Canton Reference 9.2 with Arcam A85 underpowered?


I couldn't resist some dealer demo Canton Reference 9.2's for $1999 (normally$4000.) I hooked them up to my Arcam A85 and they sound great together. The problem is that Canton says the minimum power rating is 120 watts (4-8ohms) and my a85 Diva is 85 watts into 8ohms. Should I worry about this?

Here are the links to the Canton speakers and Arcam integrated amp:

your cantons are relatively inefficient at 87db, but your arcam should be more than adequate to drive 'em--arcam's power ratings tend to be understated. i've used my 65w/ch alpha 9 to run even large, power hungry floorstanders and never experienced clipping even at high voumes. i wouldn't worry about the nominal power rating assigned to the speaker, which tends to be a meaningless spec; the real criteria should be how it sounds with the amp. enjoy your purchase.
Thank you for your help. I kinda figured the Arcam would be okay since, as you say, they are very conservative with their ratings. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't damaging the speakers.

I have had several Canton's in my home (I still have a full Vento system and had the Ref 3.2's for a while as well) Canton makes an amazing speaker, but they will do better with more power. I for one wouldn't be cranking them up with an 85 Watt Arcam amp. I have run my 809's and 802's on 200 Watt Mark Levinson amps, Krell Evo's (400 Watts//channel) and have tried them on less powerful amps as well and can say the improvement in bass response from the higher powered amps is significant.

I would think you'd be OK as long as you aren't trying to crank out high volumes (something Canton's don't do very well anyway) but you will definitely reap a major benefit from switching to higher powered amplification.

I primarily want to say that the first two replies are right on target. And particularly, if you like the sound, there's no need to change a thing based on the specs about which you were concerned.

However, if you are looking to make a change, would you consider tube gear? My local shop is a Canton dealer so I've heard a lot of Canton speakers. I think they are an amazing line of speakers. They also sound really good with tube gear.

But you do have to consider what sound attributes you prefer. I love the sound of tubes but also have a very, very strong preference for lean, fast, articulate bass. I have found a very good balance of those requirements with my Rogue amplifiers.

(And that is one attribute I love about the Vento and Reference speakers: they are fast. We've done side-by-side comparisons with older and newer Cantons - before and after the use of Vento technology - and the difference in speed is not subtle.)

I think your Reference 9.2 speakers would sound great with a Rogue Tempest-III integrated. They would sound great with amps further up in the line, but I was confining my suggestion to the $3000 Tempest. You could also do some tube rolling to really get a sound you like - provided of course with the caveat that you even like tubes.

Anyway, it was just a suggestion since I think you have some really nice speakers and I know how much Cantons like tubes. Well, I should say that I think they do.

If my rambling on about this more here would help, or if you want to send me an email, we can talk more.

But great find on those speakers! Enjoy!


P.S.: It probably sounds like I own Cantons. I don't. I've just heard a lot of them and the guys at the shop have let me bring home Karats and Ventos over a few weekends to play with. And the guys at the shop don't work too hard - they're only open Wednesday through Saturday (I know they'll read this so I had to get that in). So long weekends for me to play! I actually own Rogue M180 monoblocks driving Silverline SR17.5 speakers with crossovers I reworked using Duelund components. The guys at the shop have described my speakers as being ballsy like Karats with the top end like References. For the way I listen to music, it's a nice place to be. I do, however, plan to get a Vento subwoofer - there's that fast bass preference showing up again!

I read your original post again and apologize for not paying more attention the first time. You said that the speakers and amp sound great together. So the short answer is that you certainly don't need to change anything based on the specs you mentioned. Please consider my earlier post only if you are looking to make a change.