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Canton Vento Reference 7 Floorstanding Speaker Review

Ed Momkus recounts the level of technology and performance Canton has infused into its $7,000 speaker

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The Main Act

With that, I finally gave in and inserted the Reference 7’s in my main system, which has, as its source, an Esoteric P-70/D-70 (modded by David Schulte of the Upgrade Company), plugging into an MBL 5011 preamp, which drives either Pass Labs X-600.5 or Electrocompaniet Nemo monoblocks (depending on my mood), which in turn drive B&W Nautilus 800D’s. The X-600.5’s and Nemo’s are both 600/1200/2400 wpc into 8/4/2/ ohms, and would be a great test to determine whether the Canton Vento Reference 7’s will sound even better with more power.

The Reference 7’s loved the additional power of the X-600.5’s and the Nemo’s. They also liked being biwired. While they looked diminutive when placed next to the 800D’s, there was nothing diminutive about their sound. The music emanating from the Reference 7 was transparent, quick and very coherent, with excellent imaging, depth and overall soundstaging. There was a plethora of detail at every frequency level, without being unnaturally hyper-detailed. Their perspective was slightly laid back, with the front of the stage starting at the middle of the speaker and extending back beyond the front wall, which was about 5 ½ feet behind the speakers.

I continued to be impressed with the bass that the Reference 7 produced. I am somewhat of a bass freak, and I must absolutely have full-range speakers in my main listening room. I don’t know if it’s the DC technology or some other factor, but the 7’s actually gave my 800D’s a run for their money in bass extension and articulation, maintaining great articulation, speed and weight down to 38 Hz before beginning to roll off the sound (more on this below). The Reference 7’s couldn’t fill the room the way the 800Ds do when playing at concert levels, but we are talking about a $13,000 price difference here folks! It occurred to me that if I did not own the 800D’s, I could be quite happy listening to the Canton Vento Reference 7’s.

Canton Vento R7 driver

Let’s use specific examples using the following recordings:

  • Donald Fagen, The Nightfly; Warner Communications, 23696-2;
  • Eleanor McEvoy, Yola; Mosco Recordings/Blue Dandelion Records (Hybrid SACD);
  • Yes, Fragile; Mobile fidelity Sound Labs, 07662 (Ultradisc II);
  • Beethoven, Symphony No.5/Schubert, Symphony No. 8 in B Minor; BNG/JVC, JM-XR24027 (XRCD)

Donald Fagan’s The Nightfly contains a lot of tuneful mid- and upper bass that is at time almost (but not quite) staccato. This was clearly rendered by the Vento Reference ‘7s. The bass notes are very soft and hard to discern on most speakers. “Ruby Baby” had a very pleasing snap to drums and bass. The voices on “Green Flower Street” cover the breadth of the soundstage, but are clearly placed.

Eleanor McEvoy’s “Did I hurt You?” on Yola has a kick drum that keeps the beat. The attack of that kick drum has extra energy when played through the Canton Vento Reference 7’s. This occurred without the loss of body, the result being exactly how a kick drum sounds when played live. The piano was extremely natural, with a sound that made you forget you’re listening to a recording.

Beethoven’s venerable 5th Symphony had a perfect symphonic balance, with all of the instruments providing individual detail without losing an ounce of the coherence that drives this piece. The crescendos were extremely realistic, incorporating all of the instruments as though they were one and replicating the concertgoing experience that XRCD’s are so good at providing.

Yes’s “Roundabout” can sound very edgy, even on well-made recordings. The guitars and voices were rendered aggressively, but without a trace of any of that edginess – only pure lifelike midrange and clear treble extension. The soundstage covered the entire width of my listening room. “Cans and Brahms” similarly sounded very live, with musical body and speed that makes you remember that those Yes men were pretty good musicians.

4 Responses to Canton Vento Reference 7 Floorstanding Speaker Review

  1. Ronald Hickman says:

    loved the review. shopping Canton and KEF now, would love to hear or read your review on a comparison of the two. thanks…….Ron…..

  2. Ed Momkus says:

    Hi Ron,

    Sorry for the delay in responding to your post. I have not had the pleasure of hearing KEF speakers for several years. I owned KEFs a long time ago, but that would not be a fair comparison. I will make a point of listening to some KEFs in the near future and comment.

  3. Ofer Taran says:

    To fit in my room size I would choose the Reference 5 for my next pair of speakers. I currently own another legendary product of Canton – Ergo 90 since, yes, 1992 without missing a day of listening to this fantastic set of speakers. They are simply incredible, and people visiting my flat say that the sound does not come from speakers but rather from the room, which to me is a great compliment to the crisp, detailed, clear and warm sound of these speakers . ( coupled to my NAD Monitor power amplifier and NAD receiver.

  4. Ravi kumar says:

    i just got an used vento reference 7 dc.. i use a rotel power amp RB1582.. 200 watts at 8 ohms.. now whats the actual impedance of these speakers and the max wattage at 8 Ohms.. its confusing.. the specs say 4..8 Ohms.. 170 – 340 Watts..

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