There's a guy on Audiogon selling a CODA CSiB integrated amplifier that would power your Totem Forrest speakers. I use a CODA 10.5r to power my Totem Sttaf speakers with great results. Doug Dale from CODA makes precision, high-quality audio equipment. You'll need to negotiate price with the seller in order to achieve something close to your budget. However, if you can spend a little more, I think you will be very satisfied with the CODA integrated amplifier.
14 responses Add your response
Doesn't the impedance curve of the Forest make it unsuitable for tube amps. There's a fairly wide high peak centered around 2K.In comparison with the frequency response that would result if the speaker were driven by a solid state amp having negligibly small output impedance, with most tube amps there will be an increased emphasis of frequencies in the region of that peak. But given that the speaker's impedance, as shown here, does not go much below 8 ohms at any frequency, the difference will not be major with tube amps having output impedances that are typical of those in the power range likely to be considered for use with these speakers. I'd be much more concerned if the speaker had an impedance variation, as a function of frequency, between say 4 ohms and that peak.
For example, with a tube amp having an output impedance of 2 ohms, corresponding to a damping factor of 4, the frequency response rise in the area of that impedance peak, due to the interaction of amplifier output impedance and the variation of speaker impedance as a function of frequency, would be less than 2 db.
On the other hand, it seems possible that the distortion performance of some tube amps will be less than ideal working into that kind of impedance peak, because of the difference between that peak impedance and the impedance the output tap of the amplifier is designed to work into. It also seems possible that the distortion performance of a marginally powered solid state amp will degrade somewhat at frequencies in the area of that peak, because of its reduced ability to deliver power into such a high impedance.
So there is some guesswork involved. Personally, though, given the cost constraint and the preference for an integrated amp, my instinct would be to go solid state. Some good recommendations appear to have been offered above.
Thanks for all the responses. Sorry for my late reply but I have been out most of the day and just got back. You would not think that the Totems Forest would pose a demanding load on an amp with them being 87db and 8ohms.But they sure like a lot of power, with so much out there it's very confusing. I have been thinking of a wired 4 sound STI- 500 what do you guys think on paper it looks very impressive with 250 watts x 2 and doubling at 4ohm. I'm also thinking something from Simaudio like an I 3.3 or a Musical Fidelity A5. any opinions on my 3 picks.
Mechans, no I wasn't concerned with low impedances. My point as Al discussed is that the impedance curve will influence the frequency response with high output impedance amps such as a typical tube amp. Trusting Al's computation of a 2dB variation due to the impedance peak doesn't seem like a big deal, but why knowingly add to the response variation when it can easily be avoided.
Well I thought I would give you all an update. After much research and recommendations I took the plunge and went for a Wyred 4 Sound STI-500 and now without any shadow of a doubt I can say that this is one of those matches made in Audio Heaven. I knew that the Totem Forest was a great speaker, and that according to every single article I have come across needs lots of clean power to come alive. The way the Wyred 4 Sound controls the Forest is nothing short of mind blowing, the bass is so well controlled fast and tight it's like nothing I have heard up to now. The room fills with sound at 30 db out of 90, midrange is fantastic and the highs I'm sure will improve with another 100 hours sounding a little harsh at times right now, but I guess that can be attributed to the Amp not been fully broken in. This is a great product and I'm sure it will stay with me quite a long while.
I just picked up a pair of totem forests and started my first system. If you like tube amps and prefer clean clarity over power, I am currently running a little Cary sli-80 amp. It is 40 watts Triode pure class A and a power full 80Watts Ultra liner AB to drive them in any room! I have personally talked with Vince Bruzzese about low powered tube amps in triode mode (40watts). He said 40 Watts triode is more like 60-70 watts Ultra-liner but cleaner. Even his brother is running a single ended 20watt tube amp with his element Metal speaker," and he said the little cary was a great match for the forests. The one thing he suggested was to try a different power cord and interconnects which a have not even got yet. I do prefer triode over ultra liner mode which the forests Shine in. Also they drive and fill my parents 800ft square living room/kitchen in triode really well, and give great bass like a sub if mass loaded. Though Ultra liner sounds good and give you that extra boost during party's. Also with any amp these speakers should be bi-wired! I use 15ft pairs of kimber 12tc and the bass throw on Tin Pan alley and Taking it to the streets just shocks you! I have not tried any interconnects or a power cables yet. But they should enhance the sound. I think though trial and experimentation with other components and room acoustics play a big role in matching these speakers.