If you have the arro's you don't need to buy a stand. I had the Arro's , now I have the Hawks. Arro's look cooler as well.
The rainmaker are just ordinary looking speakers.
Forget about which one sound. Between the two it just really based on perference.
I have owned the NAD C320BEE for 2 years and felt that the best bookshelf matching it with it was the NHT SB2 ($400 list) or you could always upgrade to the NHT SB3 ($600 list). I have never cared much for the totem line (after extensive listeining). I always felt that the NHT SB2, when paired with the right amp (NAD C320BEE or going with tubes and going pretty upscale PrimaLuna Prologue 1/$1100 list) was a much better listen.
Unless you want to rock the dorm and play at huge SPL, Arros better than Rainmaker based on my audition with a MF 3.2 integrated. And they completely disappear which is really coool! VR1 probably very good but Arros would be my known choice. Arros would do a good job with a 50wpc tube integrated as well (in a small/medium room)and that should fit into your price range $700-$750 (Jolida, Antique Sound Lab, Prima Luna if you find a used one). Do not waste your money on expensive cables, get Paul Speltz anti-cables here on Agon, they are the real deal. Good luck.
I don't have experience with the Totem line, but I do currently own the VR-1. It's an incredible little speaker. For under 1000 dollars, I haven't found better. I was running them with a Musical Fidelity A3, but just recently sold it. I will be replacing it with a Musical Fidelity X150 this Friday. I'm anxious to hear the difference, and I'm confident it will be better than I used to hearing. The X150 is supposed to be sweet integrated. Tied with the VR-1's, it should be a very nice system
I've auditioned the "Rainmakers" and the VR-1's. Between the two, I prefer the VR-1. The Arro's are so small and narrow I'd worry they would tip over. If it was me, I'd buy a used Arcam int. amp or an older Sony (80's) rec./int.amp. The NAD is OK especially considering the cost and it has a decent resale value. (www.onecall.com was selling the NHT SB3's for $199 each.) Good Luck!
My dealer has the VR-1, Arro, and Rainmakers. The Arro are the most impressive of the three IMO (with Kora electronics and Thule CDP). The C320Bee has gotten universally great reviews although I am not familiar with it. Also, I just got a Myryad Z-140 and it is AWESOME for the money ($500 used). All Cambridge stuff also have great reviews so it could be a good and cheap first step.
There are zillions of options - it is best to just start with something and then "buy and try" to find what you really want. If you have a local 2-channel dealer, I would start there - seriously. Good luck! Arthur
I'd also go for the Arro's. I don't love NHTs, and while I like the Rainmaker's and VR-1s, I think the Arro is the is most impressive. The comment above that their narrowness could make them easy to tip over is applicable to many speakers (and those on stands) and while I don't believe these can be mass loaded (like many stands can) I've used them and as long as you're not careless, you should be fine (if you have a big dog or kids, then maybe you'd want to rethink these speakers, or just close the door).
In terms of an amp, I think the nad is fine, but there are other units which would match better with the Arros.
My bets would be a used Musical Fidelity A300 (should set you back about 7-800), a Music Hall Mambo (there's one for 750 right now) which also gives you the added bonus of an upsampling DAC, or this lovely YBA Integre Initial, which would be a super mate for the Arros (but is pricy at 920):
While I'm at it, there's a Simaudio celeste someone has up, and I love the Sim-Totem combo:
Maybe a Classe?:
I would say the Arros, but in the tradition of multiple choice thread suggestions, I'll mention something not on your list: Ohm MicroWalsh Talls. They're about 1K, but I'm sure you can find a great used Integrated for $500 and you'll have an outstanding system. I like the Arros, but I prefer the Ohms.
I was considering perhaps a jolida tube amp to go with the arros but i was a bit leary because i had heard that sometimes they can be very system specific. How much 'tube power' would the arros want? I really wish i had the ability to go to a local 'two channel' audio store but every store in my area is only interested in million channel systems, there is not a single store that even sells two channel amps, so that is why i have taken my search to the internet, at this point i think i am going to stick with the arros, i have had the opportunity to hear all three speakers but at different stores and also with a 7 channel amp pushing in 2 channel mode so it is very difficult to make my decision as conditions are not ideal. I apreciate all posts and would be happy to hear any other inputs concerning mentioned items
A fine music system can be built using the NAD C320BEE and the B&W DM302. I used this combination before and it is musical and detailed enough for thorough enjoyment, but this is not a "crank up loud" combination. This combo can be bought used for under $500 total (good news). Spend the rest on seeing the world and widening your horizons. When you make a lot of money later, you can always get a nice system then.
I had great sucess with 22wpc triode with Arros in a room 11*13, so much that I almost popped the woofer out! As a rule of thumb, tube power is as efficient as solid state power divided 2 to 2.5 (this is not universal but pretty close). So, if I were you, given the outstanding ability of Arros to pass the quality (and defetcs) of upstream components, I would go quality watts vs. quantity. Find a strong clean 30wpc tube integrated and you will be set.
SInce you are interested in maybe a Jolida amp I though I'll chime in here.
From what I have heard from some users on Audioasylum, the Arros should
be a fairly good match with a Jolida amp if you are interested in going that
route. I own a Jolida amp and have listened to the Arro's but never heard
them toghether though. Also there are some people using the Arros with a
Primaluna amp which should be a nice combination as well.
Other possibilities I can recommend which are just in your budget:
Jolida 302b ($800)
Omega Super3 ($550)
(later add a subwoofer like Acoustic Visions MRS10)
Jolida 302b ($800)
Spendor S3/5 ($650 used)
Redwine Clari T-amp
Omega Super 3 or Omega Mini Me
(check out: Omega and Clari T
The first two combinations I have listened to in person, the last one gets
many recommendation right now. As for speaker cable the above mentioned
Speltz Anti cables would work very well in these systems.
The Arros are smaller and you won't need speaker stands. Also, they do have
more extension in the bass compared to the Omega's speakers, but the
speed, tranparency, openess, and coherence of the Omega's is unbelievable
in this price range.
Good luck building a nice system.
I would highly recommend a PrimaLuna to power your Arro's with, it is a magical presentation! See my system for more details. Good Luck!!!
do you think a 40 watt jolida integrated, the 202, would be sufficient to push the 4 ohm load presented by the arros, i realize that jolida is probaly not the most 'strong and clean' tube amp that you were suggesting but it is about the only tube amp that fits my budget. Do you think i might be happier with the jolida or a musical fidelity x-150 integrated solid state. This is a good sounding amp in my opinion i had to opportunity to hear it on a cheaper pair of B&Ws and it sounded great.
the synergy Arros and tube is tough to match with a SS amp, the transparency combined with holographic image is unbelievable. I would buy a tube integrated - fully "new-to-used" depreciated and then see by myself. Check Radii's products from the Tuner Guy, not well known but DAMN GOOD FOR THE PRICE. Or, a Dynaco ST70 amp if you have variable output on your CDP or if you can find a cheap volume control or preamp (check Creek OBH, some older Rotel pre, older Quad).
Another great match with Arros is Monarchy Audio SM-70. You can start with one (25wpc Class A). I had one with my Arros and loved it, plenty of juice and power. If needed, you can buy a second one and go mono for less than $600 both but I seriously doubt you will need two. One SM-70 and a sub-$300 preamp will give you plenty of upgrade flexibility, tube-like sound and SS convenience.
Arro with an upgraded Mccormack DNA.5 could run around $1500 used and would be sweet. I currently have Arros with a stock DNA-1, Luminous Audio Axiom passive preamp ($150), and am pleased (For now...)
i have a question i have just found a set of model 1's for a really good price, they are from 1992 though but appear to be in great shape, can anyone tell me anything about any upgrades that totem may have done in this time or what to look out for in an older speaker like this. It would almost seem a no brainer to upgrade to the model 1 if there arent any issues with the older year, right?
This of great help to me, who just posted a Totem vs Von Schweikert comparison question, only looking at VR2. Even though I have gleaned a lot here, please don't ignore my post!!!!. Thanks
PS. I am especially interested in Center for ARRO recommendations??????
Well, I got a great deal on NIB Arro/Mite-C, so could always use in secound sysrem or sell if not what I want and try Von Sch. Oddly, my sub and surrounds are Von Schweikert, so should be interesting. I Have Arcam 300 and Diva 79 DVD so should have good electronics. I'll make a quick post after arro break in, or longer if someone wants it.
Thanks - look like close call, and I appreciate feedback. I am confident I cannot go wrong, especially as Arthur says, "buy" and try. Wife not sure why as it all sounds good, but she is extremely tolerent, especially when I sell some to support new (and let her have bling, bling,)
i just tried the arros with a 50wpc tube interated from antique sound lab, nothing compared to the 200wpc ss amp. it pushede me off tubes quickly for these speakers.
Go for the Arros.
I have the Arros macthed with a BC CS Integrated and I have no plans to upgrade.