>> Any opinions on A'diva Ti as center? Not worthwhile? <<
I don't think they'll have the timbre to mate properly with the Ref. series. I believe they'll be too light in the bottom-end. I have an all-Gallo surround setup and have had these experiences:
Started with the Ref. 3.1s up front with a Due at Center and for the surrounds. This sounded pretty good, and I was quite happy for a year or so. The Dues were a pretty good timbral match, but not stellar. I will say that vocals were quite good. The real complaint was in the bottom octaves, the Dues roll off pretty sharp below 100Hz.
I then came upon a good deal on some Ref. AVs ($1600/pr
. delivered) and I jumped on it. These were placed in the system as surrounds, the Dues that were there were moved upstairs to the bedroom system - yowza! Having the Ref AVs in the surround positions really fleshed-out the bottom end - it actually sounded like I had done a subwoofer upgrade. I have them mounted directly on the wall with the tweeters about 5 ft. off the ground. This helps to raise the overall soundstage a bit and mounting them directly on the wall allows the speakers to make use of the wall as a backplane, enhancing the bass.
This was my setup for about another year until I came across a good deal on a new Ref. AV Center, $950 delivered including the uber-expensive stand. Wow, the system was *really* cohesive now. Side to side and front to back transitions were seamless, the timbre matching is damn near perfect. I have absolutely nothing to compain about, the system ROCKS!
The speakers are being driven by a Butler TDB-5150 tube/MOSFET hybrid amp: http://butleraudio.com/tdb5150.php
Man oh man oh man, this Butler amp is the cat's ass!! It has 150 watts per channel of tube sweetness married to the speed and balls of the MOSFETs. This addition really
made the speakers sing - the Gallos thrive on high current and the Butler has that in spades The system can play quite loud and yet it never seems like it's straining - like buttah, baby!
The imaging is rock-solid, the sweet spot is about a mile wide, and the tone characteristics are very smooth and sweet. I can actually sit to the left of the left front speaker and still hear a very credible and solid soundstage, the image does not collapse or shift.
Also, there is no tubby bottom-end - the bass response is fast, clear, and well-controlled. The top-end is very smooth, airy, and extended and is most certainly not harsh. The amp has a wide frequency response and power bandwidth: 20Hz to 20kHz (+/- 0.5dB) and Power Bandwidth is only down 3db at 50kHz - a *perfect* match to the Ref's wide frequency response.
And vocals, especially female vocals, are to die for. It sounds like Joni is right there in the room with you when she strums her guitar and purrs out the opening notes to Free Man In Paris. Honey, pack your bags and get out, there's a new love in my life! (I know she'll never
read this and don't you dare rat me out
I honestly think I have a system that I could be well-satisifed with until the day I die - I'm 53, hopefully I've 30+ years ahead of me to enjoy this crazy hobby. I'm hoping they make coffins big enough to hold the entire system!!
Gallo Reference speakers: 3.1, AV, AV Center
Earthquake 10" Sub
H/K Signature 2.0 Pre-pro
Butler Audio TDB-5150, 5 channel, tube/MOSFET hybrid pwr amp
Oppo 981 Universal player
Yamaha KX-690 Cassette Deck
LinkSys Wireless MusicBridge
B&O BG 9000 Turntable
B&O MMC1/MMC2 Carts.
Gram Amp 2 Phono Preamp
Sennheiser HD-580 Headphones
Creek OBH-11 Headphone Amp
Hitachi 51" HDTV