Canton Vento vs Chrono SL (models with ceramic tweeters)

Trell

Trell

Audioholic Chief
A few weeks ago I managed to tip over one of my Canton Vento 886.2 and made several damages to the nice cherry high gloss finish (don't ask or I'll blame it on my huge non-existent playful mouse). I've not yet had the heart to mail Canton if there are some easy way to make the damages less visible.

In any case, this is also an opportunity to make a few detailed photos to show the various layers of the Canton finish. I'll try to do that this weekend.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
My Vento 876 is rated down to 23Hz. I have not measured it, but I'm not feeling it (maybe that is -10dB point or something)
As a couple of reference points - If you assume standard tuning, the bass has lowest/fundamental right around 40Hz, Kick drum is around 50Hz!
I don't expect great bass from a bookshelf. If I get fairly flat frequency response, a beautiful sounding midrange and a crystal clear tweeter I'm loving it. My B&W 606 bookshelf speakers are rated down to 52Hz -3db. They offer a ton of bass but the frequency response is far from flat. When I see a bookshelf rated down to 25Hz it tells me they are likely fudging the number or it's -10dB where it's useless. It makes me wonder what else they stretched the truth on in the PR. :)

My preference is to install a bookshelf as small in Audyssey and crossover between 80-120Hz while using a sub for the bottom. It gives the bookshelf the opportunity to maximize what it does best.

 
Gryph

Gryph

Audioholic
They do put out some respectable base but it’s nothing like when I switch on bass management @ 80-100hz and run my two HSU 15’s. I don’t think there’s any going back to the old days when I was happy with the bass output of a full range bookshelf speaker.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
A few weeks ago I managed to tip over one of my Canton Vento 886.2 and made several damages to the nice cherry high gloss finish (don't ask or I'll blame it on my huge non-existent playful mouse). I've not yet had the heart to mail Canton if there are some easy way to make the damages less visible.
I'm kind of joking, kind of not. It might actually work okay. I would order a small amount and try it on other things to see what it is good for before committing speakers to it!

But I am really interested to see what the damage looks like!
That sucks, especially in Cherry!
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
I'm kind of joking, kind of not. It might actually work okay. I would order a small amount and try it on other things to see what it is good for before committing speakers to it!
The advantage of the Piano Black model is you can touch them up with a black magic marker. lol

Here's a decent review of the Reference 9.2

 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
DOH! I need to compare the two. I just got the 830.2 fairly recently when it was at a pretty low price (maybe $700?).
I had compared the 536.2 vs the 820.2, but that was not ideal because the 536.2 had the larger woofer!
I did not think to do the comparison when I got the 830.2!
Okay, I got in some quality listening time. I already had the Canton Vento 830.2 (which I will refer to as 830.2) setup in my living room and added the Canton Chrono SL 536.2 (which I will refer to as 536.2). For those not familiar with Canton's product line, the 830.2 is an older model (maybe 6 to 8 years ago) while the 536.2 is a current model. The Vento is a more "premium" model as compared to the Chrono!
Importantly (and consistent with the title of this thread), both have the ceramic tweeter

TL/DR:
This is real quick - they do, indeed, sound the same as best I can tell! I can't say they actually are identical, but if there is a difference it is not something that I can hear and repeat. That is what I hear, but using my eyes, the 830.2 sounds better! :)

Full narrative (more about my experience than an evaluation of the speakers):
This was not an easy comparison! I need to develop a checklist to make sure I do things in the right sequence and don't forget something. In this case I set up the second AVR with the Chrono and level matched the speakers. Of course to level match the speakers as close as the 0.5 dB volume increment on the AVR's allows, I am listening critically to the speakers and I naturally segue into the A-B comparison using two of a 4-way switch box like this one. Instead of selecting among four sources, I use the box "backwards" to take the RCA output from my CD player and select which receiver to route it to! this allows for instant switching and level matching using separate AVRs (Denon 4400 & 3500).
The first thing I established after about 10 minutes was the 830.2 had just a little more depth & tighter bass. Not much, but it was repeatable. I was wondering if the curved cabinet of the Vento might account for this by eliminating reflections/resonance. That makes some sense for the tightness, but I could not see how it would effect how deep the speaker could play. After a few more minutes I also concluded that the 830.2 had just a little more air! ... it was then that I realized that I was listening to the 536 in Stereo mode and the 830.2 in Direct mode. I switched the 536.2 AVR to direct mode and went back to the places where I repeatably heard these differences and they were gone! So I need a checksheet to keep me from getting ahead of myself. On the other hand, I had never gone to this length to determine if there was an audible difference between plain Stereo and Pure Direct, so there is that!
I also had some difficulty with sighted bias. The 830.2 is a more sophisticated looking speaker! The curved cabinet is beautiful and while they are both white, the 536.2 is more of a pure white while the 830.2 is the color of a sun bleached bone (that may not sound attractive, but the little bit of gray adds a maturity to the color, IMHO). Having my eyes open, i do a better job of keeping straight which speaker was which and the 830.2 would consistently sound "just the tiniest bit better"!
However, I found that closing my eyes (which I often do anyways) and keeping them closed I could then hear an especially stellar sound that must be the 830.2 only to discover it was the 536.2 and I had lost track of which was which while just enjoying the music. Going back for repeatability, they sounded the same in that particular place; often it was just a singer (or instrument) hitting a note that just was simply a little sweeter than others around it (on either speaker) and it stood out as exceptional. In any case it took me quite a while to establish to a comfortable level that there was no audible difference between these speakers. Usually I will detect a difference due to location, but I did not even get that - I suspect that was because I had the speakers pretty much centered in the room (8' to the closest wall).
IMG_20200530_220904 (1280x960).jpg

Vento 830.2 on left, Chrono 536.2 on right. My phone did a fair job of catching the color difference!
FWIW, the Vento 830.2 is made in Germany and the Chrono SL 536.2 is made in Czech Republic.
The 536.2 calls the woofer Aluminum with Titanium membrane just like the newer Vento models (the older 830.2 woofer is spec'ed as an Aluminum driver. Since they use the same crossover, I doubt this change is anything other than cosmetic. It may even just be a different anodization. Both tweeters are ceramic coated aluminum, but the 536.2 has the newer design with a trim ring (bolts hidden).
 
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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Okay, I got in some quality listening time. I already had the Canton Vento 830.2 (which I will refer to as 830.2) setup in my living room and added the Canton Chrono SL 536.2 (which I will refer to as 536.2). For those not familiar with Canton's product line, the 830.2 is an older model (maybe 6 to 8 years ago) while the 536.2 is a current model. The Vento is a more "premium" model as compared to the Chrono!
Importantly (and consistent with the title of this thread), both have the ceramic tweeter

TL/DR:
This is real quick - they do, indeed, sound the same as best I can tell! I can't say they actually are identical, but if there is a difference it is not something that I can hear and repeat. That is what I hear, but using my eyes, the 830.2 sounds better! :)

Full narrative (more about my experience than an evaluation of the speakers):
This was not an easy comparison! I need to develop a checklist to make sure I do things in the right sequence and don't forget something. In this case I set up the second AVR with the Chrono and level matched the speakers. Of course to level match the speakers as close as the 0.5 dB volume increment on the AVR's allows, I am listening critically to the speakers and I naturally segue into the A-B comparison using two of a 4-way switch box like this one. Instead of selecting among four sources, I use the box "backwards" to take the RCA output from my CD player and select which receiver to route it to! this allows for instant switching and level matching using separate AVRs (Denon 4400 & 3500).
The first thing I established after about 10 minutes was the 830.2 had just a little more depth & tighter bass. Not much, but it was repeatable. I was wondering if the curved cabinet of the Vento might account for this by eliminating reflections/resonance. That makes some sense for the tightness, but I could not see how it would effect how deep the speaker could play. After a few more minutes I also concluded that the 830.2 had just a little more air! ... it was then that I realized that I was listening to the 536 in Stereo mode and the 830.2 in Direct mode. I switched the 536.2 AVR to direct mode and went back to the places where I repeatably heard these differences and they were gone! So I need a checksheet to keep me from getting ahead of myself. On the other hand, I had never gone to this length to determine if there was an audible difference between plain Stereo and Pure Direct, so there is that!
I also had some difficulty with sighted bias. The 830.2 is a more sophisticated looking speaker! The curved cabinet is beautiful and while they are both white, the 536.2 is more of a pure white while the 830.2 is the color of a sun bleached bone (that may not sound attractive, but the little bit of gray adds a maturity to the color, IMHO). Having my eyes open, i do a better job of keeping straight which speaker was which and the 830.2 would consistently sound "just the tiniest bit better"!
However, I found that closing my eyes (which I often do anyways) and keeping them closed I could then hear an especially stellar sound that must be the 830.2 only to discover it was the 536.2 and I had lost track of which was which while just enjoying the music. Going back for repeatability, they sounded the same in that particular place; often it was just a singer (or instrument) hitting a note that just was simply a little sweeter than others around it (on either speaker) and it stood out as exceptional. In any case it took me quite a while to establish to a comfortable level that there was no audible difference between these speakers. Usually I will detect a difference due to location, but I did not even get that - I suspect that was because I had the speakers pretty much centered in the room (8' to the closest wall).
View attachment 36612
Vento 830.2 on left, Chrono 536.2 on right. My phone did a fair job of catching the color difference!
FWIW, the Vento 830.2 is made in Germany and the Chrono SL 536.2 is made in Czech Republic.
The 536.2 calls the woofer Aluminum with Titanium membrane just like the newer Vento models (the older 830.2 woofer is spec'ed as an Aluminum driver. Since they use the same crossover, I doubt this change is anything other than cosmetic. It may even just be a different anodization. Both tweeters are ceramic coated aluminum, but the 536.2 has the newer design with a trim ring (bolts hidden).
Looks like they really are very similar. I definitely like the quality of the Vento cabinet styling better. Love that bug shape!!! :)
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
Vento Reference 9.2 DC speakers arrived. Beautiful Piano black finish, but every touch leaves a finger print. I carried a cloth with me to shine them after every little move. lol

I need to do more testing but my initial impression is the 7-inch Aluminium cone woofer and 1-inch Aluminium-Ceramic Oxide tweeter are to shrill for my taste. Beautiful bold female vocals that I'm use to seem thin and shallow. They lack the smoothness and breathiness I'm use too. I need to see if perhaps not pointing them toward the premium seats makes a difference? They also sound really boxy compared to my 6' SuperTower III's and the vintage Paradigm Studio monitors even with subwoofers.

If I can get them to blend better or sound OK in another room I'll keep them but if not I'll take the restocking fee/shipping loss and send them back. So far, not what I was hopping for based on the super positive reviews. Maybe they will grow on me, but once your favorite songs feel diminished it's a little hard to accept it.

Sometimes, you think there is something better out there not realizing you may already have it. :D
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Looks like they really are very similar. I definitely like the quality of the Vento cabinet styling better. Love that bug shape!!! :)
Yeah, I wouldn't have any regrets. The A4L price difference is not that great, and the Vento cabinets are about as good as it gets short of custom veneers! And, in the case of the Cantons, I don't know of a better speaker you could have bought with the extra cost of the Vento.
Also, on the topic of Vento vs Chrono SL XX6.2, it is still reasonable to question the cabinet resonances for the towers where longer panels need to be controlled. The Chrono build quality is high and I suspect they are well braced, but the rigidity of the curve is hard to beat!
At 61, my hearing is compromised above 14kHz (maybe lower now - that was a couple of years ago), so I would still like to get a part number off of the newest Vento tweeter to see if it matches. Also would like to get Alex's (TheWarrior's) blind evaluation, but that is for after CV-19.
 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Vento Reference 9.2 DC speakers arrived. Beautiful Piano black finish, but every touch leaves a finger print. I carried a cloth with me to shine them after every little move. lol

I need to do more testing but my initial impression is the 7-inch Aluminium cone woofer and 1-inch Aluminium-Ceramic Oxide tweeter are to shrill for my taste. Beautiful bold female vocals that I'm use to seem thin and shallow. They lack the smoothness and breathiness I'm use too. I need to see if perhaps not pointing them toward the premium seats makes a difference? They also sound really boxy compared to my 6' SuperTower III's and the vintage Paradigm Studio monitors even with subwoofers.

If I can get them to blend better or sound OK in another room I'll keep them but if not I'll take the restocking fee/shipping loss and send them back. So far, not what I was hopping for based on the super positive reviews. Maybe they will grow on me, but once your favorite songs feel diminished it's a little hard to accept it.

Sometimes, you think there is something better out there not realizing you may already have it. :D
Sorry to hear they are not working for you! You are the first person that I know of to have a real problem with them! I'm curious, can you tell me some of the music and places in the music where the shrill nature is especially clear to you? Be specific so I can find same recording. Thanks!
Ultimately, we all hear things differently, but I am surprised to discover we hear things that differently!
Nonetheless, I respect and appreciate your testimony!

Where are you located? With this virus going on, I'd be willing to take a road trip (within reason) to listen to these on your porch or deck and could bring my plain Vento (with Lysol wipes) for you to listen to inside just to verify they are similar in character.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
Sorry to hear they are not working for you! You are the first person that I know of to have a real problem with them! I'm curious, can you tell me some of the music and places in the music where the shrill nature is especially clear to you? Be specific so I can find same recording. Thanks!
Ultimately, we all hear things differently, but I am surprised to discover we hear things that differently!
Nonetheless, I respect and appreciate your testimony!

Where are you located? With this virus going on, I'd be willing to take a road trip (within reason) to listen to these on your porch or deck and could bring my plain Vento (with Lysol wipes) for you to listen to inside just to verify they are similar in character.
Do you work for Canton? If I remember right you're in the Atlanta area? I'm 1850 miles away. Nice that you offer to get together but that's a big distance. :D

I'm not saying the speakers are bad, the aluminum drivers are just more harsh than my older speakers. I was going to use them as surrounds with my VMPS SuperTower III's up front. The problem is the VMPS drivers provide a warm sound with vocals from Diana Krall, Holly Cole, Patricia Barber, Norah Jones and others while the Vento Ref 9.2 DC is much harsher by comparison. When both VMPS and Vento speakers are playing together at ear level they don't mix. It's more like fight night than a concert. The two tonal differences are huge. Each is competing for their version of how it should sound. And you have to decide which speaker gets turned off so you can relax and enjoy the music again.

I put them on top of the 6' VMPS towers as L/R Height speakers and ran Audyssey EQ with Denon 4500 and this seem to work better. As long as the Vento's are not pointed at me and are located up 7 feet high the tonal difference is less obvious. I'm going to move them to another room today and try them as a stereo pair. Have a great day!
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
I moved the Vento Ref 9.2 DC speakers to my office and listened to them as a stereo pair for while. Then, I moved a pair of VMPS DiPole bookshelves in with them that are about the same size but 5 pounds lighter and 15 years older. I placed them both in an A-B test where I could switch between them or play them together. The results:
The Vento Ref 9.2 DC has a higher treble extension. More open in the highs. You hear it as soon as you switch from the VMPS DiPole to the Vento Ref 9.2 DC. But the Vento Ref 9.2 DC sounds boxy and much less open. You have to put more power to the Vento to try to push past the boxy sound. But the harshness remains. It's not a warm speaker.
When you switch to the VMPS DiPole the music doesn't feel confined by the box. It's a huge difference that offers a much more open and warm sound. These DiPoles sound so much better to my ear.

Based on the fact that the Vento Ref 9.2 DC are harsh sounding it's hard for me to justify a $1499 price tag. If you never heard the VMPS DiPoles you might think the Vento is as good as it gets. But my ears have been spoiled.

I'll call A4L on Monday and see how badly it will hurt to do a return. I wish this would have been a glowing experience. Any speakers I buy from now on are going to require a great return policy if I can't hear them first. :rolleyes:
 
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Gryph

Gryph

Audioholic
Sorry to hear the Cantons aren’t really to your liking, it sounds like you’ve been listening to the VMPS for some time now so finding replacements may not be as easy as you’d hoped. Obviously you prefer them over the Canton’s anyway.

I don’t imagine you’ll find a pair of BMR’s with an easy and inexpensive return policy. Though I’m sure you could sell an as new pair at a small loss without much trouble if you decided to order those blind as well and then don’t care for them either.
Probably still best if you can find someone in your neck of the woods who’d be willing to let you listen to them once this Covid stuff subsides a bit more.

I myself spent the day listening to my Vento 820’s as everything in my main setup is still unplugged from two days of thunderstorms.
I thoroughly enjoyed those little Ventos, to me they sound absolutely amazing and always surprise a bit as they dig pretty low for such a compact stand mount.

I see that you also think the 9.2’s are a little power hungry and that some extra headroom wouldn’t be a bad idea with them.
I’d already planned to add a couple of mono blocks as the 9.2’s had seemed to need a bit more power than my other Vento line speakers.

Best of luck in your quest for new speakers.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Do you work for Canton? If I remember right you're in the Atlanta area? I'm 1850 miles away. Nice that you offer to get together but that's a big distance. :D

I'm not saying the speakers are bad, the aluminum drivers are just more harsh than my older speakers. I was going to use them as surrounds with my VMPS SuperTower III's up front. The problem is the VMPS drivers provide a warm sound with vocals from Diana Krall, Holly Cole, Patricia Barber, Norah Jones and others while the Vento Ref 9.2 DC is much harsher by comparison. When both VMPS and Vento speakers are playing together at ear level they don't mix. It's more like fight night than a concert. The two tonal differences are huge. Each is competing for their version of how it should sound. And you have to decide which speaker gets turned off so you can relax and enjoy the music again.

I put them on top of the 6' VMPS towers as L/R Height speakers and ran Audyssey EQ with Denon 4500 and this seem to work better. As long as the Vento's are not pointed at me and are located up 7 feet high the tonal difference is less obvious. I'm going to move them to another room today and try them as a stereo pair. Have a great day!
No, I don't work for Canton, but I have been promoting them here because at $600-700/pr for the basic bookshelf speakers, I think they represent the best quality (to my ears, obviously) and also impress me as as a sweetspot in "the point of diminishing returns" spectrum.
Yes, you are pretty far away! I was hoping you might be closer!

It sounds like a lot of your disappointment may stem from your familiarity with di-poles. I might suggest you try a pair of these (see link below). They impressed me as great speakers, but are not as "treble forward" as the Ventos I have heard. They will not address your penchant for the di-pole sound, but they will give you a data point of what the di-pole means to you if I am right about these Elacs having more of the same tonal balance as your VPMS.
Crutchfield has a nice program where it only costs $15 to return an item (within 60 days). To me, that is a bargain for the opportunity to try something out in your own home/room! If the Elac DBR makes it clear that you want/need di-pole speakers, then you can inquire about modern di-poles recommendations.
I am no expert, but in general, I do believe that the science of speaker technology has improved since your VPMS were made. Certainly a great speaker from then is still a very good speaker. I think it would be worth trying out one of the better modern executions of a di-pole!

Whether you try these specifically, or not, I hope you might take advantage of Crutchfield's program because it is an excellent way to trial speakers (unfortunately, they don't have all models/brands)!

Also, please keep us posted on how A4L manages your return!
Thanks!
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
Speakers can be pretty subjective. It's obvious the Vento models are appreciated by many. I purchased the VMPS Towers, four bookshelf DiPole speakers and two dual 15" subs 20 years ago. Obviously, that's an older sound from todays aluminum drivers. Apparently, more different than I expected. :D

I'll investigate the Best Buy and Crutchfield's return policy. Avoiding shipping charges both ways and restocking fees may allow me to try some other options without large surcharges. Thank you for your input.
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Audioholic
What equipment are you running with reference 9.2?

my 896 and 596.2 sound different when I move around my gear.
 
Hitchslapped

Hitchslapped

Audioholic
I just want to mention that I just purchased the Chrono SL 596.2 Towers that came with a free center. I’ll add my thoughts when they come in. Thanks to everyone, especially KEW for turning me on to these bad boys.
 

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