Bookshelf Speakers

Anthony Gallo Acoustics Reference Strada Speakers and TR3 Subwoofer

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

I set up the Stradas on their floor stand in approximately the same location as the Reference 3.1s they were replacing, facing straight ahead. I've found that I get the widest soundstage with no penalty in image focus with this setup using the 3.1s, so I figured it would work with the similar Stradas. I placed the TR-3 in the middle of the two Stradas in the same plane. After adjusting the subwoofer level using the SPL meter, I let the system play for a couple of weeks on TV listening duty until I had time to sit down to some real listening. Once I did get to listen carefully, it did not take long to conclude that the Stradas were clearly superior to the Reference 3.1s in almost every aspect. I was hoping I would get something that sounded similar to the 3.1s, only better, and that's exactly what Gallo has delivered.

Two specific areas of the Strada's performance were strikingly better. First was the soundstage. The Stradas consistently offered a soundstage that was wider, taller and deeper than the Reference 3.1s. I'm sure some of the "taller" is thanks to the tall floorstands, but in any case the soundstage seemed to lie about 1 foot above the top of the Stradas on most all material. On albums with very tall soundstages (like Orbital's "Sad but New" from their 1996 EP Times Fly), the soundstage easily reached towards the ceiling.

On Miles Davis' Kind of Blue SACD, the soundstage width was a good 2 feet past each speaker left and right, another foot past the Reference 3.1s in the same room. The 3.1s always seemed to have limited soundstage depth in my new listening room (I've moved since reviewing the 3.1s), but the Stradas took care of that issue. The same Miles Davis album, along with Jon Faddis' Remembrances and other simply recorded audiophile grade material had depth that went several feet behind the loudspeaker plane.