Anthony Gallo Classico Series Speakers - Review

Round Sound Goes Square With a Twist

Anthony Gallo Classico CL-2 Loudspeaker
Anthony Gallo Classico CL-2 Loudspeaker. Anthony Gallo Acoustics

Manufacturer's Site

The Anthony Gallo Classico Series loudspeakers mark a departure from his well-known spherical speaker designs and into the realm of a more traditional-looking "box-type" speaker design. However, inside these traditional-looking loudspeakers, Gallo has combined cutting-edge tweeter technology with some fine-tuning in the internal enclosure design that sets these speakers apart from most "box-types".

The Classico series comes in several floor standing and bookshelf speaker options, as well as two subwoofer choices.

For this review, I received the Classico CL-C center channel and four CL-2 bookshelf loudspeakers, along with a CLS-10 powered subwoofer to check out. To find out what I thought after getting a good listen, read my review. After reading the review, also be sure to check out my Photo Profile for an additional close-up look at this speaker system.

Anthony Gallo Classico Series Technology Highlights

Before reading the rest of this review, here is a brief overview of the core technologies developed by Anthony Gallo for the Classico Series speaker line.

CDT - Instead of passing the audio signal to a speaker diaphragm using magnets and voice coils, the signal is passed directly across a specially-constructed diaphragm surface that expands and contracts as the sound frequencies and volume varies.

This technology is similar to that used in Piezo-Electric Tweeters, but on a higher level of refinement. The CDT3 version used in the Classico series provides faster response, clarity, and detail in the upper end of the high-frequency range.

S2 - This technology consists of a proprietary fiber stuffing within the speaker cabinet that extends the low-frequency response up to two octaves, allowing a compact size speaker the ability to produce more powerful lower frequencies that its size would normally indicate.

BLAST (Backwave Linearization and Synchronization Technology) - This is a combination of Anthony Gallo's S2 technology with s Transmission Line internal speaker enclosure design (a series of barriers that directs sound produced from the back side of speaker driver in such a way that the lower frequencies are amplified before exiting the speaker through a bottom-placed port or slot). Normally, speakers utilizing a transmission line design need to be tall, but the BLAST system allows the enhanced low-frequency response to be achieved within a shorter enclosure.

Overview of the Speakers Provided for This Review

CL-C Center Channel Speaker: The Classico CL-C Center Channel speaker is a 2-Way BLAST design that incorporates 2 5.25-inch Bass/Midrange drivers and an Anthony Gallo proprietary CDT 3 Cylindrical Diaphragm tweeter. The speaker has the following dimensions (HWD): 7-inches x 26 in x 6 in., weights 17 lbs, and can be table/shelf or wall mounted.

CL-2 Bookshelf Speakers: The Anthony Gallo Classico CL-2 Bookshelf Speakers are a 2-Way BLAST Design that incorporates 1 5.25-inch Bass/Midrange driver and the proprietary CDT 3 Cylindrical Diaphragm tweeter. The speaker has the following dimensions (HWD): 7-inches x 13.4 in x 9 in., weighs 12.5 lbs and can be wall table/shelf or wall mounted.

CLS-10 Powered Subwoofer: The CLS-10 Powered Subwoofer features a BLAST design that incorporates one 10-inch front firing driver (which is actually titled up by about 25 degrees), augmented by a horizontal rear port. Also, both line and high-level inputs are provided, as well as line and high-level outputs. Controls include Auto ON/OFF, Phase, Level, Crossover (including a bypass function when using the CLS-10 with a home theater receiver that incorporates its own subwoofer crossover settings). The subwoofer dimensions are (HWD): 15.5 in x 12 in x 15.25 in., and it has a weight of 39 lb.

For more detailed specifications, as well as additional explanation, of the features incorporated into the Classico CL-C, CL-2, and CLS-10, refer to my Anthony Gallo Acoustics Classico Series Photo Profile

Hardware Used

The additional home theater hardware used in this review included:

Blu-ray Disc Players: OPPO BDP-93.

DVD Player: OPPO DV-980H.

NOTE: Blu-ray Disc and DVD players also used for CD, DVD-Audio, and SACD playback.

Home Theater Receivers: Onkyo TX-SR705 (set for 5.1 channel configuration)

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 1 used for comparison (5.1 channels): EMP Tek E5Ci center channel speaker, four E5Bi compact bookshelf speakers for left and right main and surrounds, and an ES10i 100 watt powered subwoofer.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 2 used for comparison (5.1 channels): 2 Klipsch F-2's, 2 Klipsch B-3s, Klipsch C-2 Center, Klipsch Synergy Sub10.

TV: Westinghouse Digital LVM-37w3.

Audio/Video connections made with Accell, Interconnect cables. 16 Gauge Speaker Wire used. High-Speed HDMI Cables provided by Atlona for this review.

Software Used

Blu-ray Discs: "Art of Flight", "Ben Hur", "Cowboys and Aliens", "Jurassic Park" Trilogy, "Megamind", "Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol", "Transformers: Dark of the Moon".

Standard DVDs: "The Cave", "House of the Flying Daggers", "Kill Bill" - Vols. 1/2, "Kingdom of Heaven" (Director's Cut), "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy, "Master and Commander", "Outlander", "U571", and "V for Vendetta".

CDs: Al Stewart - "A Beach Full of Shells", Beatles - "LOVE", Blue Man Group - "The Complex", Joshua Bell - Bernstein - "West Side Story Suite", Eric Kunzel - "1812 Overture", HEART - "Dreamboat Annie", Nora Jones - "Come Away With Me", Sade - "Soldier of Love".

DVD-Audio discs included: Queen - "Night At The Opera/The Game", The Eagles - "Hotel California", Medeski, Martin, and Wood - "Uninvisible" -  Sheila Nicholls - "Wake".

SACD discs used included: Pink Floyd - "Dark Side of the Moon", Steely Dan - "Gaucho", The Who - "Tommy".

Audio Performance: CL-C Center Channel Speaker

The Classico CL-C is a horizontal design with two midrange/woofers placed on either side of Gallo's innovative CDT3 tweeter. The CL-C provides a solid anchor for dialog and vocals, projecting a well-bodied midrange and distinct highs into the listening space. The CL-C also provided good off-axis (side-to-side) listening performance without high-frequency degradation.

Audio Performance: CL-2 Bookshelf Speakers

The CL-2 bookshelf speakers were a great complement to the CL-C center. The CL-2's provided a wide sound stage for the left, right, and surround listening requirements for movies, as well as an excellent front stage for music listening. The wide dispersion of both the mid and high frequencies provided a good immersive soundfield for movie surround tracks, as well as good depth and ambiance for music-only material.

Audio Performance - CLS-10 Powered Subwoofer

The CL-S10 Sub is an excellent match for the system. With its 10-inch front driver, the subwoofer provided very deep, tight, and detailed bass for music as well LFE requirements for movie listening. Also, the low-frequency transition from the mid-range and high-frequency response of the CL-C and CL-2 center and bookshelf speakers was smooth.

One feature of the CLS-10 is the inclusion of Bass Boost for both the 3db and 6db increments. This setting is practical in room situations where deep bass response is not as audible as desired and is also useful for late night listening when volume levels for the entire system are lower (as you turn down total system volume, low-frequency output can drop off significantly).

What I Liked

There was definitely a lot to like about the Classico Series speakers used in this review including:

1. Overall system sound is excellent with both movie and music content.

2. CL-C center channel speaker delivers excellent vocal/dialog presence and detail.

3. The CL-2 bookshelf speakers provide excellent all-around performance in both main and surround configurations. The CL-2's project a much larger sound image that their size would indicate, which limits the amount of dip as sounds pan from channel to channel.

4. CLS-10 Sub provides excellent, tight, deep bass response.

5. Very smooth transition and blending between the Subwoofer and rest of system.

What I Didn't Like

1. Speaker Grills are magnetically attached and can be inadvertently dislodged or removed if they are bumped. Use caution when moving the speakers when the grills are attached.

2. The speaker connection binding posts on the CL-C and CL-2 are a little tricky to unscrew and screw - would have preferred the more traditional screw heads used on the high-level speaker terminals of the type used on the CLS-10 subwoofer.

Final Take

After spending some time with the Anthony Gallo Classico Series speakers provided for this review, I found them to be excellent for both music listening and as a complement to movie viewing. Also, for box-type speakers, they have an excellent physical design.

Throughout a range of volume levels, the CL-C and CL-2 speakers reproduced distinctive vocals and dialog, as well as delivering excellent detail with transient and high-frequency sounds. To put it simply, the CL-C/CL-2 combination in a 5 channel setup provides an excellent sound stage for both music and movies.

Also, as a result of their BLAST design (which I explained early in this review), the CL-C and CL-2 actually deliver good lower mid-range/upper bass response that you would not normally expect for their size. However, for optimum home theater performance, a subwoofer is definitely needed in order to reproduce lower frequencies and LFE effects.

With that in mind, CLS-10 powered subwoofer to be an excellent match for this system. It has the power and frequency response to deliver deep, undistorted bass response, but it also transitions well into the upper bass frequencies, providing good detail. I also liked the flexible connection and setting options, including the crossover bypass and the +3db/+6db bass boost setting options when faced with less than desirable room conditions, or when listening at low volume levels.

One concern I did have initially with the Classico CL-C and CL-2 speakers, is that they have a 4 ohm impedance rating. However, using both the 4 and 8 ohm settings on my home theater receiver, I did not experience any noticeable straining or overheating. I discussing the 4 ohm rating with Anthony Gallo, and he indicated that the due to their design, the Classico speakers can work with 8 ohm receivers, especially the mid-to-high end receivers that would most likely be used. Having had experience with his other 4 ohm rated speakers, I am comfortable with his reassurance on this issue.

If you are looking for a mid-to-high end home theater speaker system, definitely consider the Anthony Gallo CL-C, CL-2, and CLS-10 Classico Series speakers and subwoofer as a possible choice.

For a visual look and additional perspective, be sure to check out my supplementary Photo Profile.

Also check out my previous Review of the Anthony Gallo AV Reference and A'Diva T Speakers.

Manufacturer's Site

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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