Totem Arros - Set up


I building an Arros based 2-channel system for my 16 x 13 x 8 room. My listening position will be like 10 feet from the Arros. I listen to vocals, instruments, jazz and pop. This is what I am going with: Arros and REL Strata 3 (or) REL Stadium 3. But for building this set-up, I need some guidance from you.

1. I am thinking of using a Cary SLI-80 in the future. For now I want to go with either Jolida 302b (or) Primaluna Prologue 2. Which one would you recommend for better system synergy ?

2. Can the 40 watts from Primaluna drive the Arros to sufficiently good volume levels like 90 dB ?

3. Do we need to Bi-Wire Arros ?

4. What Speaker wire (or Bi-Wire) works well with Arros ? I am looking for reasonably priced ones as my budget is limited to $150 MAX for wires.

5. Can I Bi-Wire if I use Jolida 302b or Primaluna prologue 2 ?

6. What Interconencts are recommended between CD Player and Primaluna / Jolida ?

7. What power Source is reasonable choice ? ( $200 MAX )

I will highly appreciate your valuable input and will immensely help in setting up my 2 channel system.

10' is too far from arros especially with 40W amp
i use these in a second sys.c.j.sonographe amp,tad-150 pre.these are excellent spkrs.,but will not play loud.if pushed,the woofer will hit travel limits,with a loud pop.but for low to mid level,they are hard to beat.machine
I've owned the Arros and 10Ft. from the speakers is fine. In fact, the Arros can go very, very wide and that will not be an issue.

As for synergy, all three of the amps you are considering would drive the Arros without any problems up to your specified 90db.

Bi-wiring is not necessary and something to experiment with on a try before you buy basis.

If you find the Arros a bit too hot for your tastes, Tara, Cardas and Audioquest each offer some rather mellow cables. I suspect the Audioquest Type 4 would mate well at an affordable price.

You can bi-wire easily by using the spade terminations on one set of cables and bananas on the other. At least at the amp end...the speaker end doesn't matter and can be all spades or bananas or a combination.

I like the Audioquest King Cobra and Kimber PBJ interconnects for their high performance to value reasons. The Cobra might be the better choice for the tube amps because it has a strong bottom end and is shielded whereas the PBJ is not shielded...but is my preferred IC when shielding isn't an issue.

I'm not sure what you mean by power source.

Sounds like a fun system to put together.
3. No need to bi-wire. See the Totem site:

4. I use DIY Audio Exodus Crossstream Speaker Wires with mine.

What I meant is Power Supply to Jolida 302b (or) Primaluna Prologue II

Mike, you have some good ideas for amps and cables above. While I haven't heard either the Jolida or Primaluna with them, I have Arros and so can comment on how they may perform for you. I've run them on a 6550 based PP amp, and they sing!

Only issue I see is potentially not enough volume before the woofer bottoms out, like Machine says above. The sub will help, but you don't want to run your signal through the subs high pass circuitry as it'll muck up the Arros ability to dig out tiny detail. Your room is probably at the top end of the size the Arros will work in, even with a sub.

As for cables, I'd suggest the Speltz Anti-Cable. The Arro can be incisive to the point of overly bright, so if you go with a tube amp and mellower cables you'll help to avoid the nasties. Don't biwire until you're ready for a change.

Oh, and plug the amp directly into the wall.


I am not sure what you mean by "you don't want to run your signal through the subs high pass circuitry as it'll muck up the Arros ability to dig out ". Do you mind explaning it a little bit....particularly from the perspective that REL connections are made directly to the AMP terminals.


Not that familiar with the REL, my suggestion for sub hookup doesn't appear to apply. If your sub doesn't have a xover to filter out the bass from the Arro, please disregard my comment. When I ran through my sub -- not as well regarded as the REL, btw -- I found a general loss of detail the result.

Simply didn't want you to have the same thing happen and not get the full enjoyment from your Arros.
Contrary to others comments, I suggest you high-pass the Arros. The little "woofer" in the Arro will begin distorting very early. You want the sub handling the bass not the main speakers. If we are talking about REL subs, I don't think they give you that option, which is very unfortunate. I would look for another sub.
The only thing I'd add is to skip the power enhancements and put the money into better speaker cables. Totem's own speaker cable is excellent, priced nicely, and very compatible with their speakers.

Can you please suggest me any other sub ? I am thinking my other option will be a ZU Method. Does ZU Method provide the option of "High Pass" out puts to connect to Arros ?

How about an ACI Force XL with High Pass filters used in conjunction with ACI Speaker Level Converters? With the ACI Speaker Level Converters you run RCA interconnects to your sub and the speaker cabling directly from your amplifier to your Totems. I think I'd prefer this since it would keep the signal to your Totems purer. Otherwise, to use a sub with the Prologue 2, you will need to run your speaker cables from the amp to the sub, and then run another set of speaker cables from the sub to the Totems. The reason for this is that the Prologue 2 does not have a variable level line output.

You should check with ACI regarding using your Prologue 2 with the High Pass Filters as the use of the HPF may or may not be possible.
I have a Totem Lightning that was an excellent match to my Totem Hawks, and it can do everything you want it to. It's now paired with a Rainmaker system in my Home Theater and is also wonderful there. Full, deep, tight, and very musical (i.e. not boomy or slow)
Mike, regarding subs I usually suggest selecting one from the same manufacturer as your main speakers; that would be Totem in your case. Otherwise, I suggest companies that have a long history with subs -- M&K, Velodyne, Paradigm, Hsu Research.

Many subs have builtin high-pass filters. I typically prefer external active high-pass filters so it can be placed close to the amplifier. M&K, Paradigm, Hsu all offer external high-pass filters.

Hope this helps,

Feel free to email me if you want to discuss specific models.
Mike, I'm sorry I didn't notice that you are using an integrated amp. Unless it has both preamp out and amp in jacks you will not be able to insert a high-pass filter between the preamp and amp sections. I know of several integrated amps that provide both jacks -- NAD, Bryston, Creek (some models), Rega (some models).

Regarding cabling... I'm a fan of Blue Jeans Cable for both interconnects and speakers.

How did you connect your integrated amp with Sub and Rainmakers ? Are you running your rainmakers full range or you are crossing them over ? I Know that this is not an issue at all in HT applications as the reciever / processor can do all the separation of low freq. I am coming from 2 channel perspective with Primalula Prologue II (or) Jolida 302b being the candidates.


What you are recommending by saying "With the ACI Speaker Level Converters you run RCA interconnects to your sub and the speaker cabling directly from your amplifier to your Totems. I think I'd prefer this since it would keep the signal to your Totems purer"

is exactly what REL subwoofers are suggesting me to do. In this case Totem Arros recieve full range signal and the concern is full range to a 4 1/2" woofer may not be good. That is the only concern I have with using REL.

So the alternatives I am looking for is to feeed crossedover signal at say 52hz to Arros and all the LFE beloew 52 hz goes to sub. I dont know how to acheive this with Primaluna Prologue II (or) Jolida 302B

Bob Reynolds,

Assuming it is Creek 5350 SE which has both pre-Amp out ad Power Amp in...can you please detail the way you will set up the connections so that Arros will recieve High Level freq ( > 52 hz) and any freq below 52 hz goes to subwoofer. You can assume a HSU subwoofer or ZU Method or even a REL subwoofer ( in-case of REL we can send full range input from amp speaker terminals to REL through Neutrik Speakon connector and set-up the crossover in REL for LFE ).

I will highly appreciate if you can please explain this to me ?

Frankly, I don't understand how sending the full range signal to the Arros is a big deal.

What I'd suggest, even though you may decide not purchase any of their products (or you may), is to call Mike Dzurko at ACI. Tell him what integrated amp you are using, and ask him what method he would recommend for connecting a monitor/sub system. He seems to be one of the industry's good guys with a wealth of knowledge and information. Also, you could try posting your question on the ACI Discussion Board over on AudioCircle. Mike always responds.

Good luck.
Tvad, the problem with sending a full range signal to the Arros and, in fact, many speakers with much larger woofers is that the distortion increases dramatically when they attempt to produce bass frequencies.

You'll note that most speaker manufacturers do not publish distortion specs for their products. B&W is the only one that I'm aware of that does and even so they, naturally, present the information in the best light.

Consider the B&W 805S. At 90dB, 1m, 2nd harmonic distortion is < 1% from 100Hz to 22KHz. Looks very good. But, they show a -3dB point of 49Hz. What is the distortion at that point? 10%? 15%? The 3rd harmonic will be large enough by then to be a problem as well.

So, without a sub taking the load off the main speakers (80Hz is a good crossiver point) you really hurt the performance of the main speakers.
Hi Mike, yes the Creek 5350SE has both preamp out and amp in jacks. It looks like the Hsu site is down so I could not get the specifics on their high-pass filter. However, in general it will be wired as follows.

1) Remove the pair of jumpers from the preamp out and amp in jacks of the Creek.

2) Run a pair of RCA interconnects from the preamp out jacks of the Creek to the HPF input RCA jacks.

3) Run a pair of RCA interconnects from the HPF output RCA jacks to the amp in jacks of the Creek.

4) Set the HPF to 80Hz (52Hz will be way too low).

This will send a high passed signal to the Creek's amplifier section and then the Arros. This lessens the load of both the amp and main speakers. It's literally a win-win.

Now we have to see how to send the bass to the subwoofer.

Some external filters provide both high-pass for the main speakers and low-pass for the sub. You would then by-pass the low pass filter in the sub when using this type of filter. This is the approach that M&K takes in their bass management controllers. So if the HPF has low-pass outputs, run a pair of RCA interconnects from the low-pass outputs tot the sub's RCA input jacks. Either by-pass the sub's internal low-pass filter or set it as its highest point.

It's possible that the HPF would also provide unfiltered RCA outputs. If so, then run a pair of RCA interconnects from the unfiltered outputs of the HPF to the RCA inputs of the subwoofer. Set the low pass filter of the sub to be 80Hz (the same as the high pass setting). So in this case you would be sending the sub a full range signal, but its internal low pass filter will be enabled.

If the HPF does not provide either low-pass outputs or unfiltered outputs for the sub, then you'll have to split the full range signal from the Creek's preamp output. One connection would go to the HPF and the other to the sub.

I hope this makes a little sense.

-- Bob
10-08-06: Bob_reynolds
Tvad, the problem with sending a full range signal to the Arros and, in fact, many speakers with much larger woofers is that the distortion increases dramatically when they attempt to produce bass frequencies.
Yes, I recall reading this now.

Frankly, the lack of a tape loop in the Prologue 2 is a problem with the design of the amp, IMO for exactly this reason. No doubt Mr. Deal would wholeheartedly disagree.
When running my Lightning sub in two-channel mode with the Hawks I simply used the external output (not tape loop, mind you) on my Exposure 3010 integrated, then later my Audio Research preamp had dual outs. I have never felt the need to use the speaker-level inputs and outputs on the subwoofer, although REL claimed that to have the advantage of the subwoofer assuming the sonic characteristics of the original amplifier when their products were hooked up that way.

In my HT setup I'm running the Rainmakers full range and not using the crossover. They can handle the complete signal, and sound better that way.
I don't agree with the PBJ suggestion. They are too bright. The Hero would be much better, smoother, and work well into power/integrated amps.