Sunday, February 15, 2009

Anthony Gallo speakers

I had an opportunity to audition Anthony Gallo speakers at the local dealer recently, having been tasked to help a friend set-up a home theater system. Having an unobtrusive and stylish design was important, so the cute little spheres from Anthony Gallo seemed to be worth checking out.

The local dealer is econ-av and they have a small showroom on the first floor of Adelphi Shopping Center. You can have a look at to see the full range of Anthony Gallo.

I auditioned the Nucleus Micro, Micro Ti and the A'Diva Ti. The setup used for the Nucleus Micro and the rest were different (the Nucleus Micro was ceiling mounted) so comparisons may be due to mounting.

All 3 setups were auditioned with both hometheater and music.

First up was the Nucleus Micro. Based on looks alone, I would have chosen this. The cute little spheres come in very funky colors including bronze, glossy red and yellow.

As all 5 channels use identical spheres, steering is excellent with the panning between channels being seamless. Imaging is also quite good. Surprisingly the speakers sound more than decent with music and seem to go fairly low for their size (I estimate about 100 Hz). The dealer switched off the subwoofer and they actually sounded quite OK.

We switched over to the Nucleus Micro Ti. I didn't like it and it sounded too forward, crispy (not in a good way) with a noticeable tilt at the top end.

Finally, we listened to the A'Diva Ti. Very nice. Much of the quality of the Nucleus Micro while showing a noticeable improvement in weight and extension (the A'Diva is physically larger).

One thing I noticed is that the center channel sounds very small in comparison. Having listened to multiple driver center speakers my whole life, the dialogue seems in comparison to be less "centered" to the screen and lacking in depth. Having said that, I seldom hear conventional home theater speaker sets with such even panning from left to right.

Finally comes the sticker shock. These cute speakers sell for $2,000 for the 5.1 set (Nucleus Micro in plain finishes). Extra for exotic finishes. The Nucleus Micro is $2,800 while the A'Diva is $3,800. The matching subwoofers included in this package seem a bit small and it may make sense to pair the satellites with another active sub.

Pity. They really are cute and perform competently. The large markup over the U.S. price will make them hard to swallow for the local audiophile / videophile. Worth checking out if aesthetics are very important to you and you don't mind the premium.

There is an interesting product which looks quite similar from Orb Audio ( which are priced more competitively. They are only available direct over the internet so comparisons will be difficult.