Totem Acoustic Owner's Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 510 Old 10-25-2007, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought it might be nice if the Totem owner's had a thread to call their own.

I bought the Hawks and Rainmaker Center about a year ago, and I'm very happy with what the speakers can do with accoustical instruments - especially the guitar and sax.
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post #2 of 510 Old 08-16-2008, 05:24 PM
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Wow, this is great. Totem must be a great speaker line with all the contributions to the owners thread here. My guess is the owners of these speakers would rather be doing something else in their spare time, like, er, I dunno, listening to their speakers rather than posting info about them.

Recently auditioned very briefly the Arro for a 2.0 channel rig I'm setting up in a small room. VERY VERY Impressed. The size of the speakers are what I'm looking for, and will be used with a recently purchased tube amp that are being driven by KT-88 tubes (60 watts in ultralinear or 30 watts in Triode mode - each channel with it's own power supply so lots of 'tube' juice to drive pretty much anything out there).

However, this amp is freaking heavy (28 kg's or about 62lbs) so not an easy amp to lug around, but that's what I'll be doing when I go to audition the next rainy day we have).

Anyway, looking at either Arro's or Sttafs, as those will probably fit my room the best. May listen to the Hawks as well, but I think they'd sound too big for my room and may not sound good.

Since this is going to be for music only, and Totem has such a high reputation for musical reproduction I put them first on my list. I also really like the fact they use different drivers/tweeters for each speaker. It's nice to see a speaker manufacturer do that, rather than just adding more drivers to a bigger box.

I wonder if there is any other speaker manufacturer out there that takes Vince's approach and actually matches all drivers tweeters with the different size cabinets?

Anyway, for anyone thinking 'Totem' at all, I'll let you know how my Audition goes with both the Arro's and the Sttafs (maybe I'll take some pics too) to try and get this thread going a bit. A truely special speaker line these Totems are and will make a nice contrast to my Energy's that I run in my 'home theater' bonus room

"it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it"
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post #3 of 510 Old 08-16-2008, 07:39 PM
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Why would the Hawks be too big for the room? The Hawks aren't exactly giant speakers suited for large rooms. They're very similar to Arro/Sttafs in terms of size and room compatibility.

I've owned both Arros and Sttafs. IMHO, the Hawks is very good step up both. Both Arro/Sttafs have drawbacks; each does some things well, but each also does some things poorly, the Hawk is more solid speaker as a whole, like a mix of the good attributes of the Arro/Sttaf but with less severe weaknesses, but with a much bigger price tag though.

You should also consider the Rokk, Rainmakers, Mite, Dreamcatcher and the Model1. As you'll probably find out, each Totem speaker sounds pretty different. 'Musical' some call it. Colored. So you're bound to like some more than others, and your favorite might not be the one you'd expect nor the most expensive. It's really personal preference.

Btw didn't you use to own Ascends? Funny thing is that I sold the Sttafs after getting Ascend 340SEs, but it seems like you're going Totem after Ascend, somewhat the opposite as me! hehe
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post #4 of 510 Old 08-16-2008, 08:09 PM
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Some advice. Remember that you'll probably have to live with the speaker for a while. So what might sound interesting/good at first might no be so good a couple weeks/months from now, make sure you listen to many different recordings. Some will sound good with particular Totem speakers but other records will sound bad too.

Also I know that I was impressed with Arros due to their size and sound. Somewhat of a cognitive discrepancy. But remember that once you're used to their sound and their size, the only important thing left is their sound, and even if they sound bigger than they are, they will still sound small vs other speakers... Bass for example is impressive for their size, but next to other speakers (340SE for example), it ceases to be impressive. And next to speakers like the Ascend Sierra... Ouch... But still, if you really love the Totem Arro sound, that won't matter!

A funny Totem anecdote. At the last audio show, FSI, Totem was showing off their "The One" speaker. Anniversary upgraded version of the Model1 Sig. Unlike basically all other exhibitors, Totem only played their own music. They weren't really offering people to play their own material on their speakers. Smart move I say, they know what sounds good on them, and so they stick to that. That way you end up seeing only one side of the medal.

So really take your time and listen to as much stuff as you can on them...
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post #5 of 510 Old 08-16-2008, 09:55 PM
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Hi Grandarf

Great memory - yep, I still own the Ascends (340's, classics, not the SE's), along with the Energy RC line, and some Polks (er, did I just type that or think that ....doh ).

Anyway, great advice and much appreciated. I remember you had Totem's in the past and went to Ascend. This setup is for a small room (about 10 x 10) which is actually a spare bedroom... my place of 'zen' as it were. I found the Arro's, in my first listen, to have very good bass (as you mentioned, for their size).

You hit the nail on the head with the 'Hawk' - big step up in price, and I'm not sure I'd realize the benefit of them in my small room. Hence why I mentioned they may not sound 'good' - by that I mean they'd probably need to play at a louder volume then what I'd listen to for them to really 'sing'. I could be wrong though - I've only had one very brief listen to the Arro's.

So I'll be taking your advice. What's nice is the place I'm going to have their own 'Totem' room. I"ll call ahead and ask them to setup the Arro's, Sttaf's, Hawks, and probably the Model 1.

I will be bringing, along with my amp, a wide assortment of listening material, including Dire Straits (BIA - SACD anniversary edtiion), Pearl Jam (Ten), Led Zep, and probably some Rush, all for Ultralinear mode. For the Triode (lush) mode, some Jazz (Norah Jones, Patricia Barber, and Diana Krall - first two on SACD as well), Classical (DVD-Audio / SACD's), and Acoustic... maybe even a bit of country.

I want the guy to switch out the speakers but not tell me what is playing, so I can do this blind as best as I can. Then, I'll have 30 days to try them in my room (again, if I go that route) before they're 'officially' mine .

So Grandarf, I gotta ask, what did the Ascends have that the Sttaf's didn't? Or is your setup a multi-function setup (i.e. h/t + music). I'll have to do my own comparison when/if I bring them home.

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post #6 of 510 Old 08-17-2008, 08:59 AM
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Just bit the bullet and bought a new system with Pro 111 Pioneer Elite plasma wall mount. Totem Tribe 1 & 2 on the wall and Def PM 800's ceiling rears. Also got Totem Arro's for an off area of the room away from the TV area. I got the Denon 3808ci receiver to go with them. Can't wait to have it all delivered to enjoy TV and music pleasure. What do you guys and girls think?
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post #7 of 510 Old 08-17-2008, 09:08 AM
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I heard the Tribe at the HE2007 show in New York. They sounded very good. I think you'll be way happy. Good luck.

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post #8 of 510 Old 08-17-2008, 09:19 AM
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System has always been 2 channel for music, which also does HT, but focus was always music. Room is something like 11x17.

Well the Sttafs have a really warm sound to them, but I actually don't like warm speakers. lol But while auditioning, they had better bass than Arros, better resolution on budget electronics, and the trade offer to new Sttafs was so cheap that I just couldn't resist. I thought I'd get used to warmth or fix it with placement. Didn't actually work out as I planned

My main issue with most Totems is that their FR isn't flat. So you'll never get a neutral/balanced sound in your room, no matter how much you play around with placement. The Arros have impressive bass for their size, but really, they are really bass light. The bass doesn't go very deep, and it has absolutely no impact. But the bass response definitely varies on placement. If you bring them too far into the room, they'll lack even more bass. If you place them near the rear wall, then you'll get bit more extension, but also a lot of bass reinforcement in upper frequencies and so just end up getting more bass. But then it's excessive and the bass isn't flat, plus it's not balanced with mids/highs. That's probably how Totem gets their bass extension figures... But no matter how much you play with placement, you'll never get a flat FR in room, because the speaker's FR isn't flat to begin with... Sometimes that coloration can sound nice, other times no.

Sttafs had a really warm sound to them (excessive bass), but better resolution than Arros on the electronics I had at the time and much more solid bass. But I don't like warm speakers... So played with placement, but you can never really change that sound character. I added a digital EQ to fix it, but that didn't worked out too well. With limited bands and a speaker which isn't flat, I think it just adds more dips/peaks which in the end just doesn't sound better... I'd say that the FR of Arro was more enjoyable to me than the Sttaf's.

To me the FR anomalies was a lot more annoying than enjoyable. Ex: Recessed vocals/guitar sometimes... Exaggerated or muted drum/bass... Accents in bass lines or guitar riffs where there's supposed to be none... Soundstage to hell because of FR anomalies (What I think so many call 'great soundstage!!!') So listening to music, I was constantly put off with all the speakers didn't do too well, which ruined the experience in my case... Bit worst with Sttafs as they have 'worst' FR imho

This took some time with both speakers though, at first I thought they were fantastic, but after some months, then I started to notice their flaws, and then I could simply hear them every time I listened to them... At first I thought it was placement, so messed a lot with that... But you can never get 'perfect' sound with them as it all starts with the speakers... Any way they're placed, always anomalies and tradeoffs. And sadly I noticed them constantly, which was annoying; you're noticing flaws instead of enjoying the music...

But everything said, I could still live with the bass of the Arros as it was still not too bad. The particular FR of Arro was more enjoyable to me than Sttafs. The Hawks I heard quickly had a much more neutral sound that Sttafs, none of that excessive warmth, they had very good resolution, solid bass, they were a well rounded speaker. But 2x the price of Sttafs... It was costing me ~150$ to 'upgrade' to Sttafs, Hawks would have probably been >1000$, so meh, thought I could live with Sttafs.

But when I got the 340SE for a 2nd system. Woa. As soon as I put them in the room, they sounded like I would have loved the Arros or Sttafs to sound. A lot closer presentation to Hawks than either Arro/Sttafs. Solid bass, neutral sound, resolution was very similar to Sttafs, couldn't be happier. Imaging soundstage similar to Sttafs, but not as good as Arros, but that was ok to me. I was so happy to have found the sound I was trying to get with Arro/Sttafs! They really had a sound a lot more similar to Hawks than Arro/Sttafs. Finally I had neutral, natural sounding speaker who played music as it was supposed to; without adding it's own flavor and it's own sound.

And the Sierra... Woa... Bass which destroys Sttafs in extension, impact, FR/presentation very Ascend; flat FR, very balanced sound, much improved imaging than 340SE, really a no contest imho, better speaker hands down than either Sttafs/Arros. To me accuracy is a lot better than 'musicality' as in sound coloration. I'm truly done with 'musical' speakers. (but musical is really naturalness, life-like, so to me Ascends 340SE/Sierra are more musical than Arro/Sttafs)


Btw, the real 'step up' with Hawks is really sound quality. Just like Sttafs, they only use 5.5 inch woofers. I really don't think you need to play them loud to notice the improvement, really, moderate volume they simply sounded a lot better to me than either Arro/Sttafs. If Sttafs are fine, Hawks should be fine imho. Really not like Forests which really are quite a bit bigger...

I think the Model1 Sig is close to Hawks in pricing. They even have "The One" which is upgraded model1 signature (silver wire, better connectors, etc.) for 3500$ if you want. The Model1 Signature being an upgraded Model1. I'd still listen to Mite/Dreamcatcher/Rainmaker while you're there, even if it's really short audition, for the room size, bookshelves would be good too, and it's well possible that you'd prefer one of those to the others.
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post #9 of 510 Old 08-17-2008, 11:22 AM
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Listened to the Model-1's at Home Entertainment last year in LA. I was amazed at what that little speak' could push out. It was in a SUPER small room, and we were crowded in there arse-to-elbows, but I absolutely loved what I heard.

Very intrigued at those tiny things. May need to start auditioning the lower priced lines - mebbe I can put together I nice two-channel bedroom system.
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post #10 of 510 Old 08-17-2008, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for that Grandarf - great information. Of course, being an Ascend owner, another speaker high on my list for this room is the Sierra's, you had to go and write all that, didn't you

Based on my budget, and what you said and what I've heard so far, I'd probably lean towards the Arro's, but would get the Hawk's if I can get a really good deal on them (the place I'm going to 'may' be going out of business soon, they just closed two more stores so if they are getting inventory in from that place to 'liquidate', I may yet be able to afford the Hawk's along with a new receiver (hopefully the Denon 3808).

Since I'm getting these for a tube amp, and I want to take advantage of the 'tube' sound, Arro or Hawk will probably be a better fit. When I was speaking with the salesman while listening to the Arro's, he was telling me he had both Sttaf's and Arro's as well, and much preferred the Arro. His take was they disappeared in the room better and even imaged better. You're (correct me if I'm wrong) pretty much saying the same thing.

The Sierra is a special speaker as well. I know David has been working on that for 4 1/2 years or so to bring to market something unique and special. I just wish I could audition them first as there it too much non-refundable money involved if I don't like them (UPS pirate charges, taxes, and shipping). At least with the Arro's, if they don't work in my room, (or Hawk's if I can work something out) I can return in 30 days for a full refund minus the $5 or $6 in gas I'd burn going there and back.

But again, thanks for your feedback - very much appreciated. I too prefer a more neutral speaker so based on two comments now I think I'll just listen to the smaller one (Model 1's, Rainmakers) along with the Hawk's and Arro's and see which one (if any) I prefer.

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post #11 of 510 Old 08-17-2008, 03:21 PM
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Owned Totem Model 1's many years ago. Foolishly traded them off, wish I had not - I've yet to hear something that sweet, frankly.

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post #12 of 510 Old 08-17-2008, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_Tech View Post

Owned Totem Model 1's many years ago. Foolishly traded them off, wish I had not - I've yet to hear something that sweet, frankly.

Interesting - I've heard a lot of that. I wonder why people do that? Get a good speaker, trade them in, then later realize what they had. I've got a good line on either the Hawk's or the Model 1's. Tried to audition them today but couldn't. Will try again tomorrow.

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post #13 of 510 Old 08-17-2008, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

Interesting - I've heard a lot of that. I wonder why people do that?

The grass is always greener.... even if it ain't!

Or the perceived needs change, but a way could usually be found to maintain the status quo given enough creativity.

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post #14 of 510 Old 08-17-2008, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_Tech View Post

The grass is always greener.... even if it ain't!

Or the perceived needs change, but a way could usually be found to maintain the status quo given enough creativity.

LOL - I hear ya there. Sometimes you don't know what you have until you've lost it. I'm hoping to get out to the 'store' to audition the Hawks, and if I get them, I won't need speakers again for about 20 years. I'll have five different sets then and I don't think my wife will tolerate any more. For some reason, I can't bring myself to sell any of the other stuff I have, for the reason that I just may miss them once they're gone.

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post #15 of 510 Old 08-19-2008, 12:59 AM
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I'm from Singapore, and the Totem Arros retail here at almost $1600 USD. I understand that they are $1100 in the States, and was wondering if I could get a better deal if I bought them online. However, can anyone point me to a Totem reseller who is willing to ship internationally?
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post #16 of 510 Old 08-19-2008, 07:32 AM
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My Arros give me a Totem Pole every time I get critical listening in....they are simply awesome for the money. I originally purchased them for music and as a base for my HT set up. I lost my listening room in a move. My new room is multifunctional with our TV, fireplace, kitchen all in one space. I compared them in-room to Ascend 340's...and for my room, the Arro's had a much better sound stage across a wider variety of listening positions. They also had better detail. Base was a concern, but ultimately as part of a HT system, I knew I would eventually have a sub.

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post #17 of 510 Old 08-20-2008, 11:50 PM
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I have a question about the Hawks. The nearest dealer is quite a drive for me so I wanted to clarify that the mid/bass driver for the Hawks appears to be a modified ScanSpeak Revelator which happens to be one of my favorite non-proprietary drivers. I know Totem specializes in modifying third party drivers with great results and if the Hawk does indeed have the Revelator, it may be the cheapest speaker that does. Thanks to anyone that can help.
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post #18 of 510 Old 08-21-2008, 10:40 AM
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Right, ScanSpeak Revelator, though I have no idea what kind of mods, if any, Totem does. Maybe they just put a funky colored dot on them

The ACI Saphire also uses the Rev, and at something like 1500$ it's much cheaper than the Hawks. I also liked the SS Revelator on the few speakers I've heard which used them.

1100$US would be a really good price for Arros in USA. I paid 1200$ for mine in Canadian $ and I live 15 minutes away from the Totem headquarters... And from what I was told they were more expensive in USA. Now with the weak US$ and strong canadian currency, I'd think they'd be even more expensive, since back then 1200$US was worth 1700$cdn and now 1200$us are worth like 1275$cdn. In other words, importing Totems from Canada to USA should be a lot more expensive now than a couple of years ago, which should mean that their price should have gone up, or someone took a profit cut if the prices remain the same.
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post #19 of 510 Old 08-25-2008, 03:34 PM
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I was able to do a bit more demoing today. Listened to some vinyl and demo'd the Arro's, Sttaf's, and Rainmakers.

Those Rainmakers really put out a lot of bass, even more than the Arro's.

They all have a different sound to be sure. I preferred the Arro's out of the 3 (the rest are out of my budget for my two channel system so I didn't bother). Still have to make a decision as I have another offer on the table I'm mulling over.

I found the Arro's to be the most 'transparent' of the three. Though the Rainmakers had nice bass, I found the bass to overwhelm the mids/highs to a certain point. The Sttafs were nice for what was playing (I didn't bring my own stuff) but I found them to be missing something in the mids, probably due to the fact they also go lower.

The Arro's had very nice detail to them, more depth I though than Sttaf and Rainmaker,and just seemed more 'musical' to my ears. It's funny how the 'lower' price model is preferred. I almost listened to the Hawk's but was afraid of what I might here. The Arro's are already stretching my budget.

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post #20 of 510 Old 08-26-2008, 03:14 PM
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Well, now I went and listened to the Hawks, as well as the Arro's. The Hawks sound a bit more recessed, especially where the vocals are concerned, but they do have more punch, more depth to them (but not much). I think I still prefer the Arro's for MY application though if these speakers were for a larger room I'd go for the Hawks (I was told the Hawks need a lot of room to breathe and some very good sources to get the most out of them).

So, it looks like by Friday I'll be an 'Arro' owner. What I need to know though is - do those 'beaks' do a lot? At $50 a pop they better, but I'm not so sure. Anyone here use them / swear by them? I guess I could always get them and see what they do for myself (and probably will) but wondering if anyone has any opinions one way or the other.

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post #21 of 510 Old 08-26-2008, 04:42 PM
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Beaks... lmao! Are you trying to kill us with laughter? What's next, you're going to ask about their TATOO power bars or their sinew power cables Hahaha! They somewhat look funky and are a conversation topic, but I vote snake oil.

I think you should still listen to the Mites and the DreamCatchers. Again, maybe you'll prefer them to Arros and save a bundle of cash. The DC use similar woofers as the Arro. They also somewhat lack bass but you could always complete with a small sub and still save a few hundred vs Arros. Mites are also not bad, definitely worth a free audition.

Basically, imho, Arro isn't a 'true' floorstander, it's really a small bookshelf with integrated stands. And I say small because even medium sized bookshelf sound bigger and have better bass...

All Totems, IMHO, are somewhat prestige items. You're paying for good sound, nice veneers, but also for the name and more than a bit of voodoo. So I mean prestige in a bit more overpriced sens But if you love them and somewhat don't mind spending somewhat a premium for sound...


Btw, have you tested the Arros with your own amp? IMHO, a must, if you can't return them or trade them if it doesn't work as you would like. Funny thing is they're very small so you think they won't be hard on the amp, but it's the opposite, a real PITA to drive.
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post #22 of 510 Old 08-26-2008, 05:13 PM
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There are some local Hawks on CAM right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

Well, now I went and listened to the Hawks, as well as the Arro's. The Hawks sound a bit more recessed, especially where the vocals are concerned, but they do have more punch, more depth to them (but not much). I think I still prefer the Arro's for MY application though if these speakers were for a larger room I'd go for the Hawks (I was told the Hawks need a lot of room to breathe and some very good sources to get the most out of them).

So, it looks like by Friday I'll be an 'Arro' owner. What I need to know though is - do those 'beaks' do a lot? At $50 a pop they better, but I'm not so sure. Anyone here use them / swear by them? I guess I could always get them and see what they do for myself (and probably will) but wondering if anyone has any opinions one way or the other.

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post #23 of 510 Old 08-26-2008, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loose View Post

There are some local Hawks on CAM right now.

You're the man Loose - funny, I just looked on CAM the other day and saw nothing, coulda sworn it was Sunday night last I checked, and these have been on for FOUR days now.

I've contacted him...... now I'm in a real pickle! A&B have Maple Demo's but they're asking $1999 for them (a good price) but they have them on the floor and I've seen ... FINGER PRINTS on the revelator drivers (why do people have to touch those things???). Probably won't hurt them, but just the same...

Thanks for the heads up!!!!!

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post #24 of 510 Old 08-26-2008, 09:57 PM
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Beaks... lmao! Are you trying to kill us with laughter? What's next, you're going to ask about their TATOO power bars or their sinew power cables Hahaha! They somewhat look funky and are a conversation topic, but I vote snake oil.

Well, not really trying to make you 'laugh', but that's what I nearly did. I asked the salesman "where do they 'attach' to" and when he told me you just put them on the cabinet I kinda went hmmmmmmm - but I was leaving at that point and didn't want to 'demo' the beaks (to be honest, I don't think I have a good enough ear to hear the difference if there was one anyway).

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I think you should still listen to the Mites and the DreamCatchers. Again, maybe you'll prefer them to Arros and save a bundle of cash. The DC use similar woofers as the Arro. They also somewhat lack bass but you could always complete with a small sub and still save a few hundred vs Arros. Mites are also not bad, definitely worth a free audition.

I think I will, though I'm not sure if the Mites would fit the bill, they 'might' though (sorry, had to )

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Basically, imho, Arro isn't a 'true' floorstander, it's really a small bookshelf with integrated stands. And I say small because even medium sized bookshelf sound bigger and have better bass...

I agree to a certain point, but when I compared them to the Rainmakers, the Arro had more detail and much smoother (and better sounding) midrange.... which is the signature of a good monitor afterall, hmmmm. Though the Rainmakers had a 'fuller' bass, I wouldn't call it better than the Arro, in fact, I like the Arro much better for bass (much more detail - even more than the Hawk for string bass, just doesn't go as low as the Hawk).

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All Totems, IMHO, are somewhat prestige items. You're paying for good sound, nice veneers, but also for the name and more than a bit of voodoo. So I mean prestige in a bit more overpriced sens But if you love them and somewhat don't mind spending somewhat a premium for sound...

I agree to a point, but most speakers are. I think B&W, Sonus Faber, JMLab, Dynaudio, and many others are in the exact same boat. One nice thing about these speakers is when it's time to sell them, you can sell them pretty quickly at a 40 to 50 % loss at worst!

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Btw, have you tested the Arros with your own amp? IMHO, a must, if you can't return them or trade them if it doesn't work as you would like. Funny thing is they're very small so you think they won't be hard on the amp, but it's the opposite, a real PITA to drive.

One nice thing is they have a 30 day return policy -no restocking fee. That is a must. I'd like to bring my amp into the store, and I was going to do that, but I'd rather audition at home in my room with my own 'stuff'. Though thanks to my friend Loose, I may not get that chance. I did like the Hawks very much, I just think in my room they wouldn't get in a proper position, but for that price.........??????????

"it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it"
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post #25 of 510 Old 08-26-2008, 10:33 PM
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Just get the Hawks if they are clean and be done with it. They are higher up the "totem pole" than the others and the price is right (I kill myself sometimes).

I wonder how the Totems compare to my Swans. They look very similar, the Hivi drivers in my Swans are dead ringers for the Totem drivers. The only difference I can see is that the Swans' driver is bigger than what Totem uses, and the Swans' cabinet is bigger than the Totem bookshelves.
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post #26 of 510 Old 08-26-2008, 11:11 PM
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well the thing...

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Well, now I went and listened to the Hawks, as well as the Arro's. The Hawks sound a bit more recessed, especially where the vocals are concerned, but they do have more punch, more depth to them (but not much). I think I still prefer the Arro's for MY application though if these speakers were for a larger room I'd go for the Hawks (I was told the Hawks need a lot of room to breathe and some very good sources to get the most out of them).

Hawks at 1600$ might change his opinion, you never know...

I've somewhat followed the Totem scene, most speakers tend to pop up at decent price. CAM often has some, Audiogon always has a bunch at ~66% retail which really isn't bad. Looking now, a Forest for 1500$, DCs 250$, Arros 710$, Model1 sigs 1200$, though there's all too often no mention of age/ownership... Still, you could probably resell them for the same price you paid or close if you bought used and wanted to sell them...
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Just get the Hawks if they are clean and be done with it. They are higher up the "totem pole" than the others and the price is right (I kill myself sometimes).

I wonder how the Totems compare to my Swans. They look very similar, the Hivi drivers in my Swans are dead ringers for the Totem drivers. The only difference I can see is that the Swans' driver is bigger than what Totem uses, and the Swans' cabinet is bigger than the Totem bookshelves.

LOL - too easy

The Hawk's use the 'revelator' driver from scanspeak, not sure if it's the same driver in your Swan diva's or not. Maybe we could have a shootout.

Funny, I was / still am actually also considering the Sierra's... that would make for an interesting comparison.

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post #28 of 510 Old 08-26-2008, 11:35 PM
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well the thing...


Hawks at 1600$ might change his opinion, you never know...

I've somewhat followed the Totem scene, most speakers tend to pop up at decent price. CAM often has some, Audiogon always has a bunch at ~66% retail which really isn't bad. Looking now, a Forest for 1500$, DCs 250$, Arros 710$, Model1 sigs 1200$, though there's all too often no mention of age/ownership... Still, you could probably resell them for the same price you paid or close if you bought used and wanted to sell them...

Yep - at $2900 - I'd take the Arro over the Hawk, easily. Could always add a sub if I wanted.

I found the voices on the Arro more 'forward' than the Hawk, but as I mentioned the Hawk has more depth and retains the detail... but for $1600... if they don't fit my room I could always sell them and not be out too much if anything at all

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Model1 sig on cam in Toronto for a few bucks more than 1k. That also looks like a nice deal. At worst, you could probably sell them with very minimal loss, that's one thing with Totem, they seem to have good resale and in case of Model1, even small boxes to ship.

Where I'm concerned, even though the model1s retail for over 2000$, I'd be curious to compare them to Sierras. The 1s are nice, but when you're not directly comparing speakers in the same room with the same electronics... Heard "The One" not so long ago, the 3500$ anniversary model1 sig, and while they were nice, imho, they were not 3500$ nice.

But again, imho, the Model1 is a step above the Arro in sound quality and they're a truly small speakers so maybe better off than the Hawks in a small room. Though I still don't get/agree that the Hawks would be a worst match for a small room than Arros/Sttaf... Ok maybe it's a placement thing, Arro could potentially be placed closer to rear wall (though that exaggerates the bass...), but in terms of speaker, the Hawk is a small speaker; they only use 5.5 inch woofers... They're again much closer to monitor with built in stands than fullsize floorstanders which can really be too big for a room.

Model1 for 1k vs Sierra1 at normal price... Somewhat of a tough call and honestly I think they're somewhat in the same league in terms of sound quality. I'm fairly sure bass will go in Sierra's favor, the rest would be a toss up or close imho. Depends also how much you like the M1 'signature' sound. Piano black vs veneer is personal taste... Sound quality... I've yet to hear the Sierras on uber electronics. But the Model1 sound great with >10000$ of amp/cdps behind them. I think bit better resolution/detail than my Sierras when run through 1000$ (total of ALL components) of electronics. But who knows how much better the Sierras would sound if they were run through the same very high end equipment that the Model1s are run with when I hear them... Still, heard both Model1 and Arro on same gear, and Model1 is superior imho. Sierra, who knows...

What messes up things more, comparisons on different electronics might change the outcome, as I said the Arros are PITA to drive, and so are the Model1s. I think they're less than 85dB, and drop below 4 ohms. So as Sierras are easier to drive, might easily better Arro/M1 on many electronics since Totems will not work as well with many amps...
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LOL - too easy

The Hawk's use the 'revelator' driver from scanspeak, not sure if it's the same driver in your Swan diva's or not. Maybe we could have a shootout.

Funny, I was / still am actually also considering the Sierra's... that would make for an interesting comparison.

My Swans are the 2.1SE, not Diva. Look at them and tell me they don't look like a Totem clone:
http://www.theaudioinsider.com/produ...products_id/69

I'd love to hear them vs the Sierra-1, as these were the top 2 performers in Craigsub's shootout.
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