I recently became the winner of an auction for a pair of cherry Karat M 30 DC for a fraction of MSRP and i had mixed feelings with my Xonar DX sound card feeding a pair of Marantz MA-500 ( too powerful for my large desk at work ).
So i downgraded the amps to the perennial favorite baby Parasound Zamp v.2 but still it was missing.
Then i got an Auzentech X-Meridian card second hand and OH BOY!!! I also got toe-in as the tweeters are very directional and narrow-beaming and yes, sound stage was there.
Then they had a one day sale for the Asus Xonar ST PCI audiophile card, the one with the copper shielding and headphone amp with capacitors the size of my thumb and opamps from Mars
.....What can i say, productivity initially decreased as i had coworkers creep in my office just to relax and listen, then once we all had our fill of pure magic i just keep running Avro Klassiek or Novasonic on Winamp (had to create a cell phone bluetooth PAN to bypass the corporate firewall and load shoutcast broadband stations, in windows 7 you just switch on the fly between internet connections).
Tip: a Griffin Powermate is a must in a busy office, one push and the system is muted, i keep it in front of my phone.
As the reviewer above i also noticed a sterile quality to the Cantons. Just like in Sankt Pauli, the body is there but no soul. Just like a BMW with go-kart millimetric input steering, perfect but not thrilling, clean like the streets of Hannover on a Monday morning, or the bus driver in a 3-piece suit with the laurel leaf cap...like Kraftwerk said "Wir sind die roboter", and oh BTW their SACD is now hitting close to $1000 on some auctions... got it?
Yes, cynicism apart, my Cantons are very very neutral but in a way that grows on you like an old glove. Very different eg from my basement Paradigm Reference v.2 system. Definitely keepers!
And cherry looks a lot prettier than the maple in the pic BTW.