More and more people these days have flat panel displays (plasma or LCD
based) in their homes. A flat panel display has many appealing
factors, most notably the minimum amount of space that it occupies
and the fact that you can easily hang it on the wall. And letís not forget
the coolness factor!
Speaker manufacturers seem to
notice the popularity of flat panel displays, and many come up with designs
that complement these displays nicely, especially in the style department.
The Movie CD 2.22 speaker system from Canton, the largest speaker
manufacturer in Germany, is an example of such a design.
The Movie CD 2.22 system is comprised of two slim tower speakers (CD-100), a
small center channel speaker (CD-50), two tiny satellite speakers (CD-10),
and a powered subwoofer (AS-22-SC).
Except for the subwoofer, essentially
this is an all aluminum speaker system. Everything about these speakers is
aluminum: the drivers, the enclosures, the grilles. And they are not shy in
displaying it. Their silver-aluminum finish intentionally showcases the
metallic theme of the system. Some people might be put off by the cold
metallic appearance, but to me, it looks cool and
contemporary. If you have room with contemporary dťcor, chances are you will
be comfortable putting this system in there. Moreover, the finish of the CD
2.22 system matches with many of the plasma or LCD sets that are currently
The footprint of this system is very small, and therefore, it
should also be appealing for someone with tight space constraints.
Except for the subwoofer, the speakers in the Movie
CD 2.22 system employ the same type of proprietary drivers: 0.6" aluminum
tweeter and 3" aluminum mid/woofer. Each of the CD-100 tower and CD-50 center
channel speakers has two pairs of woofers with the tweeter in the middle of
The so-called "two-and-one-half-way" crossover circuit is used
in these speakers. Canton claims that this crossover design prevents the
problematic mid-bass cancellations that hinder performance in typical
multi-woofer speakers. In this design, one pair of the woofers handles both
bass and midrange frequencies, while the other pair is responsible only for
bass reproduction. The CD-100 uses bass-reflex design with a port in front
(covered by the grille), while the CD-50 uses an acoustic suspension design.
The CD-100 is designed to stand on the floor, and it
comes with a round aluminum base footing to be attached to the speaker to
provide stability (see picture, top right). It, as well as the CD-50 and
CD-10, are magnetically shielded.
The CD-50 center channel offers some
flexibility for its placement. It can be put on top of a television, as I
did in this review, or hung on the wall using the brackets provided. If you
wish, you can also use CD-50 as your surround speaker. Photos of the CD-50
are shown below.
The smallest member of the Movie CD 2.22 system is
the CD-10 satellite speaker, which has a tweeter and a woofer in the
acoustic suspension design. Due to its small size, this speaker is
very flexible to place. You can put it on a stand, a shelf, or hang it
on the wall. Wall brackets are included should you choose the latter. Canton
also makes the matching stand for it in case you decide to have it on the
floor. For this review, I just put it on a rather high wall shelf. The
CD-10 is shown below.
The CD-100, CD-50, and CD-10 have metal speaker
terminals in unusual diagonal configuration (see pictures). These terminals
can accept bare wire, spade, or pin connectors, but not banana plugs. The
terminals are located in a small rectangular well, so that
they are flush with the speaker body when they are tightened. Because of the
way the terminals are housed, bare wire is the best and the easiest to use
with these speakers. You may find that the space surrounding the terminals
is too tight for use with spade or pin connectors. Banana plugs would be a
good solution for this type of layout, but I was informed that their
exclusion is for safety reasons (banana plugs can easily be plugged into
European electricity wall outlets).
The AS 22 SC powered subwoofer employs a 9" cellulose/graphite driver in a
compact front-ported enclosure. The 70-Watt (nominal) amplifier that powers
this subwoofer and the usual subwoofer controls are located on the back. The
AS 22 SC has both line- and speaker-level inputs and outputs. The controls
on the back include the power on-off-standby switch, phase switch (0 or 180
degrees), volume level, and crossover frequency knob (continuously
adjustable 50 Hz - 150 Hz). The SC in the name of the subwoofer comes from
Cantonís exclusive SC technology, which is a special circuit to suppress
subsonic frequencies and to extend the low frequency range of the subwoofer.
This circuit provides compensation for the acoustic characteristics of the
housing and driver, adjusting the amplifier's response curve for optimum
linearity. The AS 22 SC subwoofer is actually available in several finishes
(black, beech, silver), but the one packaged with the Movie CD 2.22 system
is the silver finish, which matches with the rest of the system.
The build quality of the Movie CD 2.22 speaker
system is good overall. The five speakers in the CD 2.22 system
feel quite rigid, and because of the material used, they feel heavier than
their sizes suggest.
As the name implies, the Movie CD 2.22 system is
designed primarily for home theater use. So that was how I set up the system
during most of my evaluation. The CD-100 speakers as the front left and
right were placed equidistance from my listening position and from each
other, which is about 10 ft. The CD-50 center channel was laid horizontally
facing ear level slightly below my projection screen, also about the same
distance as the CD-100 from my seat. And the CD-10 satellites were put on
shelves about 2 ft higher than ear level and slightly behind the
listening position at a distance of about 5 ft. The AS 22 SC subwoofer was
placed near one of the front corners of the room. Bass management was done in
my surround processor with a fixed 80 Hz crossover between the satellites
and the subwoofer. Some self-made test tones as well as my AVIA disc were used
to calibrate the system.
Even though home theater is the primary application of the system,
nevertheless I felt that my task as a reviewer would not be complete if I didnít
test its stereo performance, because users would likely use this system to
listen to stereo music every once in a while, even if only casually.
Therefore, my impression on its stereo music performance is also given. For
two-channel stereo tests, I listened extensively to the two CD-100 towers in
conjunction with the AS 22 SC subwoofer, although occasionally I moved the
CD-10 satellites up front in place of the CD-100 for comparison.
In two-channel application, these speakers displayed nice performance
in many respects, although they might not be for the consumption of serious
listeners. I found that stereo listening through the CD-100 was quite
pleasant, but there was a slight sense of artificiality in the sound of
music, especially in the high frequency
range. Their midrange was also a little too thick for my taste, and this
reduced the fluidity and lushness in the overall sound. Actually, the
smaller CD-10 was better in this sense, because it didnít display such
The difference in the crossover design between these
two speakers might explain the difference in the results that I got. But to
put it in perspective, these speakers are not primarily designed to cater
serious two-channel audiophiles. So mentioning those flaws was a bit nitpick
on my part. One of the nice things of the speakers was the sound they
produced did not add hard edges to the music, so I could listen to them
for a long time without listening-fatigue. Also they imaged effortlessly and
were capable of depicting a believable soundstage. The most important thing
was regardless of whether I used the CD-100 or CD-10 as the stereo
satellites, there was no noticeable hole in the frequency response of the
system. Such frequency response holes are common in many small
satellite/subwoofer systems. I guess, in terms of stereo applications, casual
listening is as much as most users would do in such a system, and the last
few aspects I mentioned above indicated that these speakers are more than
suitable for it.
In my home theater, the Movie CD 2.22 system had a lot to like. It
did pretty much what a good home theater speaker system should, that is
reproducing dialog and sound effects in a believable manner and bringing
the sense of immediacy with the what was going on in the scenes. The Movie
CD 2.22 was not flawless, but the flaws that the system exhibited were not
of the types that I would consider as distracting. For example, I noticed a
slight lack of transparency in the overall sound, but this didnít
affect my movie-watching enjoyment. The sense of ambience could also
use some improvement, but unless you do comparison with a better system like
I did, you probably wouldnít notice it.
The timbre match of the speakers in the CD 2.22 system was excellent, giving
a sense of seamless side-to-side and front-to-back sound transition when
called for. The CD-50 center channel, even though small, delivered dialog
with good intelligibility. In terms of performance, the CD-50 still couldnít
beat my reference at its price point, the Onix Rocket ELT Center Channel in
terms of clarity and dialog naturality, but nevertheless it was no slouch in
those departments and its size was more manageable and also it offered more
flexible mounting options.
The tiny CD-10 speakers were more than capable for surround tasks. Moreover,
their small size actually gives them an advantage for surround application, as
mounting them is a relatively easy endeavor.
The AS 22 SC subwoofer blended nicely with the rest of the system. It added
weight to the overall sound, giving an impression that the system was
larger than it was. By itself, it was quite a capable performer. It was able
to play sufficiently loud before it started to sound boomy and distorted. At normal volume levels, the bass it produced was relatively clean and had
good definition. It didnít have the quickness and punchiness of the Rocket
UFW-10 or the low extension of the Hsu Research VTF-3R, both of which I
have reviewed not so long ago, but of course, it is less expensive. However,
it was fully capable
of augmenting the other speakers in the CD 2.22 system nicely. In my room,
the AS 22 SC was able to produce useful bass down to about 30 Hz.
The overall performance of the Movie CD 2.22 system was quite satisfying. I
watched several movies from various genres during my evaluation, ranging
from drama such as House of Sand and Fog to full action such as Terminator
3: Rise of the Machines, and I could safely say that the Movie CD 2.22 system
was quite comfortable handling any of those soundtracks. Never for once did
I get the impression that I was listening to a small speaker package during
the audition. And thatís a big achievement!
Designing speakers to satisfy multiple goals is not
easy. But Canton pulls it off nicely with the Movie CD 2.22 system, which is
designed to meet specific size, appearance, and performance
targets. Appearance-wise, this system will provide a good match to most
flat-panel displays currently in the market. Even if you donít use it with
flat panel displays, its appearance is quite attractive by itself, and it
doesnít take a lot of space to accommodate it (perhaps the main feature). The Movie CD 2.22 system is also
solidly built, and most importantly, it offers good home theater performance
that is larger than its relatively small size. If you are in the market for
a slim home theater speaker package for around $2000, you need to check this
system out. Its strong performance and its distinctive look might win you
- Yongki Go -
Associated Equipment for This Review:
CD playback: Shanling CD-S100
DVD playback: Toshiba SD-4700
Preamplifier: Adcom GFP-750, Lexicon DC-1
Amplifier: Parasound HCA-855A, Sherbourn 7/2100A, Classe CA-100
Other speakers: Rocket ELT-1 speaker system
Cables: MIT Terminator 4 interconnects, MIT Terminator 2 speaker cables,
Cardas Crosslink speaker cables, Audioquest GR-8 speaker cables, Audioquest
Jade subwoofer cable.