Totem Acoustic Mani-2 Bookshelf Speakers

Mani-2

  • Frequency Response: 29 Hz - 20 kHz ± 3 dB
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 85 dB/W/m
  • Woofer: 2 x 6 1/2". 3" voice coil
  • Tweeter: 1" aluminum dome

User Reviews (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4  
benita   AudioPhile [Feb 18, 2009]

I've hooked up these little honeys with a pair of Electrocompaniet monoblocks + Copland pre and 823 CD.
Audionirvana!!!
Totally engrossing, wholly believable, truly wholerange.


OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
DrTebi   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 08, 2007]
Strength:

Amazing bass, especially considering their small size.
Very well fabricated and beautiful speakers.
Extremely lively and vibrant sound.

Weakness:

They're not cheap (but worth the money in my opinion).
If you are looking for speakers for a large room, you will probably want larger speakers.

It all started by my visit to the local audio store here in San Francisco, where I noticed the beautiful Musical Fidelity X-T100 amp. And it did not only look beautiful--its sound just blew me away. Even though it was connected to a pair of tiny satellite speakers. I had to have it.

At home I have a small office, about 9 x 17 feet, low ceiling. The walls are unpainted wood panels. This is where I setup my new Musical Fidelity. My source is a PC with lossless compressed .flac files of all types of music. I know many audiophiles will think that my source is not a great start--however, using a M-Audio Delta sound card, which is quite a piece of work, I think it's much more than sufficient for music enjoyment.

My speakers however, were some really inexpensive Infinity bookshelf speakers. Remember this was only supposed to be an office setup. However, the Musical Fidelity brought the best out of them, they just sounded great. Just one thing was missing--bass. And this is where the Totem Acoustics Mani-2 kick in.

I first listened to Totem Acoustics speakers at another local audio store. The owner first showed me the B&W speakers that I wanted to check out. But I was a bit disappointed, they just weren't as dynamic and vibrant as I expected. Once the dealer found out what my "style" is, he setup the Totem Model 1 speakers. And yes, that was more my style, great dynamics, they really made the music alive.

But I didn't settle for these, since I still wanted more bass; but I did not want to go for a sub woofer. Somehow I just believe that the bass has to come from the left and right, even if scientists say that the human ear cannot distinguish where the bass is coming from--I don't believe it. I don't like the concept of sub woofers.

So I browsed the Totem website, and read a few reviews on the Totem Mani-2. Every review was raving about the amazing bass that comes out of these bookshelf speakers. But no dealer here had these in stock to test. So I ended up just daring to buy them without listening to them first. Certainly another thing that may make any audiophile crunch, but I like to dare, who dares wins.

And I won. Not only was I lucky enough to find them for 1/2 the retail price, used for $2000 on audiogon.com, these babies just raised my quality of life to the top.

My Mani-2 speakers have the maple finish, which is remarkably beautiful. It's arranged in a way so that the wood grains run in a symmetrical pattern on the front, which blends in nicely with the actual drivers. The craftsmanship of the cases is just flawless, simple, clean and perfect.

No finally, their sound. Really, I couldn't be happier. I am a musician myself, and I know what live music is supposed to sound like, and what a fresh recorded piece of music sounds like in a recording studio. And the Totem speakers deliver just exactly that, that crisp, fat, clean and vibrant sound that you hear when you are sitting in the recording studio booth and master your session.

The hi-ends are very distinct, fine and clear, but never annoying, even at high volume. It feels like "healthy listening," even when you really crank it up. The mids are precise, and sound so natural, it makes you believe that there is actually someone sitting there playing that Hammond organ, guitar, or horns. Vocals stand out, as they are supposed to, hit you in your face.

I listen to anything that fits in between Sade and The Clash. Herbie Hancock and Buena Vista Social Club. A lot of music that I like has a wide range of instruments, as for example the Cuban stuff. It's important for me to be able to hear each and every instrument in the music, and that's exactly what the Totem Mani-2 deliver. A fine and precise sound that enables you to "see" the music, visualize it as well as listen to it.

And finally, the bass. Let me tell you about the bass. For those of you who don't know, there are two bass drivers in each speaker. One, obviously, pointed outwards in a traditional fashion. The other however is inside the case, mounted so that it is exactly the opposite of the outer speaker. They work in a push-pull fashion, and really, they work. A speaker of this size with such a fat bottom-down bass, just amazing. I am glad there is some kind of double-floor between my office and my downstairs neighbor, because I am sure they would have complained frequently if there weren't. The bass is so beautiful, so low, it will make your stomach vibrate if you crank it up enough, and smoothen the air between you and the speakers. You will find yourself looking for music that has lots of bass, because you just can't get enough of it. I also listen often to lounge kind of music, which usually has a smooth underlining bass groove. It's a pleasure to hear it through the Totem speakers, and that is at any volume. You don't need to raise the volume to feel the bass. It's my office after all, so often I work when listening to music, and it a great company, never distracting.

After all these positive things said, I must also mention my little test in a different room. My living room is about three, almost four times the size of the office. There I am running a T+A system with the Solitaire A3D. I moved my complete Musical Fidelity/Totem system to the living room, and ran the same source through both systems. This is where I realized that size does matter--the A3D, easily three times the size of the Totem speakers--did a much better job at filling the room. While the Totem's certainly sounded great, they just couldn't fill the room. I noticed that the clarity of the Totem's, especially in the mid tones, was better defined than in the A3Ds. But, especially when you wanted more volume, the A3Ds "ate up" the Totems. So this would be my only negative point, or better said, an important hint I want you to keep in mind. If you have a large room, you need large speakers. That's just the way it is. But if you have a mid-size room, or especially a small sized one, where you can't fit large towers of speakers anyway, I recommend the Totem speakers with great confidence. Yes, they are expensive, but maybe you will be lucky as well and find a used pair (after all, that's recycling, save the planet people). Even if you can't find a used pair, your dollars will be very well spent on these magnificent, natural, and very vibrant sounding speakers.

Customer Service

(never needed it)

Similar Products Used: Inexpensive Infinity bookshelf speakers.
Elac mid-size speakers
T+A Solitaire A3D
JBL P+A speakers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
drtebi   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 08, 2007]
Strength:

Amazing bass, especially considering their small size.
Very well fabricated and beautiful speakers.
Extremely lively and vibrant sound.

Weakness:

They're not cheap (but worth the money in my opinion).
If you are looking for speakers for a large room, you will probably want larger speakers.

It all started by my visit to the local audio store here in San Francisco, where I noticed the beautiful Musical Fidelity X-T100 amp. And it did not only look beautiful--its sound just blew me away. Even though it was connected to a pair of tiny satellite speakers. I had to have it.

At home I have a small office, about 9 x 17 feet, low ceiling. The walls are unpainted wood panels. This is where I setup my new Musical Fidelity. My source is a PC with lossless compressed .flac files of all types of music. I know many audiophiles will think that my source is not a great start--however, using a M-Audio Delta sound card, which is quite a piece of work, I think it's much more than sufficient for music enjoyment.

My speakers however, were some really inexpensive Infinity bookshelf speakers. Remember this was only supposed to be an office setup. However, the Musical Fidelity brought the best out of them, they just sounded great. Just one thing was missing--bass. And this is where the Totem Acoustics Mani-2 kick in.

I first listened to Totem Acoustics speakers at another local audio store. The owner first showed me the B&W speakers that I wanted to check out. But I was a bit disappointed, they just weren't as dynamic and vibrant as I expected. Once the dealer found out what my "style" is, he setup the Totem Model 1 speakers. And yes, that was more my style, great dynamics, they really made the music alive.

But I didn't settle for these, since I still wanted more bass; but I did not want to go for a sub woofer. Somehow I just believe that the bass has to come from the left and right, even if scientists say that the human ear cannot distinguish where the bass is coming from--I don't believe it. I don't like the concept of sub woofers.

So I browsed the Totem website, and read a few reviews on the Totem Mani-2. Every review was raving about the amazing bass that comes out of these bookshelf speakers. But no dealer here had these in stock to test. So I ended up just daring to buy them without listening to them first. Certainly another thing that may make any audiophile crunch, but I like to dare, who dares wins.

And I won. Not only was I lucky enough to find them for 1/2 the retail price, used for $2000 on audiogon.com, these babies just raised my quality of life to the top.

My Mani-2 speakers have the maple finish, which is remarkably beautiful. It's arranged in a way so that the wood grains run in a symmetrical pattern on the front, which blends in nicely with the actual drivers. The craftsmanship of the cases is just flawless, simple, clean and perfect.

No finally, their sound. Really, I couldn't be happier. I am a musician myself, and I know what live music is supposed to sound like, and what a fresh recorded piece of music sounds like in a recording studio. And the Totem speakers deliver just exactly that, that crisp, fat, clean and vibrant sound that you hear when you are sitting in the recording studio booth and master your session.

The hi-ends are very distinct, fine and clear, but never annoying, even at high volume. It feels like "healthy listening," even when you really crank it up. The mids are precise, and sound so natural, it makes you believe that there is actually someone sitting there playing that Hammond organ, guitar, or horns. Vocals stand out, as they are supposed to, hit you in your face.

I listen to anything that fits in between Sade and The Clash. Herbie Hancock and Buena Vista Social Club. A lot of music that I like has a wide range of instruments, as for example the Cuban stuff. It's important for me to be able to hear each and every instrument in the music, and that's exactly what the Totem Mani-2 deliver. A fine and precise sound that enables you to "see" the music, visualize it as well as listen to it.

And finally, the bass. Let me tell you about the bass. For those of you who don't know, there are two bass drivers in each speaker. One, obviously, pointed outwards in a traditional fashion. The other however is inside the case, mounted so that it is exactly the opposite of the outer speaker. They work in a push-pull fashion, and really, they work. A speaker of this size with such a fat bottom-down bass, just amazing. I am glad there is some kind of double-floor between my office and my downstairs neighbor, because I am sure they would have complained frequently if there weren't. The bass is so beautiful, so low, it will make your stomach vibrate if you crank it up enough, and smoothen the air between you and the speakers. You will find yourself looking for music that has lots of bass, because you just can't get enough of it. I also listen often to lounge kind of music, which usually has a smooth underlining bass groove. It's a pleasure to hear it through the Totem speakers, and that is at any volume. You don't need to raise the volume to feel the bass. It's my office after all, so often I work when listening to music, and it a great company, never distracting.

After all these positive things said, I must also mention my little test in a different room. My living room is about three, almost four times the size of the office. There I am running a T+A system with the Solitaire A3D. I moved my complete Musical Fidelity/Totem system to the living room, and ran the same source through both systems. This is where I realized that size does matter--the A3D, easily three times the size of the Totem speakers--did a much better job at filling the room. While the Totem's certainly sounded great, they just couldn't fill the room. I noticed that the clarity of the Totem's, especially in the mid tones, was better defined than in the A3Ds. But, especially when you wanted more volume, the A3Ds "ate up" the Totems. So this would be my only negative point, or better said, an important hint I want you to keep in mind. If you have a large room, you need large speakers. That's just the way it is. But if you have a mid-size room, or especially a small sized one, where you can't fit large towers of speakers anyway, I recommend the Totem speakers with great confidence. Yes, they are expensive, but maybe you will be lucky as well and find a used pair (after all, that's recycling, save the planet people). Even if you can't find a used pair, your dollars will be very well spent on these magnificent, natural, and very vibrant sounding speakers.

Customer Service

(never needed it)

Similar Products Used: Inexpensive Infinity bookshelf speakers.
Elac mid-size speakers
T+A Solitaire A3D
JBL P+A speakers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rageprblm   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 03, 2006]
Strength:

Staging, depth, stereo imaging, highs, lows, and VERY lows. Youll never believe that amount of bass is coming from these speakers. Room shakers. Plus you really do have to see them in the cherry finish.

Weakness:

85db/W isnt very sensitive so its safe to assume these speakers will require a great amount of power to be used to their full potential. I believe Vince was using naim or mcintosh to drive them when I heard them.

Apparently they take about 200-300 hrs to fully break in; please dont argue with whether or not that theory is real or not, its just what vince told me. Plus its in the FAQ on the totem site.

I first heard these at the opening of a new store in my area called sound & space. I was officially the first customer as id been waiting weeks for this place to open. When I went upstairs to the Totem room, every model was there but currently the president of totem himself(Vince Bruzzese), was playing the Mani's. The guy looks like a mad scientist. However, the mani 2's are absolutely incredible. Ive never heard depth like I did come out of bookshelves, or BASS. I thought he had a sub woofer hooked up. nope. He said it can go down to a solid 27 Hz. I believe him. Gorgeous, solid all around, and incredible staging. the perfect bookshelf, however for 5600$ CDN, it better be damned good. If I had 5600$ to drop - this is where I would drop it, and never regret it.
Im not going to belittle them because of the cost; I believe these are truly worth it to those who really want a high end bookshelf - you get what you pay for.

Customer Service

No idea about this one, I suppose you can only hope that it would be very very good considering the amount of money these cost.

Similar Products Used: Merlin, Mordaunt-Short, JM Labs, Kirksataer (Or however you spell it) the silverline 60s i think.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-4 of 4  

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