My favorite Totem is the Forest...it can rival any speaker made given appropriate ancillaries and room size. I have owned them and the Winds and Hawks. Solid state is recommended to drive them.
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Arch - "The One" was designed to push the parameters of what is possible from Vince's Model 1 design. What you get is a bit more of everything. The most notable improvements come in the form of an increased delivery of speed and transparency - with the speaker taking on a much more "tell it like it is" bravado. Although "The One" was never really designed to be much of a 'value component', I nonetheless feel that it holds its mettle well against competitors at its price point.
As for subs; good though as the Storm may be, its not fast enough to keep up with "The One". Look at subs from the likes of REL or MJ Acoustics, for solid matches.
I have to disagree with Rumadian on 'The One' not being a budget component. Yes, it was not designed with that in mind. It was however designed with no expense in mind. At its price point I don't think 'anything' can touch it. I even prefer the sonics of The One over the Mani-2 signature, the latter which I owned. I can't see how they could further optimize the Model 1's design that is not already utilized in The One--it really is THAT good. The espresso finish (root brown) is also beautiful and I wish Totem would add it as an option to all their speakers--then again that wouldn't make The One special, now would it.
I have listened to The Ones twice. I'm still hesitating between them and the Dali Helicons 300MK1 (haven't heard the MK2). I listened to both pairs with rega apollo cd player and cursa 3 preamp and exon (not exon 3, the generation before) monoblocks, 125 watt I think.
For the Totem I listened to the Staff and Hawk and, even though they are also good speakers (especially for the price), The Ones were a class of their own compared to those 2 models. I did not get a chance to compare them to the Forrest or Mani2 Signature or even to the Model One Signature.
Now compared to the Dali Helicons 300, I find the choice hard to make. The Totems have smoother highs, tighter and more precise bass. The Dali, however, seem to have more detail in the mids, and have brighter highs. I like the Dali for my old jazz recordings (whether it is big band or most of the rudy van guelder recordings on blue note or on prestige). They give warmth and life to those recordings. However, with better recordings (in regards to the recording quality, not the music :)) the highs tend to sound harsh. I was told that I could compensate that with proper choice of cables. I find the Dali Helicons more amplifier friendly as my amps were much less hot after the listening session compared to the session with the Totems (burning hot).
As for the Totem, sometimes I found they lacked detail and precision in the mids, and I would loose the cymbal more often in the mix, due to the smoother highs. I don't know if that comes from my amplifiers (not being conrad johnson quality, but the best rega model) or the fact that they might not have been completely breaken in (available september 1, they would have needed 24 hours of listening per week to have reached 200 in the store, unless they had had some playing time in factory...). I talked to Vince and he affirmed that my amplification was enought for the Ones, so did the clerk at the store.
That being said, The Ones are a very good speaker, they do need proper amplification, like most Totems. Nicely defined, punched bass, without being dry like the Sonus Faber Cremona bookshelf I had heard with the same setup as well. Good piano sound, great for electronic music as well. I recommend it.
The One's bass response is only 50hz, which is severely limiting for the enjoyment of just about any type of music. I've owned the Totem Winds, Forests, Hawks and home demo'd the Manni-2 sig's. Building a system around the Forests would give you all of the Totem magic plus full range sound and maximum dynamics!