Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Germantown Maryland
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I own a complete Canton set and couldnt be happier. I use the Karat 711s for mains, vento 807s for surrounds and the killer AS850 for sub. no center channel.
I work for a B&W dealer and we have all popular models on display at our stores, so I get plenty of opportunities to compare the sounds.
I bought the Cantons because to my ears, they had better imaging, better dynamics, bigger soundstage, tighter bass and looked a lot better.
I read where someone thought the B&Ws low end sounds "tubby" and I think this sums it up well. The Karats are super tight and defined in the low end, helped out by my Parasound Halo A51.
On the tweeter, the Cantons are better than the regular B&W metal dome, but maybe not quite as clean as the diamond. In a departure from past Canton products, the tweeter is not bright and harsh. It may still be a tad bright, but all harshness is gone - its super clean and smooth.
Overall, the Karats are very neutral and revealing. Imaging is laser sharp and 3 dimensional.
I listen to all types of music, but my love is rock/hard rock/progressive metal. with this type of music, its not even close - the Cantons bury the B&Ws. Drums and guitars are simply more realistic. It sounds like they are in the room.
I've actually had an email exchange with head of Canton marketing in Germany asking him to get a magazine in the states to review the Karats, but so far no has come. Its too bad too because they are voiced quite different than the Vento's - which have received quite a good bit of press. The easiest way to describe the difference is the Ventos hit you like a 10lb rubber mallet, the Karats like a sledgehammer. Both very effective, but I prefer the sledgehammer approach.