Further reasoning that the best-sounding crossover network is no crossover at all, Gallo has configured the Reference Strada 2 so that its two mid-bass drivers are allowed to run full range, using natural roll-off at the high and low frequency extremes to govern their operating band. In turn, the CDT3 tweeter, serving as its own crossover network, takes up where the mid-bass drivers leave off, handling upper midrange and treble frequencies with speed and finesse. In short, the Reference Strada 2 is for all intents and purposes a completely crossover-less, wide-bandwidth compact monitor.
The innovations don’t end there, though, because Mr. Gallo, much like his counterparts at KEF, has done considerable research into the feasibility giving compact speaker enclosures the physical characteristics of much larger enclosures. KEF’s solution was the firm’s ACE (acoustic compliance enhancement) technology, whilst Gallo’s ingenious answer involved creation of a proprietary enclosure damping material called S2. (Our understanding is that S2 is a type of shredded polyolefin film, though Gallo does not generally discuss the material’s exact formulation). Either way, the result, as Gallo says, is that the “Stradas perform as though the speaker enclosure is significantly larger than it actually is.” Finally, the Reference Strada 2 uses Gallo’s Optimized Pulse Technology (OPT), which is described as, “an impulse correction and synchronization system designed to integrate the low, middle, and high frequencies into one unified sound source.”
The TR-3d subwoofer (the larger of the two subs offered by the Gallo) applies many of the same design precepts that inspired the Strada 2. Thus, the TR-3d eschews traditional box-type cabinetry in favour of an all-metal, cylindrically shaped enclosure with the woofer fitted in one end of the cylinder and the subwoofer amplifier and controls in the other. Designed to rest on its side, the TR-3d looks more than a little like the depth charges seen on WWII-era destroyers and some quip that, if turned up too loudly, the TR-3d can sound like a depth charge, too. The sub uses essentially the same ceramic-coated aluminium woofer originally used in the Nucleus 3.5, backed by a rock-solid 300-watt amplifier equipped with line-level and speaker-level inputs and a useful set of controls, including a bass trim switch with settings for 0, +3, or +6 dB of boost centred at 30Hz.