Vento 807 DC / 802 /
805 CM / AS 800 SC
Home-Theater Speaker System
like to use exotic terms to define a products identity. Interesting terms offer an
elevated perception of quality and exclusivity. Sometimes these terms are used to
Vento 807 DC floorstanding speaker
Price: $3500 USD per pair
Dimensions: 39"H x 8.7"W x 12.2"D
Weight: 50.7 pounds each
Model: Vento 805 CM center-channel
Price: $1500 USD
Dimensions: 20.7"W x 8.7"H x 12.2"D
Weight: 29.5 pounds
Model: Vento 802 surround speaker
Price: $2000 USD per pair
Dimensions: 14.2"H x 8.7"W x 12.2"D
Weight: 19.2 pounds each
Model: Vento AS 800 SC subwoofer
Price: $2500 USD
Dimensions: 20.5"H x 15"W x 19.9"D
Weight: 80 pounds
Warranty: Five years parts and labor.
System Price: $9500 USD
- SC technology for active filtering of subsonic frequencies
(Vento AS 800 DC)
- DC technology for passive filtering of subsonic frequencies
(Vento 807 DC)
- Aluminum-manganese dome tweeter (all but subwoofer)
- Extreme high-excursion aluminum midrange and woofer drivers
with sinusoidal surrounds (all but subwoofer)
- Curved, monocoque cabinets
- Graphite-reinforced 12" cellulose woofer (Vento
AS 800 DC)
- CE-certified WBT binding posts
- Biwire-capable (Vento 807 DC)
- Video shielding (all but subwoofer)
- Real wood veneers
Germanys Canton Electronics chose Italian names for
their latest line of loudspeakers; however, these gorgeous speakers are far from average. Vento
is Italian for "wind," and the aerodynamic shapes of Cantons Vento
speakers indeed look as if carved by the wind. They produce a sound so nimble and
involving that musical notes seem to float in mid-air. Built using techniques that
originated in the manufacturer of pianos, the Ventos are some of the most musical
loudspeakers I have had the pleasure of hearing. At a total cost of $9500 USD for a system
comprising the 807 DC floorstanding main speakers, 802 surrounds, an 805 CM
center speaker, and an AS 800 SC subwoofer, the Ventos beautiful sound may
ultimately supplant that baby grand as your homes instrument of choice.
The Ventos build quality is spectacular. Their
perfectly constructed and finished cabinets drew rave reviews from my wife and everyone
who visited our home. Each speaker is finished in a seamless, fabulously rich-looking
cherrywood. The grilles are made of high-quality cloth stretched over frames of solid
wood. The Ventos are lovely to look at even from the back. Six layers of specially bonded
fiberboard give the speakers their shape and solidity, and the cabinets voluptuous
curves are claimed to reduce internal standing waves. My only wish is that the grilles
covered the entire front baffle, for a more unified appearance.
The Ventos drivers use technology developed for
Cantons Karat Reference line. The 7" midrange-woofer cones are made of a highly
rigid aluminum. Canton states that a new sinusoidal surround and improved spider allow for
more controlled high excursion. Also contributing to the clean output of the Vento
807 DC floorstanding model is Cantons Displacement Control (DC) technology,
which prevents the woofer from trying to reproduce subsonic frequencies that would
otherwise cause low-frequency distortion and breakup. The 807 DC is front-ported so
as to make placement next to room boundaries more flexible.
The Vento 805 CM center-channel speaker is classified
as a "2.5-way" design. Rather than having both midrange-woofers cross over at a
single frequency, one of the speakers 7" drivers handles frequencies below
500Hz, the other frequencies from 3000Hz down. According to Canton, this configuration
reduces the midrange cancellations that cause problems with off-axis frequency response.
The two-way Vento 802 surround speaker uses the same
7" midrange-woofer and tweeter as the 805 CM and 807 DC. Its rear port
requires the 802 to be placed away from wall boundaries.
The Ventos high frequencies are handled by an updated
version of Cantons venerable ADT-25 tweeter. According to Canton, high-frequency
dispersion and efficiency have been improved via a new flared front plate, and a new
rubber surround design extends the ADT-25s upper range to 40kHz.
The binding posts on the 807 DC, 805 CM, and 802
are a few steps up from those used in Cantons Ergo line. Very-high-quality WBT posts
allow for both bananas and bare wire. Per European CE specification, red and black
"stoppers" must be removed from the posts before installing banana plugs, and
plastic "wings" prevent the use of spade lugs -- although a scored joint between
wings and post made it look as if a pair of pliers and a tender touch could remove the
wings to accommodate spades. The Ventos come with the same carpet-friendly cones supplied
with the Ergos, which provide a very stable stance.
The beautifully proportioned Vento AS 800 SC
subwoofer exhibits the same superior build quality as the other Ventos. I especially like
the large plinth, which isolates the sub enclosure from the floor (a smaller version of
this plinth is used on the 807 DC). The controls -- volume, phase angle, crossover --
have the same high-quality, soft-rubber knobs I liked so much on the Ergo AS2.
Speaker-level and line-level connections were of good quality, while the On/Off/Standby
switch conveyed reassuring clicks befitting the switchgear in a BMW.
Setup: more wow
Handling each speaker continued to reveal the high levels
of craftsmanship and attention to detail in their design and manufacture. The Vento
807 DC is not a large speaker, but it weighs 50.7 pounds. Positioning the pair of
them proved to me how deceiving looks can be and how important it is to lift with your
legs. And the 80-pound AS 800 SCs density, in particular, took me off
Apature spade-to-banana adapters allowed me to connect my
meaty Analysis Plus L1 spades to each Vento, while a single Analysis Plus Sub Oval
interconnect interfaced with the AS 800 DC sub. The Ventos stood in the same positions as
my Thiels had: the 807 DCs 24" from the rear wall, their narrow baffles giving
them an extra 6" between speakers. The AS 800 DC sub sat next to our sectional sofa
and fired across the front of the 807 DCs. The 805 CM center sat atop the TV, on
a high-quality wood stand, and the 802 surrounds sat at right angles to the immediate left
and right of the listening position.
Cantons frequency-response specifications are
marketing hype. The 807 DC may be capable of outputting 23Hz at -10dB, but this can
be deceptive when comparing specifications and when youre trying to find the
appropriate frequency at which to blend in a subwoofer. The 807 DC extended down to
50Hz in my room, which seemed about right for the speakers size and driver
complement. I dialed in the AS 800 SC at 60Hz for the best balance in my room.
Sound: triple wow
The Ventos balance and slightly soft touch took my
breath away. The Ventos did not exhibit the slightly harsh top end and lack of
lower-midrange weight Id heard from the Ergos Id
reviewed earlier. The Ventos sounded perfectly balanced right across the frequency
range, and what they did with voices was simply stunning.
Its common to expect speakers in this price range to
offer an enveloping surround-sound experience. Foley effects and voices should be
precisely placed without sounding artificial or constrained, while sounds should travel
across space unimpeded. The Ventos satisfied all of these expectations and added a lot of
sophistication to the sound. The harrowing "Missile Lock" scene in The
Incredibles (chapter 17) is wonderfully intense, and great home-theater demo material.
The Ventos agility and lack of coloration ramped up the intensity by making the
scenes air and ambience feel more authentic. Elastic Girls desperate pleas
sent shivers up my spine as Syndromes missiles closed in to ultimately destroy the
jet. The ADT-25 tweeters delivered rich harmonic detail that filled even the slightest
sound with texture and weight.
I resist calling this quality as "sweet," because
sweetness is often likened to an artificial, euphonic quality. The Canton Ventos
did not sound artificial, but liberated and effortless, liquid and extended. The quality I
heard from Cantons ADT-25 tweeters and midrange cones was a result of harmonic color
and body, and the Ventos ability to wring as much timbral information from a
recording as possible.
The bass was equally well handled. The 807 DC,
805 CM, and 802 produced very satisfying bass that was supple yet tight, and never
too warm. Like the higher frequencies, the Ventos bass was not rigid but liquid and
effortless, and the dynamics were breathtaking. I was amazed at how solid the bass was as The
Incredibles Dash Parr retreated from a ball of rumbling flame (chapter 21,
"Caves and Rockets") -- only to realize that the subwoofer was not turned on.
Switching in the AS 800 SC upped the ante in terms of slam and weight. Although
it did not go as deep as some subs Ive auditioned, the AS 800 SCs
bass was as refined, tight, and transparent as that of its Vento siblings.
At no point did the AS 800 SC complain or lose
control. Chapter 1 of Sahara was reproduced with effortless power. The concussion
of cannon fire, though not as intense as in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the
World, did an admirable job of torturing the Vento.
"Intersection Scene," from John Williams
excellent soundtrack for War of the Worlds [CD, Decca 00456802], contains some deep
bass and brilliant horn arrangements. The Ventos ability to reproduce the dynamic
bite of brass without succumbing to edginess made me smile every time. The Ventos
mastery of dynamic swings reminded me of how much fun Cantons Ergos had been with
classical music -- but the Ventos accomplished this roof-raising without the Ergos
The Ventos most defining characteristic was their
handling of voices. The sultry backing vocals on Leonard Cohens "Here It
Is," from 10 New Songs [CD, Columbia 85953], stood out, filling in the center
stage slightly forward of the 807 DCs front baffles. The voices were well
spaced and layered without being bunched up, and traits of individual voices were easy to
I took some extra time to hear how much different the
two-way Vento 802 surround speaker compared with the three-way Vento 807 DC tower. As
expected, the 807 DCs larger cabinet offered a little more extension in the
bass and a hair more weight in the midrange. Dynamics were also arguably less dramatic
with the smaller speaker.
Different varieties of wow
I owned a full Canton Ergo system for more than a year, and
while its dynamics and speed were captivating, I felt it lacked overall refinement and
weight in the midrange and high frequencies. The Ergos could sound bright with
less-than-perfect recordings, while their midrange, though clear, was a bit too cool.
These combinations periodically led to listening fatigue. Of course, the Ergo system cost
about $3000 less than the Vento.
Although they can be overly technical at times, by
comparison, my Thiel CS2.4s, MCS1, SS2,
and PowerPoints ($14,700) are transparent without being harsh or fatiguing. The Thiels
are very special loudspeakers that reveal all of a recordings warts and
The Ventos succeed by improving on every shortcoming of the
Ergos while matching the Thiels high-frequency refinement. The Ventos also had a bit
of harmonic fullness that highlighted a richer tonality. Comparing the Ventos and Thiels,
one could argue that this richness is a coloration. If it is, then its an
ever-so-slight addition that contributes to the musical experience. The Ventos
midrange, in particular, was absolutely stunning, pulling me into every lyric. There was
neither nasality nor chestiness -- vocals floated weightless in air, with an angelic sheen
-- and the Ventos imaging matched the Thiels in separation and stability, though the
Thiels soundstage was deeper.
Each subwoofer had a slightly different personality. The
Vento AS 800 SC produced tight bass with excellent impact, while the Thiel
SS2s tight bass extended deeper. In the right room, the Thiel will go about an
octave lower than the Canton. The Vento AS 800 SC, however, offered a bit more
warmth and musical rightness. The Vento sub easily equaled the Thiel SS2 in bass quality,
while the Thiels boundary compensation was better at blending with the main
speakers. The Vento gained points for its sexy, spouse-friendly looks; the Thiel is a bit
angular and stark to be considered sexy.
Both manufacturers offer fantastic build quality and
stellar finishes. The Cantons arent as heavy as the Thiels, but they also
arent as large. And the Ventos deep, rich, cherry finish easily beat the
Thiels black baffles in overall aesthetic appeal in our living room.
What more can be said but "Wow"?
The Canton Vento system consistently impressed me
throughout the review period. From build quality to sound quality, these are world-class
speakers. The many reasons you should consider them are detailed above. In conclusion,
suffice it to say that movie soundtracks and music poured from the Ventos in a way that
captured my attention and, more important, my heart.
|Speakers - Thiel CS2.4
(mains), MCS1 (center), PowerPoint (surrounds), SS2 (subwoofer)
- Linar Model 10 integrated multichannel amplifier
|Sources - Denon DVD-2900 DVD
player, Audio Mirror D1 DAC
- Analysis Plus, Stereovox
|Monitor - Mitsubishi
WT-46809 rear-projection widescreen monitor (with Duvetyne modification and full ISF
Conditioners - ExactPower EP15A, SP15A; BPT 10.5; Shunyata Hydra Model-8