In my hunt to find a new reference speaker, my journey took me to the Canton GLS 2. While the Canton is for reference, the Snell K7 is still my favorite in-house speaker -- however, the Canton is close, Just as the JBL Studio 530 was close. The Q Acoustics speakers were good, however I went on a quest to knock them off. I had to let them go because my nit-picking nature wanted a little more -- however the QA 3020 will still be highly recommended.
The Canton is suppose to have the Chrono 502 drivers in a different box and different grill covering -- GLS 2 has a 3/4 inch front baffle and 1/2 inch for the rest of the box. My guess is that the Chrono has a 3/4 inch front baffle and 5/8 inch for the rest -- and the Chrono box is 1.4 inch deeper.
While Canton claims that the GLS 2 will hit 33 hz -- they will not do that
-- the Canton does have some nice strong articulate tight and controlled bass for its size -- it seems to have usable bass to around 50 hz -- and can work well for many full range who are not a die-hard bass-head every minute of the day.
The speaker sounds overall clean and linear -- however not as refined or pure as some more expensive high-end speakers. They are not really bright, warm, or dark sounding. They are vivid and detailed with some really nice resolution for definition, and depth, without sounding analytical. A poor sourced nasty recording track, will stand out and can get under your skin.
Playing the Beatles 'Come Together' -- the bass really stood out and was nice -- the voices were clean and detailed considering the recording is old. The same for the song 'Something' -- nice and detailed with good musical bass and definition, and a wide soundstage. The Temptations 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone' was clear and articulate with good sounstage and depth -- instruments sound clear and focused and the GLS 2 retrieved good detail and nuances. On the QA 3020 the sound is more closed in, with less layering and depth. The sound is more realistic on the GLS 2
With Rebecca Pidgeon's 'Spanish Harlem' -- Bass is tight and articulate with some depth, and is more full and rich compared to the QA -- her voice also has more tonal depth on the GLS. The same goes for Patricia Barber's 'The Beat Goes On'. Sade's 'No Ordinary Love' -- her voice is more rich and detailed, instruments more vivid and clear, the GLS is good at retrieving inner detail. The Canton has better layering and depth, and tone control. Sibilants are overall more controlled on the GLS speaker. The QA seems to have a happy bump in the midrange, while the GLS is more linear.
Chris Botti on the instrument version of 'No Ordinary Love' -- the sound is more detailed and focused with better detail and depth, and background voices more clear and cymbals more smooth. On Yo Yo Ma's 'The Mission' -- again the stage is more open, focused, and better depth. On Jamie Paul's 'Crazy' the center stage is more focused, while still giving a good wide stage, again the voice is more rich and fluid on the Canton.
With the GLS 2, I am starting to hear some of the vibration of the string wood instruments, that I have been missing on the QA 3020 and others. Some of the musical nuances that have been missing on the QA can now be heard on the Canton. The Canton goes a little lower in the bass over the QA, and is more rich and full, the bass on the QA seems to choke some and run out of steam.
Both speakers are good with Movies/TV -- however, the GLS 2 is more open and detailed with good dynamics without being upfront -- while the QA does have a good stage with a central image and some depth -- the GLS 2 does a better job.
The Canton is going for $299 with $8.99 shipping at AC4L and there are a few left -- however their return policy is not as friendly as others -- however, worth it to me, sometimes you have to take risks for something that can be really good. Now is the Canton great and perfect -- no. However they are one of the better under $800 speakers that I have listened to. The sound tends to be between the $400 and $650 range. However, for $299 a killer deal. The center would be the Canton Chrono center, which I did not buy at this time. I may or may not test another speaker against the Canton -- so for now they are a keeper for me.
For those who have not seen the pictures -- here is a slide show.