The German speaker maker Canton chose CEDIA as its venue of choice for rolling out the firm’s new flagship Reference speaker line, represented by the limited edition Reference Jubilée—a large 3-way bass reflex floorstander that will sell for approximately $18,000/pair. The upper section of the speaker features an a midrange driver sporting a so-called TCC (triple-curved cone) diaphragm as well as a patented wave surround system, plus a single tweeter featuring an aluminum oxide ceramic dome and a “transmission front plate” said to improve “the dispersion, efficiency, and omni-directional performance (of the tweeter) above 15,000 Hz.” The lower section of the speaker uses two aluminum woofers that also feature Canton’s patented wave surround system. Canton claims low frequency extension to 18 Hz. The Reference Jubilée was only on static display at CEDIA, but it should prove fun to hear in action.
Earlier this year Definitive introduced the first of what was destined to become a three-product family of excellent but affordable stand-mount Studio Monitors, and at CEDIA the firm launched the largest and most accomplished member of that family: namely, the SM65 monitor, priced at $900/pair. The driver complement includes a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter, a pair of Definitive’s signature 5 ¼-inch BDSS mid/bass drivers, and a 6-inch x 12 x inch “racetrack”-shaped passive radiator. Although the SM65 is the biggest of Definitive’s SM-series models, it stands only 16 ½-inch tall. Be don’t let the SM65’s compact dimensions fool you; this little speaker sounds huge and produces astonishingly authoritative bass (Definitive claims low frequency extension to a very low 30 Hz). What is more, the sound is warm (but not overly warm), engaging, and remarkably refined, making this product not only a great value but also a viable alternative to larger and more costly floorstanders.
Hailing from Sweden, DLS specializes in manufacturing slim-line on-wall speakers for serious audio enthusiasts—speakers collectively known as the Flatbox series. While many of you might feel the phrases “on-wall speakers” and “serious audio enthusiasts” don’t belong in the same sentence, the DLS products might change your mind, in part because they have been designed by people who earnestly believe that a properly designed on-wall speaker can potentially outperform its freestanding in-room counterparts.
To drive home this point, the DLS team played for me a neat little 2.1-channel package comprised of a pair of DLS Flatbox XL main speakers and a Flatbox Flatsub8 (~$1900 for the package), which I felt was thoroughly competitive with many of the equivalently priced floorstanders I’ve heard. But the real piece de resistance cam in the form of the firm’s larger and all-new M2 on-wall speakers (~$3000/pair), which a company spokesman described as a three-way, on-wall studio monitors. Although the M2s tend to blend into the walls in a visual sense, they produce a dramatic and impressive sound—open, articulate, dynamic, and possessed of taut by potent bass. I’m told that TAS’ Dr. Robert E. Greene may soon be receiving a pair to review, which just goes to show you that some guys have all the luck.
By the way, if you have any trouble doing further research on DLS, it helps to know that their products are distributed through Simplifi Audio (www.simplifiaudio.com), which is the same firm that also distributes Gradient, Klangwerk, and PSI loudspeakers, audio electronics from Resolution Audio, and critically acclaimed room/subwoofer correction systems from DSPeaker.