Conventional Looks, Unconventional Excellence
June 29th, 2012 -- by Chris Martens
Source: The Perfect Vision
Classico CL-2 stand-mount monitor
- Enclosure: Unlike the CL-3 floorstander the CL-2 uses a much more conventional looking rectangular cabinet, but in all other respects shares core technologies with CL-3. Though relatively compact, the CL-2 enclosure incorporates a rear-vented “modified transmission line.”
- Drivers: The CL-2 uses a single 5.25-inch carbon fiber mid/bass driver with a semi-cylindrical CDT 3 tweeter.Note: The CL-2’s CDT 3 tweeter can be rotated 90 degrees, enabling the speaker to be positioned on its side and used as a horizontally mounted center channel.
- Claimed Performance: Frequency response of 39 Hz – 22 KHz ± 3dB in room (an astounding claim for such a small monitor).
Classico CL-C center channel
- Enclosure: Much like the CL-2, the CL-C center uses a fairly conventional looking rectangular cabinet, but again shares core technologies with CL-3 and CL-2. One significant difference, however, is that enclosure’s “modified transmission line” is vented through two forward-facing ports.
- Drivers: The CL-C uses dual 5.25-inch carbon fiber mid/bass drivers with a semi-cylindrical CDT 3 tweeter. Since the CL-C, like most center-channel speakers, should be placed on its side, the CL-C’s CDT 3 tweeter is deliberated rotated 90 degrees to allow proper horizontal dispersion.
- Claimed Performance: Frequency response of 38 Hz – 22 KHz ± 3dB in room.
Classico CLS-12 subwoofer
- Enclosure: Visually the CLS-12 subwoofer borrows styling cues from the angular CL-3 and in most other respects shares core technologies with other Classico-series speakers. Like the other Classico models, the CLS-12 uses a modified transmission line enclosure—one that is rear vented via a large rectangular port positioned at floor level.
- Driver: The CLS-12 uses a long-throw, 12-inch bass driver whose diaphragm is made of a light, stiff, responsive ceramic/aluminum/ceramic “sandwich.”
- Onboard Power Amp: The CLS-12 features a 1000-watt amp with extensive user controls including: high level 100 Hz bypass filter, line in and out, LFE/bypass crossover switch, crossover control with setting variable from 50 Hz to 200 Hz, and a three-way off/on/auto one power switch.
- Claimed Performance: Frequency response of 16 Hz – 200 Hz.
Let me begin by mentioning a handful of key sonic characteristics that define the sound of the Gallo Classico system, while also mentioning a few small sonic caveats prospective buyers might want to know about.
The Gallo system offers excellent treble extension, with light, airy, open and articulate highs that provide plenty of inner detail. More importantly, the Classico main, center, and surround speakers share these qualities, probably because they also share the excellent CDT 3 tweeter. The only point I would mention, not as a flaw, but as a performance characteristic you won’t find in many other non-Gallo speakers, is that the tweeter offers incredibly broad horizontal dispersion, which can take some acclimatization.
Most tweeters have a “sweet spot” directly on axis (or nearly on axis), which typically extends several degrees to the sides, but with high-frequency response gradually tapering off as listeners move further off axis. But the CDT 3 tweeter does not behave like this at all. It maintains perfectly even response up to a whopping 90 degrees off axis relative to the centerline of the speakers. The good news is that this characteristic tends to make surround sound imaging unusually spacious, seamless, and convincing, which is very good news. The tricky part, however, is that the Classico models put out a considerable amount of treble energy off-axis (much more so that conventional speakers do). In practice, this means you’ll need to take care in positioning the Classicos in order to avoid unwanted reflections—reflections that can potentially make the system seem overly bright or edgy (which I am convinced it is not). Once you get the reflections tamed, though, all should be well.