anyone audition Totem speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by rodneyH, Aug 23, 2002.

  1. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    I just finally got to listen to some for an extended amount of time. I listened to the $1500 Hawk model with 1 metal tweeter and 1 5.25" driver. The cabnet is a little unimpressinve as far as-you hit the side and it vibrates and echos like crazy, the rear port isn't even a REAL port tube, BUT just a hole, the cabnet is tiny as are the drivers. THE CABNET IS beautiful though.

    aside from the cabnet, the speaker sounded amazing. I was hooked up to Conrad-Johnson tube pre-amp and amp. You can not believe the depth and clearity of such a small speaker, it is amazing, you almost can't believe your ears.

    I absolutely love my B&Ws, and always felt like I would stay with that brand for eveery room and system, now I think that I will always stay with them, but for a second system (bedroom or spare room) I may try the hawks (having 2 systems teh exact same can get a little boring, so what the heck)!!!

    The only weaknesses that I really find is that they really can't produce as much volume (so mild-mod listening levels only), so the HT application maybe not the ideal. Even though $1500 for such a small speake with only 2 drivers seems like a lot, for the sound you get, they are amazing.

    btw, 1 of the reasons Totem can use different technology and not have as "beefy" of a cabnet is that it uses a coating on the inside to dampen/reduce sound waves, this coating has been used by NASA in the space shuttle pod, as it comes back down to earth, the bottom gets red hot, when they use this same coating to absorb the energy (heat) as Totem does to absorb the energy (sound waves), I wouldn't believe it unless I heard it with my own ears.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Rodney, I use Totem Arro floorstanders in my main stereo system. The Arro lists for $1100 and is a model down from the Hawk. I have never heard the Hawk, but the Arro is a remarkable speaker for the price. They image like nothing I have ever heard in the price range. The Arro throws around a lot of sound for such a small speaker. Simply amazing.

    The sensitivity rating for the Arro is 85 dB, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Hawk is rated similarly. As a result, you might find the Hawk difficult to drive. Despite the low sensitivity of the Arro, I have no problems driving them with my NAD C 370 integrated amp/NAD C 270 power amp biamped set-up.
     
  3. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

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    don't totems use a odd driver configuration? i remember reading that some of their speakers have a second woofer wired in paralell inside the cabinet (connected to the outer woofer with a tube?) to improve bass response. is this a universal feature of totem loudspeakers or is it just on some models?
     
  4. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Although I don't own them, they are on my short list of possibles in the future. I've auditioned both the Arro and Forest, and find them to be a great value having impressive dynamic range and extension. I demoed them in my own (2-channel) system and was sad when I had to take them back. I was also impressed with how seamless they were in their crossover region. Placement-wise, they sounded their best to me when pulled into the room with about 5 feet behind them.
     
  5. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Kieth, tell me more about totems I think that they are pretty rare b/c some people (americans in particular) always feel like "bigger is better". Is your experience the same as mine, they are awesome audio speakers, but perhaps for HT they don't have enough Ummph!!??

    Also, it seems odd to me that most of the models use different tweeters and drivers (they aren't consistant in the line up, which seems weird), does the arro have the same tweeter as the hawk?? it was impressive, and if you like a very revealing tweeter (like I do, as I am a B&W fan) the Hawk did a great job.
     
  6. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone auditioned the Dreamcatcher set?
     
  7. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Daryl, thanks for the post, why do you feel these speakers are relatively less known for the quality they put out??
     
  8. JohnDW

    JohnDW Agent

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    Daryl's comments seem very honest and informed based on my listening of these speakers - personally, I thought the Arrow was the peak of their value in this line - really captured most of the benefits of the more expensive models - still, not a really full range speaker, hard to play really loud in large rooms for HT, and not inexpensive - but well worth an audition

    I would like to hear more about dreamcatchers too - they seem very reasonably priced for a fully integrated package
     
  9. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  10. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    I've recently auditioned the dreamcatchers and wow!! I thought they were awesome, I was blown away at how much base that tiny sub put out. The speakers are beautiful. i would like to hear more from Daryl on the dreamcatchers and his feeling on the dreamcatchers playing music and HT compared to the like of a comparableAxiom line up, Energy conniseur sereis and a B&W 600 set up.
    Also what type of entry level receiver would you suggest? Denon 1603, Marantz 4200/5200, Onkyo 500
     
  11. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    While auditioning the dreamcatchers my wife saw a couple of floorstanders and asked the difference in those and the wee dreamcatchers. So we listened to the Sttaf...now she knows.
     
  12. Ian Garton

    Ian Garton Extra

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    I listened to the Arro and the Dreamcatcher hooked up to a Harman Kardon AVR 320 a few months ago and really wasn't impressed by them much at all. The sound seemed a bit thin to me. I opted to get B&W instead which I felt imaged really well and sounded fuller.

    I must say though that Totem makes truly beautiful speakers. They seem to be well-regarded and highly recommended.
     
  13. Shion_ca

    Shion_ca Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe the source of your problem would be the HK 320, the drivers on some, if not all, of these models are taken from the Dynaudio and have rather low efficiencies (some of them around 85 if I remember correctly). They are also extrordinarily revealing of anything but audiophile amplification and source, well didn't try the dreamcatcher but did try the forrest and Mani-2.

    Your 50 Watts in surround mode was in all probablility not enough for them. I tried the Mani-2's and I think my Musical Fidelity A3CR amp is enough to drive those little power guzzlers but they would still do noticably better with even more.

    Just a thought. Incidentally i also have a 320 and it's a great HT buy for the money.
     

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