Totem Owners....

Hi all,
Just auditioned a pair and loved the sound of Totem. Very simple, unique, and musical.
Q1: What's the guide line, or how can I determine which model to buy.
Q2: What's destine sound unique of each one from Arro, Sttaf, Hawk, to Forest, Model-1 and, finally, the Mani-2?

Room: 16' x 16' x 8' ceiling
Amp: 180wpc Anthem A5
Pre-pro: Anthem AVM-30
Music type: Jazz, classical, music concert, instruments, Michael Buble, Eva Cassidy, Katie Melua, etc.
Volume: Midium Low. Listening time normally from 1am-4am.
nasaman input is let your ears and pocketbook guide you. I too liked the simplicity and sound of the Totems. I auditioned Hawks some years ago - really liked them but own Forests. Decider for me was a bit heftier bass from Forests. Can't speak to the other models. Some consider the Hawks more "musical" than the Forests. listening area is roughly the same size as yours and I have way less power from an all tube amp. I think you will be happy with either Forests or Hawks. Based on what others have said, maybe the Hawks would have a slight edge given your musical tastes and volume levels. Again, I think only you can decide. Have you visited the Totem Acoustic web site?...the FAQ might help with your decision. By the way...these speakers take a LOT of time to break in. Bass won't be there initially if bought new.
Can you bring them home for a audition,if you can not then I believe Ghosthouse's response applies 100%.
Never met a Totem I didn't like, and I have a bunch of them! This may be a bit off topic, but their inwalls rule this category!
Of course Zieman loves totem.

He sells them but doesn't disclose that fact here.

I own Totem Forests and like them very much (they replaced Von Schweikert VR2s). I'm not sure you want these for medium-low volume listening. Maybe a different model in the totem line, but the forests sound best at higher volumes in my opinion and with the gear I've had.
Nothing wrong with Totem's at all - excellent speakers - but for what you describe Harbeth's would better fit the bill.
Thank God the thread police (AKA AudioFeil) has shown up on another thread to save all of us from the other evil dealers. Give it a break, because I for one am tired of seeing it on so many threads that I read here. The advice of each and every person here are opinions and should be taken as just that regardless of their affiliation. It has to be up to those reading the thread to audition and listen for themselves before making any decisions. Input often times helps to narrow the search or present options.
Nothing wrong with full disclosure. A dealer should make that fact (or financial bias as it were) known.
I agree with Bob Reynolds. Full disclosure from dealers and/or those benefiting is a good thing.
Readers need to know that information found here is honest and objective.

It's imperative that posters with a financial interest in a product recommended, disclose it.

To not do so is unprofessional and unethical.

Do you get it now csmgolf?
I agree with Bill completely. It does make a difference when a dealer chimes in favorably for a product versus an end user of the same product. The consumer has no financial stake and his only bias is his enthusiasm (or lack of) for the product in question. Full disclosure helps to diffentiate the two.

How off-the-mark could you be Csmgolf - someone comes in telling us all how great something is, only to find out later they're selling the things - this doesn't strike you as (at best) unethical.

Thanks Audiofeil for exposing this farce, and Zieman, hopefully you'll be more than a little more candid next time. For sure I wouldn't buy anything from you given your ethics.
There are many people that post on these threads that are devoted to the brand they choose and will make claims similar to those that Zieman did above. I agree that dealers should identify themselves when bragging about their product so as to differentiate themselves form the fanatic. My problem is this. I started a thread some time ago about monitors for use in a small room. I received many good replies to that thread and used them to narrow my search. I then received a direct email from audiofeil recommending Mark and Daniel Ruby monitors which he just happens to sell, as well as the deal I could get on them. I assume Audiofeil's exception to the Zieman's post is to avoid trolling the thread for a sale on the forum. However, this is exactly what he did to me and I found it offensive. I also find it extremely hypocritical to condemn others for doing what you are doing, especially when the basis of your statement is professionalism and ethics. I don't know how many people he has done this to, but one is enough for me. I don't disagree with the message that dealers should identify themselves, just how the message is being delivered and by whom.
A conflict of interest does not necessarily render information wrong, but disclosure of the conflict is always preferable. Anyway, the thread is getting derailed by the debate and mostly useless to the OP.

I owned a pair of Forests for about nine months. One of their exceptionally strong suits was the ability to sound dynamic at low volume. They are very fast speakers, cast a huge soundstage, and disappear thoroughly with the right electronics. They are more power hungry than the Hawks, but my perception was they could handle more volume when I wanted to crank them. Frankly, your room is small enough that I bet the Hawks would fill up the room nicely. I recommend choosing a cable with a somewhat relaxed sound - in the long run I found the aluminum dome tweeter to need a more forgiving signal. I went with Cardas Golden Cross with great results.
Just a quick note to say that I am currently in the middle of making the decision between whether to hang on to my pair of Ohm Micro-Walsh Talls or my pair of Totem Arros. It's a tough call, and I haven't yet made up my mind. But I have to say that the Arro is an extraordinary speaker: transparent, fast and very, very musical. And, as is well known, it's a "monster" in terms of imaging... those things produce a huge, holographic sound stage. Not the last word in bass extension, tremendous in all other respects, and remarkable in terms of bass extension for their size.
Totem will always have a special place in my heart because I've owned 4 different pairs, and I sold them for 5 years.

I owned the Mani-2 Signature, Forest, Hawk, and Arros. I've extensivly listed to the rest of their lineup as well.

With that said, I now own Harbeth C7's. The new ones with Radial drivers.

I will go out on a limb and say I will never upgrade again, ever!

Unless living circumstances change, and I move into a much larger house. Then I would just upgrade to the 40.1's. The nice thing about a move like that is I would not have to change any of my associated components.

On the way driving home something has came cross my mind. The unique sound of Totem is still in there somewhere in my heart but since their sound is unmatched and totally diff with today high end speakers, I have to admit that it came pretty close to the sound of Bose. Ahhhhh!!!!
Does anyone still have or remember how the Bose's sound, any inputs?
Hi Friends, Any one help me ? I am having Hawk and I do not know whichis the best matching amp for these pairs. Even I am ready use multi chennal as a front speakers. Therefore I required suggestion from you all for best
matching stereo or multi chennal amp.
You know, my post history is going to show nothing but a stream of responses to Totem threads. Hmm, I guess that makes me a bona fide fanboy. Hmm, where's the koolaid?


One of the things I like about the Totem line is that there is no defined 'product tier'. Although every Totem has a distinct voice that is similar to one another, each model is unique - imbued with its own individual character. What you prefer will boil down to room, personal tastes, and of course - budget.

I'm a bit short on time, so I will address this later on.. but from what I gather, I'd advise you to look at the Hawk's. They should fit your room and musical tastes nicely.

Oh yeah.. Totem? Bose.. really? Wow. thats a first...
Allow me to chime in as a long-time totem lover. My personal fave is the Model One- always has been. Fantastic mids and incredible coherence not to mention doing all the audiophile tricks we love (sitting up and begging etc.).
I have also owned arros--- incredible! No box that small should sound like that! Fast as all get out and a huge soundstage.
My preference in terms of mids and presentation etc though was always for the model ones. So, after owning arros for a year or so-- I sold them and bought model ones. I then-- good audiophile that I am-- promptly sold my model ones like a month or so later.
But why oh why did i do such a thing if I love them so much? Well I'll tell ya-- the Model Ones (sadly) do not play dynamically at lower levels.
Even right out of the box before the ones were on stands (they were already broken in as I bought them used)-- when i hooked up the amp I could hear the incredible mid presence they have -- and this in my opinion, is what they outdo the arro on and for that matter-- most other speaks I have owned.
But for late night listening -- even with a goodly amount of power-- the Ones just cannot get it up. Vince at Totem himself told me he feels the Hawks are better low-level listening speakers-- but even THEY might not put singers in the room etc. with the same veracity as the model ones.
So it's about purpose-- a speaker may be a great thing-- and the Model One remains perhaps my favorite monitor... but certain things it wont do and playing dynamically at lowish levels is one of them. ATC's have this issue as well-- though to a greater extent, possibly due to lower efficiency.
Once I get a place where I can turn up the wick a bit, you can bet Model Ones will be in my speaker stable once again.
Hope that helps..

for me its the winds. these speakers just blew me away. The only problem is finding a dealer that has them. Since vince only makes maybe 30 pairs a year, and they dont really want them talked about because they cant meet demands on them. with that said, these are imo the best speaker he as ever made, but they are power hungry.
"Since vince only makes maybe 30 pairs a year, and they dont really want them talked about because they cant meet demands on them"

LOL You really beleive that?

That said, I do like Totems... One of the better and more consistent Canadian speaker companies.
I just made an upgrade from some warm finicky KEFs to the Totem Hawks. I auditioned a new pair and was very impressed. Very simple and transparent. I did feel like there was a lack of bass extension when I got the pair I bought hooked up. I actually made a break through last night switching the ICs from the pre to the amp, which opened the low end a lot more. Maybe the bass is just really accurate (a hugely subjective term) and I'm not used to it. I'm not ready to give my conclusion on them. I spent a lifetime listening to warm systems. So, I'm getting used to these before I decide it's what I'm looking for.

I'm trying to get used to hearing clothing, lip smacking, paper rustling and background talk that I'm starting to hear in the recordings. Yes, very detailed.

I picked these over Dali Ikon 6 and Vandy 1c's, which I also had liked. If I'm still on the fence about my choice down the line, I may try bringing a pair of Dali's in for an extended trial.

Can we ever know what to pick? A good deal helps the decision making.

Good luck.
Cutterfilm - If the Hawks are at all like the Forests, be patient. Bass wil come but as BlindJim wrote in another thread on a different topic, "...bass is the last thing to appear". When I first hooked up the Forests I was WAY disappointed in their bass. Not so now. They seem to sound better and better the more I play them. I'm thinking you might need 100+ hours before those Hawks come into their own (a guess on my part; Totem's site might have some pertinent info re break in hrs.). Hope you do enjoy them.
A side question -
I am looking to upgrade my B&W DM.601s - would the Totem Dreamcatchers be an upgrade? Or a lateral move?

I have B&W 685's in my theater system - these would be music only.

Love this thread :-)
Thinking to save my money and go further for either Rainmakers or Arros (I have a fondness for bookshelf speakers I can't explain - probably because I never have owned floor standing .. and I'm always in small rooms).
Septemous, I went from B&W 602 s2 monitors to Arros and find the totems to sound much smoother, more open, detailed, and just better in almost every way, really, including bass.

IMO, the only area where the Arros are inferior to the 602s is dynamics, but this may not be an issue for you if you have a smallish room and don't listen at loud levels. I really like the Arros when run within their limits, but if you like to rock out at louder levels I'd check out the Rainmakers or Sttafs. I'll probably upgrade to something with more bass and dynamics eventually, but I think the Arros are very nice for what they are.
I've owned the Hawk, Forest and Wind speakers. I've auditioned the Mani-2's extensively at home as well. I found the Forest to be the most seductive of all due to it's evenly balanced sound with surprisingly deep bass extension. They are also easier to drive for a Totem due to their honest 8ohm impedance rating. The purity and tone of the Forest was just phenomenal:)
I have a Q that only Totem owners can answer it. Which models can I (or NOT) fill sand in the bottom?
The Forest can be loaded for sure..check the website out or call Vince.
You can fill the Hawks. It's suggested when there's too much bass, which I can't imagine happening. That's Totem stock suggestion, at least.
A closer look on the Model-1 and Mani-2 I realized that their mid-bass drivers look identical to ones from Dynaudio Contour and Confidence. Am I correct? if so, I'm curious how do they sound compare with the Totem? I have not ever heard any of Dynaudio so lots of infos and deatails would be greatful. Thanks
Csmgolf, Fail did the very same thing to me. Trying to sell me stuff, and wanting to be 'friends'. When I told him I was in the biz, no more private mail from Fail.

All of Totem's columns are mass-loadable (arro, sttaf, hawk, forest, - and I believe the Wind's are as well). The benefit of mass loading, in this case, has more to do with stability (to help prevent them from tumbling over) than gains in sound quality. It's worthy to note that some owners report positive gains in the bass region after mass loading their Totems. This of course, is when first hand experience is the greatest teacher.

To my knowledge, none of Totem's monitors are mass loadable.

Next.. the drivers

Totem uses bonafide Dynaudio drivers in the: Model 1 (The One, Model 1 Twin), the Mani-2, and the Wind's. Totem uses a HiVi driver (developed by Totem) in the Forest.

As for the sound; I found Dynaudio to have a completely different sound from Totem. Like anything else in the hobby, some will dig it - and some won't.

the winds do not use dynaudio drivers. they use hivi and seas. I own a pair, and totem told me this, along with how long it takes one person to make a pair by hand, and that they dont really want them reviewed because they only make 30 pairs a year, that sell out early. It takes 42hrs to make the cabs of the winds by hand. this is done by one person his name is chris.
What model to buy? You've got to listen to them. There isn't a bad choice in the bunch, but one will speak to you more than the others. Power wise I'd say you're o.k. with any of the two way towers and all the monitors except the Mani-2's for optimum sound. The Hawks spoke to me, and I've got 400 watt monoblocks on them. It really doesn't get any better for me.
LtLeo74 may be right. I recall speaking to the boys at Totem about the very same thing. Although I coulda swore I was told that Dynaudio drivers were used in the Wind, I cannot say so with absolute certainty.

On that note; anyone check out the "lifestyle" Winds from CES? wicked..
Ok - well this is now 4 years later and my budget has grown somewhat. I was considering the staffs - but now think I will go all the way and eek out for a pair of the Forests.

I'm selling my Rotel 1052 (to my mother-in-law) and will use my Integra DTR 7.8 for a bit until I can get some more $ together.

I have my eye set on a Primare i30 after hearing the i21 several years ago. would you think that that would drive the Forests well enough?

Thank youi
Bluecirclehead nailed it

I've had Arros and Forests; liked them ; but eventually sold them off
There are well-travelled threads on AGon about Totems requiring a lot of hi current grunt to make them perform at their best.
They can sound great with gobs of power (bi amping helped a lot) but IMO they are non optimal at low and medium level listening levels, particularly with soft jazz or classical music genres.
i found them fatiguing when run at their "best" which is at higher volume levels.
I had the Forest, Super 8 and Tamino in my system with tube and solid state Luxman and mastersound and Ayre gear. Tamino came out on top with soundstage, clarity,and most importantly musicality.
Totem's are one of the few speakers that excel at low volume dynamics AKg must have had a real mismatch powerwise:)
Septemous - I think that Primare at 100wpc would work. So far have only used tubes to drive Forests that I've owned since '07. Jolida502B could drive them but always thought it was a little underpowered. Got some 78wpc mono-blocks and that did it for me. Of course it isn't just the watts but current supply and other factors. Still got to think that well-reviewed ss i30 would have enough grunt. It looks like a nice piece. Hope you can get it. BTW - once I get another audio project completed, want to try and pick up an affordable ss integrated amp myself. Little change of pace from all tubes.
Totem's are one of the few speakers that excel at low volume dynamics AKg must have had a real mismatch powerwise:)

Daveb. What I said was that in my experiences (echoed by my local audiophile buddies) they worked their best (particularly the Forests) at something higher than low levels. At modest volume levels I actually preferred the Arros over the Forests (had them both at the same time).

I liked them while I had them for three years . I sold them both off along with the hardware cuz the new kit I auditioned and bought (speakers and hardware and cables) significantly outperformed the prior kit at all levels and in all ways.
I own a pair of three-year old Totem Sttafs and I really like them. I play a variety of music, at varying volume levels, and have never found them wanting or fatiguing. The bass response from the woofers, for their size, is amazing. I run the speakers using my CODA 10.5r SS amp, Mystere CA11 tube preamp, Manley Chinook phono stage, and Rega Planar 25 with Dynavector 10X5 HO cartridge. Speaker cabling is Mapleshade Double Helix with Plus Upgrade; Nordost Heimdall IC round out the system. Overall, very sonic indeed. The Totem Sttafs fit very well into this configuration.
I've owned Wilson 6's and Sophia's, Dynaudio C4's, B&W800N and PM1's, MLogan Odyssey's, Dunlavy SC-5' name a few! The Forest speakers I owned 7 years ago haunted me more than any other speaker I have owned or I bought them again so I could sleep:)