Canton Reference 7K Loudspeaker Page 2

Indeed, these speakers just ooze refinement and a high level of build quality – the seamless integration of the drivers in the front baffle, the height-adjustable shock-absorbing stainless steel feet under the base plate and the solid bi-amp-ready terminals at the back are all details that enhance the feel of money well-spent. We had the black version, but there are also white piano lacquer and cherry ('Kirsche') veneer options available.

sqnote Explosive Audio
The slick piano lacquer finish of the Reference 7K might lead you into thinking these are polite/refined-to-a-fault loudspeakers, but that would be a mistake. They are certainly capable of presenting delicate recordings in a sensitive fashion, but they really come into their own when pressed into playing explosive, dynamic tracks. The bass these slender-ish floorstanders produce is deceptively rich and punchy, underpinning a very solid midrange performance.

This is great stuff if you're into music that's percussion-driven and painted on a huge canvas, such as the rousing medieval folk metal of Memento Mori [Napalm Records NPR1087EB] from Germany's Feuerschwanz, a band with an armour-wearing Hauptmann-esque lead singer and assorted band members that are as likely to pick up an electric guitar as a hurdy-gurdy. Canton's substantial cabinets and smart down-firing port ensure the anthemic tracks on this album never ran out of steam or sounded muddied.

Driven by NAD's Purifi Eigentakt-equipped C 298 power amplifier [HFN Oct '21], the Reference 7Ks created a taut bass which propelled the music but never overpowered it. This is really an accomplishment, certainly at this price point – it's not easy to pack a punch like this and remain nimble, serving up a spectacular cover of Manowar's 'Warriors Of The World Unite'.

At The Movies
You might not be into Germanic battle themes, but these heavy metal-friendly qualities serve the Reference 7Ks equally well when playing The Berlin Concert set [Deutsche Grammophon 00289 486 1713], a fine recording of John Williams' greatest hits played by the Berliner Philharmoniker and with the composer himself conducting. The temptation is there to fast-forward to the final track, a momentous rendition of Star Wars' 'The Imperial March' that the 7Ks presented in such a way that I expected Stormtroopers to start kicking down the door.


The bi-wire/bi-amp terminals may be combined with a solid link. Canton's three-way crossover includes own-branded capacitors and inductors and also boasts custom internal wiring

But it was 'Hedwig's Theme', 'Marion's Theme' and 'Elegy for Cello and Orchestra' that showed off the 7K's ability to seduce and delight with full-bodied, textured violins. The solo celesta, which plays the opening notes of 'Hedwig's Theme', could perhaps sound a little more sparkly, but the general sense of space and soundstage size was excellent.

Anyone expecting a flamenco-inspired follow up to Rosalía's Los Angeles from 2017 will be quite surprised by her latest release, MOTOMAMI [Columbia B09RRHP9RW]. A veritable hotch-potch of influences, musically these tracks take you around the Latin world in just over 42 minutes, but regardless the style of a given track, it's the versatile voice of Rosalía that's the true highlight – as it should be. (A pity the producer felt it necessary to use autotune at moments, as the Barcelona-based singer really doesn't require it.) And when she eventually does return to her traditional roots on 'Bulerías', hitting some impressively high notes, the Reference 7Ks don't falter. Her sublime vocals are positioned up front and centre, the male backing positioned way behind. The sense of depth is noteworthy.

Textured Tones
Returning to a darker mode of listening, I was in awe of the scale and tonal depth of the vocals on Wardruna's 'Tyr' and especially at the end of the haunting 'Runaljod' [Runaljod – Ragnarok, Norse Music BNM002CD]. Here the Reference 7Ks conjured deep, highly textured tones that I first thought were some sort of traditional Norwegian bugle, but on subsequent listening turned out to be the impressive vocal performances of a male choir.

There's a lot to like on this genre-transcending release, from bass heft to midband purity, and the same applies to the group's 2021 album Kvitravn [Sony Music 19439710082]. You might recognise some sounds and compositions from the Vikings TV series. It's rousing stuff, just like these Canton speakers.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
Even the 'small' Reference 7Ks might be a bit much if your listening room is not very large, but if you have the space these mighty three-way floorstanders are astonishing in their ability to project power and excitement. Their overall sonic performance and high-quality build and finish represents particularly good value, the company's new UK distribution bringing the musical message to a wider audience.

Canton Elektronik GmbH + Co. KG
Supplied by: Signature Audio Systems, UK
07738 007776