Thanks to Marc Yun for his very thorough and incisive review of the Canoe. Here are some comments from his review:
"The Canoes worked well with modest amplification such as a Marantz NR1403 surround sound receiver ($400) or a Dayton Audio DTA-100 Class-T mini amp ($100), while still benefitting from audiophile wares like a modified Bryston B60 or April Music Stello Ai500."
"I actually found the Canoes weren’t big fans of the usual garden house audiophile stuff, instead preferring simpler stranded, twisted-pair or even zip cord-style fare. Role makes a basic twisted-pair cable that sounds great,"
"... its TL design lets it sound bigger and more extended than one would expect from such a tiny package. In fact, when I used it in my video system with a Marantz surround receiver that has Audyssey speaker/room correction, the calibration process often picked up the Canoes as a “large” speaker..."
"The Canoe really shone on female vocals."
"Bass is rhythmic and tuneful. It has the kind of tautness reminiscent of a good sealed box design, with better uniformity and control than any similarly-sized ported design I’ve heard. On first listen it might not sound as deep as a competing bass reflex speaker, but listen more carefully: it’s actually quite neutral and extended, with none of the boom that gives many small speakers a false sense of extension."
"Another standout quality of the Canoe is how engaging it sounds at quiet playback levels."
"...the Canoe’s imaging is precise and holographic in the tradition of the best mini-monitors. Erol prizes time alignment and minimal phase shift in his designs, and careful driver selection and placement combined with a precisely tuned first order crossover deliver the kind of openness, seamlessness and palpability of imaging that’s unique to painstakingly-crated minimalist design. Solo voices and instruments are always solidly anchored in center stage while layers of an orchestra are precisely placed in space."
Marc has reviewed several Role Audio speakers. Here is his summation of The Role House Sound:
I’d sum up the Role sound up as natural, a tad understated, but articulate and musical where it counts. Pick any model, and you can bet on excellent imaging, a detailed and nuanced midrange that’s never hyped, and a silky smooth tonal balance that makes acoustic instruments and vocals just sound “right.” I hesitate to ascribe a particular adjective to the tone quality, but it’s most definitely not bright - I’d call it a shade on the warm side, but not anything close to the warmer stuff I’ve heard (Sonus Faber or Devore Fidelity comes to mind). Dynamically and rhythmically they are expressive, but with the wrong amplifier can sound somewhat subtle or reserved. They are very easy to drive, but will benefit from powerful solid-state amplification and work exceedingly well with moderately priced gear.
You can read the full review here.
Read more about the Canoe here.