Totem speakers need power and current so SS is your best bet. 35 tube watts will not do any Totem justice.
9 responses Add your response
I have the Totem's and love them dearly but it took a lot of trial and error. The post above is absolutely correct. You need loads of power and I mean serious power to load up the speakers. If you could afford tube amps big enough to run the totems then you probably wouldn't have Totems. If you don't give the Totem's enough power they sound bright and bass is just not really there. It will sound like a avg. bookshelf but give it the juice and Oh'Boy they shine.
However, I have recently hooked up a Ayre AX-7e to the Totem's and they are now doing things that are unmatched to anything else plugged into the totems. For years I've had the wrong gear until now. I have loads of big but very tight & defined bass, wide soundstage, awesome speed and timing. Did I forget to say lot's of air? Very musical and not bright. I couldn't believe how good the bass is now, the floor was shaking with a stand up bass recording that I have.
Just today I hooked up a YBA Ya201 to the Totem's to try out and it's no contest, less soundstage, muddy bass, brighter, less separation of instruments and slower compared to the Ayre. Very disappointing but the YBA is over a $1000 cheaper used. With all the equipment I have tried out, the Ayre is hands down the only amp worth using unless your willing to spend serious money.
So the right equipment and good stands is critical and the Totems like to be at least 24" min. from the rear wall. When done right, they sing.
The Totems are working very well for me for TV when placed correctly because they image so well and give off a very wide soundstage that you don't need a center channel. The speakers disappear.
I have read that most totem, dynaudio, proac, etc. like a lot of power. I was afraid that the st70 might not be up to the task for any of those speakers.
I love the way the kt66 tubed st70 sounds with my quad 11L's except for the total lack of bass.... I also have a sansui au517 integrated amp (65 watts per channel) that I tried in the system as an amp only with the classe dr6 as the pre. While the bass tightened up slightly with the vintage ss amp, the soundstage shrunk considerably and the nice sounding vocals and instruments were not there.The ST70 is way more musical,lifelike, and "holographic" in my system.
I know that a vintage 70's consumer amp is not going to sound as good as any decent modern amp such as bryston, classe, etc. but I was not impressed with the ss amp in my system.
If very high quality monitor or floorstanding speakers need a high power/ high current amp, then maybe I should pick up a "warm" sounding highend ss amp in the 100-200 watt per channel range first.
High efficieny speakers are not an option either(I have a pair of reworked klipsch heresy's) because I have some kind of strange groundloop issue in the house that is not noticeable with 88db or lower speakers, but drives me nuts with the heresy's.
Maybe I should post in the amp section for suggestions on a warm sounding ss amp to match with my classe dr6 preamp.
Spendor 3/5 SE's are a lot cheaper than Totem 1's used, & sound great with good SS electronics. I use mine with a C-J PF-R pre-amp & MF2250 amp in a small room, & they sound great, with plenty of bass given their tiny size. I'm pretty sure they're less finicky than Totem 1's, altho they do like good SS electronics.....
If you like the sound of your Quad 11L but want more bass I would go with Quad 12L. Also, because of your limited space I would go for the Active version of the Quad 12L. By active, these speakers already have an amp built in to them. Basically all you would have to do, is hook them up through your pre-amp. The Active version of the Quad 12L show up fairly regularly on the Audiogon sale pages.