They are both in Montreal and frequently use each other’s products to voice their respective gear. TOTEM had its own AMBER integrated SS amp that was a joint venture design and build with SIMAUDIO based on the latter’s platform.
alternates seen at audio expos
AYRE, PLINIUS, REGA
I love my Rega Elicit-R, but it is a bit above your target price. New retail is $3K, but good used ones are about half that. In my system, it has great body, great bottom end, and it is not edgy.
My understanding is that the Rega Elex-R has the same sound signature as the Elicit-R, but less power and less expensive.
BTW, I have the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, which seems similar to your upgraded Debut. I have the Ortofon Blue stylus on the original 2M Red body. I also upgraded the phono cable to an Audio Sensibility Impact SE and I like it quite a bit.
Good luck and enjoy!
i was actually thinking rega brio, which has a really good phono section and is only a grand new--the new arcams (sa10/sa20) were also pretty impressive, though i haven't heard 'em with totem. also see if you can find a vincent sv 236 in your budget--it's a great sounding piece
Thanks, everyone! All great suggestions.
Rega, as well is Simaudio (if I can find what I need in my budget) are definitely high on my list.
Also considering Heed Elixir, and Creek Evolution 50A. Anyone have thoughts on those?
You could try a Peachtree Audio Nova, they used to pair the original Peachtree Decco with Rainmakers at Stereo Exchange. The Decco was pretty exceptional for the time, 10 years ago, excellent quality for the price. They did seem to move to class D for the amplification sections however, if that's an issue for you.
Looking for an Integrated Amplifier to match Totem Rainmaker Speakers
These speakers at 86db want a 100-200w amp that's very comfortable with 4ohm loads, that has a good bit of current to handle the hardest load from 100hz-200hz which is where music power is needed.https://www.stereophile.com/images/archivesart/TORFIG1.jpg
I think your making a mistake not looking at spending more for used. I find people seem to think it takes rocket science to repair audio equipment. its not hard for a competent tech to fix just about any manufacturers equipment if they can still get the parts. Used will afford you a much better selection of very good integrated amps also getting you into the next level of performance.
The Rega , Peach Tree and others people are suggesting are only a side step to maybe a different sound but not necessarily better. Don’t fear, used stereo equipment doesn’t need to go back to the manufacturer for repair when out of warranty any competent local tech should be able to repair just about anything out there. $1500 will buy you a very good used amp probably one worth 4 times that new and a big step up the sound quality ladder.
Generally if a piece of equipment has not failed in the first year it most likely will last 20+ years before needing replacement parts. unless its got moving parts like CD players.
that’s said Bryston has a fully transferable 20 year warranty look at them used.
Another +vote for Ayre, Bryston or Rega Elicit-R.
Thanks, folks. I'm putting Rega, Bryston, Ayre, and Simaudio on top of my list. I'm patient and definitely willing to demo as much as I can.
Yesterday I demoed the the Rega Brio R with Totem Rainmakers and I was really happy with the sound.
Also considering Heed, Exposure, and Creek if anyone has thoughts on them.
@glennewdick I hear what you're saying and this is good advice. If the right component, and deal, comes around I'm not afraid to jump on it even it's above my budget.
I agree with @georgehifi above. 100+ watts at a bare minimum with the sensitivity of those speakers.
@smrex13 & @georgehifi
The power rating noted on the back of the Totems is 20-100 watts. I'm not very knowledgeable on the technical side. Can you help me understand why I'd want to go over the the 100 watts of power recommended on the speakers?
Can you help me understand why I'd want to go over the the 100 watts of power recommended on the speakers?
86db efficient and a bit of an ugly amp load between 100hz-200hz where all the power is needed.
@yogiboy Thanks. Been eying the Sphinx too. I've never had a tube amp before. Our TV audio will be running through this system as well. Do you think TV audio with tubes will be overkill?
I think it would be fine. The tubes in the Sphinx are only used in the preamp section. The amp is solid state. Those small preamp tubes last for years.
The Needle Doctor sells Rogue and they have a return policy if you are not satisfied with it. You have nothing to lose!https://www.needledoctor.com/Rogue-Audio-Sphinx-V2-Integrated-Amp
Thanks. This is definitely a contender.
Currently it’s a toss up between the Rogue Sphinx II or the Rega Elex-R. A local dealer has a really good deal on a demo model of the Rega that’s very tempting. The Rogue seems like a no brainer too, but I tend to prefer Class A/B and am hesitant on the Class D output.
Anyone have opinions between these two?
Thanks for all the input!!!
If you're looking at the Rega, you should also take a look at the Heed Elixir. It includes a MM phono stage.
As a counterpoint to the suggestion that you need at least 100 watts, the Heed Elixir has 50 watts at 8ohms and can drive my 87db Canton Vento Reference 9 DC speakers with authority.
I also have a Peachtree Nova 300 and it's very nice and has a lot more bells and whistles - a nice DAC, headphone amp, HTBP, and a decent phono stage. You'd have to up your used budget to around $1500 to find one.
I have read about the Heed Elixir, and it checks a lot of boxes for me, but unfortunately no local dealer to check them out. Would be contender for sure.
I listened to the Rega Brio R with the Totems and I liked what I heard. The Elex-R seems like a nice step up, and it's within budget. I'm starting to lean towards this model.
@bomd I was at Gig Harbor Audio here in Washington and they had an Elixir set up in a demo system. I just stopped in and wasn't planning to buy anything, but after hearing the Elixir I snapped one up to replace my Peachtree Nova 300. It's very detailed. I've had a few "I never noticed that before" audio moments with it. I initially was using it with my Klipsch Heresy speakers, but the combination was a little too hot. It sounds really nice with the more neutral Canton speakers I have paired up with it now.
I’m in Portland, OR and am aware of Gig Harbor Audio. Do you know if they ship Heed products? I’m not seeing Heed available on their online webstore.
@bomd Give them a call and ask. I have had them ship things to me before, so I know they'll do it. They have a pretty liberal return policy also, I want to say 90 days, but I'm not sure.
Just picked up a demo Creek Evolution 50A to pair with Vandersteen VLR speakers. Front end is a Bryston BDP-pi streamer with a Mytek Liberty DAC. Considerable upgrade to my Hegel H80, which the Creek replaced. Better soundstage, detail and transparency in my system. The Vandersteens are 86 dB efficiency, similar to the Totems. Great sound and plenty of power in my system. Also sounds great at low volume setting.
Thanks for sharing your experience with the 50A. I love the look, form factor, and functionality of Creek integrateds. Do you think that model is a considerable step up from my Rotel RA-12?
Truly believe so. Sounds spectacular on my Vandersteens.