Canton Ergo Speaker System Reviewed

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Regarding the sub's crossover setting, the official "Made in Germany" spec sticker indicates a frequency response up to 150Hz, the owner's manual says the crossover is adjustable from 50Hz to 150Hz, and the Canton website says the same. However, the crossover knob on the rear of my AS-2 SC was labeled 60Hz to 120Hz. I am guessing it's simply a typo on the back panel. It's also not a big deal, because even if 120Hz was the top end, you rarely let a subwoofer handle anything over 100Hz unless you're pairing it with miniscule satellite speakers. And this Canton Ergo ensemble was anything but miniscule.

Finally, since my room's bass sweet spot is the rear corner, I set the Phase knob close to the 180 degree setting (thankfully, this is an infinitely variable control) and volume/level ended up around the "4" mark. I disabled the (sometimes) useful "Auto-On" feature for the purposes of this review.

Final Take
After a few calibration tests on Digital Video Essentials, I moved on to some familiar movie material. These Ergo speakers immediately grabbed my attention with their precision and detail, though my first impressions also revealed a somewhat laid-back sound. I don't consider that a bad thing. Too many speakers are harsh and edgy, but these Cantons were subtly smooth and effectively transparent.

Gun shots and chopper blades throughout Ridley Scott's masterful Black Hawk Down were spot-on and dialogue was well presented, never sounding out of place. During the Diva sequence from The Fifth Element, I noticed some bright high notes that were at times distracting, but this problem was correctable. It turns out that these speakers sound better off-axis than they do head-on. The brightness I heard disappeared when I moved the towers parallel to the wall and did away with the toed-in setup.

Music sounded wonderful. The Ergos have a nice open, airy sound. Mid-bass and the subwoofer cutoff were very smooth and I was hard-pressed to find any frequency gaps.

My final demo sold me on these speakers. Watching the opening battle sequence from Master and Commander in DTS was a visceral experience in every respect. Canon blasts were thunderous and every splintering piece of mast and hull rang exceptionally true. The 302 surrounds provided for enveloping surround and all of the speakers had excellent timbre matching. Although their 4-8 ohm impedance makes them a little power hungry, the Ergo line from Canton earned my respect as well as a permanent place in my theater. •

Additional Resources
• Read more floorstanding speaker reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Explore subwoofer pairing options for the Canton Ergo.

Ergo 1002 DC (mains)
3-way floorstanding tower
(2) 9-inch polypropylene woofers
(1) 7-inch aluminum membrane midrange
(1) 1-inch aluminum-manganese tweeter
Bi-wireable, Bi-ampable
Nom. Power Handling: 200 watts
Nom. Impedance: 4-8 ohms
Frequency Response: 20Hz-30kHz
45.3"H x 10.2"W x 13.7"D
MSRP: $3,000/pair

Ergo CM 502 (center)
2 1/2-way center channel
(2) 7-inch aluminum membrane woofers
(1) 1-inch aluminum-manganese tweeter
Bi-wireable, Bi-ampable
Nom. Power Handling: 110 watts
Nom. Impedance: 4-8 ohms
Frequency Response: 26Hz-30kHz
8.9"H x 19.7"W x 11.3"D
MSRP: $800

Ergo 302 (surrounds)
2-way bookshelf speaker
(1) 8-inch aluminum membrane woofer
(1) 1-inch aluminum-manganese tweeter
Bi-wireable, Bi-ampable
Nom. Power Handling: 90 watts
Nom. Impedance: 4-8 ohms
Frequency Response: 27Hz-30kHz
15.7"H x 8.7"Wx 12.1"D
MSRP: $1,400/pair

Ergo AS 2 SC (subwoofer)
12-inch side-firing cellulose/polyester woofer
Variable Phase (0-180 degrees)
Auto on/off setting
Line-level and speaker-level inputs
Frequency Range: 20Hz-150Hz
Adjustable Crossover: 50-150Hz
22"H x 14.2"W x 17.6"D
MSRP: $1,500
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HTR Product Rating for Canton Ergo Speaker System

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

4

Overall

4

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