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Totem Forest vs. Dynaudio Focus 220

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Previously, I posted that I was trying to choose between some B&W speakers (703s) and the Totem Forest. My search has evolved further. I had narrowed it to the B&W 804s and the Forest.

Over the weekend I was in Philadelphia and went to a store that carried both B&W and Totem. So, I was excited to be able to hear both speakers on a McIntosh system. Does it get any better? After listening for a while I had pretty much decided I would go with the Totems. I really can't explain why, there is just something about them that I really like.

Then the salesman asks if he can play something else for me, and like a dummy I said, "sure." He set up the Dynaudio Focus 220s and cranked them up. I had heard of Dynaudio but never had first had experience. I wasn't expecting to be very impressed but I thought they sounded great, so good that I am now torn between the Totems and the Dynaudios.

I've listened to the Forests numerous times and I really like them. I would need to listen to the 220s more before I would seriously consider them but I know that I really want to hear more of them. I also thought it was interesting that the salesman steered me towards speakers that were less expensive than what I was looking at.

I am interested in hearing about any experience any of you have with either or both of these speakers. Especially, if you've compared them to each other.

Thanks for tolerating all my questions and all the help that many of you have provided.
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nygiants20 View Post

Previously, I posted that I was trying to choose between some B&W speakers (703s) and the Totem Forest. My search has evolved further. I had narrowed it to the B&W 804s and the Forest.

Over the weekend I was in Philadelphia and went to a store that carried both B&W and Totem. So, I was excited to be able to hear both speakers on a McIntosh system. Does it get any better? After listening for a while I had pretty much decided I would go with the Totems. I really can't explain why, there is just something about them that I really like.

Then the salesman asks if he can play something else for me, and like a dummy I said, "sure." He set up the Dynaudio Focus 220s and cranked them up. I had heard of Dynaudio but never had first had experience. I wasn't expecting to be very impressed but I thought they sounded great, so good that I am now torn between the Totems and the Dynaudios.

I've listened to the Forests numerous times and I really like them. I would need to listen to the 220s more before I would seriously consider them but I know that I really want to hear more of them. I also thought it was interesting that the salesman steered me towards speakers that were less expensive than what I was looking at.

I am interested in hearing about any experience any of you have with either or both of these speakers. Especially, if you've compared them to each other.

Thanks for tolerating all my questions and all the help that many of you have provided.


Both companies make a great speaker product. I am a bit biased, being a Dynaudio dealer myself, but I have used some of the Totem products in the past as well.

Though the driver in the Totem Forest looks very similar to Dynaudio driver, IT IS NOT a Dynaudio driver. Its a chinese-made knockoff from HiVi.

That being said, go with what you like in terms of sound. They are both solid products, but should obviously sound different. Dynaudio represents a reference product for neutrality for me. They completely seamless from top to bottom with no part of the spectrum that sticks out. The Totem uses a Seas metal dome tweeter (I think), which musically wise probably wont be as smooth as Dynaudios tweeter. Let your ears decide.
post #3 of 18
Quote:


Though the driver in the Totem Forest looks very similar to Dynaudio driver, IT IS NOT a Dynaudio driver. Its a chinese-made knockoff from HiVi.

It might look similar, doesn't mean it's a knockoff. Even if it was, doesn't mean it doesn't play as well

nygiants20: Have you also looked at the Hawk? As for Dynaudio vs Totem, I first got Totem Arros but didn't find a Dynaudio dealer when I was auditioning. But anyhow most Dynaudios were more expensive than Arros. I later heard Dynaudios on a few occasions and they were consistently good sounding. They seem to have a special tightness to their sound, some kind of dynamism (maybe comes from their 1st order crossovers) and in that area I think they somewhat standout from the competition.

I'm not familiar with the Focus 220 but would give a very good look at them. As much as I like Totem, I'd have to say the Dynaudios are better speakers. Some might say the Totems are more musical, but I'd still say Dynaudios are better speakers, for me less musical is a plus (as in, more accurate, less colored..)
post #4 of 18
Don't let yourself be swayed by the subtly negative descriptions used by Audio Architect. Terms like "Chinese made knock offs" and the Seas metal dome that won't be as smooth as Dynaudio are meant to sway you towards the Dyns. Trust your own ears is what I keep telling you. What we think means nothing: these are both good speakers. Choose the one you prefer.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
It was a tough decision but the Dynaudio Focus speakes finally won the audition. I can't wait to get them along with everything else.
post #6 of 18
You compared side by side?
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nygiants20 View Post

It was a tough decision but the Dynaudio Focus speakes finally won the audition. I can't wait to get them along with everything else.

That is the way it supposed to work - you go out and listen to as many things as you can, then you bring your favorite home. Congrats and enjoy.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes, I compared them side by side. It was a close call but in the end the choice was obvious.

I'm still not definite on what I'll drive them with. I'm looking at av receivers...any suggestions? I know separates are better but an avr works best for me now.
post #9 of 18
Try the Denon 4308 and use it as a pre/pro later if you want to add some more amp(s).
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nygiants20 View Post

Yes, I compared them side by side. It was a close call but in the end the choice was obvious.

I'm still not definite on what I'll drive them with. I'm looking at av receivers...any suggestions? I know separates are better but an avr works best for me now.

Congrad's on the 220's. I own these as well. I auditioned these on an Arcam AVR350 and the combo sounded great to me.

I went separates in the end but if I had of stayed with an AVR, my choice would have been the Arcam.

Just another suggestion if it's within budget and available for you to audition...

Rick
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've listened to Arcam before and liked what I heard. But the store that I'm buying the Dynaudio Focus speakers from doesn't carry Arcam. They carry Integra, Denon, Rotel, and Sunfire avrs. I do wish I could audition Arcam with the Focus speakers. I really don't care for Rotel and Sunfire is a bit out of budget range. So, that leaves Integra and Denon, at least as far as the Dynaudio dealer goes. There are other local dealers who sell Arcam.
post #12 of 18
If you plan on looking and purchasing an arcam, stay away from their digital stuff. Their analogue stuff is nice but being a small company they dont have the resources to really hire a team of pogrammers working on their digital processors and stuff. With Dynaudio, I really liked to match them up with older Krells, again stay away from their newer digital stuff which isn't really a match for their older models. It may be a little pricy but worth it. B&K and NAD are also other nice options for AVRs.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nygiants20 View Post

It was a tough decision but the Dynaudio Focus speakes finally won the audition. I can't wait to get them along with everything else.

Hey nygiants, how do you like your 220's? I am going to audition them soon, and up until now have been favoring getting a set of Totem Hawks... By the date of the last post, it looks like you have had them long enough to get a good idea of their sound, would you mind posting a few impressions?
Thanks
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the delayed reply.

I'm very happy with the Dynaudio 220s.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nygiants20 View Post

I've listened to Arcam before and liked what I heard. But the store that I'm buying the Dynaudio Focus speakers from doesn't carry Arcam. They carry Integra, Denon, Rotel, and Sunfire avrs. I do wish I could audition Arcam with the Focus speakers. I really don't care for Rotel and Sunfire is a bit out of budget range. So, that leaves Integra and Denon, at least as far as the Dynaudio dealer goes. There are other local dealers who sell Arcam.

Integra is the high end Onkyo, right? My dealer always suggests it to customers looking for a musical high end AVR.

Chris
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisII View Post

Integra is the high end Onkyo, right? My dealer always suggests it to customers looking for a musical high end AVR.

Chris

Good to know.
post #17 of 18
Congrats on the Dynaudio's. As a dealer of the brand myself, I'll chime in and point out which receivers mate well.

NAD has a nice sound as does Rotel.

Arcam you can't go wrong.

Integra would probably be my choice.

Marantz does a great job.

All will drive the Focus 220, but none will outperform a separate amplifier.

Enjoy!
post #18 of 18
Great choice,Dynaudio all the way for me.

The HiVi is a knock off,they copied on too many levels.
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