I always hear a "weight" from whatever side of the room it is placed in. My powered sub would cut the low frequencies going to the front main speakers and that configuration was terrible because the speakers then didn't sound right (My Wharfedale Vanguards are good to 40hz at deafening levels). The one sub handling the duties made the Wharfedales sound lousy so I ended up running the powered sub passive which worked better but after awhile I gave up and dumped the award winning sub. However at that time I could not place the sub in the center.

    15 years later I am hopeful subs have come a long way.

    Lastly, my expectation is a bit lower. If it works for music - great, if it doesn't integrate that well for music, then it will serve movie and video game duty only and I am fine with that.

    I would like to try it with the AX Two standmounts which provide solid 50hz in room response. It's very close in fact to the LS3/5a and the two SW-1A subwoofers in terms of in room bass depth. So the Gallo Sub might be a nice addition there (except I'd have to move the sub around to place between both systems.

    I think from the measurements the center sub position is a must - the little Gallo balls operate 6dB point is at 103 Hz (which is why they will be better on the wall to get a little bit of boundary gain). The Sub operates up to over 100hz.

    I think there is no real way around this with such small speakers and subs - there is going to be a gap though at least it's not too too big.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Good luck on your system build.
    I have not had dealers come to my house like Frenchmon but I did hear a pair of Gallo orbs a couple of years ago in my usually listening/testing area- A thrift store.....

    They sounded pretty good and had a very distinctive look.

    As Feanor has mentioned you like the Audyssey. My only experience with receiver EQ's prior to the Audyssey was the Pioneer EQ that came with my VSX-815. The Pioneer did a great job but the Audyssey seems a notch above.

  16. #16
    RGA
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    After doing some research I didn't realize so many of the major players were making small satellite systems - and how much better they've gotten over the years. Tannoy, Canton, Focal, B&W, Paradigm, Kef, Cambridge Audio, JM Labs, are all some of the names making these style home theater packages.

    Also doing some research I found that a company called Orb audio seems to get some nice reviews - they look exactly like the Gallo speakers for a lot less money. At first I figured - a copy cat - but no the designer is the same guy who designed the Gallo speakers.

    I saw a nice looking KEF 1505 package here for a very affordable price. KEF KHT1505 review - Surround Sound System - Trusted Reviews

    The ORB stuff is upgradeable and I like that you can buy more orbs to make 7.1 or 9.1 or 11.1 etc. Just add more balls.

    I also like that you can buy them without the subwoofer - this would allow me to buy a better sub (what exactly I have no idea but the option is there).

    Orb Audio Mod4 Home Theater Speaker System Reviewed

  17. #17
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    RGA, Pioneer makes a excellent 5.1 system that was well reviewed in Stereophile. I installed a system around this package, and was VERY surprised

    SP-BS21-LR - Bookshelf Loudspeakers. | Pioneer Electronics USA

    They have a 5.1 speaker package based around this speaker for about $350 bucks.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Grass Valley Cell based Pro HD A/V switcher
    Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 EQ module
    Audyssey XT32 Sub module
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    5 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    14 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surrounds
    3 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  18. #18
    RGA
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    Interesting you mentioned them they were one of the first ones I looked at. Unfortunately they're so big compared to everything else I am looking at - the Pioneers are full on standmounts. Though they're very widely viewed as the best sound at the price. But they're not small so it's kind of a different animal.

    OTOH I hate the idea of overpaying for those style systems. For instance the KEF (Andrew Jones former company) makes the 1505 system which are tiny 2 ways. I wonder how far that $500 system is away from a $1800 Gallo system. There is only so much you can do with really tine speakers.

    I am now looking at a betweener - a little bigger and more robust but still about 1/4 the size of the Pioneer and reviewed by the same Pioneer reviewer. It scores a tick lower than the Pioneer but seems to be very close - the sub though is quite unusual looking Wharfedale Achromatic WA-S1 Speaker System | Home Theater

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