You have great little speakers.
I would first concentrate on the amp before I would consider a subwoofer. With a good, powerful amp, you will be amazed at the bass output. Being a "Krell man", I would probably look at a used Krell. Maybe the KSA200S. It will give you that punch you are looking for to "move you".
If I am wrong, you can sell the Krell a get what you paid for and be out little or nothing.
Hi GMC: Richard's comment was excellent. But before that, simply replace/audition another pair of speaker wire (try Kimber Monocle or BiFocal) I assume the speakers are fully broken-in (300-400 hours playing time?)and Model 1's MUST be placed on rigid, metal stands --preferably filled with sand, lead-shot or combination of both.
Amplifiers: Consider Bryston 3-B SST or Classe CA-201.
It sounds to me like there may be a couple of issues at play here.
I looked up your product specs on the web, and the Totems are nominally 4 ohm speakers. It is possible that they may have some serious dips at some frequencies. Given that the Kora is rated from 3 ohms to 12 ohms for full power, there could be a potential problem with the amp handling the impedance curve.
Add to that, the Totem's rep for being a little power hungry at 87db efficiency, and it's entirely possible that it could be straining the Kora a little too much. According to my calculations, with the Totems, your amp will be maxed out at under 105db SPL. This means that 95db would be the highest average listening level with this combo, still leaving 10db for peaks before clipping. Add in the difficult impedance load, and you have some strong potential for problems, especially if you like to listen at louder volumes.
Many speakers that are rated at 4 ohms nominal swing below that at some points and are not particularly "tube friendly".
I would say that you are at a position where some changes will have to be made regarding the amp or speakers, to get a more favorable match.
Personally, with a 4 ohm nominal speaker rating, and 87db efficiency rating, I would have to recommend looking at some solid state amps with a rating of about 250-400 watts at 4 ohms. The efficiency levels and impedance curve virtually demand this, if you are going to maintain a decent damping factor, bass response, and 110db+ max peak SPL.
I am a tube guy, but I don't think that you are going to get any tube amp under $2k that is going to hang with these speakers.
I used to own a pair of Model 1 sigs and the best amp I ever used was a BAT VK60 (used under 2K). TWL is right about finding a suitable tube amp under 2K with the above exception. The best solid state amp that I tried with great results was the Sim Audio W5, 200 watt amp. I've read that the 200 watt McCormack also works well. I would stay away from the Bryston 4bst as this amp is veiled sounding with these speakers.
If you like the Totem sound, try the Totem Hawks. They are like the Model 1 sigs, but have more bass, are a bit warmer and are easier to drive.
TWL and Ultrakaz are right on the money, especially with regards to the bryston amp with your totems. I tried a bryston amp on my Mani 2's and I got simular results. Althogh it could play loud, I got a very thin and bright presentation which came no where near to what the totems can offer.
i use an old bryston 4b with my totem tabu with great result
and did some experimentations with a lot of expensive cables
and never had the weight on the bass i was looking for ,
so i changed my totem for some apogee caliper and then the
experimentation is over.i finnaly found the sound i was looking for.so now there is a pair of totem tabu for sale
The mc2102 from mcintosh will drive them, a 100w/channel tube amp at 2 4 and 8 ohms. They'll make b&w 801's dance and these are very power hungry speakers as well. A bit pricey at 4000 used though.
VTL MB125 or MB100. I use VTL MB100 for my Forests with great success. I doubt that SS amp will be a good mate to Kora Eclipse you should check with manufacturer or simply lookup for high input impedance >30kOhms SS amps. That will bring you definitely under $2k.
I have the Totem model 1's and I use a pair of Odyssey Stratos monoblock amps. Ample power, smooth sounding. I also demoed a Classe CA-201 and I like this setup also. The Odyssey amps matched or bettered the sound of the Classe and Mcintosh amps I have used in the past, and I like the flexibility of the monoblocks.
Thanks all for some excellent tought. I feel privledged to get Twl's math insight. I am now focused on a 200+/- ss amp. I am concerned as Marakanetz about mating an ss with the Kora. I am a tube dude in my study system, but can't pursue it at the big scale in the living room. I also need to keep the sig's, as my wife would castrate me if i brought in new speakers down there (I am about to bring in some new Meadowlarks upstairs). I can always swap an amp and confuse her.."Oh yea, thats been there awhile.." So now I am thinking maybe a Gamut D200. It is at a lower price point than Krell, and is supposed to have a bit of tube liquidity. Damn, how can those little bastards need so much juice!
G_m_c, be sure to demo that gamut 200 before you buy. I've read in many threads and from dealers I trust in my search for a new amp that it is a really great sounding amp but not considered one with high current delivery for difficult loads. Unfortunately for both of us that will be a major concern for our speaker requirements. For the money you want spend I check out a Plinius.
Thanks J, in fact your earlier characterization of "thin" sounding is right on the mark.
I have for some time been using a Levinson 27 (200 watts into 4 ohms) to drive Mani-2's via Kimber Bifocal XL. It is a good combination and should work well with the Sigs. The Levinson 27 can be had used for less than $2000. The Levinson 27.5 might be even better and is available at around $2000.
Dear g m c,
I have a pair of vtl 80 watt mono's for sale. I use them with my maggie 1.6's in a 14x16 room. They sound great. Tube magic while keeping the lows and highs intact. I'm asking 950.00 OBO.
Let me know
I'm new to this list--so I hope I'm doing this properly.
I've essentially inherited a mid-fi system of a Parasound PLD-1100, Rotel RB-1080, Velodyne ULD ? 12, and an Arcam Alpha 7se CD player, but no speakers. Several years ago I heard some Totems (no idea which ones) and was very impressed. I'd like to know which Totems represent the greatest value and which would be an appropriate match with these components.
Thanks in advance.
Choose the everpresent Signature 1 MKII for your needs, and if you are a little tight in budget, go for the ROKK or the MITE, instead of the slimmer Arrow. Have you noticed that this thread is about 2 years old?
I notice that this thread is 2 years old, but will add my piece anyway:)
Jolida 502B modified (Underwood HiFi) sound great powering these little marvels.