Way, way back in 1977 I scrimped and saved until I had the necessary £400 to buy a pair of these. They served me well for about 15 years until a pair of ES14s replaced them. It was either that or buy (at least) a NAP250 to replace my trusty but somewhat overworked NAP110. I figured the Gale's were a bit tired anyway, so went the sensible route with the ES14s.
Five years ago I briefly brought the 401s out of storage, spent some time tarting up the cabinet bracing/damping, and fired them back to life. They lasted a day or two and sounded glorious - proper bass is a revelation that sadly the ES14s never really managed.
What went wrong? To put it bluntly, they fell apart. In a matter of seconds they went from sounding great to a farting, spluttering mess. The dreaded foam surround rot was the cause. I toyed with the idea of re-foaming them but bottled out and instead built a pair of James's rather fine Ergo-IIIs.
No1 daughter (who has just passed her driving test) has pleaded with me to fit some boom boom bass boxes in her little car. We got into a conversation where I tried my best to explain that 'boom boom' bass was not actually a good thing. It must have worked, because she's stopped the pleading. Only, she now wants speakers for her bedroom that do 'proper bass'. I showed her a picture of the 401's. She wants!
She will need some patience though, as you will appreciate from the attached photos;