Anthony Gallo Acoustics was once on hand once again, demonstrating their engaging Strada 2 speakers ($1998/pair, stands $450) and TR-3D subwoofers ($984 each). The rest of the system was relatively simple and not too terribly expensive: a Cambridge Audio 840C integrated amp ($1,595), a Peachtree Audio iDecco ($995), and an Olive Audio music server ($2,595) as the source.
The literature available in the room is pretty adamant that these are true audiophile speakers, not a "lifestyle product," which got me thinking a little bit about just why exactly being a lifestyle product is so undesirable. It's almost as though we've been trained to believe that for something to be good, it needs to be inconvenient; a product that fits into a room, rather than needing to have a room built around it, should be regarded with suspicion. Really, though, as much as I love my big Tannoys and think they're beautiful, there is something to be said for good things in small packages.
Which is why I hope that Gallo Acoustics will forgive me if I say that their little Strada 2 standmounts are, in fact, superb lifestyle speakers. The sound while I was in the room was agile and appealing, the subwoofers integrating well with the loudspeakers. This set up requires relatively little real estate, and the nearly spherical driver enclosures make these an excellent choice for your space age bachelor pad. I would love to see Gallo embrace this aspect of their product and demonstrate to showgoers not just how great their speakers are, but how well they can integrate into their lives.