Totem Loudspeakers

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by ChrisKula, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    I would like to ask any who are familiar with these loudspeaker their personal impressions and opinions. I was able to listen to the totem brand recently and was very impressed with the sound coming out of such a small sized speaker (the Rainmaker model). I am looking for speakers to be used approx. 50/50 for music and HT. Would Totem be a brand that I should consider. I personally enjoyed the sound of the Hawk (floorstanding) and Rainmaker (bookshelf) as mentioned above. Any owners opinions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Alan M

    Alan M Second Unit

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    Although I dont own totem speakers,I recently had a chance to listen to the totem arro speakers in stereo mode.

    I was very impressed with the soundstage and pure clarity from such a small thin speaker. Build quality of the pair I listened to was good but not outstanding.

    Overall,if the arro is any indication of their speaker line,I'd say totem is a line to look into.
     
  3. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Thanks Alan

    Any other opinions, thoughts, etc....
     
  4. Elliot_W

    Elliot_W Agent

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    They're supposed to be higher-end, but hard to get a read on.

    Seems like they approach each tier/product line with different technologies, builds, etc. to maximize value for that specific product range. e.g. some lines use a space-age material to dampen their cabinets making for a relatively lighter speaker vs. traditional brands.

    I seldom see more than 1 midrange/bass driver on their floorstanders...perhaps they use long throws to get the bass extension.

    Almost always I hear rave reviews, though, no matter what the product line is. Personally, I'm curious to hear them...nice to see a Canadian company not appealing to the mass market.
     
  5. SteveSs

    SteveSs Stunt Coordinator

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    I hope I can help... My front soundstage is 2 Totem Rokks (the predecessor to the Rainmaker) and a Rainmaker center. They are powered by a 200wpc Parasound amp. The room is approx 12'x20'. I have no trouble filling the room with pretty decent sound. They seem to be a bit bright, tho. The center speaker is very sensitive to the high-frequency limitations of compressed sound such as DD or DTS. I occasionally get some crackling that I never hear if I play a multi-channel CD. Interestly enough, my good stereo set-up contains a pair of Dynaudio 52SE's, which are very laid back. It's difficult to go from one room to the other, as the sound is so different.
     
  6. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Thank you for the input!!

    I was thinking that the Rainmaker center and mains would not provide enough bass due to their small size. I was considering the addition of an SVS sub to accompany them. I have read many many reviews raving about these....

    Any thoughts about the floorstading offerings from Totem (Hawk, and Forest) for mains? Would they provide a better "sound" for HT and music? Perhaps the use of the larger center channel from Totem (cant remember the name) would not have the same issues mentioned regarding the Rainmaker center??
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I do know that some of the totem models use Dynaudio drivers which bodes quite well...
     
  8. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    My local audio shop carries Totem and I've spent a fair amount of time there listening to the Totem Wind, Rainmaker and Arro, with a number of different sources, preamps and amps, both SS and tube.

    The Wind is a fullrange floorstander that runs around $7K/pair. It is a very good speaker, if you can afford it and have quality electronics to drive it. The Wind does particularly well with tube gear. An ideal configuration (IMO) would be to bi-amp them, with a tube amp for the mid-range and high freq drivers, and a SS amp for the woofer. Drive the amps with a quality tube pre.

    The Rainmaker is an excellent bookshelf that runs around $900/pair. It has good bass response for it's size, but its best qualities are the mid-range and high end. If running with a good subwoofer, I would drive the Rainmakers with a tube amp. If running alone I would use a solid state amp, otherwise the low end might suffer. In both cases I would use a tube pre-amp.

    The Arro (~$1.2K) is a pretty little floorstander, but is most definitely not fullrange. The cabinet is designed to be mass loaded, which means you can put sand in it to damp resonances. And believe me, the Arro needs all the help it can get, because the bass response is non-existent and the mid-range is weak. High freguency response is pretty good, but because the bass and mid are so poor, it sounds bright. To be perfectly honest, I think the Arro sucks. IMO the Rainmaker is a far better speaker and it runs about $300 less than the Arro. And I'm not the only one who thinks this. Every person I know who has heard them head to head, on the same electronics, has come to the same conclusion, usually in less then 30 seconds. The difference isn't just noticable, it's glaring.

    I've also listened to the Dreamcatcher and Mite bookshelves, but IMO those are only suited for satellites or small office systems. However, both are better than the Arro, IMO.
     
  9. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Dan: I have never listened to the Arro however I have had the opportunity to hear the Hawk model and quite liked what I heard. Have you listened to either the Forest or the Hawk from Totem, if so did you find that they shared the same lack of bass. I do realize that the form factor of Totem models are small which most likely leads to their lack of bass response.

    I think I will have to take another trip and listen more to the Rainmaker (center and mains) to see if they sounds as good the second time as they did the first!
     
  10. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    Chris,

    Sorry, I haven't heard the Hawk or Forest. It's a small shop, so he is limited in what he can display. The Winds take up a lot of space, along with the PSB, Epos and Vienna Accoustics speakers that he also carries.

    I have always been very impressed with the Rainmakers. The mid-range and high end are (IMO) excellent and given the driver and enclosure size, the bass response is very respectable. I've only heard 2 bookshelf models of similar size that had better bass response, the Westlake Audio LC-8.1 ($2.2K, 8" woofer) and my Bud Fried Betas, which are a TL design and long out of production.

    The LC-8.1 is the best monitor or bookshelf loudspeaker that I have ever heard, bar none. The Beta's bass response is almost as good as the LC-8.1, but neither the Beta or the Rainmaker come close to the LC-8.1 in the mid-range and high end. Mid-range on the Beta and Rainmaker is very close, but the Rainmaker has a better high end. The Beta is good, but the Rainmakers really shine at high frequencies, without being shrill, harsh or fatiguing, particularly with tubes in the chain.

    If I had my choice between the Beta or the Rainmaker, without a sub, I would take the Beta. With a good, musical sub I would take the Rainmaker. But I would take the LC-8.1 by itself over the Rainmaker + sub combo.
     
  11. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Bump Bump.....any more opinions, expert or not??

    Help me!!
     
  12. Elliot_W

    Elliot_W Agent

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    I had a chance to hear the Arro this past weekend. It was paired with a Classe integrated amp and a Rega Planet CD player...a nice set-up overall to audition them.

    Listening to Pat Barber (Jazz vocalist), I was impressed with the level of refinement and detail. Bass response was suprisingly good...more accurate than hard impact.

    An incredibly small "floorstander"...in all respects...even the rear ports are tiny. The mid/bass driver looked less than 5"...don't ask me!

    I'm not suprised to hear Dan's comments on the Arro...although I'd love to hear more Totem models.

    In short, I can see me liking this brand more and more as I get older and crave the utmost in accuracy, detail, and refinement above a more full range, involving speaker. Wonderful looks, too.
     
  13. Jan-Rotterdam

    Jan-Rotterdam Auditioning

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    I own a set off Totem Forest (front), Model-1 center signature and Model-1 signature (rear). Powered by Goldmund-SR amplifiers via a Lexicon MC-8 pre / pro this gives a very good / detailed sound. Combination of Model-1 center with the Forest is good but not perfect.

    The Forest can sound a little bright in the upper high depending on other equipment used, try before you buy !

    Regards Jan-Rotterdam
     
  14. Kris_M

    Kris_M Auditioning

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    Hmmmm.... This thread is moving again! I have the Staffs in a 2 channel music system and they have the amazing ability to disappear and are very detailed. The bass is pretty good for the size but I use a SVS PC-Ultra for the bottom end. I originally got them to replace Maggie MG12 QRs but after comparing them for the last 3 months I have given up deciding whats better (they both have strengths and sound great!) and each speaker takes 2 week turns in the system. Electronics are Onix xcd-88, Anthem TLP1 pre and Anthem MCA-2 series II amp that seem to work great with both speakers. Its like having new speakers all the time.

    Kris
     
  15. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    Any comments on the Mite or the Dreamcatcher? Size & WAF limitations restrict me to these two only. B&W CM1's are another set I am considering.

    I'm looking to audition these speakers over the next couple of days, and will probably be pairing 5 speakers with a SVS PB12-Plus for a 5.1 system to be used for 60/40 movies/music.

    Thanks.
     
  16. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Chris: I've only heard the arros once, and I really enjoyed them. They do seem to need some juice in order to sing to their potential, though. If you are interested in a smallish 2-way floorstander, I'd encourage you to check out both the Odyssey Lorelei and DeVore Fidelity Gibbon 8. Both are tremendous value and very highly regarded. But I certainly have nothing bad to say about Totems....they are cool speakers [​IMG]
     
  17. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    It appears that a thread never dies on this forum! I am happy to hear it. I have yet to pull the trigger on any speakers...I am keeping my options open and to tell the truth haven't had too much time to audition. I do not want to jump and get the first speakers that I like. I must say though that the totems are at the top of my list. Now I just have to firm up a budget and do some shopping around....it is so easy to say "Wow, I like these more...they are only $_____ more, why not these!" I am sure many or all are in the same boat!!

    And Please keep those opinions coming!!
     
  18. AVspec

    AVspec Supporting Actor

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    I have 4 pairs of the Model 1 signatures in my theater which is a 7.1 system with two model 1 signatures used for the center channel. There are pictures of them on my website.

    I have been using QSC pro amps to drive them but today I am trying a McIntosh MC225 Tube amp out for the front left and right speakers to see how a tube amp works for music listening.... so far I am liking the tube amp....

    Oh and I work for a AV shop in S.E. PA and we deal Totems and I like the sound of just about all of them.
     
  19. fleishher

    fleishher Auditioning

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    Goldmund is the bomb! I just ordered the Totem Model-1 Signatures for my front surround and center channel. I wanted to see if anyone in hear has an opinion on what my surround speakers should be. I am in a fairly small room 16 x 12 and the speakers will be driven by my Marantz SR7002 (no Goldmund). Are these speakers TOO good to be powered by a Marantz receiver? Also I was deciding btwn the Rainmakers vs. Model-1 Signature, what does this forum think about that??? Has anyone heard the Signatures before?
     
  20. maverick_spd

    maverick_spd Auditioning

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    I will be receiving my totem winds this friday....[​IMG] Im just hoping my mca 50 will be good enough to drive them properly for the next while as i have put all my money towards getting these speakers. Please feel free to comment
     

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