Not sure why I hadn't plugged "Canton" into the AVS search engine before today, but I did, and low-and-behold what do I find? A club in need of membership. Well, count me in!
I have been the proud owner of two ~20-year old pairs of Cantons; Ergo 90s and Karat 920s. I've had them for about 9 years now. My wife and I were just starting out when a family friend of hers that had moved out of the country needed to clear out the stuff she left in a storage space. She told us that we could take anything that we liked. As we were looking around, I took a step back to look up and bumped into what was behind me. Feeling that I moved it a bit, I turned around to see what I had disturbed and took the sheet off. It was love at first sight! (Don't tell my wife!
) I latched onto the Ergos and said to the storage manager, "She said we could take anything
, right???" When I saw the Karats I was beside myself. Two systems! I was like a kid in a candy store.
I didn't truly know what I had found until I got them home and hooked them up. Woah! Granted, I was running some Jensen speakers that had come with a bookshelf system, but I could tell that it was not just because they were POSs that the Cantons sounded so good. I knew they were something special. Since I had no documentation on these, other than they were about 11 years old or so based on the dates on the Mitsubishi audio systems that we also brought home (assuming that they were all purchased at the same time), I turned to the web. I found Canton's page and was shocked at what the contemporaries were selling for. Holy $#!+... what a gift! Anyway, neither pair was even listed in the archive on their website. So, I called them up, and they sent me original manuals for the speakers, free of charge. What a great company!
When I first hooked the Ergos up I kept using a KLH center I already had. After testing out quite a bit of material, I decided to use them w/o center channel, and for several years I didn't feel like I was missing a thing. I finally got a decent center and wired in the Karats as rears so that I could have surround, but I still find myself reverting to 2.0 every once in a while since there is just something about letting the Ergos shine in all their glory.
Recently, I purchased the Onkyo TX-SR607. After running Audyssey, the 607 has breathed new life into my Cantons. I knew they were good, but never knew they could sound this good!
I am even more pleased with them now than ever. I know I was kind of "wasting" my Karats by relegating them to rears (esp. since my old AVR was only Pro Logic and it did not use them much), but with the 607 in All Channel Stereo mode, the music is truly all around me. I am glad they are finally getting some good use.
Now, whenever somebody asks me for speaker recommendations, if they have the budget, I tell to take a look at Cantons. After all, while I have a far cry from a Home Theater, they make my Home Movie Viewing Room what it is. Without them, it would just be a run-of-the-mill family room with a nice TV.
Granted, I have had zero experience with any other decent brands (aside from the occassional wandering into speaker rooms at electronics stores, which I realize aren't truly the best places to audition speakers), but I feel that these are some of the best sounding, and best looking, that I have heard/seen. When I get the budget, and the requisite WAF, I would love to complete the set with an Ergo center and sub. Now that I mention it, I would love to get some Ergo rears, too, then I can take the Karats to the bedroom and replace those Jensens that are still hanging around.
For now, I am going to audition an Energy ESW-8 sub I got from Costco (for 100 +tax)... it sounds kind of funny to say that, Canton towers with an Energy sub. Like having a side of fries with your steak.
We'll see how it goes!