After having these speakers for almost a month, I’ve come to a conclusion.
I’ll first compare f208 towers vs canton vento 896.
tweeter- canton has more detail and plays live instruments better. Revel isn’t too sharp and still detailed but lacks the same dynamics. I’d give the win here barely to canton. The revel are smooth and pleasant in tweeter section but doesn’t come off as rich sounding. If I’d rate on a scale of 1-10. Canton 9 and revel 8.
mids- surprisingly the revel here was a little odd. Mid on revel is a little forward sounding. Like the sound is projecting a foot or two into the room. Not that mid is bad on revel, just forward sound and not as full with 5.25” driver. Canton’s 7” mid has more depth and or laid back more. Has a chesty mid and sound seems to come from behind towers. The revel seems more clear but lacks the same musicality. Canton wins. Canton a 9 and revel 8
Bass- This one is a tough one, both are different here again. Revel isn’t peaky at all and plays clean in room to 26hz. Bass on revel is full and textured but never stands out and grabs your attention. The canton have good extension as well down to 28hz before they drop off. Their bass isn’t as flat though, around 50hz they have a lot of excitement. Listening to certain music I felt I had my subs on with canton. I got my spl meter during this Lindsey Stirling track and I was hitting 118db on vento towers. On revel I was at 111db, so big difference. I think on certain music vento are fun but could be distracting, unless you love bass. Revel win here. Revel a 9 and canton 8
Build quality- revel walnut finish is outstanding, connections are well built, tuning knobs feel great but soft plastic cap is dated and needs to go. Canton black gloss is as good as I’ve ever seen in black. Connections are wbt and built very well, base is sturdy and great looking. Vento wins. Canton 10 revel 8
overall the vento 896 is a better speaker to me. They have a more precise image, it can move from left to right and back to center with better music recordings. You can sit back and pick out instruments or even imagine where each member of the band is sitting on the stage. It’s a wide soundstage that’s sitting behind the speakers. F208 does some of these things well too, but the sound feels like it’s coming from in front of the speakers. Instruments are harder to pick out and you can’t get lost in a song the same way.
now centers, revel c208 vs vento 866
Really everything above is true again here with a couple changes.
tweeter- voices are less sharp on revel, more pleasant at high spl. Vento isn’t too sharp but playing a long movie like lord of the rings you can feel some fatigue at high spl. Revel wins. Revel 9 canton 8
mids- similar to above, revel forward and canton more laid back. Vento 866 has a 7” mid vs c208 4” mid. Vento is more chesty and full and feels like a much bigger speaker. The revel still seems more clear and coherent. This one is close. Revel wins. Revel 9 and canton 8.
bass- this is a different design from each other. Revel has 2 8” bass drivers in a sealed box. Canton has one 7” driver in a ported box. The c208 is full and has great depth but doesn’t match the vento here. Playing venom or the new puss and boots movie you can hear the canton’s growl and extension. Canton wins. Canton 9 and revel 8.
overall the revel c208 wins.
The c208 is better off axis than vento 866.2. Revel is always clear and easy to understand. Has good depth but the cabinet is rather large and doesn’t look as good under your display.
Things to note, testing was done the best I could. Avr was arcam avr10 with nad t977 power amp. I first tested for around 2 weeks with no dirac or eq. I’d run them with my Rythmik fv18 subs and full range with subs off. Last few weeks I compared with dirac on to get my final results. I used a y splitter from my arcam to my amp to run all 4 speakers at once. I still had to get up and unplug the other speakers during playback. It was still the fastest way to go back and forth during testing. I even compared using different avrs to see if there was any differences.
Lastly the canton set actually plays louder with gear I have. Never distorts or makes a bad noise. Revel when played at reference volumes seemed stressed when set to full range. All 6 of these speakers have similar sensitivity from 88-89db. The revel say they can handle more power, and maybe my amp wasn’t up to the task to drive the revel this way? The nad t977 is a seven channel amp rated at 140x7 at 8ohms all channels driven. 2 channels driven its 225x2@8ohms and 400x2@4ohms and even passed on a 2 ohm load at over 600x2. So some pretty good dynamics on this 72lb amplifier. The vento might be a better match though because they are truly a 4 ohm speaker and drop to 3.1 ohms at certain frequencies. The revel do drop down in 4ohm territory but live mostly in 6-8 ohm area. Maybe my amp likes showing off it’s below 4 ohm power capability better? I’m not entirely sure and maybe someone with more knowledge could give insight on this.
I’m keeping both sets of speakers for a long time or until something else comes along and I’ll compare them all over again. For now revel goes in movie room and vento goes in music room, which is my bedroom. Vento will be matched with a marantz 6015, and power amp, that most likely will be monolith 3x or anthem mca325.
thanks for reading