|Canton GLE 409|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Robert Mead|
|Tuesday, 07 April 2009|
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A good way to determine if the main speakers you are listening to are doing there job well is by being fully aware of exactly which speakers are dispersing the most audio during any audio playback. I stood up during this Eagles song and walked over to both of the 409’s to determine if they were in fact filling most of the soundstage with the music I was now listening to, which they were. The Canton center channel was primarily responsible for broadcasting the song’s background vocals, and the Velodyne subwoofer was pushing out most of the low-end emanating from the band’s bass player, Timothy B. Schmidt. The entire audio system did a good job of disbursing the Eagle’s powerful yet clean sound during “Life in the Fast Lane” and I could clearly hear the pounding drums thundering through this song as main vocalist Don Henley sang about the “beautiful people” in Hollywood getting their comeuppance in life after burning themselves out due to heavy drug and alcohol abuse.
An important element to consider when upgrading your loudspeaker system anytime in the future is to make sure that the main speakers you are adding to your audio configuration can be easily assimilated into your system with no harsh clashes between the older speakers and the new ones. Canton engineers design their main loudspeakers to work well with any other high-end speaker manufacturers on the market today, and as I listened to how well the Velodyne subwoofer was working with the Canton 409’s as well as the Canton GLE-455 center channel, I was impressed with the way all of the speakers played off each other with agility and grace. The live performance of “Life in the Fast Lane” was drawing to a close as Walsh’s ending guitar solo flowed with clarity against the rhythm guitar playing of fellow musician Glenn Frey, and the 409’s high-end capabilities shined through as these speakers did an excellent job of showcasing just how great of a guitar player Joe Walsh still is.
A light-hearted action scene from the animated movie entitled “Robots” (Twentieth Century Fox Animation 2005) was up next, and this movie features voice-over work from actors such as Robin Williams, Halle Berry and Drew Carey. The clip seen on the compilation DVD I was watching featured an old robot played by Robin Williams trying to persuade a much younger robot to come with him to stop some oppressing force from taking control of the world’s robots. As he is finally having some degree of success in persuading the younger robot to come along with him, a massive robot’s hand comes down hard on the area surrounding these two, and I could hear the 409’s let loose a huge and explosive sound as the ground the robots were standing on concaved inward and the two robots were sent spiraling down the just-opened hole into the center of the earth.
I could hear the clang of the robot’s metal bodies as they were sent end-over-end to their ultimate destination of another underworld lying beneath the Earth’s surface. The musical soundtrack flared up a cacophony of swirling saxophone and trombone music as these robots continued to fall, and the 409’s did a respectable job of ensuring that the robot’s screams of terror was perfectly balanced with the movie’s musical elements and the music never drowned out the ensuing dialogue sequence between the two robots following their great fall towards the underworld city.
Although the Canton 409’s did an admirable job of replicating true movie theater sound during most of the film clips I witnessed during the demonstration of the speaker system at Premiere Home Entertainment, I was slightly disappointed by the speaker’s inability to bring a more natural, warmer tone to the ‘live’ musical performance by the Eagles. I kept waiting for the speakers to fully enrapture my ears with a dynamic range of subtle sonic tones during the song “Life in the Fast Lane” that never occurred. So if you are looking to purchase a pair of these loudspeakers primarily for audio playback of your extensive CD collection, or you really want to enjoy the clean purity of 2-channel stereo, I would recommend the higher-end Canton Ergo series instead.
The low-end audio coming out of the Canton 409’s was never substantial enough for my tastes as the Veodyne DLS-3750 subwoofer handled all of the bass signals delivered to it by the Rotel RSX-1550. I prefer loudspeaker systems that do not have to rely on a separate subwoofer to surround the listener with heavy bass, especially when the loudspeakers are used primarily for a home theater audio configuration. These speakers work a lot better when they are attached to a very high-end set of a/v components, so if you have a medium-end audio system that you need to upgrade by purchasing a loudspeaker system that is multi-functional, I would not recommend the Canton 409’s for your audio system.
For the relatively low price of $1100/per pair for the Canton 409’s, the consumer who is looking for quality speakers to balance out their average home theater audio configuration with a much more crisp sound, these speakers will do a fine job. The speakers are pleasing to the eye, they have a nice design element to them that will perfectly compliment the style of most people’s audio systems and if you currently are happy with the subwoofer that makes up the low-end in your system, you should look into buying a pair of these loudspeakers. The engineers at Canton have done a fine job of creating a speaker line that delivers when it comes to dispersing clean and concise sound during playback of 5.1 and 7.1 digital surround-sound.
The mid to upper high range of these speakers were quite capable of replicating all of the sound effects during the movie clips that I watched and the guitar solos from the musicians in the Eagles really sounded full of life and brought a genuine authenticity to the audio soundstage that I was really pleased with. Compared with other higher-end loudspeaker systems that are priced in the same lower range of $1000-$1500/per pair, I would recommend these speakers over the others primarily because of the sleeker design that the Canton 409’s retain, and because of the engineer’s attention to creating speaker drivers that eliminate most of the sound distortion you might get if you purchase another, less superior manufacturer’s speaker line.