CANTON Reference K3 floorstand ceramic/tungsten 7"mid 2x9"bass 89dB 18Hz-40kH

CN 07 SF RK3 B
NZ$ 17,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Canton speakers

CANTON REFERENCE K series - "TIMELESS CREATIONS for ULTIMATE MUSICAL PLEASURE

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CANTON (to SING / TONE) HIGH-END SPEAKERS HAND MADE IN GERMANY.
"Terry - well after a week of late nights and great music both digital and via my new Clearaudio turntable what can I say, WOW, my new Cantons Reference K3 speakers have really started to sing.  The mid range and top end detail is there in spades just as you suggested it would be , however I just can't believe the effect they have had in the lower registers. Both subtlety and raw horse power all combining to create a very special loud speaker, thanks again for steering me in the right direction and I'm sure as this journey continues our paths will cross again"
…… Shane  (a very happy owner).

REFERENCE K SERIES
The Reference K Series marks the beginning of a new age of sound. Characterised by the classic virtues of the Reference family, a constant drive for innovation and a focus on the fundamental elements of sound, it strives for ever greater perfection. A perfection that is achieved in an impressively practical way.

"Developing loudspeakers is like living in a monastery. Strict asceticism and a focus on essentials lead to a steady improvement in virtues. For me, the new Reference K Series represents one more step towards inner maturity, outer perfection and complete sound. With its great potential it offers greater composure and more thrilling vivacity than ever before".……Frank Göbl The designer of the Reference K Series

REFERENCE K3 - VERSATILE 
It is pure. It is clear. At the same time it offers an almost infinite fullness of sound in its pursuit of the very highest quality. It achieves this through its meticulous fidelity of sound and the huge potential that it can draw upon to create a lasting impression.

REVIEWERS SUMMARY:
ILLUSTRATION - 5/5 STARS
NEUTRALITY - 5/5 STARS
FINE RESOLUTION / DETAIL - 5/5 STARS
THREE DIMENSIONALITY - 5/5 STARS
NATURALNESS - 5/5 STARS
DYNAMICS - 5/5 STARS
LEVEL STABILITY - 5/5 STARS
BASS QUALITY - 5/5 STARS
QUALITY PROCESSING - 5/5 STARS
PRICE / PERFORMANCE - 5/5 STARS

TECHNOLOGY - First class components. 
Perfection is all about the detail. This is why the components of the Reference K loudspeakers are carefully checked and acoustically optimised. The results are impressive right down to the very last nuance of sound.

CHASSIS - Innovative driver technology
The drivers of the Reference K Series have been comprehensively redesigned. To maximise their rigidity while maintaining optimum internal damping, the woofer and midrange cone drivers are now also fitted with a ceramic-tungsten membrane. Not only does this enhance their outward appearance, but it also ensures a precisely controlled swing-in and swing-out behaviour across the whole transmission range. The natural resonance is therefore always outside the transmission range.

CERAMIC-TUNGSTEN TECHNOLOGY
The membranes of the K Series are manufactured in an elaborate process. Up to 20 % of the existing molecular structure of the cone is transformed into a ceramic structure and refined with tungsten particles. The result is a membrane with an optimum ratio of rigidity to weight and improved inner damping.

PERFECT TWEETERS
Ceramic is a unique material in the world of sound. That’s why the Reference tweeters have evolved still further to include a one-piece ceramic dome for the K Series. The one-piece wave guide, which first appeared in the Reference Jubilée, now supports the dispersion characteristics of the K system.

STRICKING TCC MIDRANGE SYSTEM
The triple-curved cone membrane of the midrange speaker with its ceramic-tungsten structure represents an optimum design standard. Together with the new, tripled-folded wave surround, it gives extreme rigidity and excellent balance in terms of the swing-in and swing-out behaviour through to the highest frequencies. Another new feature in the shape of the high quality front rings made from die-cast aluminium increases the mechanical stability of the driver system.

INNOVATIVE WOOFERS
The woofers now also come with a ceramic-tungsten membrane. This gives optimal control of the surround behaviour, allowing perfect bass tones at all volumes.

SOLID CABINET DESIGN
The acoustically optimised cabinet with its organic curved baffle offers significantly improved dispersion characteristics. The solid construction of high quality 50 mm multi-layer laminate sets new standards in terms of stability. The characteristic bow shape of the cabinet is created from solid material in a special process.

BASS-GUIDE
The floorstanding loudspeakers of the Reference K Family operate with the new Bass-Guide® bass reflex system. Vibrations are directed away from the cabinet and flow noise is reduced. The usable inner volume of the loudspeaker is maximised while the external dimensions remain the same and there is greater flexibility in the set-up location. The distance from walls or corners no longer has much impact.

SURFACES 
The elegant, high gloss, “piano finish” surface is applied and polished in a 12- stage process. It gives the cabinets of the Reference K Series a sensation of extraordinary depth. Acoustically optimised, two-part fabric covers with magnetic fastenings complete the exclusive look.

SPEAKER CONNECTION TERMINALS
The high quality connection area with four gold-plated screwclamp terminals is suitable for cable diameters up to 10 mm2 and special cable shoes. This provides secure connections Crossovers with long-term stability.

CROSSOVERS
The crossovers of the Reference 1 K and 3 K speakers discreetly separate the bass, mid-range and treble ranges. Only selected components with no tolerance are used in the manufacture of their low-resonance circuit boards. Here it is not just a matter of separating an audio signal but also of creating sounds.

EXCLUSIVE CABLING
Cabling is reduced to a minimum. The cables themselves are specially developed for the Reference K loudspeakers. The design, with its special core and six twisted individual conductors per phase, ensures optimum sound transmission from the connection terminal to the chassis.

GRILL COVERS
Acoustically optimised fabric covers with magnetic fastenings complete the exclusive look.

SURFACE - Available on the following finishes:
Black lacquer “piano finish“ (standard)
Cherry veneer “piano finish” (optional)
White lacquer “piano finish” (optional)

MANUFACTURING QUALITY
We develop and manufacture the loudspeaker systems of our Reference K Series in our own workshops. This is the only way we can satisfy the quality standards required, eliminate fault tolerances and achieve the high sound perfection of our premium products. DESIGNED and HAND MADE MANUFACTURE in GERMANY

Features

Specifications

Reviews

Testimonials

Videos

Features

- 1x Ceramic dome Tweeter w/ one piece wave guide
- 1x Ceramic / Tungsten Mid w/ triple-curved cone membrane & Triple-folded wave surround for max flexibility and die-cast ali front rings for max rigidity.
- 2x Ceramic / Tungsten Woofers for perfect bass tones.
- Cabinet of high quality 50 mm multi-layer laminate 
- Piano finish surface is applied and polished in a 12 stage process.
- Terminal with separate level adjustment of +/- 1.5db on Mid & Tweeter
- Base Plinth with Bass-Guide® Reflex system
- High-end cable system
- Gold plated bi-wiring / bi-amping screw clamp terminals
- Fabric grill with magnetic mount
- DC Technology ('Displacement Control'), developed by Canton prevents the uncontrolled deflection of the bass loudspeaker membrane at low tones. It suppresses the subsonic (i.e. not audible) oscillations and allows the bass tones to sound perceptibly sharper and more precise.
- The Complete loudspeaker system is develop and manufacture in our own workshops in Germany. This is the only way we can satisfy the quality standards required, eliminate fault tolerances and achieve the high sound perfection of our premium products. DESIGNED and HAND MADE MANUFACTURE in GERMANY

Specifications

Type - High-End floorstanding speaker
Engineering Principle - 3-Way, Bass reflex system
Nom. / Music power handling - 350 / 600 Watts
SPL (1 watt/1m) - 89 dB
Frequency response - 18Hz…40kHz
Crossover frequency - 220/3.000 Hz
Woofer - 2x 220 mm, Ceramic - Tungsten membrane
Midrange - 1x 180 mm, Ceramic - Tungsten (with Triple Folded Wave Surround - TCC-Triple curved cone)
Tweeter - 1x 25 mm, one piece Ceramic - Ali dome with wave guide.
Nominal Impedance - 4…8 Ohm
Dimensions - 1150H x 335W x 490D mm
Weight - 56kg ea

Reviews

Reference 3K has a huge sound image that hangs from top to toe, without any hassles. Can sound deliciously rhythmic and sugar-sweet, depending on the music.
Geir Gråbein Nordby

SUMMARY: Canton Reference 3K is a large speaker, with an equally magnificent sound. It is not afraid to thrive when it comes to and massage the entire body with sound waves.

Speakers turn out to be absolutely awesome with classical music. I mentioned Wagner, and then it is the opera "Valkyrian" that applies.And the way in which speakers fill the room with tones from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the strictest way is really a chapter by themselves. 

The "Valkyrierite", the most famous part that we recognise from countless films, almost makes us feel welcome. The speakers do not give the least signs of hesitation, trumpets, trombones, and eagles are banging out of them, while the tubers and pukors thrive in the deep bass register. Lighter wind instruments and cymbals hover in the top and spread outwards in the two-dimensional plane. The music becomes alive like with a few other speakers, it sounds like a military invasion is taking place in the room.

Arcas Spanish-singing voice appears weightless, floating and beautiful. The transition from midrange to treble is completely seamless, the stereo perspective is as cast, and despite the height of the speakers, it is possible to sit quite so close without losing the perspective. 

Whatever music I put on, the speakers respond to both massaging my senses and letting me dance. As long as the recording is good.

EXTENDED REVIEW: The Canton is one of Germany's greatest hifi pride, where it's about telling the whole and true truth. Whether it's Beethoven, Wagner or Rammstein who is on the rhythmic playlist, the music will be reproduced to the smallest detail. No shortcuts are accepted, which is a truth that only becomes more pronounced the higher up in the price ranges that come. We have previously known Canton's cheaper speakers, and several of them have impressed us. But it is in the high-end class that the Canton thrives the best.

With a price of over SEK 100,000 for a pair, Reference 3K is definitely high-end. A class where you expect the speakers to wake up dead artists from the grave to give private and intimate concerts where music history is painted on a holographic screen and the sense of time and space is almost solved. Everything but amazing sound is a flop, it requires flawless dynamics, almost endless amounts of sound colours witout any distorion down to the deepest bases. Something you should get because you have burned the household's savings money and a part of the pension on a couple of speakers to achieve the high level!

Enormous stuff

Reference 3K is not the largest model - the honour goes to the mighty Reference 1K - but it is still large stretches 1150mm above sea level and houses two 220mm (8.5-inch) bass drivers. The weight of 56kg per speaker means that one is the strongest advise of trying to handle them on their own.

The first thing that strikes me is the massive cabinet. It is obviously solidly built, and acoustically optimised with an arched front plate that counteracts diffractions in high frequencies. On a flat front plate, short noise waves travel back and forth along the surface and collide with each other causing phase distortions. The wider the front, the worse it will be, so on such a large speaker it is an advantage if the front bends off. The walls are 50mm thick and consist of several layers to prevent resonances.

If you think I'm talking about the cabinet in a technical and mechanical way, it's because they raise such feelings. The whole design is built for the sake of purpose, and available in piano black or piano white lacquer.

Construction

The diaphragms in the base and middle register elements are mainly made of ceramic treated tungsten. It will provide an optimal stiffness to weight ratio and additionally extra damping on the inside. Everything for the sake of music, so that the tones can flow as unaffected as possible.The treble is also made of ceramic.

The split filters use circuit boards with a little self-resonance and the internal cabling is minimised. The cables themselves are specially developed for the Reference K series.

In addition to the rear terminals there are two link terminals that can be connected in different ways to provide more or less treble or midrange, according to listener preferences. In our rather subdued rooms, they work best in neutral mode.

About location

Reference 3K goes deep into the base, but Canton promises that they are not so violently difficult in terms of placement relative to back and side walls. Much thanks to the bass reflex port that has a special waveguide that spreads the sound waves better and reduces turbulence in the mouth of the base port.

When dealing with such a large speaker, which goes so deeply in the base, it is still important to work with the location. It's about getting as tight a bass as possible combined with an optimal stereo perspective. Close to the wall can be a lot of bass - maybe a bit too much and too daring - but a flater stereo perspective. Long on the floor often provides a thinner base but a larger and deeper sound image.

In our test room, which measures approximately 7 x 4.5 meters, the speakers work best around 1.1 m from each side wall, measured from the centre of the treble element, and with the front plate 1.7 meters from the back wall. If you want an optimal starting point to work in your own room.

One, swipe, turn!

Time for music. The speakers are connected to Ayre's electronics: the digital media player and QX-5 Twenty digital converter are connected to the KX-R Twenty power amplifier and the 2x200 watts potent power amplifier VX-R Twenty. Sure, quite crazy, I know. But yozy so that combination sounds! And when you test expensive speakers you want to hear what they really do with optimal equipment. 

Speakers turn out to be absolutely awesome with classical music. I mentioned Wagner, and then it is the opera "Valkyrian" that applies.And the way in which speakers fill the room with tones from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the strictest way is really a chapter by themselves. The "Valkyrierite", the most famous part that we recognise from countless films, almost makes us feel welcome. The speakers do not give the least signs of hesitation, trumpets, trombones, and eagles are banging out of them, while the tubers and pukors thrive in the deep bass register. Lighter wind instruments and cymbals hover in the top and spread outwards in the two-dimensional plane. The music becomes alive like with a few other speakers, it sounds like a military invasion is taking place in the room.

Even electronic, rhythmic music makes the speakers easy to play.The new song "Anocha" of the odd hip-hop phenomenon Arca is a kind of crossing between hip and classical music, with Spanish songs in the midst of a wonderful big and open soundscape and a heavy, beautiful bass. 

The Canton speakers produce everything in a particularly cool way and present it in a giant soundtrack. The loudest loudspeakers of the speakers are the vast landscape that effortlessly fills the room, completely free from masking puckles or swirls.

Arcas Spanish-singing voice appears weightless, floating and beautiful. The transition from midrange to treble is completely seamless, the stereo perspective is as cast, and despite the height of the speakers, it is possible to sit quite so close without losing the perspective. This is because the treble element is at the earpiece below the middle register. In practice, you can sit as close to Reference 3K as the much smaller Audiovector SR3 Avantgarde Arreté and Sonus Faber Olympica III.

A comparison

If you compare, Olympica III is not as airy in the harmonics. The smaller Sonus faber speakers focus more on the middle register, giving the music a darker tone. 

Reference 3K may not be the same focus on the centre as the Sonos, the width and depth of the sound image is superior to the Germans. This is repeated with Daft Punk's cool debut song "Lose Yourself to Dance", where Canton unfolds the sound image an extra snap. Again, Pharell Williams's voice is probably a little bit better planted in the middle of Sonus fabs, but the Canton fills the room in a completely different way.

Reference 3K is also more linear from the middle base to the bottom so that bass instruments breathe better. The Bastrumman makes the less of the bass guitar, there is more weight further down and everything sounds more unobtrusive, especially at high volume.

The significantly more compact Audiovector SR3 Avantgarde Arreté has even more air at the top thanks to the bandwidths, but Reference 3K breaks them when it's about weight in the bass register. In the price range around SEK100,000, there are not many who beat the Canton when everything is added together, because they are so good at everything.

German to German

Soundly wakes Reference 3K memories from the ELAC FS 509 VX JET, another German high-end speaker we tested in 2012. They have the same strength, thus a giant sound image with extreme openness and precision, but the Canton speakers are even more benefiting from their big bass, while we thought the FS 509 was a bit restrained in the middle base.

Whatever music I put on, the speakers respond to both massaging my senses and letting me dance. As long as the recording is good, please note. An overcompressed pop production gets nothing for free here.

About amplifier

The Canton K3 speakers don’t need colossal expensive amplifier combination to let brilliantly. They are light enough to work with an integrated amplifier like Hegel Voice, as long as you keep the noise level below what the neighbours think is acceptable. 

We also got an aha experience with the Hegel P30 preamplifier along with the Hegel H20 power amplifier and even more meat on the legs with the McIntosh MA7000.

If you have acoustic problems, the Arcam SR250 with Dirac space correction can also make wonders. But with the Ayre plant we came even closer to the music, heard more details and sat almost spellbound. Speakers deliver a high degree of what they receive.

Conclusion

Canton Reference 3K is a large speaker, with an equally magnificent sound. It is not afraid to thrive when it comes to and massage the entire body with sound waves! 

But it also sounds as good at low volume, which is not the case with all major speakers. 

The bass is deep and beautiful, it's super fast and the sound image is presented in a holographic and comprehensive way. 

The music style does not matter, Reference 3K does not care if you like classical, flamenco, metal or hip hop.

There are speakers that have even more airy harmonics, and there are those who have an even more centred centre in the soundtrack, but when you put everything together, Reference 3K is a pair of speakers that sounds amazing almost anything you do. Add that they are easier to place than the size implies that the case should be done.

Canton Reference 3K is a large speaker, with an equally magnificent sound. It is not afraid to thrive when it comes to and massage the entire body with sound waves!
...........

Canton Reference 3K is rightly called Canton Reference. It is not only a precision record for moderate 10 kilos, but it can also be a sin with its outstanding homogeneity, relaxation and spatiality.
Malte Ruhnke

STEREOPLAY test report: Sound: absolute top class; Price / performance: outstanding

Dissolution, neutrality, and transparency are there, the hyper complexes of the "Agnus Dei" from Dvorak's Requiem (RCO) were represented in full splendour and precision, which would have made every sound master joyous. On the other hand, details are not imposed on the silbert tablet, but are rather presented with coolness and serenity. To the interpretation of the old master Mariss Jansons, the work discovers its spiritual side with etheric sound colours than emphasising extreme dynamics.

EXTENDED REVIEW: Beryllium, diamond, aluminium & ceramics - with high tech, the loudspeaker manufacturers are trying to gain the decisive advantage at the world's peak. Canton is now opening a new round - with tungsten ceramic membranes in the Canton Reference 3K. We have tested these floor speakers.

Expensive must be a membrane for a flagship high-end loudspeaker, rarely and as complicated as possible to process? The impression could be gained by following the race between diamond, beryllium and co. However, in the case of the perfect membrane material, it is quite simple technical characteristics: the membrane should be light, stiff, but with high internal damping and, if possible, free of resonances in the working area.

In Canton's new Reference K series - here the Canton Reference 3K in the test came another requirement from chief developer Frank Göbl: With regard to material and inner construction all membranes should be identical from the small tweeter to huge basses in order to allow a sound as homogeneous as possible over all frequency ranges.

Ceramic Department

Ceramic chassis had already worked successfully in the predecessor series, but only in the high frequency - which is why only the trained eye noticed that the diaphragm was not white, but had a brownish-grey veil. The reason: in place of aluminium is the even lighter and stiffer ceramics of the metal tungsten plays a role. With the Reference 3K, for the first time in the Stereoplay listening room, there was a Canton box, which was equipped with this miraculous ceramic in all three ways; correspondingly, all three tones are colour-coded from the usually ceramic-coated ceramic chassis.

The driver housing is tapered and chamfered in the upper area and gently tapering to minimise edge reflections in the mid-high tone. The basses, which are 220mm in size, are located in the lower part, they are quite similar in terms of membrane geometry, material and structure to the mid-range driver (left), but optimised for significantly higher strokes.

The chassis diameter, chassis dimensioning and the basic concept of the 3K are based on the previous limited edition Jubilee: a three-way assembly with a pair of parallel-connected 220mm bass drivers, a 180mm mid-range driver and a 25 cm tweeter

The mid-range driver, for reasons of run-time and phase optimisation, sits in the head of the box, the main task is as it converts all the tones between 200 and 3000 Hz and thus virtually the entire voice and formant range (overtones of the vowels) from a single cast , Its membrane is said to benefit most from the ultra-hard tungsten ceramic compared to the previous models. Because it is stiff and light at the same time, it can also be designed larger than other mid-range speakers, and in the basic tone it can descend more deeply.

Hard diaphragm and large diameter - according to the laws of acoustics to the upper application area produces a noticeable bundling behavior, which is also wanted by the Canton developers. If the top models of the new Reference-K-series can still be used even in larger rooms and correspondingly more difficult rooms.

So that the directivity does not come to a break, the tweeter adjusts in the beam angle to the mid-range driver. A combination of a somewhat narrower sound guidance and a sound distributing lens in front of the ceramic membrane homogenises this angle: in the range of 3 to 7 kHz somewhat narrower, in the range above 12 kHz much wider than in the case of an assembly of the tweeter plan on the baffle.

Their edge reflections therefore have hardly any tonal significance. In favour of better image sharpness, however, the Canton men decided to use a narrow baffle in the mid-range, which extends downwards to pick up the two basses.

They work on a separate housing, separated from the mid-range driver, which opens into a bass reflex at the base of the Canton Reference 3K. In order to reduce the flow noise and compressions, and at the same time to minimise the longitudinal resonances of the room, the channel of the reflex was propagated in the base of the box and terminated in the form of a trumpet-shaped extension.

Try it with ...

The old reference series have already been given excellent marks for neutrality, bass, timing and resolution - what is to make the new still substantially better? With Richard Strauss' "Rosenkavalier-Suite" (Guschlbauer) from the point of view of the music analyst not much. And so the Canton Reference 3K offered a perfect, wide-ranging sound colour presentation, a lot of musical impetus and a powerful bass, which was powerful and rhythmic.

Where exactly are the new worlds, which are supposed to conquer the miracle material? As a listener, they are discovered - with time. The longer the rousing waltzes and the music of the final tenor sounded, the more relaxed, homogeneous and spatially deeper the sound image over the Canton Reference 3K. Certainly, the previous models 3 and Jubilee could not be objectively denied a reproduction error, but the certain severity of technical negligence and a very listening-based approach will surely not have appealed to everyone.

The Canton Reference 3K, on the other hand, builds the sound image from behind and from the room corners, making live discs (like the Tri-Band live at Schloss Elmau) even more relaxed and atmospheric w when a good position is found (in this room about 1.2 mtrs from the wall), where the bass did not thump.
 
Dissolution, neutrality, and transparency are there, the hyper complexes of the "Agnus Dei" from Dvorak's Requiem (RCO) were represented in full splendour and precision, which would have made every sound master joyous. 
On the other hand, details are not imposed on the silbert tablet, but are rather presented with coolness and serenity. 
To the interpretation of the old master Mariss Jansons, the work discovers its spiritual side with etheric sound colours than emphasising extreme dynamics.

...Serenity!

"Stop Those Bells" by Sara K was swinging and grooving that it was a pleasure, and "millions of legions" from the "Unplugged" Album of the Fantastic 4 pounded into the listening room with an incredibly deep, space-filling rhythm, which did not allow anyone to sit quietly on the sofa in the listening room and animate spontaneously hiphop-dance-ins. Even Madonna's not even audiophile "Material Girl" defied the Canton still sparkling 1980s charm and playfulness.

Canton Reference 3K is rightly called Canton Reference. It is not only a precision record for moderate 10 kilos, but it can also be a sin with its outstanding homogeneity, relaxation and spatiality.

Testimonials

WOW

Hi Terry,

"Well after a week of late nights and great music both digital and via my new Clearaudio Concept turntable what can I say, WOW, my new Cantons Reference K3 speakers have really started to sing. 

The mid range and top end detail is there in spades just as you suggested it would be , however I just can't believe the effect they have had in the lower registers. Both subtlety and raw horse power all combining to create a very special loud speaker, thanks again for steering me in the right direction and I'm sure as this journey continues our paths will cross again".

Cheers

Shane

Videos

REF K3 introduction -It is pure. It is clear. At the same time it offers an almost in nite fullness