Is this a two or three way speaker? I'm not familiar with Totem. If I recall correctly, C above middle C is 1024 Hz which is in the midrange. Not many tweeters will go down to around 1 KHz.
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Don't be quick to blame the speaker...I had the exact same problem in noticing that some piano frequencies sounded harsh. It turned out to be a precursor to a failing input board in my amplifier. That being said, the piano is probably the most difficult of instruments for a system to reproduce - especially with digital which IMO is horrible to a piano. Also, don't overlook the fact that our hearing gets worse as we age. It could be that those particular frequencies will always sound slightly harsh to you. Take the CD to another system and see if you hear the same problem.
Have you made sure the mounting screws are tight on both the tweeters and woofers? Are the Arro's fillable? Some Totem speakers can be filled with lead shot. If they are capable of being filled, use #9 lead shot; you can get it at the local gun shop. There could be a wire or some acoustic fill touching the back of the woofer cone. The Arros are a great little speaker. The only shortcoming is they only play so loud; expected from such a small woofer.
When you say the distortion is emanating from the speaker are you listening with your ear up to the tweeter or are you detecting this from your normal listening position? How loud is it? Did Totem test the speakers for the distortion you're experiencing? What did they say?
It's possible it could be a problem with loose plinth spikes or binding posts. It seems unlikely, but double check both these.
The other system you tried the Arros in, was it at a different location or was it in the room you normally listen in? Would you say it has a similar tonal balance to yours or is it dramatically different in sound?
the other system is in a completely different house...and very different...bryston 7b amps, sonic frontiers pre amp. arcam alpha 9 cd player
the sound is loud enough that i can notice it from my listening position 9 feet away
when the problem occured the first time I brought the speaker to the dealer i bought them from and listened there, the dealer suggested the problem might be the plinth or binding posts, but in the end decided the best thing to do was to replace the tweeter. The dealer replaced the tweeter...so the speakers were never actually shipped to Totem at all...I did contact totem about the problem totem said the best solution would be to have the dealer replace the tweeter
which leaves me back at square one...speakers not working properly, and the "fix" also not effective
if a dealer sells a product that malfunctions or works in a sub-par fashion and is unable to repair or correct the problem should they not offer a refund? or would the time period of ownership (8 months) be too long to ask for money back?
Despite you're young, you've probably nailed the problem.
IMHO, It's a clear fault of a filter and/or crossover in Arros.
You may even want to audition different Arros at dealer with the same CD to narrow your problem to your particular pari of speakers or...
Another way is to run your speakers through electronic crossover temporarily disconnecting the built-in. Please note you should set an electronic crossover at the same crossover point as the speakers are initially designed.
If the same clipping occurs, you should vary the crossover point upto when the clipping stops I guess towards upper freequency bandwidth point from initial set.
After getting results of experiment, I'd contact Vince and tell him the problem. He may probably come up with "MarkII" version thereafter for product recall...
Or simply you can cut this experiment hassle and kick it back to dealer either for replacement, different speaker or complete money back...
Yes, very strange indeed. Did you try listening to your speakers while they were at your dealer when he did the tweeter swap? A good test would be to compare them to a set of Arros he has there. Maybe you could bring them home a demo pair and compare them to yours in your system. Obviously it's something further than the tweeter, unless he replaced it with another defective tweeter. But it seems like it could be crossover or internal wiring related. Maybe something is loose. It could even be the midrange if the crossover slopes are gradual enough.
It may be the tweeter screaming its head off at the low end of its range. As with a woofer, the lower the frequency, the farther the dome must travel. The point just above crossover is where the tweeter is working hardest. I have heard the sound you describe, usually on piano or female vocals, especially on notes that are held for a long time. I usually backed the volume off a bit for these recordings until I bought more abuse tolerant speakers. The funny thing is that it didn't usually occur at what sounded to me like loud volumes. The music that caused was not generally head banger stuff, but seemed to have a lot of content at crossover frequency. I loike the suggestions of going to listen to other pairs, even just the in store demos, using a disc that you know causes it. Maybe the crossovers are defective, or maybe this is a limitation of this particular speaker.
Maybe the problem is the recording. Have you tried playing this recording on other systems? Have your tried playing this recording on the demo system at the dealer? The tweeters in the Arro's have a lot of detail and they could be highlighting a flaw in the recording.
I owned a pair of B&W N805sig's for a while. They were wonderful speakers but play a bad recording on them....
You know the old saying "Shit is - shit out...."
Hope this helps,
This is an update...after talking to a fellow arro owner with the same problem, and to Vince at Totem, the problem was diagnosed as a resonance resulting from vibration induced by the metal to plastic contact of the woofer and tweeter plates...in the arro the drivers are so close together that the plates overlap slightly....thus the problem is only on the arro model it doesn't affect any other totem speakers...it also seems to be exacerbated with certain amp combinations...the NAD being one of them...it has to do with the discharge frequency of the amp...dont know what that means...the distortion occures between 425 and 650hz...the solution is very simple, a very thin "gasket" is placed behind the woofer plate to physically separate the contact...mine will be getting this 'fix' very soon..ill report on the success...the fellow owner i was talking to had complete success with it so my hopes are high...
so fellow arro owners or prospective arro owners be aware of this potential problem...however dont let it stop you from listening to the arros...the arros are first rate speakers in every regard, and i must say the customer support is excellent, Vince personally attended to me.