Gale GS401A Refurbishment

A GS401A, probably new and from a professional promo shot, and sadly not mine!

Introduction

Having recently bought myself a pair of Gale GS401As in need of refurbishment, the time has come to make a start on doing them up. Having previously made some notes on re-foaming my Gale GS401Cs and Gales GS301s, I thought I’d do the same for these and try and get a more-or-less end-to-end document for anyone following in my footsteps.

I don’t profess to be an expert and frequently have to rely on help and advice from others, and where that is the case I will try acknowledge it and credit them.

What I do have now is the experience I have gained, and that’s what I am trying pass on here, in the hope that I can help others avoid the pitfalls that can potentially waste time and undo good work.

I will be publishing this article piece-meal, updating the various sections as they are completed, so if you come across a subtitle with no words or pictures, odds on it is still work in progress.

Finally, please feel free to ask questions, make suggestions or offer constructive criticism in the comments.

Dismantling , Refurbishing and Reassembling Gale GS401A Loudspeakers

A chrome cap (removed) plus the tools used.

Part 1 – Remove chrome caps and speaker cloth.

Tools: a mallet, a small block of 2×1 timber, a pair pliers, a small/medium screwdriver, preferably old and a little rounded off.

I also found it useful to have a notebook, pencil and digital camera on hand to record what went where and how before I removed it. In order to ensure that the components go back into the same cabs and in the same position, I used coloured sticky notes to identify parts to speaker cabs.

1a. Remove chrome caps

Each of my end caps were secured by two large blobs of glue that had long since dried out, so all that was required were a series of firm taps around the rim using a block of 2×1 and a mallet. Once that got them moving it was no trouble to pull them away.

The bare end showing the dried out glue.

The obvious things to be careful of are ensuring that you perform the task in an environment and in such a way that will neither scratch your chrome nor damage your drivers as you manipulate the speakers.

Staples, cloth and plastic ‘vanity strip’ in detail.

 1b. Remove the speaker cloth

The speaker cloths are secured by numerous staples and also have a plastic ‘vanity strip’ located either side of the crossover panel on the rear of the speaker. You can see the edge of the cloth secured by staples plus a small section of the vanity strip in the picture above.

Prise up the vanity strip.

To remove these start by prising away the vanity strips and simply pulling them up and away from the speaker.

Levering up a staple.

That done, all of the staples should now be exposed, so work around one side at a time, methodically levering up one side of the staple with the screwdriver, taking care not to stab yourself or, worse, your speakers! Once you have done that use the pliers to remove the staples.

Once that is complete the speaker cloth will come away. I took the opportunity to measure mine at this point (the dimensions were 90 x 56 cm) as, despite being in very good condition overall, there were a couple of tiny holes that warrant replacing them.

Pulling off the hardboard ‘platform’ at either end of the speaker.

Finally for this section, there should be a small ‘platform’ of hardboard and foam (see above) stapled to either end of the front face of the speaker. I found the best way to remove this was to simply grasp them with my fingertips and pull up and away from the speaker. This expose a number of staples on either the cabs or the platform that you can then pull out with the pliers.

If your speakers are in need of attention where the midrange and bass drivers are concerned, this is the sort of thing that will greet you when you have fully exposed them.

The ‘good’ side – the foam surrounds were more intact on this speaker, although obviously still in need of replacement.

Interestingly in my case, one side was worse than the other and I found myself wondering if the side with the more disintegrated foam surrounds had perhaps been located nearer to a heat source, or been exposed to more direct sunlight?

The bass driver from the ‘bad’ side – large sections of the foam surround had disintegrated.

The foam surround is largely intact but obviously shrivelled and collapsed.

I had a bit of a light bulb moment while re-reading the caption above; I suspect that the foam surround above may have been purposely inverted rather than have collapsed as stated. I vaguely recall reading somewhere instructions that alluded to (they certainly weren’t clear or illustrated) the possibility of fixing them either way up.

Tweeter minus grille, with crushed dust cap showing.

As the picture above shows, the grille that protects the dust cap had fallen off at some point when the glue that secured it dried up and failed, and as a result the transparent dome had been crushed.

The repair was fairly straightforward:

I used Scotch Tape on the basis that the adhesive is not too ‘fierce’.

Various options were put forward for pulling the dome back into shape:

  1. ‘kissing’ the tweeter – i.e. using gentle suction
  2. using a vacuum cleaner to do the same as (1)
  3. using adhesive tape

Replacing the gasket.

I replaced the original gasket with PVA glue.

Replacing the metal grille.

Finally I replaced the grille using double-sided tape. I shied away from using really powerful adhesives in case  I need to remove it at some point further down the line.

Part 2 – Remove the speaker drivers

The soldered wires plus (top) the foam gasket.

Tools: a cross-headed screwdriver, a flat-headed screwdriver and a soldering iron.

Carefully remove all of the screws from the drivers that will be coming out of the cabs (I say carefully on account of having once stabbed a hole through a newly refurbished foam surround!), then use the flat-headed screwdriver to carefully lever up the drive units paying special attention to the foam gaskets underneath.

Once the wires are accessible, de-solder all of the joints, making a note and/or taking pictures of which wire goes where. Note the red dots on the chassis – remember which wires attach to this side for reattachment. The tweeters are straightforward, with the red and black wires from the crossover effectively joining their corresponding counterparts on the driver.

Mine looked like this:

  • ‘Top’ bass driver – purple wire to red dot
  • ‘Bottom’ bass driver – red wire to red dot
  • Midrange – yellow wire to red dot
  • Tweeter – red and black wires go to corresponding terminals

For the purposes of consistency I have defined ‘bottom’ as being the lower portion of the speaker when the it is stood on end with the crossover nearest the floor. However, as the speaker is meant to be mounted horizontally this definition has no real meaning outside of this context.

 

Part 3 – Remove the insulation and crossovers

In hell, really bad people spend eternity in underwear made of this stuff…

As the caption above hints at, the 30 year-old fibreglass insulation material layered inside the speakers is quite literally incredibly irritating to deal with if not handled properly, and as such I was advised by Dave Smith of Vintage Gale to undertake this portion of the work outside. Having fallen foul of this stuff once before when laying floorboards in my loft, I also went further to ensure that as much bare skin as possible was covered (rubber gloves, long sleeves, face mask), as the irritation can go on for days.

The picture above might give the impression that the insulation is stuffed in. However, once you remove the first piece it becomes apparent that it is layered in a reasonably ordered fashion.

As above but with one half of the doubled-over layer removed.

There are two pieces doubled over with the creases facing in to centre under each of the bass drivers.

With all of the upper layers removed…

I bagged all of the pieces for each speaker into its own bag. I know it’s a desperately dull picture, but this is what you are looking at for one speaker, so be prepared with a couple of large bin liners and some means of sealing them shut, such as rubber bands or ties.

The insulation from one speaker.

I temporarily taped the wires into their respective positions for this shot to provide me with a clear reference of what goes where when it comes to reassembly:

And finally with all of the insulation removed, exposing the crossover.

To remove the crossover unit I flipped the speaker onto its side and faced it way from me. I then unscrewed to bottom row of three screws, followed by the two outside screws on the top row. With my free hand I then supported the crossover while I unscrewed the last screw. Oddly enough there was one screw on each speaker – the last one – that wouldn’t come out of the cabinet.

The crossover unit.

These units look a lot better than the ones that came out of my GS401Cs, but will still be inspected for failed components and if necessary repaired before they are replaced. However, it’s at this point that my knowledge dries up and I send the crossovers off to someone who knows what he is doing – i.e. David Smith at Vintage Gale.

Part 4 – Re-foam the bass and midrange drivers

4a. Remove the foam surrounds from the bass and midrange drivers

Tools: A scalpel and an old chisel

  • Using the scalpel, carefully describe (cut) a circle in the foam using the edge of the cone as a guide, i.e. separate the driver from the foam surround.
  • Next, use your fingers to remove as much of the foam surround as you can. You will be left with a small amount stuck to the speaker cone and considerably more stuck to the metal chassis.
  • Using the scalpel, carefully work around the cone separating the foam and old glue away from the paper of the cone.
  • Finally, using the chisel, work around the chassis and remove the foam and glue from the metal.

Note: at this point you may want to consider painting the bare metal of the chassis black. I elected not to do this and ended up doing it after the new foam surrounds had been glued in place when it became apparent that the silvery metal might reflect light through the speaker cloth.

4b Re-foam the drivers

Tools: Replacement foam surrounds, PVA glue, applicator for glue, voice coil shims (optional), scalpel (optional)

The next part of the process happens in two parts on account of the need to allow the PVA glue to dry properly. In the first part the new foam surround is glued onto the cone of the bass or midrange unit. In the second the foam surround is fixed to the metal chassis of the driver. The process is essentially the same with a small deviation necessary for the midrange which I will detail later.

  • Apply a thin line of glue 2mm or so into the circumference of the cone in question
  • Use a child’s paintbrush to spread it out to a width of 5-7mm
  • Place the foam surround centrally on the cone (do not worry about how it aligns with the chassis too much at this point) and go around the circumference of the cone carefully applying firm pressure to the foam surround
  • Use kitchen roll or similar to clean up the excess glue
  • Midrange: at this point you may need to place a small cup over the foam surround to weight it down
  • Allow to dry for several hours, or better still, overnight

For the next part of the process opinion is divided as to whether it is necessary to use paper shims to ensure that the voice coil does not rub as the speaker cone moves in and out. This is the fourth pair of speakers I have re-foamed and I have managed to avoid shims so far. I will therefore detail the process without reference to ‘shimming’, and briefly summarise it here by saying that it involves cutting the domed dust cap off of the cone with a scalpel and inserting small pieces of paper to act as spacers while the foam surround is fixed to the chassis. Once drying is complete the shims are removed and the dust cap glued back in place.

  • Lift the foam surround and place a similar line of PVA glue on the chassis of the driver
  • Using a spreader of some description, go around again, ensuring that the glue is evenly spread and will secure the foam surround all the way out to the edge
  • Once again, go around apply firm pressure to ensure an even bond
  • Carefully, using four fingers placed equidistant around the cone near the dust cap, ‘bounce’ the cone up and down through 3-5mm to check for rubbing, which if present you will feel and/or hear
  • If you detect any rubbing you will need to find a point on the outer edge of the new surround where, when it is pulled outwards in this direction (it is only a tiny adjustment) the rubbing is alleviated; affix clothes pegs to this area and try again, adjusting as necessary
  • Once you are happy that there is no rubbing, allow to dry for several hours or overnight

Note: on this occasion I detected a couple of ‘rubs’ on the bass drivers both before and after I had glued the surround to the cone, and was prepared to make the adjustments detailed above when glueing the surround to the chassis. However, once the glue was applied I retested before making compensating adjustments and found there was no longer any need to do so.

Bass driver with glue applied and spread.

And with the new surround in place…

Note the old mug used to weigh down the new surround on the midrange driver.


Part 5 – Replace the crossovers and insulation

Note: while putting my GS401C back together today I discovered a handy way to replace the components that is much less stressful than the description below. Obviously it is basically the same process, but in a slightly different order.

  • Replace crossover according to instructions below
  • Put wadding in ‘top’ section first
  • Put crossover in next
  • Position wires according to description above
  • Solder in top bass, midrange and tweeter
  • Position wires if necessary, then replace wadding over crossover.
  • Wire in bottom bass driver

I found the easiest way to put the crossovers back in was to first push the screws part way in from the rear of the cabinet, and then to hang the foam ‘gaskets’ in position on the inside. After that it is a case of carefully insering the crossover into the cab and getting the first screw lined up, after which the rest follow on relatively easily.

The fibreglass insulation goes back in a relatively orderly fashion, building layers up from the bottom of the cabinet and repositioning wires as you go.

Part 6 – Replace the speaker drivers

All pretty straightforward really, although to avoid facepalm moments make sure that you:

  • put the gaskets back in place before you solder the drivers back in place
  • take care with the screwdriver – those new foam surrounds hole easily if you slip as I did on my GS401C project

Part 7 – Replace the speaker cloth and chrome caps

7a. Replace the cloth

I suspect that most speakers undergoing the entire process detailed above will need to have the fabric covering them replaced. You are essentially looking for two pieces of ‘acoustically transparent’ speaker cloth measuring 90 x 56 cm.

Against my better judgement I bought a cheap staple gun from eBay and that was a big mistake as about 1-in-3 staples had to be pulled out and restapled, meaning that I didn’t put as many in as I ideally should have on account of the frustrating nature of the exercise.

Also, I started on the back of the speaker with the edge of the cloth aligned to the groove for the plastic trim on one side, and then similarly secured it on the other side, ‘filling in’ the centre afterwards. I suspect that if I do it again (and I might well when I buy a decent staple gun) I will start with the speaker on its back with the cloth evenly distributed across the front and draped down the sides. The first staples will go into the centre of the foam-covered hardboard platforms and the remainder distributed out to the sides, tensioning as I go.

7b. Replace the chrome caps

The chrome presents something of a challenge if it is seriously corroded or scratched, since replacement is the only option and that runs to somewhere in the region of £200 for four trays at the time of writing.

I was fortunate in that my chrome caps were only slightly pitted and any scratches aren’t obvious until you get in really close. As such I was able to polish them up with some Autosol liquid chrome cleaner, which is both cheap and easy to apply.

Of course, chrome represents another challenge… to the photographer! These aren’t the best pictures but hopefully they convey the sort of thing that can be done with a little polish. There probably isn’t much point putting lots of effort into the polishing before you replace the caps, as they will inevitably end up with palm prints on them, unless of course you are prepared to buff them up afterwards.

Before…

… and after!

I was reliably informed that the chrome caps can simply be pushed home. Pondering this it occurred to me that what I initially took for adhesive on the end of the cabinets might actually have been used to secure some foam to prevent vibration of the caps under more ‘extreme’ use cases!

However,  when it came time for me to replace mine, two took a nice firm push to get them all the way home home, while the other two went on rather too sloppily for me to have confidence in them when subsequently  handling the speakers. As a result there may be a little work to do there in order to better secure them.

32 Responses to Gale GS401A Refurbishment

  1. Warren Hudson says:

    Hi FG,
    Thanks for your article.

    You may be interested in my post 24/7/12 re silicone-rubber driver-surround repair.

    galerophile

  2. Peter Balcon says:

    I commend you for your efforts in rebuilding these speakers! That fibreglass stuffing was a nightmare to work with! We finally installed large specialised ‘air-conditioning’ units that electrostatically removed particles of fibreglass from the air in the factory where they were stuffed. I had very long hair in those days (it was the 70s!), and I had a persistent rash down my back from where particles got into my hair and then dropped down my neck. Not nice. I wonder if any of the other guys that worked there have had as many lung problems as I experienced in recent years.
    We also coated the cone and foam surrounds with a diluted PVA adhesive manufactured by Moyen to protect the surround and critically damp the assembly. Moyen made a huge variety of materials for the speaker industry many years ago; I don’t know anything of their current involvement.
    The polyester cloth was originally welded to the T-strip using a RF welder – a very nasty bit of kit, capable of removing your fingerprints if you came in contact with the aerial! The T sections were then hammered into the slots on the back of the speakers to nicely stretch the cloth over the speaker. There were big globs of hot melt glue under the end caps to prevent any rattling.
    I worked with Gale between 1975 and 1979 at the Mayfair factory, and briefly with DW Labs’ reincarnation of Gale in North London in 1980, testing and calibrating each speaker made. The most fun job I every had!

  3. Sean says:

    Hi Peter,

    I have passed them on to the Gale Audio forum as I know there are people there who like to read them.

    Sean

  4. George says:

    Hi Sean
    Thanks for publishing your site. This site and others were impetus for me to start refurbishment of 38 year old Gale GS401Bs. One speaker completed and sounds great! Have replaced the suspension on the mid range. (Woofers done 10-20 years ago and still fine. Renovated the crossover myself. New capacitors although the original still ok but measuring significantly higher than their original specified capacitance. Replaced both resistors. One was corroded and the reason why the mid range driver had ceased to work. After trying to clean and get the Pollak pots working I decided that was silly and bought new 5 ohm pots from Jaycar in Perth WA which work perfectly. I also decided that replacing the fibreglass stuffing was a step too far. We use that horrible stuff as roof insulation. Tried to get some locally produced wool batts but didn’t succeed so used Tontine polyester Thermal and Sound batts. Much better to handle and stuffed the box in a similar manner to how the fibreglass was installed. End result is WOW, now I remember how great these speakers were and are again. For the moment enjoying the speaker pair but will start the renovation of the second box soon.
    Thanks and Regards
    George

  5. Sean says:

    Hey George,

    It’s always good to hear that another pair of Gales have been saved from being asset-stripped or worse, landfill. It sounds like you are a great deal more competent than I am where the electronics are concerned, since I entrust mine to David Smith who knows these speakers inside out and spares me the horror of me damaging them!

    I might be more inclined to have a go myself were there any good guides out there, or were my soldering skills better than rudimentary, but in the meantime I suspect Dave will continue to get my repair work…

    All the best and thanks for your interest in the site,

    Sean

  6. Chris Betts says:

    Thanks for the article – very useful as I need to re-furb my own 401’s. Question is, would it be better to re-foam or fit new ‘equivalent’ drive units as available from Wilmslow ? I realise the latter option will be more expensive, but I only want to take these things apart once !
    Many thanks,
    Chris

  7. Sean says:

    Hi Chris,

    The general feeling here* is to stick with the originals wherever possible, since the replacement drivers will sound different, and not is what is generally perceived as a good way!

    The refurbishment process for the bass and midrange is relatively straightforward and can be done at home if you have some space and are fairly competent with tools. I am barely competent and managed to do two pairs of 401s and a pair of 301s without cocking them up, but acknowledge it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

    Sean

    * http://groups.google.com/group/gale-audio (a knowledgeable and friendly bunch)

  8. Chris Betts says:

    Thanks Sean.
    Planning to strip them down myself & then send off the units & crossover to Dave Smith. Not tried to get the end caps off yet – they seem pretty firmly stuck though, so am hoping I don’t end up doing any damage ! Might try a heat gun on the end caps to soften the glue – not sure how effective that is going to be yet, but don’t really fancy the cost / hassle of sending off the whole speaker pair.
    Thanks for the info – I had a feeling that was going to be the answer, but wanted to sound out someone more knowledgeable than me !
    Chris

  9. Sean says:

    Hi Chris,

    To be honest I am not that knowledgeable compared to most of the guys on the list, many of who /really/ know their stuff (and Dave/DS is a contributor to the list by the way).

    I was surprised when I was told that the end caps were not glued, since I had to apply some force to get mine off. In the end I settled for a length of 2×1 and a rubber mallet, which I use to tap edge of the chrome cap, rolling the speaker on a carpeted surface and working my way around. There came a point with all four ends where I was able to pull each one off without straining too much.

    What I found certainly looked like glue, but the manufacturing process apparently varied as it progressed, so I guess it is plausible you and I have later or earlier models where other commentators have the opposite, glue-free variety?

    Anyway, as you’ve doubtless already seen there are some pictures on my GS401A page that will show you what you are letting yourself in for:

    http://www.funkygibbins.me.uk/?page_id=5306

    My chromies are currently in bits awaiting a darned good recovering, having been favoured by a new kitten as a robust and noisey scratching post, so the woodies (GS401Cs) are back in service for a while.

    Both sets have received the attention of DS who is a top man if original is the way you decide to go.

    All the best with your venture, and please feel free to ask questions along the way should they arise.

    Sean

  10. Chris Betts says:

    Thanks again Sean – will try to get started this week, & I’ll be sure to ask if problems arise !
    Chris

  11. Chris Betts says:

    Hi guys.

    Re-furb complete & speakers back to their best again !
    I took the option of sending the drivers & crossovers to Dave Smith for repair (the woofers were completely shot by the way – don’t know how they were working at all to be honest. The mids were in one piece, but obviously in need of re-foamimg). Both the work done & advice given by Dave were superb, so no regrets going that route.
    It turns out my 401’s are early – around mid seventies vintage according to Dave, & have the original ‘perforated plastic’ type covering, which proved a bit of a pain to re-fit nicely without any ‘bumps’, if you know what I mean ! Dave suggested I start by fixing the covering back into one of the grooves at the rear, & spinning the cabinets over (on carpeted floor) fixing at the edges as I went. Mine had been stapled & taped into place, with the hardboard ‘platform’ boards stapled, tacked & glued into position ! This necessitated using a chisel to clean up around where they had been fitted, prior to re-assembly. I recommend doing this when the drivers are out of the cabs for obvious reasons !
    Two of the end caps came away fairly easily, but the other two were b******s ! I used a soft mallet & wood as suggested by Sean, but was a little too eager & caused a small crack in the corner of one cap, so go easy !! I refitted this cap with the crack at the rear / bottom so it’s not seen when the speakers are in use. The caps had what appeared to be glue in the four corners, but interestingly, there also appeared to have been thin felt stuck over the blobs – this having mostly disintegrated over the years. Dave recommended NOT re-gluing in the re-build process, & I have to say the caps appear to be a nice fit now with no rattles / vibrations (yet !)
    I re-made all the gaskets using ‘Funky Foam’ sheets, as per Dave’s suggestion. This stuff is available from The Range stores, & is cheap & ideal for the job.
    I would suggest checking the tightness of the nuts on the back of the two red / black connectors. One of mine was very loose, & another could be turned with fingers ! I ‘double nutted’ them & used varnish to lock the threads for good measure. I also used varnish around the heads of all the driver screws. I guess over the years vibrations had caused them to come loose. Imagine having to strip the whole lot apart again to tighten a nut…..!
    Have to say, no other problems encountered with the job, so just a bit of care & patience with a truly worthwhile end result !
    Thanks again to Sean for the guide, & to Dave for the skilled bit I didn’t fancy doing myself.
    Chris

  12. Sean says:

    Glad to hear that you got there in the end Chris, and thanks for passing on that excellent tip from the supremely knowledgeable DS regarding the Funky Foam gasket replacement that I hadn’t heard before. I suspect that all of mine could do with replacing to be honest, as they all looked pretty tired when I removed the drivers.

    I’ll pass your comment on to the group via the mailing list if I may, as there are some very useful bits of information in there.

    My apologies if my tip regarding the mallet and 2×1 caused you to come undone as it were. It seems that I was lucky in that a firm tap was able to break the brittle glue. I wonder if a little patch of the chrome skin that folks apply to cars might take the eye away from the crack?

    Sean

  13. Chris Betts says:

    Hi Sean.
    Not familiar with that stuff – where would I get some ? To be honest, the crack is very minor – only a few mills long, & cannot be seen from the front now in any case.
    All the best,
    Chris

  14. Sean says:

    Hi Chris,

    From the sounds of it you don’t really need to follow up on this, but apparently the stuff in question is called Stretch Chrome and is manufactured by a company called Alsa Corp:

    http://alsacorp.com/strechchrome/

    I envisaged a small patch to take the eye away from the crack as it were, but it sounds so tiny and well-hidden as to be overkill.

    Sean

  15. michael schiff says:

    Hi
    I am awaiting the arrival of my first pair of 401As to restore…..I understand it is a difficult load to drive….any recommendations for an amp?? I am in the USA but have many British amps…I have a Lecson amp that will probably need to be send back to England for repair(no one here seems to be able to fix right…blown twice) pair of Quad 303s, pair of Musical Fidelity A50s….I don’t have to use any of them so don’t limit your recommendations….thanks for any help….Mike

  16. Sean says:

    Hi Mike,

    I think the general feeling is that they generally perform best with a powerful amp driving them, although I’ll have to admit my choices are somewhat limited by budget.

    Currently I have my 401Cs set up with a NAD C 356BEE in pre-amp mode going into a modified Behringer A500 power amp. The NAD is plenty capable on its own and the Behringer was a fun project that I am not sure delivers a great deal in terms of additional quality.

    I understand that Lothar (on the mailing list) successfully drives his with a Lecson, so it might be worth a quick email to the list to see what he says and to gauge what other folks are up to. He may be able to make recommendations regarding the repairs, too.

    Regarding older amps I believe that the 401s had a bad rep back in the day for blowing them, so you might want to be circumspect about hooking up anything old and much-loved to them (apparently modern amps are far more tolerant)!

    I believe these Lentek amps are highly regarded, plus a wee bit difficult to get hold of on account of there only being 500 made.

    Regards,

    Sean

  17. michael schiff says:

    Thanks Sean….appreciate any help…Mike

  18. michael schiff says:

    I pulled the woofers out of the first unit and will refoam as soon as the kits arrive. The tweeter and mid looks ok….I used a vacuum cleaner to pull the dome out on the tweeter ,the guard had come off. Not sure if I should pull crossover out and send to Dave while it is apart or try first. Anyone using stands other than the actual Gale stands? thanks again for any and all help….Mike

  19. Sean Gibbins (@BasculeTheFule) says:

    Hi Mike,

    The original Gale stands (I have a pair) are apparently not all the good acoustically. Dave Smith commissioned a remake in the style of the original but with a modern approach the sound quality.

    You can take a peek here:

    http://www.vintagegale.com/stands.php

    If I were you I would rip everything out and do a thorough job from the start, rather than get them up and running and have to strip them down a few months later.

    Regards,

    Sean

  20. michael schiff says:

    OK…first one stripped down to bare shell….crossover removed but not sure if upgrading crossover is something I am up to….refoaming and assembly yes…..electronics??…..sent an email to Dave waiting to hear back…..off to start the second speaker….thanks all….will keep you posted …Mike

  21. Sean says:

    Hi Michael,

    Can I suggest that you post your updates to the group here:

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/gale-audio

    This blog has a relatively small audience and the experts are all to be found on the above mailing list.

    I send all my electronics stuff to Dave for precisely the reason you outline. He’s a nice bloke who knows these speakers inside out, and always does good work.

    Regards,

    Sean

  22. michael schiff says:

    Hi
    I ordered new surrounds but they don’t seem to fit …looks too large.? any comments? thanks Mike

  23. Sean says:

    Hi Mike,

    If you look at the the two photos below you can get an idea of the size. It should fit well within the metal frame and overlap the cone itself by about 7-10mm if I recall correctly. Anything bigger than that is probably too big.

    http://www.funkygibbins.me.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/bass_glue.jpg

    http://www.funkygibbins.me.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/dry_glue.jpg

    Where did you get them from? I’ve bought four lots of surrounds (2 x 401s, 1 x 301s and another) from these guys and had no problem with fitting them:

    http://www.speaker-repairs.co.uk/shop/refoam/gale.html

    If you got them from there it might be worth dropping them a line with a picture of the surround overlaid on the spider (frame) and cone and they should be able to advise accordingly.

  24. michael schiff says:

    Thanks Sean….that’s where I got them….I will contact them….Mike

  25. Marc Reyburn says:

    So what is the consensus on the surrounds? I received my woofer surrounds today, and they overlap the old glue line by about 4mm (overlap the cone by around 9mm), is this correct? Surrounds that I have picked up for other speakers in the past, usually line up with the original glue line.
    P.S. Thanks for the informative site, I’d be lost without it

  26. ferrand says:

    hello , i wish to have the schematics and the value of the condensators of the carmichael crossover because i bought recently a pair of 401 ( amerian version ) i own and always have in my house the english version with chrome in France . Best regards Alex

  27. Sean says:

    Hi Alex,

    Your best bet is to sign up to the Google Gale Audio group where someone will doubtless be able to assist you with this, as I am afraid I don’t have a copy and the chances of someone with one spotting your comment here are fairly remote.

    Regards,

    Sean

    Regards,

    Sean

  28. Mike says:

    Great article and thanks for posting! I just got a pair of GS401Cs today that already had the bass and mid surrounds replaced 1 year ago and were in very good overall condition. The MF and HF pots are on their last leg and would appreciate knowing how many watts the pots are rated for? Otherwise there was a little buzzing in one cabinet at a few discreet low freqs and I found the front panel was vibrating in one corner. I fillet of Epoxy along the inside joint fixed that. The lase time I heard GS401s was in the 1980s and when I brought these home today and fired them up I heard the same magic from many years ago.

  29. Sean says:

    Hi Mike,

    I am afraid that I am not familiar with the specs of the electronic components, but the good news is that I know some really hopefully folks that are!

    If you wander over to the Gale Audio Group and post your question there you are sure to get a response.

    Sean

  30. David says:

    Hi Sean – don’t know if you still monitor this site.
    As per my posts on Gale in Googlegroups I am just about to refurbish my 401A’s
    I don’t want to keep asking questions there, and I have a query.
    Will I need new gaskets? (in addition to new foam)
    Regards David
    Are you based in UK?

  31. Sean says:

    Hi David,

    Still here, just!

    For expert opinion I would post your questions to the group as there are some very smart people lurking therein, including folks who worked for Ira or were related to him!

    I repaired and re-used my gaskets on account of them (a) not being too bad, and (b) not being aware of where to get alternatives or replacements.

    Regards,

    Sean

  32. David says:

    Thanks Sean. The crossover does not seem to be badly corroded, and I am tempted to reassemble the speaker without crossover refurbish.

    http://euro4ce.com/gale/CROSSOVER2.JPG

    Should I take the risk?
    Regards
    David

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