milkdudd, they are excellent but you will need two subwoofers and a proper two way crossover to make them sing. Little woofers can not project bass well under 100 Hz. But, that does not mean they won't try. They will flap about helplessly distorting everything else they are doing like a big chunk of the midrange. You have to roll them off at 100 Hz and hand that part of the spectrum to a speaker that can handle it. With two subwoofers and something like the MiniDSP subwoofer crossover you can have a very serious system for a room that size demanding a very high quality turntable as well as other high quality program sources.
The Cantons are excellent speakers. They are not brutal to drive and will do a nice job in a small space but agree, a subwoofer would be essential. A subwoofer with an active crossover is always better than one without. I am not sure if 100hz is the right spot to roll them off but have had speakers that roll off at that point and they do well.
Tonally, slightly forward and best with warmer amplification. I just checked stock with the distributor and the Black version is in-stock and ready to ship according to the website.
I would put these up against the B&W 805 D3s and despite the price differential, I am not sure who would win. It would come down to personal preference. They are very good for the money.
Go figure indeed. I’m sure the Kef Ref 1 that he refers to is terrific. It’s a speaker I have considered in the past but at twice the cost of the Reference 9k (plus $1,000) that pushes it into pre-owned range price wise. Beauty of the Canton is at $3,500 instead of $8,000, I can buy them new without going completely overboard. I like the Dali Epicon 2 but also $8,000. Then there’s the TAD stand mount at somewhere around $15,000. Audiotroy I do appreciate all advice. I am familiar with the online retailer that discounts the Canton line. However they don’t and never have sold the Reference 9k model. As for the subwoofer I have been using a single 12-in Jamo Sub 650 connected directly to my power amp through the speaker level inputs. I know two would be better sonically but even one is nice to have for now. Sounds like Rythmik subs might be the way to go at some point. Two seems awfully overkill in my small room but I know it would still be better. Quite a disease us guys have here. 10 years ago I couldn’t imagine spending $2,000 on a set of speakers. The difference is back then I couldn’t imagine spending that much. Now I can’t imagine spending that little, at least to get exactly what I want. I know there’s plenty of great speakers for $2,000 but like anything once you go to the other side you don’t want to go back
I owned the Canton Reference 9.2 DC speakers. They're very good, neutral, detailed, and decent bass for their size.
The KEF Reference 1 is in another league entirely. There's a suggested retail price. That's not necessarily what you'll have to pay to own them. Definitely worth saving up for.
The Cantons never made it into my main system. The KEFs kicked my Harbeth super hl5 plus out of the main system.
I know the Kef Reference 1 is a great speaker and I don't doubt for one minute it was far better than you're Canton 9.2 DC. However comparing specs between the 9.2 DC and the Reference 9k shows that the 9k is larger in all directions, especially the depth and 6 lb heavier. I'm just wondering if the Reference 9k was revised in more ways then it might appear at a casual glance. I'd be pretty upset if I bought a pair and found out they just fudged the numbers to make it look all new but I really don't think that's the case here. A couple of days ago I added a Bel Canto DAC 2.7 to my system. It's sounding so good with my Usher speakers I have to consider if I already might be at my end game. I saw on the Canton website that they offer a 30 day return no questions asked. I'm not the type to buy something with the intention of demoing it and returning it, but if that's the case it takes some of the stress out of taking the leap. I'm not sure that goes across their range. That message popped up when there was a sound bar on my screen. It didn't make it totally clear. I'm pretty darn sure I would not be disappointed with them, just not sure they would be noticeably better than what I already have. I wish there was a way to demo them locally
I don't think you'd go wrong either way. The KEFs are going to image better, produce a larger soundstage, will play as loud as your ears can handle without distortion, and will be a little "warmer" (which for me equates to easier to listen to) while still being very detailed. The Cantons are very nice and it does look like they have improved on the 9.2.
These seem to be a good resources for information on Canton speakers. Thought I would share them. Hope that doesn’t break any rules here
I own the 9k for a year now and use the JAMO C 80 sub in a room 12 x16 I use a SS Technic sug700 integrated amp. 70 watts a side I play CDs. The soundstage ,imaging, detail, are all very good Dynamic range is also big with the woofer added, without a woofer it is still excellent the bass is surprisingly fast and detailed and relatively deep,deeper than most any monitor. With my set up it is not a warm system at all but not bright either nothing shouts at you but neutral and a bit sterile.The class D amp sound does come through, so I would like to hear them with a tube amp to make a comparison. I was just listening to Chet Baker and I take it back his voice was smooth and silky on the cantons so I would say it sounds like whatever is playing upstream. Oh with one sub from where I sit 8 ft away I can feel the bass and it sounds big.
I am user of Canton Reference 9K for 2 years. Depending on the space available, they are excellent speakers, and require quality muscle electronics and immediately generate beautiful sound. As mentioned, it is a Neutral sound, well balanced, and very acceptable at low frequencies. If the path is to fill a larger space with the weight of low frequencies, a Canton Reference column is necessary. It is also an option to add the Reference 50Sub subwoofer that today and it is phenomenal...
I know this is an old thread but since it still pops up prominently in search results I thought I’d chime in, as I’ve had these for a few weeks now and have been running them in.
The comments above about needing 2 subs with these is absurd. They have some of the best, most authoritative sub-100Hz performance I’ve heard on any standmount under $10K. I have put these through some torture tests and believe the specs that say they reach to 25Hz, that is my experience. They soften a bit maybe below 40, but only slightly. Subs are absolutely optional with these--I’m a bass nut, so I’ll probably add 1 eventually, but again, entirely optional.
Also, I’d like to push back against audiotroy’s uncharacteristically incomprehensible reply (i like and respect much of your input, but not in this case)--I would put these Cantons in a comparison with B&W, Focal, and Sonus Faber, three brands I’m very familiar and current with. I love Focal best of those three, the Aria 926 were truly special, but they don’t remotely compete with these on the low end. The Arias are "sub mandatory", but do so much else right that they’re easy to love. I’m not quite as enamored of B&W and sF, but that’s just my personal taste.
These Canton are both refined and bold, neutral and engaging, go deep but not with boomy mid-bass bloat (I’m also running these with very good electronics that tend to the lean/neutral side, so it’s a great match).
The old cliche is that B&W are like sitting in the first row, Focal are like sitting in the 5th row, and sF are like sitting in the 10th row. I’d say these are like stage-diving. A whole different level of engagement with the music. I won’t go any deeper into my impressions of performance across the frequency range because my room is still in progress and not treated, but I’m used to it and can at least make relative comparisons. Zero criticisms at this point, at this price.
For the price these are a ridiculous bargain, and should be a top audition for folks looking for a sub-optional speaker.
Excellent description, but wouldn't you put Canton and focal on one side and sonus faber and usher on another regarding what speakers sound more similar? If the gent likes the Ushers now wouldn't he fint cantons a bit unforgiving? I appreciate the time you took in your post and probably agree, Usher speakers are very good on their own but while the cantons might sound more exciting in the short term would be less forgiving in the long term.
Thanks for the responses. To be honest I forgot about this thread and have been just listening to my Ushers and been pretty happy. If I could find a pre-owned pair of 9K's I would jump at the chance but they don't seem to come up very often. They have gone up a couple of hundred dollars since I started this post but still seem like a good deal for $3,700. I'm convinced these are really great speakers especially for the price. My only remaining concern is my room size. At 9 ft x 12 ft I really have no choice but to put the speakers against the long wall. I only have about one foot from the back of the speaker to the wall. Do you guys think it would still be a good match for my room? I wonder if the fact that my Ushers are front ported indicates I should stick with them rather than take a chance on something rear ported. If I were to buy them new testing them out is not a very good option considering restocking fees and shipping costs would be pretty high. All opinions will come of course
Sorry I missed this thread until now. I purchased a pair of Ref 9K with matching stands in Jan 2019 and have been very happily listening to them since. I started off with a new Accuphase E-280 integrated and after 3 solid-months (24/7) of break-in & listening I was not happy. So I listed both them both for sale and told myself I would keep whichever one did not sell first. The E-280 went very quickly. I then used a Bryston BP-25/4B-SST and was much, much happier. A good match. Several months later I decided to roll in my tube amp, and, voila, wonderful match with the Cary 20wpc Class A Rocket 88 amp & SLP-98P preamp. Stunningly good. Additional upgrades I made were, 1) filled the stands with sand & lead shot. A nice improvement in bass extension & overall clarity. 2) put Herbies large dots between the speakers & stands. 3) the biggest improvement - upgraded speaker cables to WW Silver Eclipse bi-wire - MSRP same as the speakers. This past May I rolled in a PASS Labs INT-25 (25wpc). While different, it is every bit as nice as the tube combo and adds a bit of additional solidity in the deep bass. I've owned this particular pair of speakers longer than I've owned any pair of speakers in the last 40yr of this hobby, so I guess you can say I've been pleased. I'm in the midst of deciding between totally new speakers or just adding one of the new, small DSP controlled powered subs. If new speakers, the Ref 8K is high on the list, though I've never been able to live with a floor standing speaker for long. No hurry. The Ref 9Ks provide terrific SQ with the classic jazz, class rock & classical music I listen to. Plus, the fit & finish of these speakers is as good as I've seen. Highly recommended.