AOM Logo April 1998


A Vintage Year
Anthony Kershaw shares some initial thoughts about Anthony Gallo Acoustics' Nucleus Solo loudspeaker

At Audiophilia, we prefer the full review format. No sneak peeks, tastes or teasers here! Our philosophy is to live with a product then give our readers the full monty. However, once in a while a very special product, available for only a brief period, comes our way. This was the case with Anthony Gallo Acoustics' Nucleus Solo loudspeaker, a product so special, we decided to share our initial thoughts immediately without the benefit of our usual lengthy audition period.

The one available pair in Ontario made its way into my home with the help of Gallo's new Canadian point man, Rob Doughty, of Toronto's Applause Audio. Circumstances made them available for four days only. Happily, a review pair will be soon on their way from Gallo's home base in Brooklyn, New York. A full review will be published later this spring.

Gallo Nucleus Solo Loudspeaker

"What are they?", squealed my little audiophiles-in-training when first eyeing the Solos. "Daddy's new review product", I defended. "Oh, they're pretty cool looking", they emphasized. This reaction was typical when friends and family saw the speakers for the first time. Visually, the Solos are from the love-them-or-hate-them school of design. But, whether people liked the look or not (most did), all agreed on the sound. Fabulous! On initial hearing, the Nucleus Solos are a wonderful sound-producing instrument, capable of involvement, excitement, and real emotional impact. As such, the next four days proved a very pleasurable and unique experience.

Much of the uniqueness comes from the construction and philosophy of the speaker. Anthony Gallo has developed a product that eliminates the coloration derived from box speaker designs employing electronic crossovers. The Nucleus Solo's tweeter and woofer run full-range, while the basketball-sized aluminum spherical enclosure helps to eliminate internal standing waves. In his design initiative, Mr. Gallo has succeeded brilliantly.

The short time period urged me to play many hours of music. Whether using a digital or analogue source, the Gallo's shone in all the areas audiophiles admire. The sound has an effortless and truly beautiful quality which, at the speaker's relatively low selling price, is an amazing achievement. The soundstage they throw is wonderfully big, yet they are able to image very accurately within varying acoustics. From Janis Ian to Radiohead to Prokofiev, each style of music was rendered with only the listener's enjoyment in mind. This is the highest accolade I can give Mr. Gallo. Through his Nucleus Solos, the accurate description of music is first, and hi-fi a distant second.

I believe these speakers are the latest version of a design which Anthony Gallo began several years ago. One of the perceived complaints of the earliest incarnation was a lack of coherence between the tweeter and enclosed woofer - this most definitely is not a problem in the latest version. In fact, coherence is one of the sonic highlights of this great design, each octave blending seamlessly into the aural domain. Thus, the marriage of the patented CDT tweeter (much more about this amazing proprietary design in the full review) and the custom Dynaudio driver is a very happy one.

Personally, I love the look of the Nucleus Solos, especially with the magnificent Dynaudio driver keeping a watchful eye on its audiophile parent, and the CDT tweeter sitting atop proudly. The sphere attaches to a very heavy but smart-looking stand (included in the price). An important note about setup: for the speakers to sound their best, each of the stands' significant spikes must couple to the floor firmly while maintaining the drivers on a level plane. Applause Audio's setup man, Jamal Instrum, was most accommodating in this regard. And while easy to accomplish, the correct coupling demonstrated amazing gains in clarity and tonal coherence. Other than this one setup pre-requisite, the Gallos were easy to place in my average size room.

In closing, it is enough to say that these speakers involved me in the music more than most I have heard. They did not take their eyes off me and I did not take my ears off them. Even after a short time in their company, I feel the Nucleus Solos warrant the highest regard. I await the review pair with great anticipation.

To be continued...


Gallo Nucleus Solo Loudspeaker
Manufactured by Anthony Gallo Acoustics
78 Rapelye Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11231
phone: (718) 237-1000, fax: (718) 596-4402
web: http://www.roundsound.com, e-mail: nucleus@roundsound.com
Price: US$2495
Source of review sample: Manufacturer Loan
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