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Old 26th June 2005, 09:52 AM   #11
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GS401? Wonderful! You lucky, lucky... Ahem. (Mine vanished thanks to a light-fingered little toad some months ago)

Agreed with almost all of Bez's comments; I'd start by replacing the caps on the crossover -after 20+ years they'll be shot, and I imagine some dry solder-joints will be emerging too. Don't spend a fortune, but good quality items will help enormously. The ones mentioned above are a good place to begin.
I actually found the pots quite useful as I have reservations about the sound of many modern recordings which are far too bright, so I wouldn't bypass them initially, unless they are completely shot -just fire a squirt of isopropyl alcohol into them and work them a few times, and that should hopefully do the trick. You can always bypass them later if they continue to irritate. Some replacement drivers can be good -you tend to get what you pay for, but look for ones which are the best match with the originals rather than offering 'superior' performance as you don't want to upset the balance, or as suggested above get the original drivers re-built and re-coned.

The GS401 is fundamentally accurate -one of the few really great 1970s designs (though I still love the wobbly old Sansuis!), but it gained a reputation like most other '70s speakers for a lack of precision, mainly because most amplifiers aren't up to the job of running it. Huge power isn't automatically needed; 100w is sensible, but, like the seminal Linn Isobarik you do need an amp that can swing some serious current. The SET brigage need to look elsewhere; this is not the speaker for them! Think Naim NAP250 or, again as above, some of Musical Fidelity's recent power-houses. The tubular monoblocks of a a few years back might be a good move. Stick them on some hefty stands -Partington's Dreadnought springs to mind, or a couple of marble garden pillars (no, I'm not kidding), and watch most recent products weep.

Best
Scott
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Old 26th June 2005, 01:10 PM   #12
Bez is offline Bez  England
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As mb says above DW Labs took over manufacture of the Gale 401 A & C and produced the later 402 model. DW I believe stands for Donald Wong, although the factory I had dealings with was based in Random Engineering just off the Harrow Road in London. The 402 was reputed to sound slightly better than the 401, with a new crossover and treble unit, but without the idiosyncratic but gorgeous John Bannenberg designed chrome cabinet. These were apparently becoming too expensive to manufacture, particularly the chrome end caps - hence the 402, which also addressed a very minor criticism over reproduction of the human voice in the 401.
It may well be worth repairing the original bass units as pulp paper cone making is I gather something of a lost art. I have never had the opportunity to compare an original pair of 401s with speakers containing the new Peerless rubber/poly drivers.
As Scottmoose later adds, an amp with a really good power supply is necessary to drive them well. I too have auditioned modern speakers up to £1500, none of which could match the all-round performance of the Gales
I have a pair of refurbished 402s (sadly my 401As were also pinched) and also the smaller metal-grilled 301s – well worth looking out for, as with new caps and some resistors to take 3db off the rather bright top end, they make wonderful small bookshelf speakers.
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Old 5th October 2005, 07:31 PM   #13
stevehs is offline stevehs  England
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Hi, I am in same position as billn was in January. Would appreciate some additional help on restoring a pair of GS401As. Firstly, I appreciate that the tweeters are no longer available but can anyone confirm what make/model they were? Has anyone done any research into whether the diaphragm used was common to other HF devices that may still be available? I would if at all possible like to keep the original tweeters but have at least one trashed diaphragm and missing steel mesh. Any help here would be gratefully received.
Secondly, the original perforated plastic grille material, is that available anywhere? Alternatively and as the original material doesn't appear to be particularly acoustically transparant, is the later grille cloth available and can it be secured in the same manner?
Guys, this is my first time on any forum, so not sure what to expect! However many thanks for this opportunity to tap into your experience and I look forward to your response
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Old 6th October 2005, 03:28 AM   #14
Bez is offline Bez  England
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Stevehs, the original Gale tweeters were made by Celestion and it may be possible to find some originals somewhere. They are not prone to the same gradual failure of the foam surrounds found in the mid and bass units, and tend to either work or not. Unless you are aiming for some perverse purity in the restoration the treble units can be replaced with the Seas H737 (94mm faceplate) or H392 (104mm faceplate). These are available from Wilmslow Audio http://www.wilmslow-audio.co.uk/ at a cost of about £30 each.
Not sure what you mean by the ‘perforated plastic grille material’ which doesn’t sound at all original – are these definitely 401As? which as far as I know always had plain black clothe, but 301s have a perforated metal grille. Anyway black speaker clothe is also available from Wilmslow.
Incidentally, although quite a tricky job, it is well worth replacing the original (now worn out) capacitors (read posts above). This will give a significant improvement in sound. Good luck, and come back if you need any more help.
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Old 6th October 2005, 10:54 AM   #15
stevehs is offline stevehs  England
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Bez, many thanks for your prompt input.
Do you know if the Celestion tweeter was a special for Gale or a standard device e.g HF2000? I will call Celestion to see if they know anything about it but the chances are that there is no one still around that would remember and records, what are they? Anyway, found the round perforated metal grille - inside the cabinet so if VC still intact and diaphragm can be re reformed (pushed out) then I may be OK.
The 401s that I have are from circa 1976 and they had this rather "erotic" black perforated plastic grille material. I think this was changed to a more traditional black grille cloth on later devices. Someone may be able to confirm this? This 76 version also had just one protection fuse (3A Full Range). Will certainly take your advise and upgrade crossovers. I am looking forward to completing this project and experiencing the 401 sound again, having owned a pair of 401Cs some 25 years back!

Also have a pair of NHT Model 2.3s from mid 1990 they also sound and look wonderful
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Old 8th January 2006, 01:28 PM   #16
Bez is offline Bez  England
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For those Gale 401 owners who have removed the treble and mid pots there is still a fully reversible way to tailor the sound of your speakers. If you have just finished a rebuild, and before you replace the grille cloth, experiment with squares of soft fabric of varying densities over the mid and treble drive units. Don’t use any hard materials to avoid possible diffraction affects. Polyurethane foam is almost acoustically transparent, but wool and cotton fabrics of varying thicknesses work well. This requires several hours of careful listening with a wide range of music.
Once you have settled on a suitable material attach it carefully either to the back of the grille cloth or to the chipboard front baffle itself. There is little cone movement even on the recessed midrange unit, so little risk of it touching the speaker. Although time consuming given the design of 401s, this method is obviously fully reversible.
If you don’t mind the appearance, you can of course place them temporarily on the front of the grille cloth when listening alone in the privacy of your room, even having a couple of different densities to tame some horrible modern recordings
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Old 28th January 2006, 04:34 PM   #17
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Howdy fellas,

I am also in the "re-build stage" with a pair of Gale GS410C's. All I have left are the grills and get my end caps back from the polish shop. They will be better then when they were new. A little elbow grease and a little love, and believe me- you wont touch their sound for under $2k (store bought).

Madisound offers the replacement mids- $43.00 each, they are made by Peerless, al be it, they now use a different cone and surround material- but, I would imagine they are probly better then the original design, however, I do not know for sure.

Also, if you do not wish to rebuild the original woofers, a nearly exact replacement is available from Madisound as well- it is the Silver Flute Wool cone 8" driver, it is a drop in replacement and works very well according to my ears, all though I am going to keep my original Gale woofers and replace the surrounds, I will have to wait until that is finished to determine which woofer is the better choice.

Additionally, if you wish to use a different mid all together- this cup works well, it will allow you to select a much higher end driver, such as a Davis or the like.

I bought all my "hard parts" from- parts express . The Attenuators are easily replaced if you wish to keep them in the design. I had to replace one set due to age and wear, so I replaced both sides with new parts, my cross-overs still sound very good.

IF all goes as expected, I may be able to supply one lucky person with a pair of perfect condition ORIGINAL mids. I will know more in a few days. If so, I will be asking what I paid for them- nothing more.

If you want a personal comparison opinion, well, I might be able to help. These Gales blow my B&W's away, they image quite well IF you have good source players and amplifiers to begin with.

They repoduce what you feed them, and, as you folks that own them already know, have a very good build quality (enclosure).

But dont expect any reciever or lower quality components to drive these babbies- NOT, these Gales were well known for "eating" lesser design power plants, and for good reason.
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Old 29th January 2006, 09:00 PM   #18
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BTW, for all you who need a good speaker rebuilder- see here:

DSR

6082 Sunrise Bend Drive.

San Antonio Texas, 78244

210-849-1075

speakerrepairbyed@msn.com
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Old 16th February 2006, 11:19 PM   #19
stera66 is offline stera66  Serbia
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Default Nice to see boxes again

First I can tell in my defence that I didn't know.
I own choped GALE GS 401, witout boxes.Few years ago I was working in London where I found this speakers.They where in poor condition woofers where 'repaired' foam edges where threated with sinthethic glue and desolved (by prewios owner) membranes are in poor condition.I never heared for GALE but I recognized that that was worthy in the past , but because boxes but because previous owner made some 'improvments to them I took only drivers and crossovers.
Beeing handy man I thought to build my own boxes.However without parameters it shoud be very bad job.
Now woofers are with cevlar membranes (new), I still need to recone mid, and I NEED DIMENSIONS OF ORIGINAL BOXES, so I could build it out of MDF.
Can someone please measure everything.Dimensions of box and where are speakers situated on the frond side of the speaker.
It would save one pair of GALE's GS 401.
On my crossover there is no a or b mark just 401.What is a diference beatven models

THANKS
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Old 17th February 2006, 12:12 AM   #20
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Howdy,

Sure I can help you out;

EXTERNAL dimentions are as follows: (subtract 3/4" for internal mesurements)

length= 23 3/4" w/o chrome end caps (the "C" version)

height or width= 13"

depth= 11" however, this takes into consideration 1/2" recess of the front baffle that allows for the front grill assembly peices.

The boxes should have a 3/4" by 1" tall internal brace, which, runs directly in the center of the boxes or- effectively in the middle of the boxes center - horizontally. There is also an internal center brace that is fixed between the mid range and the tweeter, this runs directly accross the center line front to back. There is NO porting used in these boxes, they are sealed units.

Drivers are located- from left to right, as follows:

Woofer 1 (LH) is exactly 1" from the left and bottom sides, woofer 2 is reversed, that is to say exactly 1" from the right and top sides, effectively- situated in each corner of the boxes- as mesured from the external sides of the box to the outer mounting flange of the woofers.

The Mid is mounted nearly in the center of the box 1" off the bottm side and 12 1/4" from the left side (to the center line of the Mid), the tweeter is located 1" above the Mid, however, it is off center of the Mid - it is exactly 11.5" (as mesured to the tweeters center line) from the LH side of the boxes exterior wall.

The A, B, C designation refers to each particular models asthetics, 401 "C" refers to the 401's with the chrome end caps, which are the version I happen to have, the others, I believe, are all wood grain construstion with no chrome end caps installed.

The cross-overs are mounted behind the LH woofer.

Hope this helps ya, good luck.
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