Very revealing & highly musical
The Kantus have been subject to continuous improvement. Although the outer cabinet shape has remained the same, with its elegant proportions hard to better, further refinement has been produced by improved internal cabinet bracing, internal profiling and constrained-layer damping. They continue to be a 3.5-way system with a dedicated midrange unit.
Most importantly, improved drivers have become available as materials technology has progressed, leading to improved cone break-up and lower distortion of their sound output. At the heart of the new Kantus is the superb 100mm midrange unit made from high-strength aluminium alloy coated on each side with tough ceramic to remain pistonic well above its crossover point. This results in extraordinarily low distortion through the critical mid-band region allowing these vital frequencies to come through crystal clear and without the hardness or muddle of many loudspeakers in this region.
Another feature is its excellent tweeter made of beryllium (Be) metal, one of the lightest and most robust materials but also very expensive – half a tonne of it is used in the recently launched Webb telescope because of its lightness and strength. Still, its total cost was over $10 bn! The clarity of the tweeter means that fine details of the performers’ art are revealed, but because the ultimate breakup frequency is above 40 kHz, there is also a natural ease about its sound.
The Kantus continue to use a low-distortion bass unit made from solid aluminium alloy with radial ribs to increase its strength further to ensure ‘break-up’ occurs well outside the frequency range over which the driver is used. With excellent motor and suspension systems, the ensuing low distortion allows the listener to hear tonal structure in bass notes, resulting in greater realism of the reproduced music – and not just some homogenised version.
Their high-quality crossover filter components maintain the revealing clarity of these drivers. With the Kantu Be, we have used very high quality (and expensive) polypropylene capacitors in series with the very high quality (and costly) Be tweeter plus high-quality polypropylene capacitors in the midrange and bass Xover filters.
Likewise, the inductors have been chosen to meet the requirements of the particular driver. Though they are all air-cored, they have none of the hysteresis distortions of iron or ferrite-cored ones (due to their atomic magnets getting ‘stuck’). With the inductors in series with the bass units that need large currents, we have used some flat-wire copper inductors I had in stock with the same meagre resistance as a 3 mm round wire. The midrange and tweeter inductors are much smaller and pass less current, so use 1 mm wire.
Finally, we use only high wattage (so they don’t change resistance with temperature) resistors that are non-inductively wound to prevent high-frequency loss. All components are soldered directly to each other to reduce path lengths and soldered to the input connectors and drivers using a very high-quality cable.
As shown by the attached measurements, because the new Kantus are so accurate with such flat frequency response and low distortion, they are very faithful (high ‘fidelity’) and truthful to the music and equipment preceding them in the reproduction chain so that they will take on the latter’s sound character. If you prefer your music ‘warm or sweet’, you must partner them with a suitably ‘warm or sweet’ amplifier – perhaps a valve amplifier. Or if you enjoy your music fast & dynamic, choose a suitable fast & active solid-state amplifier. But given the right preceding equipment, you will hear all the emotional drama and nuances of the artists’ playing. Like being there!
A leading recording engineer wrote of the Kantu 9s: “The overall clarity of these is exceptional – particularly the upper mid-band as one of the critical factors I seek is natural voice reproduction – without excessive sibilance or ‘chestiness.” The new tweeter and midrange units of the Kantu Be add further clarity plus ease, and naturalness to this reproduction.
Frequency Response & Distortion
|300 × 200 × 1050 mm
2xbass + mid + treble
35 – 35,000Hz ± 3 dB;
88 dB/2.83V @ 1m
4 ohms average
50- 300 W
1050(h) x 200(w) x 300(d)
40 kg each