Canton Movie 10-MX II Home Cinema System Reviewed

Canton Movie 10-MX II Home Cinema System Reviewed

The Canton Movie 10-MXII did well with music, not just movies. Our reviewer noted that "vocals were well defined and separate from the musical instruments." Overall, the music was "richly articulated and nicely layered." On movies, "the center channel did a good job of reproducing dialogue and the surround speakers played sound effects "quite well"

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Unlike some of my colleagues at Avodah Publishing, I was first exposed to consumer electronics with 12-volt products. By the time I was out of high school, I was building custom vehicles and looked to car audio to add the extra sonic impact I was missing. I was naturally drawn to the boomy bass systems that teenagers love, but I soon developed a thirst for a better sound-stage and true reproductive sound qualities. While my friends continued adding 15- and 18-inch subwoofers to their 6 x 9 Sparkomatic coaxial speakers, I began my search for higher caliber audio.

I auditioned many brands and sizes of speakers and ultimately chose a component set from a little known German company called Canton. I liked the Canton speakers because they sounded very clear and bright with a subtle bass response. But that was over 15 years ago, and again I find myself auditioning Canton speakers. This time around, though, it's the Canton Movie 10-MX II home cinema
speaker ensemble.

Unique Features
Canton has released five new home theater ensembles in their "Movie" line of speaker systems. The 10-ND( II system, available in black or a silver satin finish, is the second least expensive ensemble offered, and comes packaged with four identical two-way cube speakers, a larger center channel speaker and a powered subwoofer. The satellite speakers are compact and ideally made for placement on bookshelves or mounted to a wall. Each speaker contains a 3-inch polypropylene woofer and .6 inch aluminum tweeter mounted-above the woofer. The center channel is magnetically shielded for television placement and
well matched to the satellites. Flanking a .6-inch aluminum tweeter are two 3-inch polypropylene woofers in the center channel for enhanced dialogue reproduction. The Canton AS-10 subwoofer included in the 10-MX II system has an 8-inch cellulose/graphite driver powered by a 110-watt amplifier. The subwoofer is a bandpass design with the driver facing rearward and completely enclosed with only the port visible. A volume control and adjustable crossover frequency knob are conveniently placed high on the back panel of the subwoofer. Crossover points from 80-140Hz are selectable via the rotary control.

Canton has proprietary circuits to restrict the excursion limits of the satellite and center channel woofers. When these speakers are fed signals outside their frequency limits, the excursion control circuits and a passive high-pass filter block the signals for improved driver performance with less harmonic distortion. The 10-MX II subwoofer has advanced Subwoofer Control Technology with excursion control circuits as well. Frequency range is optimized without sacrificing stability or control of the unit.

Installation/Setup/Ease of Use
Targeted at buyers looking for big sound from a small package, the Canton 10-MX II Movie system will beautify any room. The mini satellites each have three rubber feet for bookshelf applications and hardware is provided to mount them (and the center channel) to the wall. After properly positioning the speakers and placing the wall mounts, the mini speakers just rest on an alignment pin to be securely fastened to the mounting bracket. The center channel can either be attached to the wall in .a similar fashion or placed atop a television and fine tuned with a height adjustment pin.

The center and surround speakers have screw-type speaker terminals to connect them to an amplifier. The terminals accept a wide gauge of speaker cable or banana plugs, but I found the design awkward. To present a clean appearance on the rear side of the speakers, Canton recessed the terminals approximately one-half inch. This may not sound like much, but thick-fingered hobbyists will have a difficult time screwing the posts down to keep the wiring firmly in place. The subwoofer has a left and right cinch connector for amplifiers with a separate sub output. The alternative is to connect the front left and front right outputs of the amp to both the front left and right satellite speakers as well as to binding posts on the AS-10 subwoofer.

I connected the speakers to a NAD 1752 A/V surround receiver and used the dual RCA cinch connectors on the subwoofer. The surround speakers topped floor mounted stands and the center channel found a home on my rear projection Mitsubishi HDTV, angled down slightly to my primary viewing headquarters, also known as the sofa. With the mini satellites on stands, I was able to move the speakers about the room until I was satisfied with their positions. Proper positioning of the sub isn't critical, but placing it near the front speakers is preferred. It found a home next to the TV and complimented my home theater electronics with its simple design and refined looks.

Read more on Page 2.

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Final Take
I've had some experience with cube speaker systems in the past that left me with a bad impression of what accurate music reproduction is all about. So before the first note played through the 10-MX II ensemble, I had reservations about what they were capable of. Once the Cantons were broken in a bit, I got down to the task at hand. Taking baby steps, I listened to some Ziggy Marley and Sting's Brand New Dayin both two-channel stereo and enhanced stereo mode through all the speakers. I increased the volume until the built-in overload protection cut out and switched the speakers off momentarily. After several adjustments of the subwoofer crossover frequency and volume, I was able to achieve better performance without overloading the speakers. Vocals were well defined and separate from the musical instruments on Sting's songs, "A Thousand Years" and "Brand New Day." Midrange from "One Bright Day" and "Black My Story" tracks by Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers was richly articulated and nicely layered. The highs and mids blended well and offered marvelous dynamics. Highs were crisp but a bit hollow when I listened to Grover Washington Jr. play saxophone solos. Nonetheless, I was bowled over by the brilliant large sound coming from the small cubes.

With the Canton AS-10 subwoofer primed and ready, I relentlessly pounded the system with bass music to see if it could keep up. Tracks from LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys that are notorious for deep bass dropped frequency response to low levels without being too boomy. Over time, I was able to properly adjust the gains to compensate for some undue reverb below 100Hz.

But the 10-MX II was designed chiefly for home cinema applications. Choosing titles with a wide spectrum of tonal qualities, I found an equal balance of dispersion across the entire auditory range. The center channel did a good job of reproducing dialogue and the surround speakers played sound effects from prop planes and explosions to laughter and footsteps quite well. The soundfield was moderately wide and movie soundtracks exhibited the same proportionate dynamics as two-channel music reproduction.

The Canton Movie 10-MX II System is an attractive looking ensemble. The speakers don't attract undue attention to themselves because of their demure size and striking design. The ergonomics of the subwoofer are properly thought out and paired well with the small but powerful surround speakers. I was surprised the 10-MX II did not have speaker wiring included in the package because at such a reasonable price, this system may be the first surround sound system for many buyers. But still, quality cabling is one of the first upgrades an audiophile will make, so the cables may be redundant.

My experience with the 10-MX II ensemble was quite satisfying. When you take into account that the system sells for only nine large, the value to performance ratio makes this Canton Movie System especially attractive.

Canton Movie 10-MX II Home Cinema System
Satellite Nominal/Music
Power Output: 40/70 watts
Subwoofer Nominal/MusicPower
Output: 50/110 watts
Nominal Impedance: 4 / 8 ohms
Satellite Frequency Response:100-25,000 Hz
Subwoofer Frequency Response: 33-140 Hz
Satellite Crossover Frequency: 5,000 Hz
Subwoofer Crossover Frequency:
80-140 Hz (adjustable)
Tweeter: .6-inch
Aluminum-Manganese Membrane
Woofers: 3-inch Polypropylene Membrane
(satellite)
8-inch Cellulose/Graphite (subwoofer)
Dimensions: 4.5 inches tall x 3.5 inches wide x
3.9 inches deep (satellites);
14.2 inches tall x 9.4 inches wide x
17.7 inches deep (subwoofer)
Weight: 2.14 lbs. (satellites);
27.6 lbs. (subwoofer)
Warranty: 5-year (satellites & center channel);
2-year (subwoofer)
MSRP: $899

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