Totem Forest or Paradigm Studio 60 v5 ? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 40 Old 05-18-2009, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I had been looking at the the Axioms online for quite a while and had considered ordering them because they were fairly easy to demo and send back. I decided not to go that route yet because I had not seen enough reviews about them. FYI I was considering the S80 or S60 - please let me know if any of you have tried them.

I had not heard of the emotiva or ascends, so I will have to look into those.

Thanks for all the good advice.
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post #32 of 40 Old 05-18-2009, 10:39 PM
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Obviously, it's better to try out the speakers at home. If you can't do that with Paradigm, consider just getting the Forest used. If you don't like them, you can sell them without much of a price hit.

Btw, from what I've read, as well as my brief experience with the Arro, Totem speakers seem to be very forgiving of placement, as far as having to point them in a specific direction.
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post #33 of 40 Old 05-18-2009, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf View Post

dhensley: btw, hearing the speakers even in an unoptimal setting is still better than not hearing them at all... Paradigm S60v5 vs Totem Forest, as mentioned, you might as well be looking at the Signature line as the prices of the two mentioned speakers are quite far apart, S60 vs Forest isn't that much different than Signature S8 vs Forest for price!

I became interested in the totems knowing I would likely only buy them used. I haven't seen used signature lines in the same price range. I am hesitant to pay the money for new totems, so that rules out auditioning them at home since I dont believe in auditioning something that I would not consider on purchasing retail. That said - I still have not heard them even in a showroom, so if I am blown away I would consider it.
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post #34 of 40 Old 05-18-2009, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhensley View Post

I had been looking at the the Axioms online for quite a while and had considered ordering them because they were fairly easy to demo and send back. I decided not to go that route yet because I had not seen enough reviews about them. FYI I was considering the S80 or S60 - please let me know if any of you have tried them.

I had not heard of the emotiva or ascends, so I will have to look into those.

Thanks for all the good advice.

Here is a link to the Emotiva Lounge speaker reviews. And a link to a review of one of the 5.0 speaker packages that include the 8.3s. One of the comments from the reviewer was that the speakers - even though they are 4 ohm rated - could be driven by the average AVR - so exotic power amps are not a requirement - good to have - but not absolutely necessary.

And to prove that assertion, my Onkyo SC885 preamp is in for repair and the only receiver I have to drive my speakers for now is an Onkyo 506 - not a powerhouse by any stretch. Its driving the 8.3s - the RSC200 center - and the ERD-1 surrounds. Granted I had to back off the throttle some to keep it out of protection mode, but it works! An Onkyo 7xx or 8xx series, HK 3xx or equivalent Denon or Marantz would do as well.

As the reviewer at Home Theater HiFi noted, the 8.3s have a terrific mid range. And thats where its at if you want good speakers.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #35 of 40 Old 05-20-2009, 04:30 PM
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I just spent 3 days listening to a varity of Totems and now can honestly say I would never buy another speaker line. The Totems out perform other speakers in so many ways it's incredible. Next time you listen to brand x, turn them side ways and see how they sound. With the Totem's incredible off axis sound it doesn't make much of a difference. All the other speaker companies have you toe in the speakers and sit in the sweet spot. Totem will tell you to keep them straight and walk around the room while listening, even stand behind them. SImply amazing.
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post #36 of 40 Old 05-23-2009, 03:16 PM
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I've been nothing but happy with my Totem Forests and Arcam 300. You will be too.
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post #37 of 40 Old 05-23-2009, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhensley View Post

So this sucks.

I went to three different paradigm dealers yesterday trying to listen to the 60v5, but hit nothing but trouble. All three places claim to have a "no return policy" as in all sales are final. That is absolutely ridiculous for speakers in this price range. On top of the lack of ability to know how it sounds in my house, I hit other issues.

i doubt you would, but don't let losers like this make money off of you. don't get me wrong, i'm still a huge fan of a good local shop and try to spend some support there.....but you've got to be reasonable at the very least and likeable if i'm going to spend real money at your store. your stories are ridiculous. wouldn't let you handle a remote like you're a toddler? even no return is nonsense....assuming you return in 100% perfect condition then there should be no problem......whatever enough said but it's just crazy you hit 3 in a row.........seems like you should buy the totems if even sound unheard......
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post #38 of 40 Old 05-24-2009, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf View Post

Yeah well if you have used deals like yours... I know there was a bit also about messed up crossovers for some of their rocket speakers, but you could purchase 'fixed' crossovers which they sold as upgrades, or go for some kit upgrade from one of their ex-employee, so you have to be careful not to get an older one with the defective parts... Don't know if the bigfoot had one of those messed up crossovers, hard to keep up of which of their products have what defect...

Anyhow, I'll echo mziegler's recommendations, all good advice, but it's a bit of a long shot to recommend a 900$ bookshelf (Ascend Sierra) when someone's looking for a 2000$ floorstander Although that's what I also own and am fully satisfied (more than I can say when I had Totems!) and also regularly recommend. And with ~40hz bass response, who really needs floorstanders... Just get a good sub!

My RSC200 is the signature series which has the better crossovers, so if you are looking at buying any AV123 Rocket speaker just make sure its the sig series.

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post #39 of 40 Old 05-30-2009, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmm5 View Post

i doubt you would, but don't let losers like this make money off of you. don't get me wrong, i'm still a huge fan of a good local shop and try to spend some support there.....but you've got to be reasonable at the very least and likeable if i'm going to spend real money at your store. your stories are ridiculous. wouldn't let you handle a remote like you're a toddler? even no return is nonsense....assuming you return in 100% perfect condition then there should be no problem......whatever enough said but it's just crazy you hit 3 in a row.........seems like you should buy the totems if even sound unheard......

I took some advise from mziegler and visited Sound Factor in Encino and Home Theater Doctor in Redondo beach. Both places were hands down far superior to the other shops I visited. They were both friendly, let me check things out and were not pressuring me to walk out the door with a speaker or leave.

I was very impressed with The Home Theater Doctor. Although they do not seem to have regular store hours the guy I spoke to spent a long time talking to me on the phone, offered to setup/move speakers and amps around to different rooms so I can get the best representation of my home system. He offered to do as many side-by-side comparisons as I want, and said I could bring in my own amp or bring a set of speakers home to demo provided I leave a deposit and they come back undamaged (completely understandable - I would even go so far as to pay $20-$50 to audition if it avoided the "sales are final" crap I got from the other stores". This store stayed open late for me since I could not even get there until 7:00 and was not rushed one bit. I was very pleased with the customer service - so much so that I will feel bad if I dont buy something from them. My girlfriend came along and she felt exactly the same (suggesting that they were so cool I should hang out with the guy )

Unfortunately, I did not like all that I heard. I listened to totems and forests. Both were setup in a large, open room with hardwood (somewhat similar to my house) and they really seemed to be missing a lot in the middle and lower end (at least to my ears). I am trying to plan a trip back to listen to these, and other speakers with my amp). I may end up just biting the bullet on a set of totems to try them in my house. I would feel good buying from a smaller shop that IS doing the right thing.

BTW - I heard some dynAudio 220s at SoundFactor and was really impressed with them with my first listem. The soundstage was soooo wide and they didnt appear to be weak in any particular area (again to my poor and untrained ears). I am considering going back to take a listen, but right now the looks of the speaker are holding me back. My GF does not really like them (i think they are quite bland as well) and unfortunately that is a factor.

Will keep you posted on where I go. Please feel free to point out any other decent shops in the area.

Thanks again.
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post #40 of 40 Old 05-30-2009, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhensley View Post

...I was very impressed with The Home Theater Doctor. Although they do not seem to have regular store hours the guy I spoke to spent a long time talking to me on the phone, offered to setup/move speakers and amps around to different rooms so I can get the best representation of my home system...

I think I spoke to him about auditioning the Forest last year. I remember that he was very accommodating as far as his hours. Unfortunately, a friend's funeral got in the way, and then I ended up jumping on a great deal on the Focal 1037be... so I never ended up hearing the Forest.

Definitely audition them in your place, if you can. Room acoustics can be very different, even when the rooms seem to be similar. You may want to also consider room treatments before auditioning the speakers. That's next on my list, right after I finish running my speaker wires in the walls (for the surrounds). Probably even before I buy the surrounds

Quote:


...BTW - I heard some dynAudio 220s at SoundFactor and was really impressed with them with my first listem. The soundstage was soooo wide and they didnt appear to be weak in any particular area (again to my poor and untrained ears). I am considering going back to take a listen, but right now the looks of the speaker are holding me back. My GF does not really like them (i think they are quite bland as well) and unfortunately that is a factor...

That's interesting. I listened to those and liked the sound a lot. Rock and vocals very very good. However, when we played some Beethoven, it was a completely different story. Everything sounded like it was coming out of a $2 radio.

I've been told it was probably the amp. All I know is that, when driven by the same amps (tried two different ones), the B&W 702 and the Focal 836 totally blew away the Dyn 220. I was very disappointed, since I went there specifically to listen to the Dyn. The entire time, I really wanted to not like the Focal, but acoustically, it just completely destroyed the other speakers in every possible way.

Btw, aesthetics played a large part in why I spent so much on my speakers. Even though I really liked the sound of the Focal 836, except I really, really, really, did not care for the looks. A very subjective thing, since a lot of people seem to like the looks of that line. Since you (and your GF) will have to look at them every day, I think it's a perfectly valid criteria for choosing speakers. It's really a piece of furniture, if you think about it.

Having said that, I personally thought the Dynaudio Focus 220 looked nice, if somewhat plain. In fact, I don't know that it looks much different than the Totem Forest. Still, it comes down to what you and your GF think.
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