I am wondering which speaker would be the best match for my tastes. I have heard a little about the JM Reynaud entry level speakers that run around $700 and much more about the Totem Arro at around the same price. Which would be the more appealing match for a Japanese AV receiver (Onkyo) and some entry level digital front ends? I have heard that the Totems can sound bright. Can these brightness be toned down with tone controls? Need advice.
I have the Twins mkII and am driving them w/ a Rotel RB-980BX(120 w) amp, Rotel RC-972 pre-amp, and a Denon DCM-460 5 disc carousel. Let me state that the Twins are some of the most amazing speakers aailable for under 1,500+ because of their unbelievably deep soundstage, tonality, and balance. I especially mention balance because I had B&W 601 s2's before and their tweeters always seemed to dominate the music. The Twins are absolutley magical with vocals, acoustic, jazz, and percussion - piano, timbales, etc. Within seconds of hearing them, they changed all my opinions on how speakers should sound- warm, engaging, but still having extremely fine detail. Play some Sarah Vaughn, Nat King Cole, Cassandra Wilson, etc. and their vocals will be full of magic. Also, speaker placement of the Twins is incredible easy, just place them 6-6.5 feet apart on 24-29" stands (depending on seating) and that's it. The "Sweet Spot" is vertically & horizontally huge. You can stand up 3 ft. above the speakers and it still sounds perfect. The great thing is that even though you only have an A/V receiver right now, if you ever upgrade (and you will want to) you'll find that no matter how incredible they sound at first, you have only scratched the surface of their true potential. The most important thing to remember is that Jean-Marie Reynaud himself suggest a full 200+ hours to breakin the speakers (I traded emails w/ him). And this is not a joke, I got mine used w/ about 125 hours on them and they sounded great, but 1) there was little or no bass, 2) there was a slight audible fluctuation in vocals when a note was sustained, 3) power handling was limited before sonic quality deteriated. Initially, I could only turn them up to 8:00 on my volume dial, after another 75 hours I can easily turn it 11:00-12:00 with music sounding better and more full all they way up. Also, very accurate and tight bass notes now roll across my carpet and up my furniture - not powerful "punchy" type of a 12" woofer, but the finely detailed "snap" of a drum or standup bass string (afterall, they are bookshelves). And you you don't have to worry about "brightness" like I did w/ the B&W's, the Twins use a silk-dome tweeter that is extremely smooth without sacrificing high frequency detail. The same can be said for the full frequency range with the Twins, they are extremely warm and engaging, but every little nuance and detail is still there to be heard. And they will reveal weaknesses in poor recordings and your system. I intially thought my Denon cd player and interconnects slurred "sss's" on some Diana Krall, Peter Gabriel, and Dee Dee Bridgewater recordings, but after listing to 20-30 more cd's I realize the problem was with the original recording and it's equalization. Anyway, enjoy and please feel free to email me if you would like more info and I haven't bored you too much, Victor I'm currently dumping my entire system and going to tubes to try and realize the full scale of the Twins soundstage and imaging.
I've owned the Twins and they have an uncanny ability to draw you into the performance. They force you to listen. All of the detail is there but doesn't call attention to itself. It's detailed in a pleasent, musical way.
i have owned both the arro's and the twins. having said that, i don't think either will be a great match with your onkyo receiver. both of these speakers require good amps and front ends to get your money's worth. the reynauds are now $845 a pair. [they just went up $100]these are both demanding speakers and i'd hate to see you buy one or the other and be disapointed. with the equipment you own, you would be much better off with something like a paradigm. i have the new monitor 5 v2 in my bedroom system and like it better than either one of the speakers your looking at. if your dead set on one or the other, go with the reynaud. its a far more forgiving speaker than the totem. even then, with the onkyo receiver, your just going to be wondering what the fuss about reynaud is. the paradigms will shine with your system.
I just plain missed the mark with your question. The Twins beg for really good equipment and reveal every weakness upstream from them, from recording to equipment. Not to mention they are 4 Ohm speakers which can be fairly hard for some amps/receivers to drive. In fact, I replacing all my Rotel gear and going all tube to really let the Twins reach their full potential. So for your money go with the Paradigms like Merscruggs suggested, but I also suggest that you demo them against B&W 602 series 2's ($550-600) or the 603 floorstanding ($800?). Both are excellent buys for the money and choosing between them is just a matter of preference.