Totem Forest/Lightning Vs. Mani-2 Sig.

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by ArthurJ, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. ArthurJ

    ArthurJ Second Unit

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    For the price of the Mani-2 I can get a Forest/Lighting combo...Solely the Mani-2 will go lower than the forest in it's dual driver push-pull configuration. I know the Mani-2 has a flatter frequency response, but I am wondering if it is worth it? What do you guys think?
     
  2. ArthurJ

    ArthurJ Second Unit

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    bump
     
  3. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    Trust your ears.

    When you're throwing this much money into speakers it's (IMO) foolish to base buying decisions on others.

    FWIW - what is your usage? Music/HT Split?

    Finally, you'll probably need beefy amplifiers for the Mani-2s. Both Mani-2s and the Forests are 4-ohm loads but the Mani-2 is particularly demanding on amps (only 85 dB/w/m spec'd sensitivity).
     
  4. ArthurJ

    ArthurJ Second Unit

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    Jason, the forest is an 8 ohm load...I have 400 watts on tap at 4 ohms.
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Arthur

    I have read some good things about the Mani-2, and I was quite interested in them for a while. As you may be aware though, there is only so much you can get out of a tiny cabinet no matter what technology is employed. The actual efficiency of the Mani-2 may be as low as 80.7 db (this is per John Atkinson's review in Stereophile in February 1996.) Getting a lot of volume out of them is going to require a lot of power, and worse, the speaker is being pushed into distortion and compression to generate the bass at more than medium volume. These are small room speakers at a very high price. My sense is that you will get tired of the low output and compression that such a tiny cabinet make for. There is simply no substitute for either a larger speaker or a satellite/sub combo.

    For less than half the price of the Mani-2's you should be able to find some very, very nice small speakers and a very potent subwoofer. If I was you, I would try to get my hands on the reviews of surround sound systems done by Tom Nousaine in Sound and Vision magazine and check out the frequency response graphs of the mains and Nousaine's comments. The mains can be bought separately in many cases and then you can pick your choice of subs.

    I found the review by Atkinson by doing a search of the Mani-2 using Google. Sorry, no link. Maybe someone else can hot link the review, or if you would like I will try to post the URL as soon as I can.

    The concept of a tiny 2 way that can really deliver is very intriguing, but alas not quite possible.

    Artie

    "Violations of human rights principals are tested not on consensus victims or politically correct victims, but rather on unpopular individuals."
     
  6. ArthurJ

    ArthurJ Second Unit

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    ArthurS, have you listened to the Mani-2? How is it being pushed into distortion and compression to generate the bass at more than medium volume? I don't quite follow; they employ the 3rd driver to prevent this from happening. Also, I emailed Totem to get there opinion and they wrote back on two separate occasions…

    "400 watts is enough power to drive both the Mani-2 and the WIND. Optimal power for the Mani-2 is between 200 –400 watts while the WIND requires between 240 –500 watts to extract maximum performance.
    When choosing between the two, many factors must be considered such as ROOM size, ceiling height, electronics, etc...
    The Mani-2 can have the same dynamics range as the WIND is a smaller room"

    AND…

    "The Mani –2 is much more than just “low frequencies” . The Mani-2 has stunning detail and articulation and benefits from one of the smoothest frequencies curves in our entire line up. (even more so than the WIND and SHAMAN)

    From top to bottom the Mani-2 is a no compromise design that extracts maximum performance in every domain. It’s only short coming is that it’s fairly power hungry, but given the proper power, is one of the best monitors in the industry regardless of price!!

    The Mani-2 would be far superior than a monitor / subwoofer combo. No sub/sat combination can match the fluidity and cohesiveness of one full range unit. (despite how good they are)"
     
  7. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    ArthurJ

    I have never had a chance to listen to the Mani-2's. If they sound good enough to you to jusify the price and you are satisfied by what the manufacturer says about its own product, you should just get them.

    Here is the URL for the Atkinson review of the Mani-2.

    http://www.joenit.com/Dis/Press/Mani...TPH%201996.htm

    My comments reflect both my interest in the Mani-2 and hearing from an owner who was getting ready to sell his Mani-2's because of the output issues. I would love to hear from someone else about their experience as a Mani-2 owner.

    Artie
     
  8. ArthurJ

    ArthurJ Second Unit

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    I would like to know what kind of power your friend was using?

    Also, here is a follow up of Mr. Atkinsons 1996 Review...

    samples measured 84.5dB(B)/2.83V/m.

    I still don't know where you get the distortion and compression ideas [​IMG]

    My reason for this post was to get some insight on the idea of running a lower end speaker sub combo to a higher end bookshelf. Totem answered my questions fairly well and I think for now the best route would be the Mani-2 Signatures and adding a REL sub down the line.
     
  9. ArthurJ

    ArthurJ Second Unit

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  10. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    ArthurJ

    I am glad that you decided to get the Mani-2's and a REL subwoofer. I will be interested in your experiences after you have had them for a while. I would imagine they sound very good.

    The person who I mentioned who was selling his Mani-2's was not a personal friend, just someone whose post I read that caught my interest because I was thinking about possibly buying the Mani-2's myself. His experiences convinced me that there are output and compression issues with tiny full range monitor speakers (even with the dual drivers in the Mani-2's).

    If you read much about subwoofers, you will see that compression/distortion issues come into play at higher levels and that the smaller the box, the sooner the compression/distortion issues come into play. While this may not be exactly comparable, it is about the same thing only on a smaller scale.

    Still, it seems to me that you are going to end up spending about $6,000-$7,000 on a pair of mini monitors, good stands, and a subwoofer and that for about 30% of that amount you could get a very good pair of small conventional mains and a very good subwoofer. The manufacturer himself says that a sub/sat system is not nearly as good as the Mani-2, but yet you are planning to buy a (very high end) sub/sat with the purchase of the Mani-2's and the REL.

    By the way, I own both an excellent pair of full range towers, and a pair of highly rated full range small speakers that are about the same size as the Mani-2's. The small speakers sound quite good (with excellent imaging) and cost about $220 a pair. This is the kind of speaker that I would suggest that you can find around for way less than the Mani-2's.

    I hope you enjoy the Mani-2's.

    Best regards

    Artie
     
  11. ArthurJ

    ArthurJ Second Unit

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    ArthurS

    I appreciate the comments, the compression and distortion issues would be no less apparent in say a Forest? Keep in mind this will be going in a fairly small listening area and the REL addition is simply to add a new octave of listening pleasure...regardless of what the manuf. thinks, the Mani-2 can only benefit from the REL, don't you agree?


    Also, Arthur, on an unrelated topic...do you notice that in high end speaker reviews the reviewer is ALWAYS far more analytical on the most negligible things? I understand that is there job but sometimes they make some of the most amazing speakers in the world sound bad compared to value-minded units. I understand the testing involved is far more extensive, but still…if the Mani-2 Sig. priced at $6000 Canadian was $2000 Canadian they would be far less enthusiastic to point on the most subtle flaws.
     
  12. ArthurJ

    ArthurJ Second Unit

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    I am also trying to figure out the compression/distortion issues this guy was having…according to Totem, the push/pull configuration is supposed to cut down distortion and compression, and with 400 watts on tap I don’t see myself running into a problem. Maybe this guy had a really large room, or not enough power?
     

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