Canton GLE Speaker System Set-up & Real World Performance
I set up the system with the left and right speakers flanking my 100-inch SMX projection screen with the center speaker and the subwoofer beneath the screen. The surround speakers were placed at ear height 110 degrees from the center, placing them slightly behind the listening position.
I set the crossover in the Anthem Statement D2 pre-pro to 80Hz. To bypass the crossover in the subwoofer, I set it to 200Hz, its highest position.
Since the main speakers are the primary sound source in a multichannel home-theater system, I started my listening with 2-channel material. It was immediately apparent that the GLE 470 speakers have lots of crisp detail in the upper-midrange/lower-treble region. It sounded as if they have extended high-frequency response, which the measurements seem to confirm.
Renee Olsted's only CD, titled simply Renee Olsted, revealed extraordinary vocal detail—not edgy, shrill, or even bright, just great resolution of low-level detail. The Canton speakers conveyed every subtle aspect of her luscious voice as if she was in the room. I heard details I don't remember hearing before, and this is one of my reference discs.
The sounds of drumsticks on cymbals, brushes on drum skins, rattles, and other percussion instruments had exceptional definition with very clean and accurate reproduction. At one point, I swear I heard some tape hiss, but I can't be sure.
It became clear that the GLE 470s do not have a flat frequency response, but that's a compliment, not a criticism. They have a very pleasant, easy-listening sound quality.
In the bass region, the GLE 470s—along with the AS 85 SC subwoofer—managed to reproduce the lowest octave in Oregon's "Rewind" from the Beyond Words CD. Overall, the main speakers had good, solid bass, not boomy or too heavy. They have adequate bass without the subwoofer, but a sub is essential with any source that has an LFE track.
Testing the Canton subwoofer by itself, I noticed that it produced a bit of port noise or "chuffing" when played at louder volumes, but this was not noticeable when played with the rest of the system. I've dubbed this phenomenon "port-noise complaint"—ha!
The imaging and soundstaging in Ana Caram's "Anos Dourados" from her CD Rio After Dark, one of the best Chesky recordings, had a very strong sense of space and air around her voice suspended between the speakers.
Next up was multichannel music with Donald Fagen's Nightfly, one of the cleanest, most dynamic DVD-Audio recordings I've heard. In my opinion, the sound quality is as good as some studio master recordings I've heard. The piano in "Ruby Baby" sounded stark and very natural as if it were in the room. The harmony vocals in this track are reminiscent of The Four Freshman, and the Canton system created a realistic, enveloping soundfield that surrounded me from all directions.
I recently bought the two-disc set of The Eagles Farewell Tour—Live From Melbourne on DVD, which also proved to be a good test of the Canton speaker system. The Eagles produce some of the best live recordings, and this 3-plus-hour concert is no exception. Every track sounded extraordinary with deep, tight bass, outstanding vocal clarity, and clean, crisp percussion.
Even when played at concert-level volume, the Canton GLE speakers sounded magnificent. I pushed them to even higher levels and they never sounded congested or overdriven. So far, the Canton speakers have exceeded my expectations.
I've never seen How the West Was Won before now, but my eyes were riveted to the screen and my ears to the Canton speakers as I watched the re-release of this classic film on Blu-ray. The two-disc set includes the original three-camera Cinerama widescreen version that was truly panoramic on my 100-inch screen. The film was so artfully restored that there was hardly a clue that it was filmed over 40 years ago. Even the seams between the three prints were barely visible.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack was the real stunner. The film's music, dialog, and surround effects sounded so alive and natural that I could be convinced it was recorded specifically for the Blu-ray release. The clarity of the sound was extraordinary.
An eye-popping image on a big screen is a huge part of an impressive home theater, but it's the soundtrack that really allows the suspension of disbelief. A good soundtrack reproduced on a high-quality speaker system draws the viewer into the story and shapes a 3-dimensional listening experience as I heard on the Blu-ray version of Flight Plan.
This movie was mostly filmed within a large, double-deck, wide-body aircraft flying at 40,000 feet. Every time in-flight turbulence occurred, the soundtrack seemed to make the room shake as if I was seated on the plane. Several scenes filmed on the runway realistically depicted the awesome power of the four turbine engines as the jet roared overhead. The dynamic range of the 48kHz/16-bit PCM soundtrack reproduced by the Canton speakers sounded outstanding.