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billn 17th January 2005 03:52 PM

Gale GS401
First post - hi to all.

After dreaming of these babies when I was 16 years old and hearing nothing at any price to match them I'm now the proud (via ebay) owner of a shiny pair of chrome ended GS401's with matching stands.

Well I was proud until I played some music. Seems these honeys must have spent the last 20 years in a Reggae bar or someting - mid-band is overemphasised, poorish HF and there's cone break-up in all directions - frankly not in the same league (apart from deep bass) as my Quad 10L's.

Seems I have a 'project'! Any helpful input for a newbie appreciated
Cheers, Bill
PS I remember a HiFi News and Record Review supplement (~1998) that gave details of a company in London area that refurbished these speakers - anyone know?

billn 19th January 2005 10:04 PM

C'mon guys & girls

I thought you were the guys.... ;-)

Cheers, Bill

SY 19th January 2005 10:16 PM

These were never the last word in uncolored sound with great frequency extension, so don't expect that (so many things of my youth were better in memory than reality). If the surrounds, spiders, and cones are in OK shape, start checking the crossover components. If you need new drivers... that will be a bit tougher.

Val 20th January 2005 12:39 PM

There's something wrong with the speakers; the originals, because of their horizontal design they weren't the last word in soundstaging and imaging, but their sound was very dynamic and present, with lots of impact. And beautiful, of course!

billn 21st January 2005 02:05 PM


Originally posted by Val
There's something wrong with the speakers; the originals, because of their horizontal design they weren't the last word in soundstaging and imaging, but their sound was very dynamic and present, with lots of impact. And beautiful, of course!
Hi Val,
Well they actually came in two flavours (401A or 401C) - the more normal/acceptable wood cabinet and the chrome version. I never actually saw the the wood cabinet versions in anything other than a standard orientation - not horizontal - so I guess you're implying no soundstaging issues here(?)
Cheers, Bill

Val 21st January 2005 04:13 PM


Originally posted by billn
Hi Val,
Well they actually came in two flavours (401A or 401C)

Hi Bill, I only remember listening to (and drooling for) the chromed beauty; the other one I believe came later and yes, it probably imaged well.


billn 31st January 2005 07:46 PM

The GS401 project begins...
Okay, I did it - now I have a project! One side of the room has two large & empty cabinets, the other a bunch of drive units - the pair twin bass's are pretty much shot coming away from the rim pretty much all round. Similarly the midrange unit. Both tweeters look fine - so bunch of questions...

1. Can anyone help regarding current suppliers of replacement drive units?
2. The HF units look fine but I guess it's better to replace now rather than find that I have to do it later after putting everything back together?
3. I''m concerned about the crossovers - particularly the potentiometers for the 'tone' controls. There was static and some dropping in and out of sound - can these things be replaced? Personally I'd like to cut them out completely at some kind of defeat position - but whilst I can solder with the best of them, I've not a clue about electronics :-)

Pictures are easily posted if it helps to identify the drivers/crossover components.

Thanks to all, Bill

KOEGLER01 1st February 2005 09:14 PM

I'm using two pair of the GS401A for my home theater. The tweeters a Celestion driver, I'm unsure the model number. The woofers were created in-house by Gale. The midrange driver is a Peerless model 821385, they're available at least from one U.S distributer for approx. $20 (US). Just bought two crossovers on ebay (first I've seen them for sale). Will attempt to create a schematic and post it later. I haven't gotten the hang of how to import an image just yet, but will post a picture when I find out how.

Bez 25th June 2005 03:49 PM

Both bass and midrange replacements are made by Peerless, model nos.832737 and 821615 respectively. These now have rubber suspension and will last much longer than the foam originals. Original units can be repaired by Wembley Speaker Company in London, but this would not save much money. Treble replacements are also available from Seas but the original Celestion tweeters tend to last fairly well.
I also highly recommend replacing the capacitors on the crossover as the original metalised ones tend to deteriorate with age. Use good quality polypropylene ones of the same value from SCR or Hovland. Bypass the two fuses on the crossover as these are not necessary with good quality modern amps. Replace the two small mid and treble volume controls with 5k ceramic resistors these are probably causing the drop-outs, and tend to degrade the sound somewhat
Despite the comment above Gales have an excellent soundstage and were always intended to be used in the horizontal position. Unless you are keen to keep the original overall package, discard the purpose-made chrome tube stands as these are not good.
Finally, Gales are capable of playing very LOUD but are difficult to drive properly and will benefit hugely from a high quality amp of at least 150w or above. Something like a Musical Fidelity A308cr power amp (250w) will drive them beautifully.
In the UK all the above components are available from who are very helpful with advice etc.

mb 26th June 2005 07:16 AM

I have recently overhauled a pair of 401As, and implemented almost all that Bez listed ;). In addition, I added a fair amount of vinyl damping pads on the cabinet walls and braces, as they tend to ring when rapped. Cleaning the pots, bypassing the fuses, damping the large cabinet and replacing the caps all help update the sound.

The pair I purchased had almost new replacement foam surrounds. There are a fair number of Gales in Singapore, as "DW" of DW Labs, who manufactured later Gale models, I think (402A) is based here. DW and many others strongly suggest sticking to foam surrounds. There's also a suggestion that new foam surrounds are much less prone to "self destruct" compared to the originals.

At the moment I drive them with something totally incongruous -- a DIY 25W tripath class-T amp. The infamous Sonic Impact T-amp rapidly clips on the Gales, but this amp drives the Gales wonderfully in a smallish room.

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