Totem speakers

I´m interested in listen a Totem Mite speaker. I have read or was told  that Naim amplifiiers  and Totem speakers are choosen many times with good results. So I would like to get some feedback here about the Totem speakers. What can I expect,?A forward or laid back sound?It seems they play vocals very well,. I´m looking for transparency, I´m very satisfied with my amplification and source. So I´m keen on transparency.But as my listening room is a bit small, I was thinking that a small monitor as Totem Mite should be fine.

Regards

Nuno

Original Post

I've owned the Hawk and Forrest sets.  Both wonderful and engaging.  Haven't tried the Mite but can speak for the Naim/Totem synergy.   I don't know that I would call the sound laid back per se...my experience was they have a balanced sound with good meat.  One thing I noticed when comparing them to PMC of the same ilk, the PMC had a "better" tweeter, but the Totem was much fuller and enjoyable to listen to.

 

 

that is part of the synergy, again, just my opinion....but they work well to bring out the music being given.  Using Naim, they do the job.  Not sure the sound of other amps/etc..but if you like what you got, the Totem isn't going to color the sound in any harmful way.

 

I am not sure how does the Totem Mite compare to the Model 1. I have listened to the Totem Model 1 in my system, driven by NAC 202 and NAP 200. Although the Model 1s are fun and engaging speakers, they sound unrefined and a bit bright at the top.

For €135 it's surely best to have the chance of a proper demonstration to let you know whether you actually like the speakers. If you buy them from the US and then have to sell them because you don't like them you'll lose money anyway. You certainly can't buy speakers on the basis of what people on here might say. You've been buying Hifi for long enough to know that, I'd imagine.  

I have B&W CM1's which have almost a similar size as the Totem Mites. Small speakers can produce surprisingly good sound but this needs to be compensated on the AMP side. I use a Supernait which is needed to get all out the CM1's.

I consider the CM1's not entirely neutral but this is fine for random listening.

I'm 1.5 year in Naim world now and combine B&W CM1 (S1) and B&W CM5 (S2) with Naim Amps.

My CM1s are in my 50m2 living room and powered by a SuperNait. This is my favorite setup, the SN has more than sufficient power to squeeze all of the music out of these tiny speakers. I think it is thanks to the SuperNait that they perform so well. I've auditioned Proac Studio 140's and recently Neat Iota Alpha's and they were good but not better than the CM1s - and these speakers are at least double the price. I also think that the CM1s reach further in my ~10 meter long living especially when close to the wall.

I use them on either the original CM1 stands or on the solid wood bookshelves (solid oak). I always have the bassreflex ports closed with the plugs which comes with the speakers. This is needed to have controlled and non-booming bass.

When I listen to music having proper drums, I feel the skin of the drums resonating in my room. Its like someone is sitting there. There is no stereo gap even given the 4 meters distance between the speakers.

When I put the CM1's + SuperNait in my work room (4x3 meters) - there is too much tension in the music. I prefer in my working room my CM5's. I think this is because the CM1's come only to sing when you throw loads of power to them.

I would say: CM1's very good, but have a decent sized room for it and sufficient amplification.

Well, that's why I have Naim.

B&W + Naim can be very good, but is not the most favorite combination on this forum.

2 more things to mention:

If you have a wife, B&W's have a high WAF. I tried to bring in some Ovators last year, this was a no-go. Then I showed a photo of CM5 rosewood and I immediately got 'permission' to buy them. Quite same thing happened with the CM1's.

Second, the CM1's perform from 50Hz upwards. If you listen to Organ music or full blown Jazz having that Double Base, you might need to look to full range speakers or a subwoofer combination.

Brubacca posted:

I also think that the Mites are $900 USD now in the States..  They used to be like $700, but Totem pricing has crept up over the years.  Heck the staff used to be $1,500 and now are like $2500.

I didn´t know. The B&W  CM1 s2 is a revision of the original CM1, unlike the Mite is the same, so I guess B&W get some advantage.But I have to listen and decide. I have heard B&W CM1 and I liked it, but the amplifier was a 40 Watts Rotel. I guess I have to listen it in a better set up

There's nothing special about the Mites.  Small and bland.  They're a bit of a letdown compared to Arros or Hawks.  Don't care for staffs either - too much bass.  Speaker companies are obliged to cover a spectrum of needs - not all the models are going to be winners.     

i had a very poor experience with the Mites on the back of a NAP 250/32.5/hicap. I used them on heavy stands and they were quite engaging with undemanding dinner jazz etc but when fed some demanding orchestral music they simply squashed dynamics in a most alarming way. Crescendos just disappeared before they even arrived.My Royd standmounts were in another league.

I can't believe you can't do considerably better for the money. But as always it's essential you listen to them yourself...

Sister xx

Sister E. posted:

i had a very poor experience with the Mites on the back of a NAP 250/32.5/hicap. I used them on heavy stands and they were quite engaging with undemanding dinner jazz etc but when fed some demanding orchestral music they simply squashed dynamics in a most alarming way. Crescendos just disappeared before they even arrived.My Royd standmounts were in another league.

I can't believe you can't do considerably better for the money. But as always it's essential you listen to them yourself...

Sister xx

I think the Mite is Totems worst speaker. I guess they gotta have at least one! 

You need to audition the CM1. Keep in mind, they need lots of power.

Dynamics are great. I like listening Symphonies and have a detached house. It goes from almost solo instruments to fortissimo instantly. This is what brought me in the Naim world.

In the 9th symphony of Tchaikovsky are nice dynamic movements.

What kind of music do you like?

Indeed, they are not the least regarded B&W speaker. Personally, I prefer them to my CM5 S2's.

I don't know the Densen amps. I have a SuperNait which rates 80 Watts (if that is of any value at all) and because it is a few levels higher than one would expect to drive CM1's, it is needed to get them on song. If you read reviews, I think you will see that they open up when fed by a proper amp.

Jazz is fine - but forget about the double base - the CM1's dont go that deep you need a sub for that.

I never listen to Rock or Indie. Will try tonight.

Chag... posted:

I am considering bringing S/H Arros on 122x/FC2x/150x as alternate to my Kans in my study. How tight is their bass? Can I place them against a bookcase? :ghee:

Chag -  

I considered arros too with the same amp but never had the chance to audition them together.  I also had a small room to contend with - ultimately went with Spendor s3/5rs that were just a terrific match.  Lots of bass for such a small box.  They're a sealed box design so ok for close  to wall placement.

Chag... posted:

I am considering bringing S/H Arros on 122x/FC2x/150x as alternate to my Kans in my study. How tight is their bass? Can I place them against a bookcase? :ghee:

My experience is that Arros have an immediate "wow" factor. Dynamic and musical with good clarity coming from such a slim column. On longer term listening the bass becomes boxy and hollow, artificially deep. Probably a great choice for an apartment setting where you don't want to upset the neighbors, while on the other hand they need room from the rear wall to get the bass response right. Against a bookcase? I wouldn't expect much bottom end. If pure musicality and fun is your aim Arros could be a worthy consideration. I view Arros  as a good starter speaker that folks move on from in due course. Also, Arros can be "tippy" - maybe not a good choice with dogs, children, or clumsy maids in the listening room. They are, however, mass-loadable for stability and tighter bass response.

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