Dali Helicon 300 vs Totem The One

Has anybody had a chance to compare the Dali Helicons 300 and the Totems The One?

I have listened to the Dali Helicons 300MK1 (haven't heard the MK2) and Totem The Ones twice. I'm still hesitating between both of them and I'm loosing hours of sleep ;). I listened to both pairs with rega apollo cd player and cursa 3 preamp and exon (not exon 3, the generation before) monoblocks, 125 watt I think.

I find the choice hard to make. The Totems have smoother highs, tighter and more precise bass. The Dali, however, seem to have more detail in the mids, and seem to have a fuller sound. I like the Dali for my old jazz recordings (whether it is big band or most of the rudy van guelder recordings on blue note or on prestige). They give warmth and life to those recordings. However, with better recordings (in regards to the recording quality, not the music :)) the highs tend to sound harsh. I was told that I could compensate that with proper choice of cables (what do you think?). I find the Dali Helicons more amplifier friendly as my amps were much less hot after the listening session compared to the session with the Totems (burning hot at the end).

As for the Totem, sometimes I found they lacked detail and precision in the mids, and I would loose the cymbal more often in the mix, due(I guess) to the smoother highs. I don't know if that comes from my amplifiers (not being conrad johnson quality, but the best rega model) or the fact that they might not have been completely breaken in (available september 1, they would have needed 24 hours of listening per week to have reached 200 in the store, unless they had had some playing time in factory...). I talked to Vince from Totem and he affirmed that my amplification was enought for The Ones, so did the clerk at the store. I also listened to the Totems in a much larger room than the Dali, which had a more appropriate room size for bookhshelve speakers. Could that explain some of the differences mentionned?

That being said, The Ones are a very good speaker, they do need proper amplification, like most Totems. Nicely defined, punched bass, without being dry like the Sonus Faber Cremona bookshelf I had heard with the same setup as well. Good piano sound, great for electronic music as well. They sound smooth, like butter.

I find the Dali full and warm, with a bit of sloppiness in the bass. I heard the MK2 version is supposed to be improved in that matter, but I haven't heard them. I like the defenition a clarity and the sense of air they give my recordings, especially the old ones. Anybody here can comment on the MK2 improvements as well?

Anyway here am I, stalled and having to make a choice. My room is 12 feet long by 12 feet large by 8 feet high. I definitly need a bookshelf speaker (unless the Totem forrest would work as well?).

Thanks in advance, any comment can help.
Bill, The Ones are almost gone, so if you don't make a decision soon, one will be made for you. I would then pick the Forest. If in fact you are comparing Model One Sigs, well then that is quite another story. And quite another speaker.
Would you pick the Ones over the forest and the Model One sigs? How do the One compare to its base, the Model One sig?
Bill, about half the improvement is in the speaker. The other half is in the limited production. When they are gone, they are gone. I doubt you will see many posted for resale. Quite like the Dynaudio Special 25. The Ones plus the Totem sub for your room size may be a bit over your budget, but may also be your last speaker purchase. And yes, I'm a Totem dealer.
I have a Rega Jupiter/Cursa/Exon setup that I'm running with Vandersteen 1C speakers, with a PS Audio power regenerator on the front end. My room is about 12 x 17, with the speakers 9 feet apart on the long wall. There are relatively large openings to two other rooms. The Vandersteen 1Cs sound GREAT in my room and at $1,000 brand new I'm truly convinced they must represent the best value in audio. They pair well with the Rega gear (also great value!), with tons of texture, imaging and soundstage depth. You might check out the Vandersteen 1Cs.

I have nonetheless been hankering to see if a speaker upgrade can take me to another level. I've been most interested in Totem Forest, Totem Mani (never heard with the Exons -- would they work?), B&W N804, Focal Profile 918, maybe older Proac floorstanders, or Dali Helicon 400. I want to stay in the $2,000 range and keep looking for local sellers who I might be able to get to do an audition in my living room with its limited setup options, since the room will greatly define the results. The bookshelf speakers I've tried (Quad 11Ls) weren't enough for my room that is only slightly bigger than yours. Are you sure you don't want to try floorstanders? Other speakers I might look at if the opportunity arose include smaller Dynaudio, PMC or Audio Physic towers. The fact the Vandersteens sound so good means I don't have a strong sense of urgency.

By way of a tangent: an obnoxious thing about the Totems for me is that speaker cones are truly an attractive nuisance with kids, and Totems don't have grills as standard equipment. Having once had a woofer damaged by a visiting child's probing fingers, I want a speaker with grills that I can easily remove and install, and the velcro attachments for the optional Totem grills seem ugly and unfortunate to me. They look more natural on the Totem bookshelves but kind of ugly on the Forest.

I have not up to now considered The One but will do so based on these posts -- thanks for the ideas. Sorry I can't comment on the specific question you are posing. Hopefully other people will sound off. By the way, what speaker are you using now?
Hey Geoff. Thanks for your reply.

Right now I'm using Paradigm reference studio 60 v1 that I had before I aquired my rega gear. I must say they're fine for movies, but in terms of music, I've heard better. They sound pretty bright (fatiguing) in the highs. They have a good bass (that's what they aim at I think, but not as defined and nice as the totems), and the midrange is pretty weak. Can't listen music on them anymore. Besides, I think they'd be too big for the room (square room, tends to accentuate the bass) and annoy my roomate and neighbors.

In terms of the Mani2, Vince (Totem designer) told me they would need more amplification than 2 exons. He suggested maybe 4 of them or a better amplifier. I was advised at the store something more like conrad johnson, or any other amp that has enought power and control.

I haven't had a chance to listen to the forest, but Vince told me that could work in my room and with my amps. Totems tend to be less amplifier friendly than other speakers though.