112 kilograms is written on a piece of paper on a pallet on the sidewalk, on which two lavishly packed Canton loudspeakers lie under foil. 112 also radios my spine to the emergency services when they register this. With a lot of effort, my wife and I managed to heave the two large packages into the house, although I have to say: we both have backs, as Horst Schlemmer would put it. The ambulance didn’t have to come, and when the two Canton Vento 100 (4,698 euros | https://www.canton.de/ ) each weigh 39.5 kilos net and are finally in the listening room, the question arises: big weight, big feelings , big class? Let me tell you in advance: My ears felt well treated…
Mighty timeless: the physique and appearance of the Canton Vento 100
No, the Canton Vento 100 is not a speaker that you overlook, on which you place green plants, hot drinks or picnic baskets, even if there is enough space available. He seems too powerful, too authoritarian for that: “As the flagship of the series, I’m there to make music, friend, and for nothing else!” Dimensions of 32.5 x 115.5 x 42 cm (W x H x D) are already a thing Statement, each almost 40 kilograms anyway. It hits somewhere in the middle between a typical men’s box and a piece of furniture that is compatible with the living room, although a good chunk slips out of the packaging here. After all, the design only looks edgy at first glance. Every observer quickly notices the rounded, elegantly cut case shape, which gives the Canton Vento 100 a timeless, but still gives it a modern appearance and is now considered its trademark. After all, the Vento series has existed in various incarnations since 2005.
The Canton Vento 100 is available in the classic colors “high-gloss black” and “high-gloss white” for just under 4,700 euros per pair. It gets a bit more expensive if you order the lighter or darker high-gloss walnut variant, then the price tag is almost 5,000 euros. I really like the white version of the test pair that has already been played in, the color looks contemporary and living room-friendly.
It is also worth mentioning in a positive sense that the eye generally does not see any visible screws on the baffle of the Canton Vento 100 – some competitors, some of which are significantly more expensive, can take a leaf out of this. In terms of looks, not only do I find the Vento 100 extremely successful, my better half also applauded when she saw it. Interested parties can purchase the Canton Vento 100 from specialist dealers, but also directly from Canton in the online shop, where the Hessians offer a 30-day trial hearing at home – with free return shipping if you don’t like it.
Oh yes: the flawless paint quality leaves nothing to be desired – the classic three-way speaker shines and sparkles like a lavishly decorated Christmas tree, which doesn’t exactly make photography easy. The silver-colored, matt shimmering woofers and mid-range drivers form a nice contrast to the shiny appearance: they look modern, but still discreet. According to Canton, these are new titanium-graphite membranes that they have developed and manufactured themselves, which are said to be particularly stiff and have extremely good damping properties. They have been in use since the end of 2021, when the current Vento series was first presented. This applies to all models in the current series, including the smaller floorstanding speakers Vento 80 and 90, as well as the compact speakers Vento 20 and 30, of course in a smaller form.
The assembly of the Canton Vento 100
With the Canton Vento 100, two 22-centimeter woofers descend into the bass cellar, according to the factory specification even down to 20 Hertz, which on paper only very few loudspeakers can do – this makes you excited for hopefully bloodcurdling listening sessions with fluttering chubby cheeks and trouser legs . This is said to be primarily due to the wave surrounds with double cone technology, which are too large, but are always capable of controlled deflections and which, according to Canton, are also proprietary developments.
From 170 Hertz upwards, the 17.4 cm mid-range speaker, which is located at the very top and whose membrane is also made of this titanium-graphite mixture, takes over. He, in turn, passes the baton at 3200 Hertz to a 25 mm tweeter with a ceramic or more precisely: aluminum oxide membrane, which sits in a “Transmission Front Plate” with optimized sound conduction. With regard to the crossover , Canton states that it only uses “high-quality core coils and MKP and MKT film capacitors made in Germany”, with the components of the crossover all being “oscillated in an optimized manner”.
Connections and bass reflex system
A look at the back of the Canton Vento 100 shows a solid bi-wiring terminal with screw terminals that can accommodate cable cross-sections of up to 10 mm². According to the manufacturer, this is “high-quality material with new clamps and a finer thread”. Instead of a bass reflex tube on the back, the developers around mastermind Frank Göbl opted for another option: downward radiation onto the modified base. This not only looks elegant due to the apparently floating housing, but should also make it easier to place the loudspeaker in the room. Oh yes: The scope of delivery also includes black fabric covers, which are held by magnets on the baffle. They fit with millimeter precision and are firmly in place, which fits with the premium claim of these boxes.
Canton Vento 100: sound test & comparisons
After I already dealt with numbers and emergency numbers in the introduction, here comes the next hotline recommendation: 110! Because the Canton Vento 100 plays so fast that it should actually be called the Vento 110. A fast in-your-face speaker that kicks Opi out of the rocking chair. Velvet, silk, electric blankets and cuddly wool are served by others, this box raises blood pressure rather than sinking it. And now she’s already playing with me with the large displacement, but tending to be a little cozy McIntosh integrated amplifier McIntosh MA8900 ACtogether. Therefore, first of all, we recommend pairing the Vento 100 only with a neutral or warm amplifier, but not with one that is too bright or too slim. Basically, the Canton Vento 100 plays on the factual, neutral, slightly brighter side (more on that later), but it develops great temperament. It doesn’t need a lot of power to get up to speed, tubes are certainly also suitable – or smaller transistor amplifiers as playing partners.
Black bass and brown bears
But what exactly can the Canton Vento 100 do? Let’s start with the bass, a lower limit frequency of 20 Hertz is – as already mentioned – a real house number. It’s a good thing that Crosses (†††), the band around Deftones screamer Chino Moreno, has just released a new mini-album, Permanent Radiant. Together with Shaun Lopez (Far), Moreno celebrates electronic music that has almost nothing to do with the main electric guitar projects of the two. In the opening number “Sensation” a sub-bass rages in some places, which even tears brown bears out of hibernation, and I too wince at higher volume and spontaneously grab my winter fat.
My freshly sold, partially active Martin Logan Impression 11A (15,000 euros per pair) pumped the piece with its active bass module even more vehemently into the pit of the stomach, but hey: different, three times higher price range and partially active.
The bass remains defined and agile even at the bottom of the cellar – no wobbly and babble, but plain text without accumulation of fat. I doubt whether it really goes down to 20 Hertz, but I can say that bass lovers will get their money’s worth here, even if the distance to the rear wall is more than one meter. At less than half a meter, on the other hand, the bass becomes too dominant, so this speaker is not really suitable for rooms that are not quite as large (say: less than 25 square meters). But there are various smaller Vento models for such man caves.
What’s striking is that the Canton Vento 100 is basically uncomplicated when it comes to set-up: it’s not a diva that requires hours of shoving around and millimeter-precise placement to please the eardrum. On the contrary, it sounds great straight away, even if the couple isn’t 100% on the same level and the thumbs were just set up to play in. Fine adjustment is of course still recommended.
Ruffian or sophisticate?
I’ve already written something on the subject of coarse dynamics: This loudspeaker knocks things out really nicely. The energy reaches the listener immediately, he mercilessly shows big level differences (of the music, not of the listener), for example on “I Don’t Know How I Survive” from the current Death Cab For Cutie album Asphalt Meadows . The opening number of the album starts off softly, suddenly explodes with piercing electric guitars from 40 seconds, only to calm down again a little later. It took me longer to calm down – okay, exaggerated, admittedly, but there is a grain of truth to it. Oh yes: I didn’t explore the maximum level down to the last earwax angle for love of my ears. But believe me, the Canto Vento 100 can be very, very anti-neighbourly when it has to be.
It doesn’t act quite as explosively as the not-so-compact Audio Note AN-J/LX HEMP compact speaker , which I was able to test with great pleasure in 2021 – this represented level increases a little faster and more emphatically and therefore left a powerful impression on me – , but the Canton isn’t far off from that quality.
At night in the music room – the fine tones
With so much testosterone, the question arises: Does this loudspeaker also have a knack for fine dynamics, i.e. fine nuances at lower volumes? Yep he has. If I can’t fall asleep at night, I sometimes lie down on the couch in front of the stereo and leave it on low because the rest of humanity wants to sleep peacefully. It strikes me that the Canton Vento 100 still tends to be very agile even at low levels and does not round off any details, for example with the audience noise on the live album Bestival Live 2011 by The Cure. No mush of dull yelling after the songs, but clearly recognizable, lively approval and joy – you can hear immediately which songs are particularly well received and which are not. This is what a live concert recorded on a double CD should sound like!
Which brings us to the topic of resolution, and you already guessed it: the Vento has a lot to offer here, and the ear feels well informed at all times. This brings back memories of the fabulous compact box Elac Concentro S 503(from 7,000 euros per pair), which proved to be very high-resolution and detailed in a long-term test (I had them for almost half a year). Both speakers tend to play on the sober side, with the Canton Vento 100 having more bass power and getting up to speed with less amplifier power. In terms of resolution, the Canton hardly needs to hide behind the beautiful woman from Kiel, who is only a few percentage points ahead of her. This underlines that the Canton is a bit above its price range in this discipline.
No whitewashing, please: highs and mids
Of course, the treble also contributes to the latter strengths, which I like to test with “Rise To The Bait” by the Swedish gothic rockers Then Comes Silence . The track (and the entire album called Hunger) has too much treble energy, the highs stand out from the sound. With some loudspeakers this tends to be annoying (e.g. with the incorruptible Neat Acoustics Majistrafor a pair price of 4,300 euros). With the Canton Vento 100, however, this is reasonably limited. In return, the Neat Acoustics Majistra, for example, offers a little more stage extension backwards, if the recording allows it. All in all, the Canton Vento 100 does not tend to be so ruthless in the highs, but still plays in high resolution and, in my opinion, on the minimally fresh side of neutral. That’s why I find the Canton speakers to be slightly bright overall, although we’re only talking about one nuance here. For example, they don’t sound nearly as bright as the Hornmanufaktur Kalypso broadband loudspeakers (from 8,000 euros per pair), which I was able to test a year ago. I can’t remember a single piece in which the Vento 100 made a negative impression on me, for example with cheeky hissing sounds.
The same applies to the middles, which are relevant to the timbre. The Vento is therefore not a whitewash, it does not tend to be voluptuous here either, but presents voices as Mother Nature and Mr. Producer probably imagine them – clear and very easy to understand. For pleasure listeners (like me) that may sound a bit too factual per se, in combination with my full-bodied McIntosh integrated amplifier MA 8900 ACbut this results in a fine mixture in which “correctness” and feeling are balanced. Of course, there are loudspeakers that convey music of all kinds a little more naturally, more harmoniously, rounder, with more magic, such as the Sonus Faber Olympica Nova 3 (13,400 euros, test report will follow in a few weeks). But that’s whining at a high level, after all, the noble Italian costs almost three times as much.
Wide stage boards
Now we still have to talk about the spatiality: What about localization sharpness, depth graduation and stage size? This is where the Canton Vento 100 actually enters the big stage: Wow, it’s wide! When angling slightly towards the listening position, it extends a long way beyond the speakers on the left and right – this is reminiscent of a panorama shot with a good camera, is really remarkable and is one of the greatest strengths of the 100s.
Despite only being slightly angled, the test candidate does not lose focus, voices are rock solid in the middle of the stage. This also applies to the other instruments: each seems clearly arranged, sharply defined and three-dimensionally tangible – and this does not even require reference recordings such as London Grammar’s “Big Picture” from the 2017 album Truth Is A Beautiful Thing. No, even mediocre recorded indie rock like The Mountain Goats ‘ “Mark On You” fans out a wonderfully broad stage that invites exploration. However, it does not extend backwards from the loudspeaker baseline, only forwards, which contributes to the in-your-face factor of the boxes.
In return, the stage extends very far forward, so that a greater depth gradation is nevertheless achieved. This reminds me once again of the Audio Note AN-J/LX HEMP mentioned above, where there was no longer a piece of paper between the listener and the singer – especially when a rabid metal shouter yells at you, who, in addition to his aggression, also immediately nor revealed what he had eaten and what his throat looks like. No, the Canton Vento 100 doesn’t come that close to me, but it’s definitely enough to count the nose hairs.
Boring can be different: The Canton Vento 110, uh 100, takes the listening room by storm! This is primarily due to their spirited, jagged gait – it doesn’t jump straight in the listener’s face, but it pushes strongly forward. The stage stretches far forward, but not only that: the large stage width is also surprising and is one of its greatest strengths. The powerful, deep, yet always defined bass and the coarse dynamic capabilities also score plus points – the Canton Vento 100 masters extreme level jumps with ease. All of this goes well beyond what the price tag of just under 4,700 euros would suggest at first glance.
Tonally, the Canton Vento 100 is one of the more factually neutral representatives of its kind, although it tends slightly towards the light side. It is equally suitable for chief analysts and listeners who enjoy listening, although the latter then have to get the heat they need from the electronics. I was able to do this with my McIntosh MA8900 AC.
The large Hessin proves to be uncomplicated when it comes to installation – the positioning does not depend on the millimeter, but on the size of the room: Below 20 to better 25 square meters the bass dominates too much, a little distance from the wall (about one meter or just under underneath) and air to breathe should be there. If the Canton Vento 100 is to stand in the living room, it doesn’t hurt to involve your wife in the purchase decision, because the first-class workmanship of the Vento looks elegant and timeless, but it’s really big and solid. The price is surprisingly small for that. Lots of mass, class and value for money – a big recommendation to try it out!
Characteristics of the Canton Vento 100
- Very powerful, deep, always clean and defined bass with punch.
- Strictly neutral mids.
- All in all, balanced, high-resolution, slightly bright, but never aggressive highs.
- Neutral, minimally bright basic character.
- Above-average gross dynamic skills, fine dynamics also far ahead.
- Resolving power that goes beyond the price class.
- Surprisingly wide stage that doesn’t stretch backwards, but stretches far forwards.
- Not very demanding when it comes to installation, suitable for rooms from at least 20 or even better 25 square meters.
- Bottom line, snappy in-your-face gait, the opposite of comfortable and reserved.
- First-class workmanship, excellent value for money.
- Concept: passive three-way floorstanding speaker with bass reflex system
- Price per pair: 4,698 euros (walnut versions: 4,998 euros)
- Nominal Impedance: 4-8 ohms
- Efficiency: 86dB (2.83V/m)
- Dimensions & Weight: 32.5 x 115.5 x 42 cm (W x H x D), 39.5 kg/each
- Colours: high-gloss black, high-gloss white, light walnut, dark walnut
- Guarantee: 5 years