Originally Posted by Litt77
So since I couldn't find much information on the Totem Kins, I thought I would post my experience with them. I bought three Totem Kin in-walls for LCR and 4 in-ceiling Kins along with two Storm subs. I have them hooked into a Marantz SR7007 receiver in a room that is about 20x30. Three of the sides are concrete and fourth is sound insulated as well as the ceiling is sound insulated.
I didn't sample the speakers before buying. This was mainly because I found a great deal on them and no one nearby had them to sample. But because the deal was good, I took the risk on them. I had sampled many speakers before these and was settled on some B&W 7.3's until these came along.
The salesman that I did talk to that was a Totem dealer basically told me that they can sound great if they are hooked to the right receiver and not that great if hooked to the wrong receiver. He recommended either a Cambridge or Marantz receiver as these gave the warmest sound for the speakers.
The owners manual recommends breaking in the speakers for 60 hours. I thought this seemed a bit much but after playing about 20-30 hours of music, I can definitely tell that the sound has improved. At first sample they seemed a little bright, but they have gradually become very warm. This could also be contributed to my first sample being without any furniture in the room and it is now full of furniture.
I am extremely satisfied with the speakers. The are very, very clear and crisp. They have a good warm sound and seem to handle lower volume levels quite well. They can also handle the higher volumes and perform well at filling the room. If I were to compare them to the 7.3's, I would say the sound is fairly equivalent but I think the B&W's could fill the room a bit better (note they are almost twice the cost). Movies sound fantastic. The in-wall center performs very well and no issues with clear speaking/voices and the levels are perfect compared to the other ambient sounds/music. Note that I did not buy the specific center channel but used one of the L/R's turned horizontal. The surrounds also perform fantastically. Music sounds great also but since these are primarily used for home theater I won't talk much about music.
The storm sub works well and is tight and fast. I am sure one sub would not have been enough for a room this size so I am glad I went with two. The two seem to work in harmony and really fills out the sound. The Kins don't have a great low range (and I didn't expect them too) so having them coupled with the Storms seems to be a good way to go. In sampling many speakers I found that I was really looking for that sound that you could feel during intense moments of movies and this setup seems to accomplish it well. No regrets here and would go this way again given the chance. I hadn't really heard much about Totem but I am glad I found them.
I also bought the Totem Kin in-walls for my theater room. I have 5 of them in a 5.1 system with the LFE coming through a JL Audio E112 sub. They are paired up with a Cambridge Audio Azure 751r receiver.
My experience with them is pretty much in agreement with yours.
I haven't "broken" them in for 60 hours, in fact I've probably got less than 5-10 hours in total on them. I also have not tried them without the speaker grills, which Totem also recommends for critical listening.
My room is desperately lacking in acoustic treatments at the early reflection points which doesn't help matters, but I intend to address this soon.
Still, I find the Kins to be very revealing of fine detail and this depends, of course, on the quality of the source material being used. Feed them a well recorded, high-fidelity recording and they can sound wonderfully revealing.
As pointed out, the low end is not huge, but it is also not anemic and paired with the JL Audio sub the frequency and dynamic range are impressive. I find the Kin's strength to be their ability to render a delicacy and subtle detail
that is exquisite. A good example of this is found in the opening scenes of Lone Survivor on the Bagram airbase, there is a lovely guitar track layered underneath the dialog and action that sounds just beautiful. Then as the Seals
are flying to the drop zone, the thump of the blackhawk blades is gut-wrenching and bone rattling.
These speakers are capable of playing at very loud volumes !!!
Bottom line, I am very happy that I purchased the Totems also. They are extremely well constructed and designed. By all accounts, they will only get better as they break in