the financial statement for 2013 (available online) shows that Canor is a subcontractor of PRO-JECT, but we will also find information about plans to establish cooperation with the British manufacturer, MUSICAL FIDELITY. Today it is known that ISOTEK AC power strips and conditioners are also being manufactured in the OEM factory in the Slovak factory. This is an impressive portfolio that any producer in this part of the world (and not only) can envy.
The roots of this company date back to April 2000, when it was created - as we read in the company materials - the "legendary" integrated amplifier TP101. Work on it lasted quite a long time, because its prototype was already shown in 1995 at an exhibition in Czech Brno. Anyway, in 2000 the company EDGAR Ltd. is registered. Its founders are: Jozef Čurlík, Zdeněk Březovják and Ján Koščo . The first devices had a characteristic wooden front panel and were based on electron lamps - the love of Canor's engineers. I am talking about Canon, because in November 2007 the company changed its name: EDGAR → CANOR . At the same time, aluminum fronts were introduced that replaced wooden ones. The appearance of these devices is very traditional on the one hand, and unusual on the other. Large, easy-to-read LED displays dominate, as well as massive, illuminated knobs around the center of the front panel, also in CD players - more on this later.
In the same report I was talking about, we also find information that in 2014 it is planned to "complete work on prototypes AI 1.10 and PH 1.10", i.e. an integrated amplifier and a phono preamplifier. They ushered in a new era in the company's history. The offer of this Slovak manufacturer currently includes two series - 1.10 and 2.10 , and in them three integrated amplifiers - two tube and one hybrid, two CD players and a phono preamplifier. Do you remember the interview with Karl-Heinz Fink? This is one of the best known and well-deserved loudspeakers constructors, which in its top high-end system, in which the main source is reel tape recorders, uses the Canor PH 1.10 phono preamplifier and says it is one of the best products for this money (more HERE ).
The preamplifier test is probably ahead of us, but I was interested mainly in the CD player 1.10. I saw him several times at various exhibitions, most recently in Prague, and each time he impressed me. One size and two specifications and construction. Since I have known Zdenek for years, I asked him to send him to Krakow and by the way I asked him a few things.Owner, constructor
The Canora system at the Audio Video Show Prague 2020 exhibition: PH 1/10 phono preamplifier, CD player 1.10 and AI 1.10 amplifier; more HERE WOJCIECH PACUŁA: Who designed the CD 1.10? ZDENĚK BŘEZOVJÁK: The entire R&D team working under my leadership is responsible for the project.
WP: What was your goal?
ZB: We wanted to improve the quality of CD and D / A converter reproduction as much as possible by combining high-end CD transport with a D / A converter whose output stage is based on tubes.
WP: When did it go on sale?
ZB: We designed it three years ago, but this year we introduced some important innovations in it and put it in a larger housing so that it could be part of the 1.10 series.
WP: What D / A bone do you use?
ZB: This is a Texas Instruments PCM1792 D / A converter (24/192), one per channel.
WP: Why did you use the lamps?
ZB: We prefer tube sound, not only in amplifiers, but also in signal sources, because of their unique, "analog" sound.
WP: In which part of the system did you use the lamps?
ZB: In two places - at the output of the system, behind the converter (2 x 12AX7 + 2 x 6922) and in the power supply - it is a double anode rectifying lamp (6CA4).
WP: What transport did you use? ZB: It's a Stream Unlimited JPL-2800-DMJ transport.
WP: How do you fight the vibrations?
ZB: We used special rubber dampers with which we fixed the plate with lamps to the housing. The massive anti-resonance chassis also plays an important role in damping vibrations.
WP: What else distinguishes this player?
ZB: We used precise, separate circuits for the left and right channels, a precise power supply, a completely balanced signal path and a tube output. I would like to emphasize that the whole project, from scratch, was created in Caran, we also produce this player ourselves. We have advanced tile assembly machines, SMT and THT techniques, as well as possibilities for finishing aluminum housing elements. We also have CNC machines and for surface finishing. We also have a professional, automated line for anodizing aluminum surfaces, so we can get a top finish on the front walls. Our technical department is equipped with the best available Audio Precision measuring systems.
CD 1.10 is a COMPACT DISC player with digital inputs, including USB, and a tube output system . One of its basic features is - it seems - the presence at the analog output of the tubes, in the gain section and the buffer. There are two pairs of dual low power triodes: 12AX7 and 6922. Their power supply is also tube-like (like in my Ayon Audio player) and this is handled by the full-wave 6CA4 rectifier bridge. This is a large, extremely solidly made device. Its housing is made of thick steel sheets and the front is made of aluminum plate; Two color versions available - with silver or black front. The front panel has an acrylic insert - on the left is a drawer cover, and on the right you can see an orange display.
I have already mentioned this - it is a display made of dot-matrix LED modules in a large size. We read the track number and its duration, control commands as well as the input signal parameters. It looks great and is also pleasant to use. The only little thing that could be easily changed, however, is how to specify DSD signal parameters. The display then shows the message: "DSD x64 ... DSD x256". Which is an incorrect entry. The correct one looks like this: "DSD64 ... DSD256".
You can write "x64 ... x256", but only if there is a CD symbol before (x64 means that the signal is clocked 64 times faster than in the CD). In the middle of the front panel there is a backlit Canor logo, and next to it buttons for controlling the drive, changing the input, digital filter, as well as reducing the brightness of the displays. Everything is well polished , to the point that when darkening or brightening the display, the device does it not by leaps and bounds, but with a slight inertia - really cool! Attention, however, is primarily a large knob. It is justified in amplifiers, but in a CD player? If we look closer at the descriptions on the front panel, it turns out that it is a knob and a button in one. Turn left or right to change tracks and press to start playback or pause them.
This is a fantastic solution that Sony introduced years ago, because this was the only way to quickly edit material on Mini Disc players. Her CD players, which had the same knob, also benefited. Today, however, this is an endenemic case and only Canor uses them from the companies I know.
One of the latest Compact Disc transports that has been made is the one we can find in the transport of Pro-Ject RS2 T and Gryphon Ethos player - the Blue Tiger CD-Pro 8 model. Behind its creation stands the Austrian company StreamUnlimited, founded in 2005 as a separate part from the former Philips Audio Video Innovation Center . The company's main engineering competencies relate to embedded communications and mass storage.
She also has extensive experience in audio and video technologies, including in the family of optical memory modules for the high-end consumer electronics market. She entered the audio transport market in 2007, when - together with ANAGRAM Technologies - she presented the CD / WAM / MP3 transport called BlueTiger. The first model was the CD-100, for which SilverStrike mechanics, equipped with anti-vibe anti-vibe technique, was prepared by StreamUnlimited, and with the help of ANAGRAM the Enduro was created - the servo system responsible for minimizing read errors.
This is not only a CD player, but also a digital-to-analog converter , a necessity for several years. We have three digital inputs - electric RCA, optical Toslink and USB; the first two accept PCM signal up to 24/192, and USB PCM signal up to 24/192 and DSD up to DSD256 (11.2896 / 12.288 MHz). DSD signal is sent in DoP ("DSD over PCM") format. The player also has a digital output, but only with a signal read from a CD, so the DAC does not work as a digital signal converter. The analog signal is available in unbalanced (RCA) and balanced (XLR) form; the device has a balanced design .
We have a remote control, common to the player and amplifier. Therefore, player control is not intuitive - in the circle surrounding the start / pause button there are buttons to change the input and volume, not to skip between songs. There is no button on the remote control, which is located on the front of the player - changing the digital filter. His two positions are available: 'natural' and 'dynamic'.
HOW WE LISTENED
The Canor CD 1.10 player stood on the Acoustic Revive RAF-48H anti-vibration platform, on which the reference player stands - Ayon Audio CD-35 Hf Edition (№ 1/50). The Ayon Audio Spheris III line preamplifier was connected by RCA Crystal Cable Absolute Dream interconnects. It was compared to the mentioned player as well as to the analog system: TechDAS AIR FORCE III turntable → SAT LM-09 turntable arm → Miyajima Lab DESTINY phono cartridge → RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC phono preamplifier.I was mainly interested in being an integrated CD player , but I also listened to it with an external file player using the USB input - it's a good input and a great DAC, so you can think seriously about transporting files that will work with Canor.
The player comes with a regular power cable, but the gentlemen from Canora also sent me the IsoTek EVO3 Initium cable and I did some listening with him. Others - with Siltech Triple Crown Power cable. I must say that the Isoteka cable is really cool.
Recordings used in the test (a selection):
Okihiko Sugano Recording Works , Stereo Sound SSSA 1, "Stereo Sound Reference Record", Laurie Anderson, Homeland , Nonesuch 524055-2, CD + DVD (2010); review HERE Mayo Nakano Piano Trio, MIWAKU , Briphonic BRPN-7007GL, Extreme Hard Glass CD-R (2017); more HERE Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia, John Kahn, Bill Vitt, Live At Keystone , Fantasy FCD-7701-2, CD (1988) New Order, Power, Corruption and Lies , Factory / Rhino Records, 2 x Promo CD-R (1983/2008) Tomita, Snowflakes Are Dancing , RCA Red Seal / BMG Classics 63588, "High Performance", CD (1974/2000); review HERE Vladimir Horowitz, Horowitz at the Met , RCA Red Seal / BMG Classics 633142, "High Performance", CD (1982/1990); review HERE
It intrigued me when, for the first week, I listened to this player with headphones, "warming up" it before the actual test - the vividness of the transmission was unbelievable with it . In the sense that the dimensions inside and behind me, although subject to restrictions during listening to the headphones, were absolutely above average. Listening through the speakers not so much confirmed these observations, but intensified them. This is a player that builds incredibly reliable sound plans . Something that digital devices often miss. The point is that it can show the depth of the stage, and when you need it also sounds next to us and behind us. I was very impressed with how he played the recordings from the Isao Tomita album - they were mixed to four channels and only for the needs of stereo releases adapted to them. And here it was as if four columns really stood around me.
The message was full, full-bodied, with no holes and no edge vibrations. What's more, it was not a uniform sound field, but a lot of small "events", an explosion of sounds, giving something bigger - music. And this is because it is an extremely resolving and differentiating player . I must say that only top devices can do such a thing, and they don't always do it in such an endearing way as Canor. The combination of perfect imaging and resolution means that the instruments are not so selective, as they are simply separate blocks, not subject to gravity - they do not bump into each other and do not blur each other. And here there are no attempts to "cut" from the background, separation.
This is a smooth, effortless performance. Like when, in the song My Funny Valentine, Paul Desmond plays the saxophone, which is close to us, has a lot of weight, and on the right side the harp sounds softly. It was a tangible diversity of masses and colors, both instruments had their own acoustic environment, and yet we were sure that they play together, "here and now" together. This is not a "romantic" sound. The tubes at the player's output suggest sound warming - and this is often the case. This type of color, well-chosen, with taste, allows you to get an incredibly immersive, organic message. But this is always a compromise. Here, it seems as if compromises were not needed, because we have an open, detailed, resolved sound , but a coherent sound, never brightened. It was enough to listen to the piano of Vladimir Horowitz playing at the Metropolitan Opera House to understand that the player being tested is a phenomenon. This is a great recording, made on a Soundstream digital cassette recorder, nicely remastered for the needs of the "High Performance" series, but only with devices of this caliber, which Canor gets the whole mastery of this recording (more about the HP series HERE ). However, you need to know that this is not a device that would "make the sound more pleasant".
It's precise rather than forgiving. It doesn't plunge bad recordings, that's not the point, but it doesn't insulate or burn anything. Take, for example, the Power, Corruption and Lies album of the New Order group. Almost the same day as Canor, I came to her version of Promo CD-R made by the American label Rhino. Its sound has a fairly high tonal balance and was reproduced in this way. Without brightening or clamor, that's not the point, Canor doesn't. The sound was incredibly smooth, it had a lot of air, but you should know that it was set quite high in terms of timbre . The player did not fill the low midrange. The Desmond saxophone, already mentioned, was full and deep, because it was recorded that way. However, if the registration is of this type, like the New Order disc, it will be shown without ornaments, quite harshly. So it's a plastic, spatial, resolving sound with great differentiation, without trying to make all the recordings similar. It is also smooth, even silky smooth. Its important feature is also outstanding focus. The thing is that the sound sources are unambiguous, they do not blur.
They are also filled and have the appropriate "weight", occupying a specific part in space. However, this is not a player that would deliver very low bass in such a sophisticated way as my Ayon Audio player, or - for example - a master in this field, the Ethos model from Gryphon. CD 1.10 played it nicely, but did not impose itself with the "foot massager". The point is that this is not a sound whose gravitational center would be on the bass or low midrange . On the plus side, it can be said that he was able to build a big message, which I had when listening to the song Falling from the album Laurie Anderson Homeland . It had the desired momentum and so-called "Momentum," or the sense of rapidly moving large mass in a large space.
Canor did the trick again with this record and built a powerful sound dome around me , with bells ringing in the back. In turn, the song Another Day in America showed the modified, very low and saturated voice of Anderson extremely well. But the bass descent, his descent did not have as much precision as what happened above, the bass was not as soft, even though it had a rounded attack. Apparently, however, you can't have everything. But despite that, I listened to the whole album, because the spectacle that the Slovak player served to me was unbelievable in its credibility, naturalness and "truth" .
I knew it was a good player, but I didn't know it was SO good. I knew, knowing Zdenk, knowing his other projects, that it would be okay. However, I did not know that it was SO good. This is a unique product that gives the sound in a precise way, but is not exaggerated, plays with open sound, and is not brightened. Finally, it's one of the best differentiating CD players I know. It plays music in such a way that we truly believe that what is happening before us has taken place and has not been created.The Canor CD 1.10 player has a modular structure, in which each section received its own board (similarly with Ayon Audio players). This means a lot of cables inside - between the digital and analog sections we have quite long interconnects, coming from Italy, and shorter ones, which then lead to the analog outputs. In turn, the power supply and control signals are conducted with tapes on which ferrite elements have been applied, suppressing HF noise.
Power Supply | The power supply takes up the most space - a good sign in audio. It is as big as in a large integrated amplifier. The transformer has classic EI sheets and many secondary windings. The low-voltage section is supported by power supplies based on diodes and rectifier bridges, including the 6CA4 high-voltage lamp, here of the Tesla NOS type. There are quite a few voltage stabilizers and nice capacitors in the power supply, for example large polypropylenes from Wima. Analog | The output stage is mounted on a common board, but the channels are separated by an aluminum screen. At the input, in the I / U section, Burr-Brown OPA134PA integrated circuits were used.
Amplification and output buffer is the domain of the 12AX7 and 6922 lamps. The lamps are hidden under nice aluminum screens (it used to be common practice). After removing them, you can see that the first of them is an excellent NOS, Sovteka 12AX7LPS lamp, characterized by long anodes. In turn, 6922 comes from current production and was bought at the Russian company Electro-Harmonix. The coupling between the lamps and the outside world is provided by Mundorf capacitors - M-Cap MKP and M-Cap ZN, the latter with tin cladding. digit | The signal is sent to the output from a digital board. At its input are two D / A converters, Texas Instruments PCM1792. These are relatively old CMOS monolithic systems, but still very highly valued, among others, for a very high signal-to-noise distance - in mono configuration it is up to 132 dB! They have an integrated digital filter, actually two - 'Sharp roll-off' and 'Slow roll-off'.
The player describes the first one as 'Dynamic' and the second 'Natural'. We get a balanced signal at the output of "DACs". A Cyrrus Logic digital receiver is placed at the S / PDIF inputs, and an XMOS chip for USB. The first ones also have transformers matching the input impedance , a similar solution can also be seen at the digital outputs. On a separate, vertically mounted plate you can see high-class clock clocks, separately for 44.1 and 48 kHz families.
Transportation | The transport used in Canon has been known for years, the StreamUnlimited JPL-2800-DMJ model, bearing the trade name Blue Tiger CD-80. It has a plastic chassis, reinforced with metal sheet from above and a cast tray, which is stiffened with two rods on the sides. The same drives are used by dCS in the Rossini player and GoldNote in the CD-1000 MkII (review of the Mk version I HERE ). It's a good transport, but from the mechanical side it is not particularly advanced. Its basis is a good control system. The rubber pads that Zdenek talked about can be seen under the tube circuit.
Technical data (according to manufacturer)
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz (-0.8 dB)
Total harmonic distortion: <0.005% (1 kHz)
Signal / noise ratio:> 102 dB (20 Hz - 20 kHz)
Output impedance (RCA, XLR): < 200 Ω
Output voltage (RMS): RCA - 2.5 V | XLR - 5 V
Digital inputs: coaxial RCA, optical - PCM 24/192
USB - DSD64, 128, 256
Lamps: 2 x 12AX7 | 2 x 6922 | 1 x 6CA4
Power consumption: 100 VA
Dimensions (width x height depth): 435 x 170 x 420 mm
Weight: 15 kg