Totem Arro efficient enough for NAD C315BEE?

Hi. I am building a inexpensive system for my living room as 2 channel HT and music system for jazz/vocal/orchestra. The living room is about 12x13.

I am using a NAD C315BEE amp and a NAD C321i CDP. I have two pairs of speakers - Von Schweikert VR-1 and Paradigm 3se Mk3. The VR-1 has nice midrange but no bass (for movie). The paradigm has nice bass but weak midrange and very forward high frequency.

So I am trying to see if Totem Arro is a good replacement. May I ask if it is a good match? Is there other floorstander that I should audition?

Since your system will see HT duties, I suggest skipping floorstanding speakers. Buy the best stand mount speakers you can afford and a good subwoofer. Then biamp with the sub and your NAD 315 will likely do well.

The Arro will not make bass -- 4.5" woofer is way too small.
Thanks for the suggestion. The NAD C315 does not have sub out though. Is it possible to hook up to a sub without subout? If so it will be great, because I probably will keep my VR-1 and add a sub with it.

clo, if your nad has a preamp out you could use that for the sub. depending on the connection options of the sub you select you might be able to your speaker cables to the sub and then another set from teh sub to the monitors, but I would advise against this as it tends to degrade sound quality.

my $0.02 - keep the vr-1s in the mix. for teh $$ they are an outstanding performer.
Thanks Wrtickle. The C315BEE doesn't have preamp out also (now I regret not getting the C326BEE which has both preamp out and sub out)

I did a quick check on Von Schweikert VRS/1 subwoofer and it seems it has speakers in/out. But I am not sure how it will sound if the main speakers are connected to subwoofer's speaker out. Did anyone try this before?

Hi Clo, to connect a sub to your system you would leave the system as-is and then run a separate pair of speaker cables from the amplifier to the subwoofer - to do this you need a subwoofer that has what looks like speaker terminals on it. You will not be able to eliminate low frequency information going to your monitors in such a setup, but I think you would still find substantial improvement in the areas that concern you. I have had Arros for a few years and agree with the other posters; for HT use your best bet is probably to keep your monitors and add a sub.

As far as the Arro's efficiency is concerned, the speaker may be physically small but in my experience it requires quite a bit of current to maximize its dynamics, which are inherently compromised due to the speaker's design. It's a great speaker, but in my experience if you are looking for big dynamics and bass energy you should look elsewhere. Your mileage may vary, as always.
I've had the Arro's in the past for dual 2Ch/HT use and they actually work reasonably well -- as long as you have a sub. As previously mentioned, most subs will be able to operate off both the speaker outputs as well as preouts.

The Arro's image like no other speaker. Their high-mids are fantastic. A little short on the bass (but not nearly as much as the VR-1's, which are anemic on the bass). A lot of things depend on your budget, but I would consider the Totem Hawks to be a nice compromise for HT and jazz/vocal/orchestra use.

And to answer your question, I imagine the NAD should drive the Arro's just fine. I've found that the Arro's work great with at least 50wpc. They're not overly inefficient, but need enough power to sound their best. In my experience, that translates into >= 50wpc.

Clo, I apologize... I was not aware that the C315 doesn't provide both preamp out and main amp in jacks like all the other NAD integrateds.

That being the case I'd probably stick with your original thinking and try floorstanding speakers. Look for something with at least a single 8" woofer or a pair of 6.5" woofers.

The Revel Concerta F12 would be an excellent choice.

The PSB Imagine T will still be a little light in the bass, but might be worth considering.
The Arros should be a good match for that amp and your room size. If you get a much bassier speaker, it could overload such a small room. Since the room is small and the Arro has a rear-mounted port, you should get pretty good back wall reinforcement to help strengthen and extend the bass. Ordinarily I'd recommend more than 40 watts, but it's a small room and the NAD has good current delivery, which is important to dynamics and bass extension.

For most things these little columns should do just fine, but for movies you *may* want to supplement the Arros with a small powered subwoofer.

And don't worry if you have no preamp or sub output. I've found that many small powered subs sound just fine (and sometimes better) using the speaker connection instead of interconnect. Connect both your Arros and the sub directly to the NAD's speaker terminals and set the sub's crossover frequency to around 40-50 Hz. I've found that connecting both directly to the speakers offers a smoother, more seamless presentation *and* better imaging than running the L-R speakers through a high-pass filter.

As Pierre Sprey of Mapleshade records says:
For seamless subwoofer sound, use only the speaker cable input, not the RCA input. In addition, connect the two main speakers directly to the main amp output, not to the subwoofer's output. .... Set the crossover at the lowest possible frequency that doesn't leave a bass gap. You'll be amazed at the overall transparency you gain.
VR1s are far from anemic in bass, for a bookshelf monitor.

I love the Arros - but not for this amp and not for mixed HT/music use. In addition to the Revel F12 listed above, I suggest you look at these:

Paradigm Monitor 7
Monitor Audio RS6
06-06-09: Knownothing
I love the Arros - but not for this amp and not for mixed HT/music use.
Remember, this is for a 12x13 room--the size of a mid-sized bedroom. For most everything the Arro should be plenty. To augment it for HT and more dynamic music, augment it with a small sub. Even a mid-sized sub would overpower the room. Get a little 8" to 10" cube such as this Mirage, this Velodyne, or if you have the money, Totem's Dreamcatcher sub to make it a matched set.

I was taking room size into account. The Monitor 7 and RS6 are not big speakers, but they are more efficient, their presentation is a little punchier than the Arros, and they do lower bass a little better. The Paradigm and Monitor Audio speakers will light up a little sooner and go louder with that small amp compared with Arros. Better choices for low power HT in my book.

In any case, agree a sub would help get to the lowest notes on the soundtrack.
06-08-09: Knownothing

I was taking room size into account. The Monitor 7 and RS6 are not big speakers, but they are more efficient, their presentation is a little punchier than the Arros, and they do lower bass a little better.
Good points. I can see what you're talking about--the Totem probably needs more juice to get underway, and're out of juice.

I'd think PSB would have a couple good offerings for this situation as well.

Another possibility--the Mirage OS3-FS. Those have a tiny footprint, generate a big, deep soundstage, are very dynamic, and have a claimed sensitivity of 93 dB (which is at least close to the truth).