So 4 years later than you, i acquired a used pair of hawks.
I have the exact same impression... 20 years in audio and this is perhaps the best pair of speakers (read compromise) i have ever had.... And i heard b&w, vandersteen, magnepan, dynaudio, rega, and more i forgot. Very highly recommended.
Good for you, they are really excellent speakers, with very potent LF response. Thanks for the response. Mark
Beautiful speakers. A step above the Arros and just complete sounding. Totem might get maligned as being major-market, but their speakers are incredibly engineered and voiced.
I am 8 interactions of speakers passed the Hawk's, but remember them fondly, particularly their excellent bass response.
Yes, bass response, clarity, soundstage, transparency....
So what bookshelf or tower would you recommend to get deeper into the music @whitestix?
The Hawk is a great speaker. Be careful not to push it too hard as you can overdrive those woofers. Getting placement right will improve their performance.
At their new price points i cant recall too many that beat the Hawk at their own game. The Rosso Fiorentino Elba has the same enveloping presentation but have a different tonal presence to them. They are darker speakers but are able to hit deeper given the dual 6.5" woofers.
Ive had a few speakers I've been hesitant to get rid of. The Hawk was one. The Forest.... not so much.
I owned a pair of Hawks for a couple of years. I got them used for $1200 and it was the best $1200 I've ever spent. Huge sound for such a small footprint and excellent imaging. I used a Peachtree Nova 220se and later a Primaluna Dialogue One. The Hawks like power but the Primaluna had enough to handle them unless I really cranked the volume. My only issue was the tweeter was a touch "etched" sounding to me on certain tracks. It had great detail, but I had to sometimes turn down the volume. But, it wasn't often and I would own these again.
I love the totem sound. Bought a pair of winds. They really are magical. Had the opportunity to listen to arrow, hawks and model 1 with Sig upgrade. They all sound magical. U can use small amp, but more powerful amp really brings them alive.
Also owned a pair of Totem Hawk loudspeakers for a couple of years. I thought they were good within their limits. They struck me as a speaker better suited to acoustical music, vocals and jazz rather than rock. With rock the woofer can be easily over driven. Do try and use Totem Acoustic Beaks with them. I don't get how they work but they were an upgrade for my speakers.
I’ve now owned Totem Dreamcatchers, Rainmakers and the Sky Bookshelf speakers. In my system, the Rainmakers had a lot of magic, but were easily bested by the Hawks.
What a tremendous sounding speaker. There is a sense of presence, live music, and intimacy that is so captivating. I’m running them with a 200 watt amp that could be described as nothing special(Adcom 555SE -2018 version), but don’t need to over drive them as kiwi experienced. That said, any speaker can be over driven and any 2 driver design will have limits.
Totem lists the max volume peak of the Hawks to be 107 db at 2 meters in a room of about 12 x 20’. That’s very loud, and well into hearing damage range, but if hearing damage is your thing, buy some Klipsch and knock yourself out(not directed at kiwi, but anyone who prefers ear bleeding levels!)
Anyway, the bass coming out of this smaller sized tower is exceptional. The revelator driver in the Hawk is renowned in the audio community apparently. The tweeters are so much better than the Rainmaker tweeter as well. I didn’t realize it, but the Rainmaker tweets are kind of shouty in comparison, you get more texture and imaging with the Hawk tweeters.
There is a youtube reviewer called zero fidelity that goes into great detail on the Hawks, I’d suggest the video and suggest the Hawks for the speaker short list for sure.
To say Totem is not much on rock, I must say I agree . There are made for real music . .
I wonder how the new SKY (tower and bookshelves) compare to the Hawks.. .higher level of transparency?
The Hawks are priced above both, and I can say that at least compared to the Totem Sky, the Hawks have better imaging, more presence and detail, at least in my system.
I picked up a nearly new pair of Totem Hawks for about $1500 and it's money well spent. The midrange and soundstage really come alive with my system.
Aren't they great? I am in the process of setting up a secondary system with my hawks, positioned to form a 6ft equilateral trangle. I have not found an integrated yet, but it will be tube-based.
Owned all of the classic Totem lineup over the years...and many other Uber brands. They are special indeed. I found myself desiring an even more dynamic footprint with even less compression at high volume levels while trying to retain the openness, soundstaging and physicality of the Totem’s. On a dare, I took a pair of JBL 4429’s on loan for a trial, fully expecting to return them after a quick listen. Days turned into weeks, months and now over a year later...they just have mesmerized! Coltrane comes out on stage at the Village Vanguard and I can sense the room, smell the smoke and almost taste the whiskey 🥃 being served. He is there in full 3D with the most full sized, warm buttery smooth midrange I have ever experienced. I can crank it up to live levels with zero compression or aggression...soundstage is Maggie size yet physical and dynamic. Usually I can find a major flaw after a year and then begin looking again, but this time I’m hooked.
Gosh. I just checked out these JBL 4429. What an ugly speaker. seriously. And then you look at the price, $5000? For someone looking at Hawks, that just about doubles the budget, no thank you. I'm sure they sound great, but for most the price and the WAF makes them a nonstarter.
At at the $5000 price level, I'm sure there is a lot of competition, and hopefully better looking competition. Sorry to be such a downer, but that's my honest reaction...mind you I also do have a smaller listening space.
As for me, I'm considering getting a 2nd pair of Hawks. My pair would be fine in the theater system, but they sound so good I've got them in the 2 channel set up instead. But now the theater, with a Rainmaker center and Totem Lynks for the rears, doesn't have a pair of totems to match color and timbre. Maybe I should go big with a used pair of Winds...
Loved the Totem’s but I love music more than just looks...the 4429’s compete with the Wilson WP 6’s and B&W 802D2’s I had awhile ago. I also dig the retro 60’s vibe which reminds me of one of the most beautiful sounding speakers ever made, which is the Bozak B313’s:). Full sounding, detailed and superb dynamics...gets to the soul of the music without compromising on soundstage size or higher volume compression issues.
Okay, here’s the thing, At least as I see it. The Totem Hawk is priced point is $3500 or so. That’s a lot of money for most folks.
I'm sure there are 10 or 12 pairs of speakers that at the $5000 level, are better than the Hawks. They better be, don’t you think? Who would buy a 5k speaker and brag about it being worse than the Hawk? No one I know. But for $5k, it should be a terrific looking speaker. It should sound amazing AND look amazing.
I am considering the Hawks. Do they vary at all in production from the start until now in material used or sound signature? Also why wouldnt they sound good with Rock music? Is it because they cant get loud enough or do they not reproduce that type of music well?
There are best in acoustic music like Jazz or Classical .
Paradigm is another well made Canadian speaker that is voiced for rock .