|Canton Vento Series (809 DC, 802, 805 CM, AS 850 SC) Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Ken Taraszka, MD|
|Tuesday, 01 August 2006|
Page 1 of 3
Sound comes from the movement of air – short pulses of wind, so to speak. So it’s no surprise that the newest speaker line from the German speaker manufacturer, Canton, derives its name from the Italian word for wind: Vento. Four audiophiles founded Canton in 1973 with the mission of making the best speakers possible, and through the years they have remained dedicated to this principle. The Vento line employs technologies learned from experience, as well as computer modeling and extensive listening tests. The Vento 5.1 surround sound speaker system that I received for review consisted of a pair of Vento 809 DC floor-standing speakers that retail for $2,500 each, an 805 CM center channel with a retail price of $1,500, a pair of 802 compact speakers that retail for $2,000 and the AS 850 SC subwoofer that lists for $2,500, bringing the total system price to $11,000. They are available in a dark cherry, light maple or silver lacquer finish and all come with black cloth grilles on wood frames.
The Vento 805 CM is the center channel for the system, utilizing two of their seven-inch aluminum cone drivers with the tweeter between them. These employ a two-and-a-half-way crossover that uses both the bass drivers to reproduce bass frequencies below 350 Hz. Only one of them is needed to cover 350 Hz to 3000 Hz, giving the speaker the effective woofer size of a single 10-inch driver without the problems of canceling out the midrange frequencies from two separate drivers off-axis. The speaker has the same shape as the other members of the line, and can be placed both horizontally or vertically. To accommodate horizontal placement, the 805 CM comes with a base that cradles the curvaceous shape of the center channel and allows the speaker to be tilted up or down to suit its positioning when placed horizontally. Two rear ports are present to enhance bass output. Canton quotes a frequency response of 56 Hz to 24.4 kHz +/- 3 dB. The center is 20.7 inches wide by eight inches tall and 12.2 inches deep, weighing in at 29.5 pounds, with an efficiency of 87.9 dB and impedance of four to eight ohms. The center channel is magnetically shielded to allow placement close to televisions.
The AS 850 SC subwoofer completes the package. It is almost a perfect cube, measuring 15 inches wide by 20.5 inches tall and 20 inches deep and weighs in at over 71 pounds. It sits atop a black base that is connected to the body of the subwoofer by four aluminum pillars and has a quoted response of 20 Hz to 200 Hz, with an adjustable crossover frequency from 45 Hz to 200 Hz. A 350-watt amplifier powers the 12-inch aluminum coned woofer. Phase and level are adjustable. The subwoofer can be connected via low-level inputs in mono or stereo through its gold-plated RCA connectors. There are also high-level inputs, which use the crossover in the subwoofer to filter your amplifier’s powered output prior to connecting to your monitors, or as a loop within your preamplifier. A room compensation switch allows you to adapt the subwoofer to different room sizes by altering the low-frequency crossover, limiting room acoustic problems.
The entire system was delivered to my home on a large pallet. Fortunately, I had arranged for a friend to help me carry the system into the theater and unpack it. All the speakers were solidly packed in single boxes. The 802s, packed in Styrofoam, shared one box; the subwoofer was packed in high-density foam. The speakers were covered in a soft white cloth to protect the beautiful semi-gloss, dark cherry finish of my review samples from damage. The cabinets of the speakers in this system all share the same shape, with a flat front, top and rear. The sides are curved slightly outward toward the front, then back in to make the rear significantly narrower than the front. The fit and finish of the Cantons was excellent, and the cherry veneer was smooth to the touch. Blunt metal points accompanied the 809 DCs and the AS 850 SC. All speakers in this system come with stick-on rubber feet for use on solid flat flooring.
After unpacking the speakers and rearranging my home theater, I allowed the entire system to burn in for 200 hours. I then adjusted the placement of the speakers and ended up with the 809 DCs 33 inches off the front wall, which seemed to give me the best bass response. Subtly toed in for image focus, the 802s were placed on my Lovan 29-inch Affiniti II stands off to the side and slightly behind the seating position, with the 805 CM horizontally below my TV on its stand and slightly tilted up to face the viewer. Trials with subwoofer placement led me to position it along the front wall between the main speakers on the open side of the room. I did one final trimming-in of speaker distances and levels, as well as speaker size on my pre/processor and turned off the room correction software to evaluate the speakers. I was now ready for some serious listening.