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Canton speakers.

eriksson

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Few years ago I took a listening test for floorstanding speakers in local "low cost" store. They had few models of rather cheap consumer grade speakers ($~500 pair). JBL, Klipsch, Yamaha... The salesman was very nice young fellow interested in "hifi" and we had fun playing all sorts of music, switching between speakers. We agreed the clear winner was Canton GLE490 by considerable margin. Sure it was tad bigger and more expensive than the rest but only by 10% margin or so.

I borrowed this pair and spent several weeks with it at home and it renewed my interest in HiFi because they sounded so much better than my previous junk. Now this model is entry level model from Canton, and when I finally returned them I was considering buying much more expensive Cantons, importing from Germany since there is no dealer here in Iceland. I was eyeballing Canton 896 DC but never got around to ordering them, and then I discovered Focal sold locally and got a pair of nice floorstanders.

But I am still curious, Canton seems to be very popular and highly regarded brand in Germany and now the 896 DC can be had for half the price from 4 years ago. Judging by Amazon reviews people seem to by quite happy with their Canton purchases and the reference line from Canton get's glowing reviews in the German press.
Just for fun, here is Canton 896 DC review with some measurements.
https://www.hifitest.de/test/lautsprecher_stereo/canton-vento_896_dc_12697

Any Canton owners here who like to chime in?
 

MZKM

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From the measurements of their more expensive models, they indeed are good performances.

Focal usually seems to do a good job with getting a neutral listening window, but have directivity mismatches that show up further off-axis. Not to say they would sound worse than Canton, as they have some irregularities show up too (sometimes boosted treble, sometimes a small directivity mismatch).

I personally just don’t care for their looks, I’d pick Focal if it were between the two in that category.
 

Mailen

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I have a pair of Cantons. Unfortunally I don't know the model name of them. I bought them about four years ago brand new. But since then I was always very happy with them. They sound very good and are perfectly made. Aditionally in my opinion they look very good. So I can definitly recommend Canton speakers!
 
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eriksson

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I have a pair of Cantons. Unfortunally I don't know the model name of them. I bought them about four years ago brand new. But since then I was always very happy with them. They sound very good and are perfectly made. Aditionally in my opinion they look very good. So I can definitly recommend Canton speakers!
I guess you can find the model number in the back of the speakers. Would be fun to know.
 
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eriksson

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I personally just don’t care for their looks, I’d pick Focal if it were between the two in that category.
I really haven't studied speaker measurements enough to comment. But I tend to agree Focal generally makes good looking speakers. For my taste, I could easily live with Canton black piano gloss look.

However, it's interesting Canton being so big in Germany seems to be little known outside. Hard to find reviews elsewhere, but there are few. And it seems not only Germans like them.
 

Mailen

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I guess you can find the model number in the back of the speakers. Would be fun to know.
At the moment these speakers are at my apartment in the city of my university but I'm not there for the one or two weeks. I will add the name of them here or directly message you.
 

amper42

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A large variety of Canton speakers use to be sold at accessories for less and quite a few like them on audioholics. I have the CANTON Vento Reference 9.2 DC 7" 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker in Piano Black. They have a nice tweeter and a bit of a kick in the lower midrange. It's not a bad speaker, but I prefer the crisp, crystal clear BMR monitor in this price range.

canton.png
 

JoachimStrobel

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I commented on Canton before: Founded in the early 70’s by ex-Heco Engineers (Heco and Braun were then the number one German speaker companies). I still have two pairs from then. Got great reviews in German magazines, but where bashed by others due their “low mid” Taunus sound. Improved a lot and struggled to become recognized as true Hifi company with the RC-A speakers and others ( I own 8 RC-Ls). They have a superb service, I can get easy replacement for broken tweeters and they would even service my LE600 from 1973 if I brought it in. They straddle a fine balance between affordable consumer stuff and good high end stuff that benefits from the economics offered by selling a lot of the former.
 

Cadguy

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Regarding Canton, has anyone here heard any of their Reference line? There are very few reviews and I wonder how they compare against Revel, KEF etc.
 

amper42

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Regarding Canton, has anyone here heard any of their Reference line? There are very few reviews and I wonder how they compare against Revel, KEF etc.

The CANTON Vento Reference 9.2 DC bookshelf is a nice speaker but it doesn't offer as flat a FR as the Revel or BMR's. It's fun for lower mid range kick but it doesn't have the clarity the BMR offers.
 
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eriksson

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I commented on Canton before: Founded in the early 70’s by ex-Heco Engineers (Heco and Braun were then the number one German speaker companies).
Thanks for interesting backstory. You bring up another name I am courious about, Heco - is it still among top German speaker companies?
 
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eriksson

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The Canton speakers I borrowed and liked a lot were GLE 496 (not 490). It turns out I am not the only one being somewhat impressed with them. Here is great post about them with lot's of pictures and nice review.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-speakers-inside-pics-subjective-review.4543/

My Canton search also revealed one of the funniest review I have ever seen from a member here about Canton CT-120: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/the-canton-ct-120s-are-the-best-speakers-i’ve-ever-heard-and-i’m-kinda-sad-about-it-completely-subjective.16507/
 

thewas

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Thanks for interesting backstory. You bring up another name I am courious about, Heco - is it still among top German speaker companies?
They make quite decent loudspeakers like their sister company Magnat, both are not the same old historic companies like Canton is but brands of the Audiovox group, but nevertheless use Klippel tools to optimise their drivers (not the NFS).
 

Trell

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I've got Canton Vento speakers in a surround setup for years, and they're pretty decent speakers and looks good in the living room. Living in EU it's easy to get previous model of Ventos to about half the MSRP, and since Canton releases a refresh every three years or so they're fairly current.

For front left and right I got the Vento 886.2 (current model). Below are a few measurements done by German magazines:

Previous model of middle size tower of Vento series:
canton_vento_886.png


Current model of largest tower of Vento series:
canton_vento_896_2.png


Previous model of Vento series (large threeway tower).
canton_vento_896.png


Older bookshelf Reference series:
canton_vento_9_2_reference.png


Current bookshelf Reference series:

canton_reference_9k.png
 
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Ralferator

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Few years ago I took a listening test for floorstanding speakers in local "low cost" store. They had few models of rather cheap consumer grade speakers ($~500 pair). JBL, Klipsch, Yamaha... The salesman was very nice young fellow interested in "hifi" and we had fun playing all sorts of music, switching between speakers. We agreed the clear winner was Canton GLE490 by considerable margin. Sure it was tad bigger and more expensive than the rest but only by 10% margin or so.

I borrowed this pair and spent several weeks with it at home and it renewed my interest in HiFi because they sounded so much better than my previous junk. Now this model is entry level model from Canton, and when I finally returned them I was considering buying much more expensive Cantons, importing from Germany since there is no dealer here in Iceland. I was eyeballing Canton 896 DC but never got around to ordering them, and then I discovered Focal sold locally and got a pair of nice floorstanders.

But I am still curious, Canton seems to be very popular and highly regarded brand in Germany and now the 896 DC can be had for half the price from 4 years ago. Judging by Amazon reviews people seem to by quite happy with their Canton purchases and the reference line from Canton get's glowing reviews in the German press.
Just for fun, here is Canton 896 DC review with some measurements.
https://www.hifitest.de/test/lautsprecher_stereo/canton-vento_896_dc_12697

Any Canton owners here who like to chime in?

I am from Germany and listened to some Canton speakers - they are pretty good speakers. I had some little active monitors from them, the Canton AM5, that are really awesome. The bigger ones i only listened to in the 90s and they usually had emphasized bass and highs. From what i know and have seen they are far more neutral now. But if you have to import them, i don't know if it's worth it.
If they are available in Ireland also take a look at the JBL Stage line. They are cheap but punch muuuch above their range. I got the JBL Stage A130 and they sound simply awesome (with the EQ settings posted by Maiky76 here in the forum), much better than my former JBL L90 (muuuch bigger and more expensive speakers) and also clearly better than the Canton AM5 that i loved so much. The greatest thing about the Stage A130 is that you can find EQ Settings here in this forum that make them sound really! good. They sound so clear and nothing is annoying (for me a speaker is perfect when nothing annoys me and most speakers just don't achieve that). Just load the EQ settings in the EQ and you will have a hard time to find anything better even for 5-10 times the price. Ad a subwoofer if you need more low end and you are set.
 
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JoachimStrobel

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Thanks for interesting backstory. You bring up another name I am courious about, Heco - is it still among top German speaker companies?
I guess the mother of all good German loudspeakers was Braun. Their good people left for Heco in the mid-60s and turned Heco into a formidable loudspeaker company. Until the people left for Canton and Heco folded. Or Heco was about to fold and people left before. Braun’s people finally left to form Acron, another German loudspeaker start-up from the mid 70s, famous for their full Aluminiumblock mini speakers. They folded too, hence only Canton survived. The others got rebranded or vanished or produced other stuff.
Looking back, this whole German Hifi scene feels unreal. So many great companies (Uher, Asc, Dual....) during the times when VW happily produced the Beatle and I remember being able to tune only into one or two Stereo broadcast stations, all with classical music while Quelle dominated the Stereo market with low end stuff. Oh well, and yes, people flew to the moon too....
 
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posvibes

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That whole period of the Taunus sound is very interesting and emerged from the efforts of a number of key people in post war Germany. From the days of Braun who were at one stage as I understand interested in producing under license an equivalent of the Quad 57's from Peter Walker. It didn't work out.

The same guys also reached out AR speakers to understand the infinite baffle concept.

The key personnel moved on to companies like Heco and then founded Canton amongst themselves.

One of the guys I found the most interesting although there is not a lot of info on him and mainly in German is Wolfgang Seikritt. He joined Braun at a young age, was sent to live classical concerts by the company on a monthly basis as part of training his listening capabilities as he became involved in speaker design. He was one of the developers at Canton and went on via his own solo company effort to design and build speakers as co-owner for Elac in Kiel, when they made quite an impact in the late 80's and a strong competitor to his ex colleagues at Canton.

There are some apocryphal stories of him being the inventor of the silk dome speaker.

He also was a record producer / engineer of classical music recordings. He died fairly young at the age of 64.

Interesting guy.
 
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eriksson

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Interesting stories gentlemen - thanks!

We have seen the excellent result some active speakers produce when measured (Genelec). Active speakers seem to be superior allowing designers to tune independent amps to each driver for optimal frequency response and so forth. I am just catching up to all of this after spending few months reading this great forum... so please correct me if and when I am wrong.

Canton is doing interesting things in this arena. After reading many reviews it's clear the company is paying close attention to the basics in speaker design. Flat frequency response, low distortion, keeping resonances in check etc... And it seems to have jumped on the active speaker bandwagon several years ago, mainly for home theater purposes. But recently they are taking this further and marrying the technology with their better (more expensive) speakers. Something I find quite interesting.

Let's take a look at review about Canton Crono SL8 from Hifitest.de.
https://www.hifitest.de/test/aktivlautsprecher/canton-chrono_sl8_19999
This speaker is sizable floor-stander and a pair costs ~3000 Euros . Check the link for pictures and if you want to read the review note they have English translation by google available if you click a link close to the top of the site
ChronoSL8_5_1012x588.jpg


Turns out Hifitest.de does some measurements and here we have frequency response for this active speaker - not too bad?
canton-chrono-sl8-aktivlautsprecher-62878.jpg



Waterfall:
canton-chrono-sl8-aktivlautsprecher-62879.jpg



I have only recently started to pay attention to these graphs, and perhaps I am wrong but this seems excellent to me.

Ok, so this speaker measures good but so what?

I am quoting Google translate of Hifitest.de review:
At first glance, the approximately 100 centimeter high Chrono SL 8 looks like normal floorstanding loudspeakers, but the interior of the elegant and high-quality loudspeaker housing contains the very finest modern technology. A high-quality amplifier unit consisting of four individual output stages with a total output of 350 watts supplies the four individual drivers of each individual SL8 with sufficient power and makes an external integrated amplifier superfluous. In addition, a high-performance signal processor also functions as a phase-neutral crossover network and, thanks to active equalization of all drivers, ensures optimal acoustic performance of the 3-way bass reflex loudspeaker. A multitude of analog and digital inputs on both speakers of the stereo combination SL8 allows the connection of various sources, Of course, the Chrono SL8 also accept wireless music playback from a tablet PC or smartphone via Bluetooth. Since both SL8s communicate with each other using Canton’s own wireless network, they only need to be connected to one of the two loudspeakers. The extremely low latency of this radio transmission guarantees maximum precision and saves additional signal or loudspeaker cables.
Ok, so they have build in DAC, Bluetooth and the then good selection of inputs... And they have built in DSP for some equalization and fun tricks mimicking surround, lip sync, and center speaker when watching moves.

Curiously this website, Hifitest.de placed them in their reference class section where they are among the cheapest speakers in that class.

For the price these speakers seem to be a bargain, but for scientific audiophiles - perhaps the bigger and bolder Canton Smart Vento 9 are even more interesting. At € 4400 they sport 600W power, go down to 25hz and "put many subwoofers to shame" and reviewers to loose the pants.
See: https://www.hifitest.de/test/lautsprecher_surround/canton-smart_vento_9_-_40-set_16684

1004425_2.webp


Take a look at the back, balanced input, USB, Optical, and line in.
canton-smart-vento-9-40-set-lautsprecher-surround-51016.jpg


Oh, and both speakers the Chronos and the Smart Vento have remote control.
canton-smart-vento-9-40-set-lautsprecher-surround-51014.jpg

So, you connect your CD, Television (ARC), streamer or whatever to the master speaker and it can drive it's slave and other Canton "smart" speakers, up to 7.1.4 home cinema by the wireless system. All the while a pair of Smart Vento 9 seems to have reference quality sound!?

Google around and tell me if I am the only one impressed? I want a pair, or two!
 
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Trell

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Canton added amplifiers to their Vento line of speakers but kept their passive crossovers, so a missed opportunity apart from the obnoxious increase of price. I say this as as a 15+ years Canton user with 10+years as Vento owner.
 
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eriksson

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Canton added amplifiers to their Vento line of speakers but kept their passive crossovers, so a missed opportunity apart from the obnoxious increase of price. I say this as as a 15+ years Canton user with 10+years as Vento owner.
After reading reviews about the two speakers I cover in my previous post I am surprised by your comment? Perhaps the reviewers don't know but I see no mention of passive crossovers, instead they detail independent amps for each driver unit!
What am I missing?
 
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