Totem Forest Signature -or- Spendor D7


I have my list narrowed to these two speakers, but I'm feeling conflicted. Which way do I go?? And fyi, I'm not interested in any others right now, only choice is between the two listed above please.

I know these questions will be asked so I'll answer them right now.
Room size- 11x22x7.6 feet. Highly treated with absorption and diffusion. Even the ceiling has both.
Source- Clearaudio Concept TT, MC cart
Phono pre- Jolida JD9 II, modded
Pre amp- Decware CSP3 with factory upgrades
Power amp- Moon W5
Power cables- Acoustic Zen Gargantua II's
Interconnects- Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II
Speaker cables- Acoustic Zen Hologram II Bi-wire (I know the D7's are single input)
Subs- pair of REL T5s
Power isolation- BPT 3.5 Signature
Musical taste, 70s-80s rock, Adult contemporary, some alternative stuff, a little jazz. Not into classical or blues very much. Usually lots of instruments playing at the same time. It can get congested, so need a speaker that can deliver individual instruments in a busy environment.
Another fyi, I will be changing all cabling to Acoustic Zen Absolute as I feel this system will benefit from as much silver cabling as I can give it without be harsh on the top end.

So, "Totem Forest Signatures" or "Spendor D7s"??
shawnlh
Based on my past experience with Spendors, and the reviews that the D7 has received, I say go for the Spendor.
Which speaker of the two, did you prefer?
Zd, I actually preferred the left one. Which is weird cause I'm right brained.
The whole post is silly, how can you ask any other person to choose speakers for your ears, and why would you not be open to any other speakers?

You need to listen for yourself with you components if you can not get to a dealer then you need to either travel to a city where you can listen to them or arrange an audition by having the speakers sent to you.

On paper the spendors are very hot with some great reviews.

I have not heard them so I can not comment on them in the past I never loved Spendors or found the often praised magic in Harbeths.

I have liked Totems but forrest are an older design and not as good as their element series.
I have heard them both and prefer the Spendor.
SIMAUDIO and TOTEM are both in Montreal and used to "voice"each other's products

they are frequently paired up\ togerher at the audio paloozas

the point: with a MOON power amp, and a possible swap to a SIMAUDIO preamp to complete the synergy plan ...... IMO then consider the TOTEM FORESTS (I had them in a prior system along with ARROs in a B system and I know their strengths and warts very well)

SPENDORs are great but work best with British electronics for like reasons . They have been recently paired up with EXPOSURE electronics and VDH cables at recent audio shows ( Stereophile has a review on the pairing at a show )

PS Totems can be fussy on cables (ICs and speaker).....speaker cables (prefeerred) are silver coated copper fare such as their own TRESS (internally wired ) or CHORD ODyssey or better.
I have friends that have both sets. One bud has the Spendor D7's on a Unison 50, the other has the Forests on a W5 with matching pre. The problem is I really enjoyed both systems very much. Hence the desire to start this thread. And this is also why I have chosen to narrow my purchase options to one or the other. Because I have auditioned both models in a home environment, and I liked both. With the Forest Sig out now, it may sound sweeter than the original, I'd assume anyway.
I think I have answered all questions.
One word that struck me in one of the posts was "synergy". But I'm not changing pre amps, the Decware stays.
"SPENDORs are great but work best with British electronics for like reasons."

No, no, no┬ůSpendors work "best" with whatever you think sounds best. This statement is the equivalent of saying that German cars drive best with German tires or German fuel. Nope.
"04-24-15: Audiotroy
The whole post is silly, how can you ask any other person to choose speakers for your ears, and why would you not be open to any other speakers?

You need to listen for yourself with you components if you can not get to a dealer then you need to either travel to a city where you can listen to them or arrange an audition by having the speakers sent to you."

"04-24-15: Bojack
"SPENDORs are great but work best with British electronics for like reasons."

No, no, no┬ůSpendors work "best" with whatever you think sounds best. This statement is the equivalent of saying that German cars drive best with German tires or German fuel. Nope."

Finally. Some common sense.
Useless replies are unnecessary.

Thank You
Shawnlh, usually right-brained choose the left ones. So nothing unusual here.
"04-24-15: Czarivey
Shawnlh, usually right-brained choose the left ones. So nothing unusual here."

Whew, thanks. I was getting a little worried.
"04-24-15: Shawnlh
Useless replies are unnecessary."

Only an amateur upstart audiophile would say common sense is unnecessary. Just remember, the system you buy is the system you have to listen to.
Well, I am an amateur, and this is only the second system I've ever put together. If you actually read my posts, you'll see why some so called "common sense" is unnecessary.

Back to topic please.
Totem. Spendors are not very involving to me, to laid back. Totems are more musical IMO.
In other posts I've written about how little my own listening impressions of speakers square with reviews in magazines. That holds true, to a large extent, with individuals here too. If you spend enough time here, you'll start to recognize just a few names that, most of the time, seem to be hearing and describing something similar to what you are.

Case in point: Thiel. Check out a few threads and see the variety of adjectives used to describe the sound.

Another case in point: Harbeth Super HL5 Plus. I got to listen to these recently. Pretty much everything I'd read on here led me to expect a certain kind of sound, and boy was I surprised when I heard something quite different (a lot less relaxed and warm, BTW, than anticipated).

Moral of the story: unless you audition both in person, you'll never know. You might as well toss a coin, buy one, see if you like it, and if not, sell it here and move on to the other. (I'm assuming that auditioning them in person is logistically impossible.)

Received wisdom says that Spendor will be a bit more restrained and forgiving, but remember that this is a new and quite different design. It also says that Totem will be a bit more revealing and fast, but who knows what the "Signature" modifications to the Forest do to its sound. (I heard a Sttaf and again was surprised that it didn't sound bright to me.)

It's great that you've given us all the details of your room, your system and your musical tastes, but the one great imponderable that can never be quantified is your personal set of ears.
Well, I did what you said and read your posts again. It's not that common sense is unnecessary, you just don't have any to begin with.

"I have my list narrowed to these two speakers, but I'm feeling conflicted. Which way do I go?? And fyi, I'm not interested in any others right now, only choice is between the two listed above please."

"Another fyi, I will be changing all cabling to Acoustic Zen Absolute as I feel this system will benefit from as much silver cabling as I can give it without be harsh on the top end."

"04-24-15: Shawnlh
Zd, I actually preferred the left one. Which is weird cause I'm right brained."

"With the Forest Sig out now, it may sound sweeter than the original, I'd assume anyway."

"I think I have answered all questions."

"One word that struck me in one of the posts was "synergy". But I'm not changing pre amps, the Decware stays."

"Useless replies are unnecessary. Thank You"

"Well, I am an amateur, and this is only the second system I've ever put together. If you actually read my posts, you'll see why some so called "common sense" is unnecessary.
Back to topic please."

Shawn - dunno how much you can impose on your buds, but have you been able to bring over your own electronics to get a listen with your gear? I'm thinking your initial post was aimed at getting a comparative critique from experts that have heard both speakers; get some tips on what to listen for in comparing the two. Viewed that way, didn't seem particularly silly to me.
" I'm thinking your initial post was aimed at getting a comparative critique from experts that have heard both speakers; get some tips on what to listen for in comparing the two. Viewed that way, didn't seem particularly silly to me."

I understand why you would say that, but the truth is no one can do the work for you, expert or otherwise. The OP just wants everyone to pat him on the back and tell him he's making the right choice. That's why he's trying to control the answers he gets, and takes offense to the words common sense.
IMO, as your tastes run mostly to pop music and you're letting the subs take care of the bottom octave, I would probably go with the Totems. A bit more forward than Spendor, but not in a bad way. Plus the Forests don't do a bad job of bass on their own, although they take more power than you might think. But if you're taking out that bottom octave, you'll be fine. You might also consider the Model 1 stand-mounted speakers, which have a really nice midrange.
Thanks very much Ghosthouse and Chayro, this is the info I was after. And Ghosthouse, your assumption in regards to my original post is correct.
Shawn - haven't heard Spendors and don't own Signature Forests (Gen 1 Forests only) so take this for what it's worth...
Do the Sig's still use metal dome tweeters? If yes, can you live with the sound?? Break in time, cabling and source material will (obviously) play big roles in this.
Reviewers say the Forests aren't fussy about placement...that's as may be but in my experience clarity & bass response all benefited greatly from careful placement. If you get them, evaluate positioning closer together than might seem "normal". Also, try experimenting with elevation (e.g. using hardwood plinths). They take forever to break in. Bass will be MIA for quite a while.
I'm thinking they will like the power supplied by your Moon W5. Hope you make a decision that's good for you.
Thanks Ghost house. I'm working on a deal for a demo set of Forest Signatures. I'll keep your advice in mind when setting up.

Thanks,
Shawn
That's good news, Shawn. Nothing like a little monetary incentive to help with
decision making. Hope you enjoy the Forests in your room. (Might make sense
to get used to the Sig's sound in your space following more conventional set up
guidance before trying any of my suggestions).
Don't forget the Beaks.
Please excuse the minor thread hijac - But has anyone heard the Forest versus the Forest Signature? I am considering both for an upgrade to my Arro's and the Forest is a lot easier to come by and, of course, considerably less expensive.
I'd be Interested in hearing what folks have to say as well. I have listened to the original Forest a fair bit. But a side by side report with the sigs would be very cool.
As long as we are hijacking - if you have the chance listen to the new Element line. They are really special.
I own the Hawks in cherry finish. I listened to demo Forest Signatures in the same room as with demo Hawks at a local dealership before purchase. To me, the Signatures sounded too bright. After buying and living with the Hawks for a few months I tried a dealer loaned demo set of Beaks. It was a learning experience. I had not realized how much treble energy is flowing around and atop the cabinet. The Beaks help bring it together so that there is less high frequency smearing (which I thought was sibilance). In retrospect the brightness I heard from the Signatures may have been that smearing. However, beside Beaks there is another way... Go to Lowes and spend $4 for a package of two 4.5 inch by 6 inch brown felt pads. Just lay (leave the backing on) a pad on top of each cabinet with the 4.5 inch dimension centered across the width and the front of the pad just back from the rounded front top of the cabinet. (I really like the workmanship of the cabinets!) The pad absorbs some of the high frequency energy and that smearing/sibilance is gone without damping out any airiness from the sound. Suggest you bring the pads to the dealership and listen with them laying atop the demo Signatures. (Oh, and my new Hawks took about 200 hours of playing to break in...)