Canton Electronics Corporation is the largest
manufacturer and best-selling brand of loudspeakers in Germany. It was
founded in 1973 by a group of audio enthusiasts who defined their mission
simply "to always develop the finest loudspeakers in their class." Since the
late 1970s, Canton products have been available in the U.S., where they are
popular with quality-focused specialty retailers and custom installers.
Canton has debuted their new Vento AS 850 SC (850 SC)
subwoofer for its recently introduced Vento line of loudspeakers.
General Design Parameters
The packaging solution was well-engineered and
protective of the subwoofer. Additional items in the shipping container
included a set of screw-in metal, blunt-spike feet, and optional rubber
adhesive feet, a detachable power cord, and the Owner's Manual with serial
The Owner's Manual was presented in four languages,
well-written, comprehensive, and detailed, with excellent photographs and
diagrams explaining proper control usage and all aspects of operation.
This is a bass reflex subwoofer with a 12" front-firing
driver, a single 3" down-firing vent with flared end caps, a rear-mounted
plate amp, and a base plate. The overall visual
impression is one of moderate size, with the cabinet measuring about 20" x 15" x
20". The subwoofer weighs 72 pounds.
The 850 SC features a gracefully curved monocoque
structure cabinet design that is the hallmark of Canton's Vento loudspeaker
line. The enclosure is assembled from six layers of specialized fiberboard,
which is pressure-laminated in a process similar to those used in crafting
musical instruments. Each layer of the cabinet is carefully formed, and
then laminated to the next, creating an extremely stiff, yet acoustically
inert housing that is both sturdy and highly resistant to resonance.
Because the shape of the enclosure minimizes parallel internal surfaces,
Canton claims the formation of internal standing waves is almost completely
eliminated. The base plate features integrated shock absorbers that
decouple the speaker from the floor, minimizing the mechanical transfer of
The 850 SC is available in three finishes: maple
veneer, cheery veneer, or painted silver lacquer. The review model came
finished in painted silver lacquer. I was immediately impressed with the
design cues of this subwoofer; it is quite modern and handsome, with subtle
art deco influences. The base plate is painted black, and the supporting
shock absorbers are metallic finish, which provides a striking contrast.
Fit and finish on the review model are excellent, with no surface flaws.
The thick MDF grille is painted black and covered in a
tightly stretched acoustic fabric, with no loose threads, and has neat adhesive
work. The grille is attached to the cabinet with a standard pin and socket
arrangement, and there are six small felt feet on the inner surface of the
grille to help prevent buzzing and vibration against the cabinet face. Both
the grille and the cabinet feature a metal "Canton" nameplate, which is a
thoughtful feature if the owner wants to operate the subwoofer without the
grille and the woofer exposed.
The 850 SC uses Canton's newly developed AW-310
driver, the largest aluminum woofer the company has ever designed. This
12" cone is capable of much higher output levels at lower distortion
than the composite cones the company has previously used, thanks to its
superior break-up resistance, improved stiffness, and light weight.
The AW-310 employs Canton's sinusoidal rubber surround
and newly engineered spider assembly that allow for substantially increased
excursion, and improved lateral displacement control. All of these
improvements result in less distortion throughout the operating range, and
according to Canton, provides a 6-9 dB increase in deep bass output compared
to their previous subwoofers.
The 850 SC utilizes an ICEpower Switching amplifier,
designed by Dr. Karsten Nielsen and
marketed by Bang & Olufsen. This amplifier design offers up
to a 140 dB S/N ratio, patented technologies for correcting errors introduced in the audio
amplification chain, an ultra compact chassis, cool operating temperatures,
stable and reliable operation under adverse operation conditions and power
fluctuations, and excellent electrical efficiency.
Also included is Canton's
"SC Technology". This active
electronic filter circuit was individually tailored to the 850 SC, and
integrated in the amplification module to compensate for acoustic
characteristics of the driver to maximize linearity and performance. This
circuit also effectively blocks unwanted infrasonic signals, which can cause
excessive driver excursion.
Finally, the 850 SC also features Canton's new Room
Compensation control, which essentially alters the low frequency extension
point, the F6 bandwidth, and also the slope of the roll-off. The user can
select which setting best matches the acoustic transfer function of the room
and provides the most optimal in-room frequency response.
Digital ICEpower (200 watts continuous)
Clipping, Thermal, and Overload Protection
Canton SC circuitry
Detachable Power Cord
Power switch (rocker)
On/Auto (2-way toggle)
Phase Control (0-180 continuously variable)
Room Size Compensation Circuit (3-way toggle)
Low Pass Filter (45-200 Hz, 4th order)
Low Level L/R RCA inputs
High Level L/R inputs
Low Level L/R RCA outputs (unfiltered)
Low Level L/R RCA outputs (80 Hz high pass)
High Level L/R outputs (unfiltered)
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