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post #1 of 27 Old 02-19-2007, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm new to this board but I've been on here for a while doing some searching. It's amazing how much knowledge is availabe for consumers on this board!

I'm looking to buy some Totem Staffs and wanted opinions on what other speakers I should look at in the same league or better for the money spent. I have searched on this board and many who have Totems rave about them and there are many good comments/reviews. I understand everyones ears are different and sound varies, but before I spend the money what else should I look at?

I've recently auditioned some Totem Staff speakers and I really liked them. They look very nice and sound amazing for their size. They produced a really nice big and warm sound. In the same store I auditioned some Def Tech Mythos and they sounded very bright and a little muffled actually when played right before the Totems.

I live in Toronto and for a 5.1 setup I'm looking to spend about $3000 CDN or a little more. They will be powered by a Pioneer Elite 82 A/V reciever.....Looks for decor are a little important here too. They will be used mostly for music - approx 70% music, 30% movies, and the room is about 15 x 22 with 8' ceilings. I have also auditioned the Paradigm Millenia which sounded nice also but I think the Totems sounded better. The spec sheet for the Totems seems better too if I'm not mistaken.

Anyone have any better ideas for speakers I should look at, or are the Totems the best bet for the money?

Also, for those experts in Toronto what speaker dealers and stores should I look at? I've been to Bay/Bloor for the Totems and Def techs, but they don't carry much else in quality speakers.....
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-20-2007, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Bump......

Anyone have any opinions, suggestions??
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post #3 of 27 Old 02-20-2007, 04:27 PM
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I think Totems are one of the best B&M brands available. IMO, they are superior to DefTechs by any standard. If you like the sound, that's all you need. As far as auditioning others, all my choices would be ID brands, so you'd have to order them to hear them.
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-20-2007, 04:34 PM
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Totems make a very nice speaker at each price point, no question about it. A few can find them to be a bit bright, but very musical. I consider them to be well worth the effort to audition in a home. That is the only true way to know what fits best with your system/environment.
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-20-2007, 04:46 PM
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I auditioned some Arros's a little while back and while I would have liked to hear the Sttaf's also, they did not have any on site to audition.
Awesome speaker, GREAT build quality, but I just couldn't justify the price point.
I wanted something with a larger soundstage and presence, and maybe the Sttaf's or Hawk's could have given it, but without having heard or even seen them I asked my dealer to order some in for me to check out and he flat out refused. Oh well. That was it for me with that dealer. Still would like to hear 'em.

So I ordered some Rocket 760's and Ref 1's instead. (with FULL return policy covered)
Still auditioning them.

"We were children, once, playing with toys..." ~ Steve Winwood
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post #6 of 27 Old 02-20-2007, 05:34 PM
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I liked the Totem Sttaf. They were my third runner up. Here is what I remember - it has been about a year. Nice full sound speaker. A little on the warm side. Great soundstage. Amazing bass from such a little woofer. A nice dynamic speaker until you turn it up. It just could not keep up with the dynamics when it was asked to play loud. Also bass, while strong for the size was not really very deep - that little woofer just couldn't move enough air for the occasional times when I like to "rock out". Listen to everything you can find locally. I liked the Paradigm reference series more, and ended up with b&w 703 (lucked out and got a dealer demo pair for little more than the sttaf).

Everything I say here is my opinion. It is not my employers opinion, it is not my wife's opinion, it is not my neighbors opinion, it is My Opinion.
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post #7 of 27 Old 02-20-2007, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks very much for the input guys!

I very much liked the Staffs but not being an expert you don't know what's out there with similar performance/style to spend your money on......

I'll try the Paradigms again and compare because I really liked those too.

I've considered B&W due to their reputation and their reviews, but I have heard their higher end stuff is much better compared to the more affordable stuff....Any other opinions would be greatly appreciated also, thanks!
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post #8 of 27 Old 02-20-2007, 07:13 PM
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I'd say go with the Staffs. You have found a speaker that seems to fulfill your every wish, except for "knowing" you made the right choice. I've never heard any totems, but have heard great things about them. My nearest dealer was about 200 miles away, and I didn't want to drive that far for a speaker I couldn't afford.

Do Paradigms cost any less in Canada then they do in the US? I wouldn't play the ID speaker game unless you feel that you will really like them. Shipping/customs fees can make the demo pretty expensive.
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post #9 of 27 Old 02-20-2007, 07:38 PM
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See if you can demo the Paradigms alongside the Totems and let your ears decide. On the bass issue, if you are going to be using a sub, pay more attention to the quality of the bass rather than the quantity. As was said earlier, if you can do this demo in your home on your electronics, that's the true test and the only way to be sure about your decision. Better or worse, speakers never sound the same at home as they did in the store.

As to B&W, what you have heard has, well, been said. No reason not to demo them if you have the chance, but trust your ears more than the sales dude spewing crudola about B&W "technology." That technology is very well integrated on the higher end of the line. It's the integration on the lower end of the line that is subject to much debate.
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post #10 of 27 Old 02-20-2007, 07:46 PM
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One thing to keep in mind with the Arro's and Staff's, you can add ballast to the bass of the cabinet to improve the bass response. I've heard the results and it is impressive. Also keep in mind that most homes are on a wooden floor vs. a store where it's concrete under the commercial carpet.

Do what you can to get an in-home audition.
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post #11 of 27 Old 02-20-2007, 08:22 PM
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I own a pair of the totem rainmakers and think they are amazing. I have also gotton a 5.1 dreamcatchersystem formy sisterand a pair of the arro's with a stormsub for my dad. They both think their systems rock. Go with the totems, a great speaker and a great company.
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post #12 of 27 Old 02-21-2007, 05:59 AM
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I've owned the Sttafs

You can read a multitude of opinions about them here: http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/forum...pic.php?t=4005

If you like the signature sound of the Sttafs, I say go for them. Easy to drive, very good detail, imaging, very 'involving' speakers. They were an upgrade from the Arros, but I never was that crazy about their presentation (I later replaced them with much more neutral 560$ Ascend 340SE). If you love the way the Sttafs present music though, don't hesitate, great little speakers.

Be aware though that the room plays a big part in sound. If you have a large room, the Totems are more at home in small/medium rooms and might not be able to fill large spaces & very loud volume...

Other speakers to audition? Sure Paradigm would be good, Monitor Audio, NHT, JMLabs, Dynaudio, Magnepan, Wharfedale, Quads, Highland if you can find them, etc.. Most companies have good offerings in the Totem Sttafs price range.

My only reservation with Sttafs is that they're colored, BUT, if you love their sound, then chances are you won't be able to find it anywhere else. Plus they're probably the easiest to drive in the Totem line, so no reservation there!
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post #13 of 27 Old 02-21-2007, 11:49 AM
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If you want a sound similar to the Sttadfs then I would say go find a Dynaudio Audience 62/72 or listen to a Vienna Acoustics Bach floorstander. Maybe ProAc has a similar priced floor stander that you could find also.

I would concur that many other companies have high quality products in that price range, but they sound very different.

Good Luck,

Charlie
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post #14 of 27 Old 02-21-2007, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses guys! Really good info!

Thanks to all of you on the recommendations. I will seek out and try and audition some more speakers locally.....the room they will be in is somewhat med/small so it's good to know the Staffs would be adequate for volume. It's also good to know many people (speaker enthusiasts/experts) have good things to say about them!

The bass on the staffs seemed okay to me when I heard them alone, but I will be using a subwoofer also as part of the 5.1 arangement so they should be okay to a crossover of 60hz or 70hz. Which leads me to finding a good sub too!

I will most probably go with the Staffs but I'll go to a couple of other retailers and I will see if they carry any other speakers recommended by you guys that can impress me without payng a lot more.

The Staffs seemed really good though and match the look of surrounding furniture so the wife really likes them also. I'll keep you posted on what happens, Thanks!
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post #15 of 27 Old 02-21-2007, 05:04 PM
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I use the Arro's in my 3rd system. If I had the money and were in your shoes, I would move up to the Hawks. The Arros are more popular than the Staffs and IMHO give a bigger bang for the buck over the Staffs. As for stores, I would contact Totem - there is one authorized dealer on Yonge north of Hwy 7 - that offers the best pricing that I have come across on Totem speakers in the GTA. If it were me with the Staff budget, I'd buy the Arros use the money saved and get some room treatments from Auralex. PM if you want to hear the Arros in a treated room and a non treated room - different animal. This applies to all speakers.

Eric Chong

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post #16 of 27 Old 02-22-2007, 11:32 AM
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Forgot to mention that Sttaf was part of one of the best demos I ever heard in a store (with equipment that I could afford). I listened to them with a Jolida Hybrid Tube Integrated and Rega Planet CD player. Simply awesome. Unfortunately for Totem the dealer was a real jerk and I walked out and at the time they were the only game in town for Totem.
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post #17 of 27 Old 02-22-2007, 12:01 PM
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Quote:


That technology is very well integrated on the higher end of the line. It's the integration on the lower end of the line that is subject to much debate.

Well there seems to be a large number of owners of all the series here, and the 602's keep popping up as a great "bang-for -the -buck" speaker time and time again, so debates aside, take a listen for yourself, but try the CM7's , they might fall into the catagory yo are searching in.

Seeking a speaker recomendation? Compare for yourself or be swayed by others who hear differantly, or by marketing, or just save time and get the cheapest , nicest looking, or smallest.
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post #18 of 27 Old 02-22-2007, 02:50 PM
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I demoed the Sttafs recently for a couple hours.

They were too much $ for me but they blew away everything that was less than or equal to them in price. The detail was astounding. A very good purchase in my opinion.

If they were 3/4 the price, I would own them.

I don't like the bookshelves I listened to as much, I ended up with B&W CM1 bookshelves.

The Cm7 does sound even better than the Sttaf imo, but also in my local market it was about 40% more expensive than the Sttaf.

I compared to:

Paradigm S80/S100's
Monitor RS6/RS8
Mordaunt Short 906
B&W CM7 ($$$), 603
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post #19 of 27 Old 02-22-2007, 06:16 PM
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My 2 cents: The Totems are one of the best sounding speakers i have ever heard. Also, it is truly amazing the bass they can get from their smaller drivers.
Clear.

Stephen

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post #20 of 27 Old 04-27-2007, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm378 View Post

Thanks for all the responses guys! Really good info!

Thanks to all of you on the recommendations. I will seek out and try and audition some more speakers locally.....the room they will be in is somewhat med/small so it's good to know the Staffs would be adequate for volume. It's also good to know many people (speaker enthusiasts/experts) have good things to say about them!

The bass on the staffs seemed okay to me when I heard them alone, but I will be using a subwoofer also as part of the 5.1 arangement so they should be okay to a crossover of 60hz or 70hz. Which leads me to finding a good sub too!

I will most probably go with the Staffs but I'll go to a couple of other retailers and I will see if they carry any other speakers recommended by you guys that can impress me without payng a lot more.

The Staffs seemed really good though and match the look of surrounding furniture so the wife really likes them also. I'll keep you posted on what happens, Thanks!

Dm378 , I am in the exact same situation as you..... I too, am looking at the Totem Staff with the Totem Mite Center Ch and Mite rears. I will be using the Integra 7.6 AVR to drive them . The Staffs also match the look of surrounding furniture & yes, my wife really likes them as well. LOL
I found this thread as I was looking for info on Totems on this forum.... have you purchased yet? If so, what did you end up buying?
I also audition the Energy reference series RC 50 fronts, RC-LCR center, RC-R
rears. These were really nice sounding speakers. Not overly bright, smooth, good imaging, lots of detail & fast. They are also $800.00 less than the Totems.

Let me know

Thanks

Paul
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post #21 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 09:49 PM
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Have a chance to sell the Studio 60's and get Totem staffs for 1300 with the totem "ball feet"... Any ideas on if this is worth the trade.... Could get 600 for Paradigm reference but will have to dish out 1200-1300 for Staffs with Totem " feet"... Sound great but worth the added expense??? Anyone tried the exact comparison???
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post #22 of 27 Old 03-01-2012, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forgej01 View Post

Have a chance to sell the Studio 60's and get Totem staffs for 1300 with the totem "ball feet"... Any ideas on if this is worth the trade.... Could get 600 for Paradigm reference but will have to dish out 1200-1300 for Staffs with Totem " feet"... Sound great but worth the added expense??? Anyone tried the exact comparison???

Although I have not done that exact comparison, I have owned several Paradigm products (including top of the line Signature) and Totem speakers and in the end I much prefer the Totem speakers. I find Paradigm speakers to be too forward and or bright sounding (even in a treated room) while the Totems are more laid back while still having lots of detail and clarity. The Totems are just so much easier to listen to.
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post #23 of 27 Old 03-01-2012, 07:28 AM
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I've listened to several speakers in the last couple of months, Paradigm, B&W, Dynaudio, Totem, PSB, NHT. While not side by side comparison between the two, the only speaker superior to the Totem Sttaf were the Dynaudio (sorry, I don't remember which Dynaudio, I think my notebook is in my SUV, which is in the shop). The Totems were quite impressive, a rich, warm midrange was the highlight. Against Paradigm Studio 60, while the Paradigm obviously had more range, the Totems I believe were more accurate.

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post #24 of 27 Old 03-01-2012, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

The Totems were quite impressive, a rich, warm midrange was the highlight. Against Paradigm Studio 60, while the Paradigm obviously had more range, the Totems I believe were more accurate.

Very well said and I should have added a similar remark as well. The Totems just sound more, dare I say it, "natural". Which effectively means more accurate. For example, a piano actually sounds the way a piano should playing through my Mani-2's.
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post #25 of 27 Old 03-02-2012, 02:16 PM
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I love the totems as well and did some major speaker auditions and the hawks where on my short list and I looked on audiogon every day to find a pair I could afford, well I did but it was too late I ended up with Salk Songtowers and I can’t be happier. But my short list was Paradigm Studio 60’s, Kef R300, Focal 826 and totem hawks. Right now I think there is a black pair of Forest on audiogon as well if you dont mind used.

EMP tek 5.1 theater setup, Marantz SR6006, Oppo BDP-95
Salk Songtowers, Emotiva XPA-2, ERC-1.  

This is a horrible hobby!!  My wallet hates me, takes up to much space, neighbors want me to move, but man my house sounds amazing!  

 

 
 

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post #26 of 27 Old 03-02-2012, 02:33 PM
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A couple of years ago, I was looking for speakers for a modest, two-channel set-up. Among the speakers I auditioned were the Totem Sttafs and the B&W 684s.

The Sttafs were small, elegant towers with a pretty impressive sound, but I found them to be a little too bright (compared to the Paradigm Monitor 7v4s I had at the time, which were fairly bright) and a little too weak on bass.

The 684s were more plain-looking than the Sttafs, but they had a full, rich sound that was probably the best of the bunch...and they were considerably less expensive than the Sttafs.

IMO - and if you haven't done so already - you should audition the 684s.


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post #27 of 27 Old 03-03-2012, 07:42 AM
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I had been visiting some audio stores recently to listen for a new speaker purchase and was introduced to the totem line in particular the Hawks in (piano black) and I was blown away with how great they sounded especially the bass output from just 2 drivers.

If only the store would have had a center channel speaker available to hear!!!
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