Powering Totem Sttafs and Rainmakers

Hi all,

Just bought Totem Sttafs and Rainmakers (I like 4 stereo speakers in one room, I also like floor-standing speakers on stands so mid-range is ear-level). But my Integra stereo receiver under-compels Totems and anyway the 8 ohm Sttafs & 4ohm Rainmakers will kill the Integra in time. The Nad C375BEE would feed the power hungry Totems and drive down to 2-3 ohms but is it worthless without a Niles or similar switcher? I use an OPPO DVD as my CD player but soon will likely run all my audio / video from my laptop + Moon DAC. Are there tube pre’s and solid state amps that pair well with the Totems that I should consider? Or another integrated superior to the Nad for the Totems? What about cables? Thanks in advance. -Scott
I am using an Outlaw RR2150 with a pair of Totem Mites, which are 8 ohms, 87db to the Rainmakers 4 ohms, 87db.

There is definitely not a lack of power with the Outlaw as it is a true 100 wpc. The receiver is also stable at 2 ohms, see measurements from Sterophile review .

For 2 speaker connections, the following is from the user manual:

Speaker A/B Selection

The RR 2150 allows you to connect two pairs of speakers, each of which will be sent the same output signal. Four options are available, depending on where you set the Speaker Selector Switch (FP14).

 Set the switch to the “A” position to listen to speakers connected to the “A” speaker output terminals only.

 Set the switch to the “B”position to listen to speakers connected to the “B” speaker output terminals only.

 Set the switch to the “A+B” position to listen to both sets of speakers.

 Set the switch to “OFF” to disable all speakers connected to the
RR 2150.

Hope this helps.

Naim and Totem are a great combination. I had great success with Naim XS integrated and a pair of Totem Arros.

Good luck!
I've powered my Sttafs with many different amps and they all worked well. You don't indicate a budget range, but staying in the neighborhood of the NAD there are a number of options. I like B&K amps - and if you want to power 2 sets of speakers a multichannel amp is an option. One of these would be quite nice. (I don't know the seller and have no interest in the sale).

Other options - Musical Fidelity A3cr, PS Audio HCA-2.

A Dared SL2000a preamp is one tube preamp worth considering in the presumed budget range, but only has 2 inputs. are great.Other Tube preamps I can think of will run $700+, but in the $700-1000 range there are probably some great choices (eg, TAD 150sig if you can find one). In Solid State - staying with B&K and PT-3 or PT-5 are great for the money.
Rar1, Head2, Bdgregory - thanks. I can budget up to $2,000. By which I mean $1,000 used here.
Should I have given my thread a more exotic name? Triple X Starlet seeks assistance with speaker installation. Hmmm...not much feedback yet.
You posted on a weekend during the summer. Maybe people had better things to do than sit at their computer?


I never cared for the NAD/Totem pairing. No synergy to my ears. Several forum friends on a different forum emailed Totem for amplification recommendations and all were told NAD isn't a good match. Can't remember why off the top of my head, but it made sense at the time.

The Outlaw suggestion looks good, but I haven't heard it.

Arcam, Simaudio, and Bryston pair up pretty well with Totem too IMO. Not sure if you'll get a Sim or Bryston integrated with 4 speaker outputs, nor if you'll find one for your budget if they do, but the Bryston B60 can be found for your budget here. I own one and have nothing but great things to say about it.

A good speaker switch box can somehow regulate the load the amp sees with multiple speakers of different characteristics. Not sure on the technical reasons or how exactly they work, but it made sense when I heard it explained.
Hi Scott:

If you look back at your original post you ask some very specific questions about using amplifiers with already purchased speakers in a set-up that is not too common ... two sets of speakers in the same room off of the same amp amp with the floorstanders on stands, no less.

I have never heard the Staffs and the Rainmakers playing in the same room at the same time, so I don't know if you are going to run into voicing issues, no matter what amp you use. If you have gone CD shopping in J&R Music in NYC, the sound of the music playing changes every so many feet because they have different brands of speakers connected to the same amplifier.

I would find a local Totem dealer and see if he can re-create your set-up with the amplifiers on hand and decide for yourself. It may be easier to purchase an amp on-line, but your set-up is too specific and you are committed to the Totems in a big way.


That is odd. Never heard anything bad about Totem + NAD combination. In fact one of the demos I had for Totem Rainmakers and Hawks were with NAD amps and that was a nice demo indeed.
Yes, Bryston and Simaudio would be step up. Arcam will be more "refined" but not "power", which I feel the Totems need.

Totems no doubt benefit from some power. But what they really need is stable power in my experience. They need an amp that won't struggle with low impedance and difficult phase angles. If I recall correctly, Totem was saying NAD wasn't fast enough in it's power delivery. Perhaps it's damping factor or slew rate? I'm not a specs guy at all. No idea what those truly mean, even though I've read a definition.

The Bryston B60 has a good bit less wattage than an NAD 372. On a pair of Sttafs, the B60 smoked the NAD in an average sized room during a demo. Same with the Arros. If you're looking for SPL above all else, I'd imagine an NAD 372 would fare a bit better than a B60. However, the B60 powered the Totems to levels a good bit above normal in an average sized room without breaking a sweat.

Regardless of all that stuff, I can't really figure out why someone would use 4 speakers for stereo music in a room other than a huge open room. Makes no sense to me. Can't see how imaging, sound staging, etc. wouldn't be thrown off. 2 speakers that were designed for the amount of space that are properly placed should sound better than 4 speakers in a 2 channel system IMO.
I listened to Sttafs through an awesome Vincent Audio and a terrific NAD 375 BEE last week. But I wonder whether I can put together a kick-*ss mostly Totem 5.1 system by picking up an Arcam 375 AVR here, with my current Sttafs as fronts, my current Rainmakers as rears / surrounds, picking up a Dreamcatcher Center also on sale here, plus a sub. Would this work? What sub selling here would you pair?
Using Totem Sttafs with an Emotiva UPA-200 125 wpc into 8 ohms 200 wpc into 4 ohms.  Response is very quick. Love the sound.