After another session with the Sierra 1, the Rainmaker seems more clear with more focus. Also, the Sierras seemed a little louder though they are rated 85 to Totem’s 87.5 sensitivity. The Rainmaker top end seemed more accurate as well. I’ve got a new respect for aluminum domes. Metal domes, when done right, can give an immediacy to vocals.
My amp was the Nadc375BEE, and it puts out 150 watts in either 8 ohms or 4 ohms, which is kind of different. I A/B’d the speakers on the two sets of speaker outputs, so I could toggle between the two.
The weak point of the Sierra 1 is the stock tweeter. I’ve got a set of LCR Sierra 1 in my theater system, and I’m planning to upgrade to the Nrt tweeter with them, but not until Christmas.
The two speakers are designed far differently. Totem uses custom MDF, with 90% density on the outside and 65% on the inside. Both the outside and inside are veneered so the wood will maintain its shape better decades down the road. Then they coat the inside with borosilicate, which was used on the space shuttle tiles. The cabinet panels are lock mitred as well. The tweeters are chambered. Each speaker takes 2 hours to build, and done with Canadian labor, not Chinese. The internal wire is silver coated so corrosion can’t change the sound down the road. The speaker cables they sell, the Tress, are the same design. Wikipedia has a page on totem, that’s where I got most of this and it’s very interesting.
Vince B looked at each and every step and component of speaker building and has made several improvements on the process. Not exactly cheap, but he wanted his speakers to sound exactly as good 20 or 30 years down the road.