Canalis Anima loudspeaker Measurements

Sidebar 2: Measurements

The Canalis Anima is very similar to the earlier Sonics by Joachim Gerhard Anima (favorably reviewed by Wes Phillips in July 2007), replacing that speaker's marine-grade plywood cabinet with one made of bamboo plywood. With the speakers placed on their matching stands, which place the listener's ears level with the top of the woofers rather than slightly above the tweeters, John Marks wrote that "the Animas struck a wonderful tonal balance that had only a slight emphasis of the treble."

I examined the performance of the Anima with DRA Labs' MLSSA system, using a calibrated DPA 4006 microphone to measure the speaker's frequency response in the farfield, and an Earthworks QTC-40 mike for the nearfield responses. My measurements of the earlier Sonics version can be found here.

I estimated the Anima's voltage sensitivity as 86.1dB(B)/2.83V/m, confirming the specified 86dB. Its plot of impedance magnitude and phase against frequency (fig.1) is very similar to that of the 2007 Anima, but with a slightly higher minimum impedance in the mid-treble and a greater increase in impedance in the crossover region. The Anima will be relatively easy for the partnering amplifier to drive.


Fig.1 Canalis Anima, electrical impedance (solid) and phase (dashed) (2 ohms/vertical div.).

Tested with a simple plastic-tape accelerometer, the Anima's enclosure was, as JM described, quite nonresonant. The only mode of significance I could find lay at a high 477Hz (fig.2) and was well suppressed.


Fig.2 Canalis Anima, cumulative spectral-decay plot calculated from output of accelerometer fastened to center of top panel (MLS driving voltage to speaker, 7.55V; measurement bandwidth, 2kHz).

The rear port is tuned to the same 60Hz as the earlier speaker, and the woofer has the expected minimum-motion notch in its output at that frequency (fig.3, blue trace). The port's output (red trace) peaks in the midbass in textbook manner, though, again like the 2007 Anima, there is a peak evident in its response in the upper midband. This coincides with a small peak in the new Anima's farfield response (black trace). Despite the claim for baffle-step compensation, the woofer's output gently slopes up before crossing over to the tweeter. The tweeter is balanced a couple of dB higher than the woofer, which correlates with JM's finding the speaker to sound a touch bright, although the balance on the tweeter axis is respectably uniform overall.


Fig.3 Canalis Anima, anechoic response on HF axis at 50", averaged across 30° horizontal window and corrected for microphone response, with nearfield woofer (blue) and port (red) responses, and their complex sum (black), respectively plotted below 300Hz, 1kHz, 300Hz.

In the horizontal plane, the Canalis Anima offers a more uniform dispersion (fig.4) than the Sonics Anima, though the ¾" tweeter still becomes more directional above 8kHz than I was expecting. JM found the Anima's treble to sound emphasized when he listened above the tweeter axis. (The older speaker sounded sucked-out in the crossover region when listened to this way.) However, the Anima's vertical-dispersion plot, normalized to the tweeter-axis response (fig.5), suggests that its balance doesn't change significantly over quite a wide –5°, +15° angle, other than the top octaves dropping a little below the tweeter axis.


Fig.4 Canalis Anima, lateral response family at 50", normalized to response on HF axis, from back to front: differences in response 90–5° off axis, reference response, differences in response 5–90° off axis.


Fig.5 Canalis Anima, vertical response family at 50", normalized to response on HF axis, from back to front: differences in response 45–5° above axis, reference response, differences in response 5–45° below axis.

The older speaker's tweeter was wired in inverted acoustic polarity, its woofer in positive polarity. By contrast, the new version's step response (fig.6) reveals that both drive-units are connected in positive acoustic polarity; in conjunction with the sloped-back baffle, the smooth blend of the decay of the tweeter's step with the start of the woofer's step implies optimal crossover design. The cumulative spectral-decay plot on the tweeter axis (fig.7) is very much cleaner than the older Anima's.


Fig.6 Canalis Anima, step response on HF axis at 50" (5ms time window, 30kHz bandwidth).


Fig.7 Canalis Anima, cumulative spectral-decay plot on HF axis at 50" (0.15ms risetime).

Overall, its measured performance indicates that the Canalis update of the Sonics Anima has improved on the latter's already excellent sound quality. However, that slightly hot tweeter will make it a better match for mellow electronics, I feel.—John Atkinson

Canalis Loudspeakers
US distributor: Immedia
1516 Fifth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 559-2050

OneMic's picture

I was reading the article when something jumped out at me: $800 for a sheet of bamboo plywood!  

The only way I can figure out how to pay $800 a sheet for plywood is: pay $200 for the largest/highest quality sheet of bamboo + $600 tip?

I love the use of bamboo as a building material as it is head and shoulders above MDF, but seriously why lie about what it costs?  High quality bamboo plywood has a fairly stable commodity price; any supplier charging $800 per sheet is high as a kite. 

Also: the F3 is 60Hz not 44Hz , the bass load behavior is a classic reflex with 24db/oct. roll off not a QB3 design with 18db/oct. , and their does not appear to be a BSC network on the woofer (as JA hinted) not even a "proprietary Joachim Gerhard DC-Module"  (god help us). 

I can see why manufactures lie about specs, cost, design, and features but Stereophile get your $%*#  together and stop posting the manufactures' ad copy in your articles like it is actually true.  This is lazy and irresponsible

John Marks's picture

I thought that the claim of $800/sheet plywood, which is a price I more usually associate with ritzy countertop materials, was worth mentioning, so I did.

The fact that you found so much to sink your teeth into in one brief evaluation, to me at least, not only shows that I was sweeping nothing under the rug, but also that I am neither lazy nor irresponsible.

Have a nice day.


OneMic's picture

I hope you didn't get the impression I was picking on you as most every writer on the Stereophile staff does the same thing.  

It is obvious that the several inaccuracies in the article came from Allen Perkins; and it is understandable why he would want to stretch the truth, who doesn't want to sell a product that defies the laws of physics (Hoffman's Iron Law).  

But my question is why do the writers on this staff reiterate the bogus claims that manufactures make; hench giving validity to them?


P.S. John, 

Including several inaccuracies in your article, no matter the source, does not show that you sweep nothing under the rug.  By not checking your facts you are doing a disservice to your readers.  

Groove1's picture




Hello OneMic,

The price of the bamboo is from invoices from our cabinet maker and its based on part yield. I can buy bamboo for as low as $130 per sheet. If I want parts without internal voids the part yield per sheet goes down fast. When he calculates yield this is what the persheet cost would be. Its an easier way to explain our QC that trying to tell people the cost per panel of a cabinet.

John was very professional in his review practices with us. He asked lots of questions and questioned the answers. We have both a facebook page and web site where we can be contacted directly. If you want to call our claims bogus or say I stretch the truth do it directly. I never claim to do anything outside the laws of phyics.

Allen Perkins