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Canton GLE 409 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 April 2009
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Canton GLE 409
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ImageIn 1972, the German speaker company known as Canton was first formed. From the outset, the engineers at Canton have been designing high-end speaker system that can replicate a ‘live’ performance from the London Philharmonic just as easily as it can reproduce the bombs and explosions emanating from an action-packed Blu-Ray DVD’s soundtrack for a truly electrifying home theater experience. The rest of the home audio industry took note of what Canton was doing, and in 1995 Canton was awarded the “European Audio Award” for best audio innovation when Canton manufactured their first digital speaker line earlier in that same year.

Audio engineers the world over recognized that these new digital speakers would create true musical reproduction in home audio that most engineers could only dream about just a year before. And Canton would not stop there. Just three years later they would contract with Lucas-Film to develop the very first surround-sound speaker system designed specifically in coordination with THX specifications. These speaker systems were later installed in hundreds of movie theaters worldwide, and they were made available to home audio systems soon after, so that the home-theater buffs could take full advantage of true THX cinema sound.

2007 saw Canton premiering a new line of floor standing speakers entitled the GLE series. This series was designed with a much lower retail cost for the average consumer in mind without omitting the musical reproduction abilities of Canton’s much costlier line of speakers such as the Ergo, Vento and Karat lines, which retail beginning at $3000/per pair and up. The GLE-409 is a 3-way bass reflex system speaker and weighs in at almost 20 pounds per speaker, so for the low cost of around $1100/per pair, you can still enjoy the prestige that comes attached with acquiring a Canton loudspeaker system without going broke in the process.


The Canton GLE 409 pair of speakers that were showcased in the media room of Premiere Home Entertainment stood at an imposing 3 ½ feet tall. The total width of the speaker cabinets is 8.3 inches and the depth is 11.8 inches, making for a nice and compact design while still conveying to the viewer its strong ability to deliver powerful audio to the entire room. The featured speakers came in a walnut wood veneer.  I popped off the right speaker grille to take a good look at the speaker’s pair of 8-inch woofers, the single 7-inch midrange and its 1-inch silk dome tweeter. Canton’s engineers replaced the LE series’ more traditional polypropylene cones with the much more audio-friendly aluminum bass and midrange drivers, thus insuring that the quality of the GLE line is following the same lofty standards set by the higher priced speaker systems in the Canton repertoire. Heat dissipation isn’t a problem for the GLE 409 because Canton’s engineers re-designed the speaker system’s driver motor structure with powerful magnets, and they installed vented voice coils in each speaker’s drivers that help tremendously with unwanted high levels of heat flowing through the speaker’s circuitry.

The GLE crossover networks are precisely matched with the driver and enclosure systems for a stronger frequency response and overall linearity. This type of new design improves audio imaging, and the engineers even refined this speaker series’ enclosures to incorporate much narrower front baffle systems, which helps with image enhancement. The accuracy levels in the silk dome tweeters have also been improved from past Canton speaker lines by including a more powerful motor structure in the tweeter driver, which helps with sound displacement in the higher musical ranges when listening to audio playback. This vast improvement of sound displacement also helps decrease the possibility of distortion when the system’s owner increases the volume of the audio playback exponentially, or when a movie’s soundtrack overwhelms the speakers with huge bomb explosions during an especially loud battle sequence.

The crossover frequency of these speakers is rated at a respectable 300/3.200 Hz, the nominal impedance level is at 4 to 8 ohms and the nominal/music power handling is rated at 150/320 watts. These types of levels are well in line with delivering pure and clean audio levels to anyone’s discerning ears and the power handling ability of the 409’s means that these speakers should be able to deliver superior surround sound audio when attached to a decent 7.1 digital receiver for a full service home theater experience. The speaker’s grille is made out of lightweight mesh material that you can easily see through. It compliments the light and airy feeling that the designers were going for when creating this less-than-imposing loudspeaker system.


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