TOTEM Forrest @ HE2002: WOW!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Holadem, Jun 2, 2002.

  1. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Before you read further, please understand that I am no audiophile, really. If you can bear to hear the impressions of a "regular guy" only, then read on [​IMG]
    I spent only a few hours in the Home Entertainment 2002 show in NYC, so I probably saw perhaps than 20% of what was there. This show represents my first foray into high end stuff.
    My first shock came when I heard the Dynaudio Confidence. It was playing an intrumental track from Patricia Barber's Cafe Blue. Well, I don't have the audiophile buzz words to describe my impressions. I will simply say that I have never fallen in love with the sound of a speaker before. Today I heard the most beatiful sound to have ever graced my ears. The clarity and smoothness was incredible. I used to swear that no speakers were worth this kind of money: $12000, which is what those retailed for. I guess I was wrong. The day I can afford them, I will get them. Oh, I forgot to mention the look: gorgeous, in this classy way...
    Wilson Watt/Puppy System 7 which I had heard so much of was a dissapointment. I believe it costs much more than the above system, but the Confidence sounded much better in my ears. The Wilson were driven by these huge tube amps. One thing that was remarkable with them: while I did not care for their sound, the speakers had dissapeared completely by some magic. The sound was just there.
    Paradigm Studio 100: Another dissapointment: I recognised in those speakers the things I have come to not like in my monitor 7: the forwardness of the middrange. It sounded of course better than what I have, but it also had too much of the same characteristic. This made me realise that I was not as crazy about my monitor 7's as I though, since I wanted a completely different sound from the higher models... That was with music. With HT, that forwardness is much welcome. The pod race had never sounded so glorious except with the...
    Krell setup. I believe we are at the limit of "home theater", sice it was setup in a room the size of a small theater. And it sounded better than any small theater I have been to. I am sorry I forgot the name of the speakers :b . The were these huge metallic towers and bookshelves. The bookshleves alone were $10000.
    TOTEM Forrest were the HUGE surprise of the day. I have heard the name, but tho I am no expert, I never knew they were so good. I spent nearly an hour in that room listening to various musics. These speakers are very dimunitive (they call them mini towers...) but they put out a full, rich, clear sound. I kept asking where they hid the sub. What I also learnt was that it was possible to fall in love with two speakers at the same time! [​IMG]. Believe it or not, in my ears, these $3000 speakers sounded as good as the Dynaudio Confidence, and they both were significantly better than everything else I ever heard in my life! Considering the Dynaudio cost 4 times more, the winner in my eyes is clear. This just goes to show how important it is to audition as much as possible before you buy. I will be looking for these TOTEM Forrest when I am ready to upgrade (next year).
    In all, the three hours I spent were quite eye opening:
    - Sometimes the insane amount people spend on their equipement is justified soundwise.
    - Brand loyalty (Paradigm) or what is considered a safe bet might make you missout on a lot of good if somewhat exotic stuff (TOTEM)
    - A speaker can actually sound as good as speakers costing 4 times more [​IMG]
    I ran a search on TOTEM, and it seems the Forrest were never mentioned on this forum [​IMG]. KeithH does have the Arros...
    --
    Holadem
     
  2. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    Holadem,

    It does indeed sound like you had a great time. There's nothing like hearing several good quality speakers in the same afternoon, and be able to compare, as hear the different approaches different designers have. Lots to choose from out there, that's for sure.


     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Holadem, Totem Acoustic is one of the best kept secrets in audio. Their speakers are somewhat hard to find and are not often talked about, but they simply make outstanding speakers. I use the Totem Arro in my main stereo system, and for a very small floorstander for only $1100 a pair, the Arro is incredible. Anyone looking for a pair of speakers in that price range owes it to themselves to give the Arro a listen. I chose the Arro over the comaparably priced B&W CDM 1NT, Paradigm Reference Studio 60, Energy Veritas V2.1, Vienna Acoustic Haydn, and Sonus Faber Concertino, as well as others.
     
  4. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Keith, I hear ya [​IMG]
    Ya know what? I think I am going to go Norh for now... Aren't they supposed to sound similar to dynaudio? The problem with Norh is that fanaticism that surrounds it. It makes it kinda hard to find objective reviews. I guess I will just have to see for myself [​IMG]
    If the Norh thing doesn't work out too well, TOTEM will be next...
    --
    Holadem
     
  5. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    To paraphrase Louis Armstrong, if it sounds good then it is good. Thanks for the post.
     
  6. Craig Morris

    Craig Morris Stunt Coordinator

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    I love Totem speakers and auditioned both the Model One and the Forest. I decided to go with a stand-mount in my room, and eventually decided on the Revel M20 over the Model One. However, it was very close, and the Model One lists for far less than the Revel (especially in CDN Loonies). Highly recommended.
     
  7. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I own a two pairs of Paradigm Reference (40's and 20's). While I think the sound is very good, I won't go to my grave defending them. I too prefer a more laid back sound for music (Linn or Dynaudio especially) but cost constraints made me compromise and go with the Dimes. They are great home theater speakers and will have to do for a few years until I can make the jump to a soft dome tweeter for music.
     
  8. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Great little review.

    I am in complete agreeance with you about your "many more fish in the sea" type statement. There are so many great brands of equipment and speakers out there, some esoterically priced some reasonable, that it is a shame to see how few brands actually get discussed on this particular forum.
     
  9. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    Totem is another Canadian speaker manufacturer. [​IMG]
    Dave
     
  10. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    So where can I find more info?
     
  11. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    From the pictures of the Forrest, it looks like Totem is using Dynaudio drivers in their speakers, in fact from a qoute from UHF on-line magazine;
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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