Page 2 Stereo Speaker Systems
Gallo Acoustics Reference Strada 2 (pair) & TR-3D sub
In perfect cosmetic condition and operating perfectly, this essentially new pair of Gallo Reference Strada 2 speakers comes with a Gallo *TR-3D subwoofer and a pair of **maple bedrock stands.
NOTE: as of this post, the speakers are not fully broken in yet. We assume that we will manage 1-3 hours of playing time (with solid bass material at a conversational level) and that should recalibrate the Strada 2 since they left the factory. We will update the copy at that time.
Each of the gorgeous designs feature brushed stainless steel spheres with a black frame. Included are the maple bedrock stands as shown in the photos. Currently, this complete system (speakers, sub & stands) would cost around $4500 if purchased new.
The Strada 2 is the second and improved version of the original Strada Side. Essentially, it performs as though the speaker enclosure is significantly larger than it actually is, yielding a deep and powerful low-frequency response that is up to two octaves lower than would otherwise be possible in speakers of this size. This strong low-frequency performance was designed to minimize the need for a separate subwoofer in traditional stereo installations. Of course the addition of the amazing TR-3D subwoofer greatly enhances the system.
Gallos's patented S2 technology allows Stradas to stand mounted or wall-mounted and provide amazing performance, regardless of the size of the listening area. As mentioned above, the Strada 2 was the improved version of the original Strada Side model in the Anthony Gallo Acoustics line. The Strada 2 also utilizes the company’s proprietary Optimized Pulse Technology (OPT).
The current cost of the Strada 2 speakers is $2400/pair.
Note: OPT is an impulse correction and synchronization system designed to integrate the low, middle, and high frequencies into one unified sound source.
Stradas also incorporate Gallo's patented CDT™3 cylindrical diaphragm transducer, redesigned to use their latest speaker technology available today. The unique design of the CDT3 tweeter and its cylindrical shape provide a dispersion pattern of 120 degrees for the center configuration and 180 degrees for the side configuration. This allows substantial flexibility in positioning the speakers, since the same high-frequency response is delivered off-axis as is on-axis. The CDT3 and the patented S2 technology deliver clarity, precision and range not found anywhere near the $2000 price point for a speaker system. The S2 technology decouples the backwave of the driver from the air inside the enclosure. The benefits of their S2 technology in home stereo speakers include superior low frequency extension, improved transient response and a substantial increase in efficiency. The OPT system, the re-engineered CDT tweeter and the patented S2 technology were crucial elements that combined to provide a truly emotional audio experience.
~Frequency response: 68 Hz – 20 kHz ±3 dB (in room with boundary reinforcement; loudspeakers within 1 foot of wall. ~Impedance: 8 ohms nominal.
~Sensitivity: 90 dB at 1 watt and 1 meter.
~Power handling: 150 watts RMS unclipped music power.
~Tweeter: patented CDT3 (Cylindrical Diaphragm Transducer), sporting 180° (for the side configuration) or 120° horizontal dispersion (for the center configuration) from 3 kHz to above 20 kHz.
~Woofers: Two 4" dynamic hyperbolic carbon fiber drivers optimized to integrate seamlessly with the CDT3 tweeter without the need for a crossover.
~Enclosure Type: sealed, with auxiliary bass cavity supplementation and patented S2 loading.
~Enclosure Composition: Powder-coated cast aluminum chassis, with brushed stainless steel spheres and powder-coated stainless steel grills.
~Dimensions: Width: 5" Height: 13.5" Depth: 7.5"
~Connections: 5-way gold-plated binding posts developed specifically for Anthony Gallo Acoustics
~Weight: 11.4 lbs each without stands
The TR-3D powered subwoofer is a high-output, dynamic unit designed for the full spectrum of music, whether it be for pure realism in home theater applications or just good old HiFi stereo music. It's also the perfect partner for the Strada 2. It features a 10″ long-throw ceramic anodised aluminium cone driver, powerful 300 Watt Class-D digital amplifier and their patented S2 bass loading technology.
~Frequency response is 18Hz – 180Hz +/- 3db
~Power: auto/on/off: toggle switch, 300 watts RMS, 600 watts max.
~Connections: 2 female RCA phono inputs and 2 female RCA phono outputs (pass-thru) 5-way gold plated binding posts
The current cost of the TR-3D by itself is $1150.00
The handsome air-dried Ambrosia maple bedrock stands were made by Pierre Sprey's Mapleshade company in Baltimore. The current cost is $1355 (pair). They feature a satin lacquer finish that enhances the beautiful natural grain character of their old-growth Maryland maple. These handsome, close-to-the-floor stands are a painstakingly refined implementation of Mapleshade's patented "Vibration Control System". They unleash the Strada's breathtaking levels of clarity, detail and warmth. Low bass extension and bass resolution that greatly improves the use of the subwoofer.
About Gallo Acoustics...
Anthony Gallo designed his first loudspeaker at the tender age of fourteen. His first commercially available product – the Nucleus reference speaker, went on sale in 1994. Today, Gallo Acoustics loudspeakers are sold in over 30 countries worldwide.
Anthony Gallo was born in 1963 and from an early age he had an interest in the sciences and would take apart just about anything he could lay his hands on. At age 13 he began to become hooked on loudspeaker design. His first audio experiments were with electrostatics. “I got shocked a zillion times,” Anthony recalls. “I was always awed by electrostatics’ transparency and purity. The dynamics, however, were always short of my expectations.”
Subsequent experiments with ribbon drivers proved difficult to drive and limited in dynamic range. However, Anthony’s search for the “Holy Grail of tweeters” took a dramatic turn when he discovered a magazine article about Piezo film in the early 1980s. “I threw the magazine aside for a few years,” he says, “but in the back of my mind I knew that I would work with this material some day.” After a few years of experimentation, the first version of Anthony’s CDT (cylindrical diaphragm transducer) was born in 1987. Further refining the CDT design over the better part of the next decade, Anthony came to the realisation that he was onto something special, and decided to pursue his dream of designing and manufacturing loudspeakers full-time. Anthony Gallo Acoustics was born.
Acoustic Research AR-4X
In very good cosmetic condition and fully operational, these Acoustic Research AR-4X speakers have a legendary history indeed.
The original linen grill cloth is (amazingly) in pretty good shape with no tears or holes. The drivers and crossovers are 100% original with only a very recent dose of deoxit within the attenuator housings themselves. As good as they sound, if they were recapped they would sound even better but then the price would be much higher.
Even though the wood grill frames are delicate, (and attached with industrial staples) we carefully removed one of the grills for photo purposes only.
Here's the back story:
"The three models AR-4, 4x and 4xa are frequently used synonymously when searching for one of these speakers on auction websites. If you wonder what the difference between the AR-4, AR-4x and AR-4xa is, here is a short simple answer: It´s all about the tweeter!The AR-4 is the oldest of the three and by now a sought after collectible made in 1964. The AR-4x is its successor from late '65 and '66. The AR-4x has 2 1/2″ cone tweeters, whereas the AR-4 has 3 1/2″ tweeters. The AR-4x received outstanding reviews and is until today famous for its sound quality. Finally, in 1973, the AR-4xa speaker was introduced. The tweeters were switched to the 1 1/4″ tweeters used in the AR-6 and AR-7.
2 way, 2 driver loudspeaker system
Recommended Amplifier: 15W (minimum)
Bass: 1 x 8" cone
Tweeter: 1 x 2.5" wide dispersion cone
Finish: oiled walnut
Dimensions: 10"W x 19"H x 9"D
Weight: 19 lbs each
Original MSRP: $63 each
About Acoustic Research (AR)...
Acoustic Research was a Cambridge Mass. based company that manufactured high end audio equipment. They were well known for the AR-3 series of speaker systems, which used the 12-inch acoustic suspension woofer of the AR-1 with newly designed dome mid-range speaker and high frequency drivers which were the first of their kind. AR's line of acoustic suspension speakers were extraordinary for their time, as they were the first loudspeakers with flat response, extended bass, wide dispersion, small size, and reasonable cost.
In 1967, Acoustic Research was bought by Teledyne Inc., and for the next 22 years it continued development and operations in Cambridge as Teledyne Acoustic Research. Technological breakthroughs in this period included the high-current amplifier. When purchased by Teledyne, AR was the world's second largest supplier of branded loudspeakers. As of today, the brand is now owned by VOXX.
Canton Karat 20
In mint cosmetic condition and fully functional, this stunning pair of Canton Karat 20 speakers were handcrafted in Germany from one of the oldest and most respected companies in Europe. Their lineage goes back to WW2. Canton (and Visonik) were the original designers of a certain particular sound that has more recently been attributed to ADS.
Although it's almost too subjective to discuss, in our humble opinion, these Canton Karat 20 speakers are best described as having a detailed presentation, very accurate and never over-the-top in lows, mids and highs, especially considering it's a 2-way system. Rated at 4 ohms with a ceiling of about 80 watts each, it's suggested to drive these with a high quality power source that's not afraid of 4 ohms.
Suffice to say these have very high quality drivers...the mid bass units have rubber surrounds. The heavy, solid mahogany enclosures are made for some of the best high quality bass performance ever heard in anything close to their size while the 25mm aluminum dome tweeters are unique to Canton.
The Canton Karat models fetch some crazy high prices and there are plenty of reasons why. The Karat 20s are rarely seen for sale especially in such excellent cosmetic and sonic condition. The perforated metal grills are also pristine. As usual, let YOUR ears decide...
This two-way system features 25mm aluminium manganese dome tweeters and proprietary mid-bass 200mm woofers. These drivers are legendary within audiophile circles for their near perfect sound properties.
Impedance: 4 Ohm
Music power loading capacity: 60 Watt per speaker,
Crossover frequency: 36 - 30000 Hz
Dimensions 8.7"W x 13.4"H x 8.2"D
Weight: 12.5 lbs each
In 1972, with the goal of producing the best speakers in their class, Canton was formed. ‘Canton’ is a combination of the Latin word "cantare" (to sing) and the German word "ton" (musical tone). They started in a vacant small town school building and house in Niederlauken Germany.
Starting with 35 employees assembling speaker enclosures in January of 1973, Canton began its legacy of high quality audio reproduction in the tradition of what they called “pure music”.
Canton speakers combine innovative technologies, the highest quality materials, and a remarkably wide range of models and designs to provide a musical experience "second to none".
Often compared to vintage ADS/Braun speakers, the vintage Canton Karat speakers are quite often considered "better" than Braun by pure "audiophiles". Obviously that's a subjective argument. However, in terms of value, there can be no doubt that Canton Karat speakers are generally expensive and more on the rare side at this point."Karat" is loosely defined as a variation when used to describe the values of gold...
Fried "Signature Series" A/2
('79-'84) $400 (rare, near mint)
In near mint cosmetic condition and working perfectly, this pair of very rare Fried (pronounced "Freed") Signature Series A/2 speakers contain all original drivers and crossovers. The woofers have been recently professionally refoamed. The gorgeous solid walnut enclosures and grill material with the original badges round out an excellent pair of speakers designed by the legendary *Bud Fried.
The A/2 is a 2-way system. Drivers in each cabinet are a single Fried Beta 6.5" mid-bass woofer (#175-1004) and a single 1" dome tweeter, protected by a metal screen (Note:the #T633 is a high quality tweeter that was originally designed by Phase Technology and used extensively by Fried in many of their models). The 2nd order crossover network switches over at 1.6k.
The design includes a convenient (and welcome) pushbutton circuit breaker on the back that serves as protection in case of overload. Banana jacks are standard on this model.
Described as a "line tunnel" model, the A/2 features a large rectangular bass port across the bottom front of each cabinet. The reference to "line tunnel" is regarding the original proprietary "foam blocks" that can be removed from the ports if so desired. Leaving them in vs removing them will result in a notable difference in bass response.
Describing the sound is difficult due to one's own tastes and requirements but, having said that...when driving the A/2 with a high quality amp pumping out at least 65 WPC (and up), the A/2's are simply wonderful to our ears...a satisfying bottom end, surprisingly smooth transition between lows/mids/highs considering it's a 2-way design. Plus, their cosmetic design is a vintage visual delight.
The A/2 was a singular design among the various Fried models and totally different from the later A/3. During their long production run from 1979 through 1984, the A/2 originally sold for about $350/pair upon introduction in 1979 increasing to $500/pair by 1984.
6.5" Fried Beta vented pole woofer
1" dome tweeter
Frequency response: 45Hz - 18KHz
Sensitivity: 89 db at 1 watt / meter.
Amp power: 25 watts (minimum)
Impedance: 8 ohm /6 ohm nominal
Dimensions: 13"D x 10.5"W x 23"H
Enclosure: Oiled solid walnut
Weight: 35 lbs each
MSRP: $500/pair (1982)
*About Fried speakers...
Born in 1920, Bud Fried fell in love with the art and science of sound reproduction when he heard the sound of Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra emerging from the large theatre horns of his father's movie theaters. This was in 1928, the year movies began to talk!
Bud attended Harvard University (1938) where he benefited from the genius of professors Hunt and Pierce who, under a Western Electric research grant, were conducting their monumental research into high fidelity phono reproduction. Bud served in the South Pacific in World War II where even in Banika in the Russell Islands (ninety miles from Guadalcanal), he found music lovers listening to Mozart on the primitive playback equipment in the missionary churches of the English. Later he was transferred to the Free French Naval Air Force in Morocco.
In 1957, Victor Brociner, co-founder of Fisher Radio, was leaving the business and suggested to Bud that he become the official importer of the Lowther corner horns, the creations of P.G.A.H. Voight. In 1958, Bud became the importer of the revolutionary Quad electrostatic.
At the suggestion of Saul Marantz, the IMF trademark was registered in 1961, a trademark that was in succeeding years applied to all kinds of advanced developments for music reproduction: cartridges (IMF-London, IMF-Goldring), tone arms (SME, Gould, Audio & Design), amplifiers (Quad Custom Series), loudspeakers (Lowther, Quad, Celestion, Bowers and Wilkins, Barker etc.).
In 1968, a British branch of the IMF was opened. It was this combined Anglo-American company which produced the now legendary IMF Monitor, the first truly wide-band loudspeaker the world had seen, examples of which are still being used today. To enumerate a few of Bud Fried's contributions; the Model H System, the first modern satellite subwoofer system; the Model M (1977), the first satellite transmission line subwoofer in one unit; the Super Monitor (1978) which many still consider to be one of the premier speakers of our day; and the B satellite series (1976 to 1979).
Mr Fried passed away in 2005 but his philosophy and speaker design legacy continue today through Fried Products Corporation, a Pennsylvania corporation that was formed by a group of audiophiles including Bud Fried.
HTD Level Four
(Early 2000's) $600 (extremely rare)
These very rare HTD Level 4 speakers were built using only expensive, high-tech components featuring gorgeous carved enclosures with a stunning, authentic piano black laminate finish and real mahogany. Essentially, the Level Four speakers are a high level audiophile speaker system that's as exciting to listen to as it is to look at.
Only around for a few years, the HTD Level 4 speakers were incredibly difficult to design and produce in a cost effective manner. The time consuming production *process resulted in a limited run mostly due to cost vs ROI. They simply could not justify continuing to sell them at their original price point of $400/pair. It was either substantially raise the price or discontinue the model. So...they decided to halt production. The Level 4 are almost completely under the radar today. They are a collector's dream...
This modest sized speaker produces a big, warm and smooth sound that is both musical and powerful. For use primarily as a bookshelf speaker that needs to be placed on heavy duty stands.
The Level FOUR includes the following features:
~6.5" drivers with doped pulp cones, butyl rubber surrounds, cast aluminum baskets, 2.5" voice coils, and high-efficiency neodymium magnets
~silky smooth 1.1" ferrofluid cooled silk dome tweeters
~3rd order crossovers on both the tweeters and mid-range drivers
~Dual bi-wireable gold-plated 5-way binding posts
~Removable shaped wood and cloth grills
~Knife-edge fit and finish cabinets made of CNC carved 1" MDF with internal bracing
~Internal tuned channels that end in front firing, elliptical ports for enhanced bass
~Video shielded for safe placement near a TV
*True Piano Finish-
Most medium-grade and even some high end speaker brands use an inexpensive vinyl covering called "simulated" piano finish (although the word simulated is often omitted). This plastic material is shiny but it looks nothing like the true, rich high gloss finish that HTD creates. Others simply use a glossy paint and call it "piano finish". We use a multi-step process of applying lacquer, drying, sanding and cleaning. This process was repeated a minimum of seven times and took about fourteen days per speaker cabinet! The result was obvious in the stunning, deeply rich finish of every Level FOUR model.
Power Handling: 110 watts RMS, 150 watts max
Frequency Response: 45 Hz - 20 kHz +/-3dB
Impedance: 8 ohms
Woofer Driver: 6.5" doped pulp with butyl rubber surround, cast basket, 2.5" voice coil, 4 OZ neodymium magnet
Tweeter Driver: 1.1" silk dome, 5 + 3 OZ ferrite magnet
Crossover: 3rd order on both tweeter and woofer at 2500Hz
Dimensions (HxWxD) 16" x 8 3/4" x 11 1/2" (bottom) 10" (top)
Weight (each): 27 lbs
HTD spun out of a company that began designing and manufacturing high quality audio equipment for many of the biggest brands in home audio in the early 1970's. They leveraged their expertise in designing and producing quality audio gear for others into the creation of their own HTD brand in 1998. The first HTD speakers were sold direct to consumers in January 1999 and Home Theater Direct, Inc. became its own company in early 2001. With the advent of the internet, their decision to sell only direct to consumers was easy. Selling direct saved the customers' money by eliminating the price increases tacked on by distributors and retailers, as well as by catalogers and other internet stores. HTD (Home Theater Direct) is a different kind of home audio company. They only sell what they make, and their HTD brand is only sold directly to consumers.
In mint cosmetic condition and fully operational, this pair of Mirage MBS is a small-ish speaker but with a very cool design. However, they are small only in physical size. And, they weren't cheap; the MBS pair cost $600 new.
Like some of their bigger brothers, they are *bipolar in a vented 2 way design which is a little unusual since most typical "surround" speakers are either direct-radiating or dipolar. At the first glance you might think that these speakers are capable of being bi-wired, but they are not. The extra posts are used depending on whether they are mounted on the wall, mounted on stands or, like at our shop for demo - sitting on top of other speakers in a setup and running with a subwoofer.
In 1987 the Mirage speaker company created the original bipolar configuration. This step was a great advance in speaker technology and a big leap toward creating a true to life soundstage. With bipolar speakers, the drivers on the front and rear of the enclosure move into the enclosure at the same time, i.e., in phase. With dipolar speakers, such as ribbons and electrostatics (ESLs), the drivers move into the enclosure on one side (e.g., front), and out of the enclosure on the other side (e.g., rear), i.e., out of phase.
Each of the MBS enclosures has two 5" midrange drivers (injection-molded polypropylene cones and butyl surrounds) and two 1" ferrofluid-cooled vapor deposited titanium tweeters. The drivers are on both sides of the enclosures with the back side having the drivers inverted.
The binding posts are in a position ideal for **wall mounting, namely on the bottom of the speaker. You will also find that on one side of the speaker the tweeter is on top while on the other side the tweeter is on the bottom. In our setup we have the tweeter on the top facing the listening position. Although some have found that placing them on a stand provided better results, giving a sort-of side-wall image.
**NOTE: The wall mounted approach worked well in the typical dipolar arrangement, but with discrete soundtracks like DD and DTS, stands usually work better. With architectural designs of today’s homes, the lack of 4 walls often makes wall mounting difficult, so stands can really make a difference.
Frequency response: 80Hz-20kHz
Sensitivity 89 dB/w/m;
8 Ohms nominal impedance
Dimensions: 12"H x 7"W x 7"D
About (early) Mirage...
Back in the day, there was a company in Canada, called Inception Audio at that time, importing Tangent products from England. They had done a really great job of importing, to the extent that Tangent couldn't keep up production, got in over its head, and was about ready to go out of business due both to their success, ironically, in the Canadian market, and to poor management. About that time KEF suddenly went out of the OEM driver market and Tangent had been using KEF drivers. Suddenly, Inception couldn't get product...so in a crash design situation—in about a month—they did the whole original Mirage line, with available Audax drivers that were quite similar, actually, to the KEFs. The rest, as they say...is history.