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Review: Canor AI & CD 2.10 – A combo of Amplifier and CD Player

Review: Canor AI & CD 2.10 - An amplifier that wants to be nothing but “just” an amplifier. And a really good one. This is the one in good price too.
4.4/5 - (16 votes)

Review: Canor AI & CD 2.10- Canor is from Slovakia. Players and amplifiers look great and are still affordable – fantastic. More on this in our review.

Mind you – here is a new name for the audiophile poetry album. Please write with an exclamation mark: Canor! Do you not know? One should know. They are masters of electronics at home in Slovakia. And we put our hands on the fire: Canor is not a handicraft shop, but an authority with many hands, heads and a large company headquarters.

It is located in Prešov. Hasn’t been heard either. There is far and wide – nothing. The city is located in the eastern part of the country, just outside the Carpathian Mountains. A surprising number of high-end manufacturers come from nowhere. There is a double secret behind this. Firstly, you want to save the enormous costs in the hip big cities, secondly, you are far from pop / rock arenas and symphony orchestras.

The great listening experience is beamed over by stream or silver disk. In our case it is primarily silver washers. The CD 2.10 is first and foremost a thoroughbred CD player, which in our test should harmonize with the AI ​​2.10 integrated amplifier. We put the two side by side – and are immediately fascinated.

Gosh, who came up with this design? They are truly brothers. A black glass display extends through the brushed aluminum front at the same height. It remains dark on the left, but in the middle the Canor logo flashes under a powerful rotary wheel. Everything else is dealt with on the right of the display.

That, in turn, is just as idiosyncratic: a dot matrix with a powerful display. Even a nearsighted person can read this from the listening sofa 4 meters away. Great. If all of this seems a bit too thick, the display can be dimmed until it is invisible.

Technical specification

Output power

2 x 150W / 4Ohm

Input sensitivity

400mV / 150W / 1kHz

Frequency range

(20 – 20,000) Hz ± 0.3dB / 5W

Input impedance

30 kOhm

inputs

4 x RCA, 2 x XLR

Harmonic distortion

<0.05% / 1kHz, 5W

Noise ratio

95 dB

Tube assembly

2x 6922 EH

voltage

230V / 50Hz / 460VA

Dimensions (WxHxD)

435 x 120 x 405mm

mass

15 kg

A pure CD drive

Which would be a mistake, because it is the mighty dots that give the two components their unique status. Again: powerful, clever and without competition this appearance. Canor also brings its own language to the finer points. The CD is not drawn in via a drawer, but via a slot.

That feels strange to old high-end warriors. But the younger generation knows: Behind it is a drive that was created purely for CD output. Not a converted DVD / PC conglomerate, but rather a component from the pool of automotive suppliers. Exactly from where it has to be ultra-precise at all times, regardless of the temperature or other hardship, protected from the vibrations on the road.

The name again in numbers and letters: AI 2.10. That brings little eroticism to our expectations. But there is the great design. And under the hood an idiosyncratic circuit. Let’s follow the path from the laser. There is a converter with a proud 32 bit. That is twice the amount of data that can be captured on a CD.

But it’s because of the background – on the back we could bypass the CD and connect a computer via USB. Then the data yield shoots up to 768 kilohertz. Incredibly much fine resolution. The DSD fans are also served up to DSD256. This is more than a CD player – there is more of the powerful sounding I-eat-everything digital converter in the rack.

CD 2.10 is the crème brûlée among modern digital sources – a classic that can be experienced everywhere, but is still a sweet delicacy. We have just described the top layer of the flared sugar layer. What’s even more exciting is what’s bubbling underneath: an output stage with four tubes. They have the code 6922.

The translation is worthwhile for insiders: these are ECC88 tubes, also called E88CC in the maximum expansion stage according to the military standard. And Canor doesn’t just put it on, but pack it in a cover that dampens vibrations. That looks great on the board and opens a sky. If now the integrated amplifier still plays along.

And we actually find the same tubes in AI 2.10. It looks very much like its player sibling. At the front, but also partly under the hood. Here said E88CC glimmer in double on the right edge. This is the preliminary stage, finely structured and comprehensively shielded from the competitors in the housing.

Oversized ring core transform

Here an oversized toroidal transformer sucks in the energy and distributes it to the building blocks. Massive, heavy peaks cannot harm this integrated amplifier, because the said toroidal transformer allows the large flow of current to prevail. In addition, Canor does not combine a classic transistor amp behind the tube preamp, but a digital amplifier on high drive. A Lamborghini, or better yet – a Ferrari.

Who can chase past everyone from city traffic just behind the motorway. 155 watts into 4 ohms, 173 watts at the tips – not the slightest bit of a problem. Yes, digital power amplifiers are the guarantee of the future. But it gets epicurean when a tube stage blows in front of it. Stringent and elegant – this overall combination marks the old, new era of CD players and integrated amplifiers.

Let’s combine speakers: a large Bowers & Wilkins, a medium Piega, an elegant Dynaudio. The duo always stayed on their sound course, elegant and potent, without us having felt the biceps as the engine of aggression. That was provocatively rich and sovereign. Like a portrait by Michelangelo.

Let’s put on an 80-year-old if he’d gotten that old. Once again there is a new remaster of John Lennon “Gimme Some Truth” (see music section). This has by no means been trimmed to brilliance with the glass cleaner; on the contrary, “Woman”, for example, sounds like more grip.

Great inner energy. What kind of percussion instruments are they that suddenly fan us from left and right? We had never heard that in the existing masters. There is actually something new to experience here.

Great what the two Canors staggered out of it. The bass wasn’t thicker, but suddenly charged with more energy, the presence of the singing voice in the middle was perfect, and there was a lot of air on the sides. We haven’t talked about the price yet: Canor does not deliver the high-end class for cheap money, but at least at an affordable price.

Canor AI & CD 2.10- Conclusion

An amplifier that wants to be nothing but “just” an amplifier. And a really good one. The processing is absolutely clean, its sovereign, controlled, yet extremely subtle sound is outstanding. 3,500 are not a bargain – and still an excellent offer. Because in its performance and price range it will be difficult to find really better.

Pros of Canor AI & CD 2.10

  • A fighter – powerful, elegant, rich in information (AI 2.10)
  • great splendor, human and supple (CD 2.10)
  • Two in one
  • Fine price

Negatives of Canor AI & CD 2.10 

  • Entry level

 

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