In 1972, four hi-fi enthusiasts joined together with the goal of always producing the best speakers of their class. The founding partners were Hubert Milbers (Managing Director), Otfried Sandig (Marketing and Sales), Günther Seitz (Engineering/Technology) and Wolfgang Seikritt (Research/Development). The new company benefited from the very beginning from the four’s varied experience and knowledge. Naturally, teamwork was a success factor from the start. With four aces, an extra-large portion of entrepreneurship and excellent connections in the marketplace, they were successful from the start.
Thanks to a regional reform that left a village school building and house empty in Niederlauken, the company quickly found its first home. Music should also chime in the company’s name so that the brand would always be connected with the highest quality in audio reproduction - in the tradition of "pure music". As a result, the name Canton is a combination of the Latin word "cantare" (to sing) and the German word "Ton" (musical tone). The company was registered on 17 October 1972. Canton started officially with 35 employees on 1 January 1973 assembling speaker enclosures. The development work was done in the living room.
Why not? The philosophy of the Canton developers was: speakers belong in the living room and must therefore be tailored to fit this environment and the people in it. Canton’s speakers were from the very beginning designed not only to excite the audio freaks, who were mostly men, but also to please the aesthetic senses of women who were delighted with the refined appearance of the enclosures. The women were won over by the compact and aesthetic design of the enclosures, while the men were impressed by the sound and enormous power of the speakers.
Canton introduced its first subwoofer satellite system in 1979 and, in doing so, set standards for a market that is still booming today. In 1980, Canton added the first Ergo floor-standing speaker to its program. Hybrid-amplifiers were used to drive each speaker chassis. In addition, an intelligent control guaranteed highly precise sound.
In 1983, Canton expanded its program with the Pullman car loudspeaker. The Pullman Set 300 is the best in its class and even the Spanish King Juan Carlos is enthusiastic about the sound of the Canton system in his convertible.
To further improve the conditions for the development of high quality speakers, Canton set up its own anechoic chamber in 1989. This chamber is the laboratory in which it is possible to perform all of the important measurements, which accompany every new development, under the optimum conditions. After years of basic research and development work, the Canton engineers have once again set new standards. Canton developed its own software which was fundamental for the development of the speaker generations based on the DC and SC technologies. These excite the listeners with precise bass reproduction with punch and simply unbelievable overload tolerance. The latter, of course, improves the service life of the speakers.
In 1995 Canton revolutionized musical reproduction with digital speakers. The speaker was awarded the "European Audio Award" as the best "Audio Innovation". In 1998 Canton presented its first surround system that was designed in accordance with the THX specifications. This technology developed by Lucas-Film, which ensures the best quality sound in cinemas, also makes the home cinema an experience.
In 1999 Canton revealed its true colors with "Popsmarts". These colorful, transparent enclosures are particularly appealing to the young. In the same year, Canton also launched its new, slim line speakers – the Karat Series. In 2000/2001 Canton’s Movie Systems conquered the market. In the meantime, Canton makes approximately 40 % of its turnover with Movie Systems, which deliver authentic cinema sound to the living room at home.
With the Reference 2 DC, Canton presented 2002 its new flagship. With this speaker system, Germany’s leading specialist for speakers presents the ultimate "HighEnd". In the past months, Canton has concentrated its entire know-how on the development of this new flagship and spared no effort or cost to break through into a totally new dimension of sound. New analysis and simulation methods, which have themselves only recently become available, were used to optimize each individual component. Important details were simulated during the construction phase, which allowed various technical aspects of their operation to be examined. The resulting information enabled Canton’s engineers to make a precise forecast of their interaction with other parameters. As a consequence, Canton could exploit every last technical nuance and optimize every component to the limits of the physically possible. Result: the Karat Reference 2 DC, a masterpiece, with which Canton has achieved a major innovative advance. The new showpiece is predestined to be a reference and technology carrier for future generations of speakers. “We put everything into this development that is currently possible. Our team analyzed, simulated, made handmade models to work out details, built prototypes and tuned the acoustics in countless auditions, until we were finally satisfied with the results. What we have achieved is a masterpiece that is the embodiment of a great deal of love and respect for detail”, stated Canton's CEO, Günther Seitz.
In 2003, Canton creates a home theater system in a sleek aluminum look; this is for all those people who have high expectations of not only their speakers’ sound, but of their speakers’ look also. The aluminum cabinet of the CD 100 floorstanders is only 9 cm wide, thus evoking stylish tones in every living space with a modern atmosphere. To match this, there are also the CD 10 satellites and the CD 50 center speakers.
In 2005, Canton is the first manufacturer to develop and produce a high-class series of fully wireless hi-fi speakers, the CD 3500 wireless. The result is perfect sound heard throughout the entire house. This new multi-room speaker is a convincing purchase with its stylish aluminum design and expert sound quality throughout the entire line – totally without speaker cables. The new Canton technology with bi-directional data transfer guarantees a robust data stream with a high level of transmission quality between the transmitter and the receiver. The system operates soundlessly and it extremely unsusceptible to external sources of interference such as cell phones, microwaves or wireless LAN networks. The transmission is of course bug-proof as well as being completely harmless in terms of health. Multi-room has never been as simple, nor has perfect sound been as flexible until now.
In the same year, Canton’s flagship, the Vento Reference 1 DC, arrives on the market. The opinion of the trade press is unanimous (Stereoplay: “Absolutely top-class!” / Audio: “Phenomenal!” and “…qualifies as one of the best speakers in the world!”); it cannot get better than this. It is a true highlight in the sound laboratory, the crown jewel of every home stereo system. This high-end floorstanding loudspeaker outwardly impresses courtesy of its timeless, Vento-typical design; at the same time, it shines from a technical perspective courtesy of Canton’s complete reference know-how. The result is easy to hear: crystal-clear, unadulterated sound up to a maximal music power rating of 900 watts.
In 2006, even more sound arrives in the MP3 world. With the DSS 303 digital sound station, Canton introduces the new contender of the iPod class - a persuasive product with real “pure music”, excellent surround sound and a range of practical supplementary features. There are primarily three factors at the center of this development: sound, sound and sound again. It is therefore no wonder that the 2 x 50 watts strong docking station equipped with 2 aluminum coax systems is setting the new standards. Practical supplementary features include: integrated FM tuner, digital clock with an alarm function and an IR remote control. The DSS 303 is compatible with all iPod models and with the iPhone, thus serving as a charging station for them also.
Canton has been offering perfect surround sound with minimal time and effort since 2007 with its systems from the digital movie series (DM 1 and DM 2). Virtual surround is the key word, and it results in a great home theater with very little effort - in maximum listening pleasure with minimal installation. A surround center (DM 1) or two satellites (DM 2) - each according to taste - completes the high-performance subwoofers. Sound lovers are thus presented with a fully active 2.1 music and home theater system. As the heart of the system, the subwoofer possesses all of the control electronics, including the audio-interface. The DM 1 and DM 2 virtual surround systems produce a rich sound field using only two or three components, which in the past could only be achieved by 5.1 systems. To achieve this, the individual channels of a multi-channel receiver are frequency-specific processed using a special technique; they are merged into two channels in such a manner that it creates a spacious surround-sound impression. Highlights of the system include: a fully active 2.1 music and home theater system, a practical plug-and-play solution, an adaptive remote control, a system-integrated FM tuner and the 350 watts multi-channel amplifier.
Friends on tour: What do loudspeakers have in common with sport equipment? Top-of-the-line quality and perfect workmanship – at least when the manufacturers are Canton and Rocky Mountain. These two experts of top-quality service are now taking off together; Canton is the official sponsor of the 2008 Rocky Mountain Racing Team. To commemorate this, there will now be the limited CD 300 special edition in the sporty Rocky Mountain design.