Totem Acoustic Forest Floorstanding Speakers

Totem Acoustic Forest Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

depending on finish, two way floorstanding design

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 38  
[Nov 10, 2012]
Jake
AudioPhile

This is the best speaker for performance and price I have heard! My very first speakers! And best build quality! looking for bass this is it!

I do not agree with people that you need high power amp to drive these speakers. Or Stereophile's review that these are class D speakers!
For one I have a little Cary Sli-80 driving these and it dose a great job in 40w per channel in pure class a Triode mode!
I have personally emailed the owner and designer of totem acoustic Vince! He agrees that a tube class A triode amp gives more quality in each watt compered to a high power ultra liner tube amp. Which a 40 watt class A triode only 40 watts sounds like a 70-80 watt ultra-liner amp but more cleaner sound and image and better quality (power) of each watt. I believe this is true I can switch from triode mode to ultra liner mode which has 80watts. It sounds pretty much the same power and volume wise." These speakers shine best with class A tube amps. Also give at least 150 hours of break in time!

I listen to every type of music from Doobie brothers to Earth wind and fire, Diana Krall to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Loggins & Messina and other classic rock, R&B and modern jazz. Stevie Ray's Tin Pan Alley you can hear how hard the drummer is hitting the drums. Also listing to his 65twin fender amp humming in the back round. The best is yes the bass, it growls!
I truly think when the latest review from Stereophile, reviewer load 30 pounds in each speaker twice as much for the maximum limit and mixed shot and sand in!
I loaded around 5-9 pounds of play sand in each but played around a weekend with it. Trust me 2 grams of sand makes a huge difference. I set them 18 inches from the wall for more throw in the woofer.
When I found the right amount it showed more detail and clear image then Harbeth's or any other speaker that I had listen. Detail as in Dina Krall's Live in Pairs Album. I could hear every sigh she maid and people coughing in the back-round and feel how hard were the drummer was hitting the drums and the same with the congo drums, and fell the doubble bass or Chello! The speaker was clear and stood out each player and instrument. No it was not a hi-end CD player that it was coming from ,but a 1bit TEAC ! The totem beaks also helped a lot in that matter too. When I did get the right amount. I could literally feel the bass not from the speaker but from open space in the room. As it stood out how low the growl of the bass go's especially in dire -straits ride across the river, Lions and the Doobie brothers long train running, in a small living rooms!

If you have a large living room a 60 watt Triode class A tube amp should help a lot for powering them!

Great speaker never get tired of it's sound. Also blends in the with the room and look's gorgeous, and brings great power with dynamics. Sends shivers down your spine with female vocalists truly musical!

Truth I believe these speakers are class B full range, and beet out or perform to other class B speakers in there range recommended by Stereophile! Experimentation with your stereo gear and depending on your system will bring out the best of these speakers.'Also hugely room acoustics.
This is a great speaker for Class A tube amps or any other type of tube amp, is where it shines. Or high power Class A/B solid state amp works really well too!

If you are looking at the Forest you should:
1 Get Bi-wire speaker cables(a must)
2 Mass load between 5-10 pounds(A must and experiment with different amounts) Stick with one substance for mass loading"
3 Totem Beaks
4 Closer to the wall makes more bass stand out, though past 18" lower bass with more throw in the woofer.
5 Give long break in time.

This was my first choice for starting up my first 2 audiophile channel system and no regrets on every penny spent! Paid $3200 Canadian on sale at authorized Totem dealer great cherry or mahogany finish!

-System used
Cary Audio Sli-80
Teac 1 bit CD player
Kimber cable 12 TC Bi-wire

Products compared with.
looked at Reference 3A Vennia, Paradigm Reference, Monitor Audio GX200, Harbeth 7ES-3 and Super HL5, Focal Chorus 800 V, Chorus 826 W, Dynaudio focas 220, the new Kef R700, and Venia acoustics mozart grand.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 29, 2012]
Steve Podesto
Casual Listener

I am not a audio expert and consider myself as a rookie in this field. I bought the Forest on the recommendations of my local dealer spodesign in Ottawa. The Forest sound great to my ears. The imaging is quite something. Listening to music has become a pleasure with these speakers. I do not regret investing $3,800 in these speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 29, 2011]
francesco
AudioPhile

Surely best speakers i've ever had.
Nearly perfect at the top and the bottom of the frequency band.
Very deep and controlled bass and sweet and dynamic high tones.
Surely frequency response is not linear (some frequency has more emphasis) and is very open in mid treble but they are impressive for rythm dinamic and deep and precise soundstage.
On my opinion they (i tried many amplifier) need a high current solid state amplifier with around 70-100 watt not a big solid state (200watt) if not of great quality (you may lose in microdinamics) and neither a tube amp.
I use with Densen DM10 Amplifier 75watt (after trying many other) and on my opinion is absolutely the best (i heard and suggest also Naim Bryston and Exposure).
The hig current is absolutely necessary to control the bass and create a good soundstage.
I position then 150 cm far from rear wall and 200 cm from side wall and i listen from 4-5 meter distance (little toe in is required).
In my case distance from rear wall influenced bass a lot and from side wall suondstage .

Weakness::::you will not be able to create a live huge stage and sound like klipsch or old infinity (like 9K or Gamma for example), totem forest remains a polite speakers the emotion of the BIG sound is not for them, and they are not able to do that, but this is not necessary a weak....

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 28, 2011]
Rappan
AudioPhile

The Totem is simply the best speaker I ever owned. Even its small cabinet this outstanding speaker is able to deliver the true imaging, soul, character and groove of each record, no matter if good or bad recorded and no matter how and when the sound source has been recorded. And no matter which kind of music is preferred. The Totem is a keenly digger in its best sence without causing any harm to the listeners ears, even when listening for hours. In addition, this speaker is extremely fast and its dynamic skills are amazing. If proper adjusted (don't be afraid, the Totem isn't a chickie in that field), you're in the thick of the things without frantically seeking the so called "sweet spot". However, very good electronic equipemt is recommended, but there is no need to choose the best possible for breathtaking money. For bigger listening rooms as I have (27 sqm) I would propose to try to add a woofer either from Totem or from Velodyne. It's not a must since the Totem goes stunning deep but I would. I would also stand back from loading the cabinet as arranged by Totem, perhaps some agility can be lost. Finally, proper decoupling of the speakers is a must, meaning I wouldn't place its 3 decoupling steel balls on a carpet or other soft grounds. Well, so far no more to say except that I would buy the Forest again. Fin.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 20, 2006]
michael petranick
AudioPhile

Strength:

Depth of field, imaging, detailed and precise.

Weakness:

Won't perform the last octave of bass......but weren't designed to.

The Toem forest's are a great little floorstander whose size belies their music presentation. There are a few things that must be done in order to acheive the greatness that these speakers are capable of.
1. Biwire- most speakers can be wired as an afterthought, the notion of "well everyone else is doing it we might as well to"(sic. manufacturer) The forest are designed to be biwired from the beginning! DO IT!
2. They must be mass loaded- The low mids and bass can be sloppy if loading is not acheived. You are filling a cavity otherwise occupied by air that shouldn't be occupied by air! Completely filling can have the effect of decreased presentation of soundfield and imaging.
3. Breakin is at least 200 hrs. period.
4. Use good equiptment. The forests really portray the signal fed to them.....crap in-crap out, so to speak.
Ok, an excellent loudspeaker that might just end your searching! Designed to play music that is presented as articulate, detailed, and complicated......which means hard rock metal should go to something like a cerwin-vega.

Customer Service

excellent

Similar Products Used:

zu druid
soliloquy 5.3i
totem hawk
legacy audio focus 20/20

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 26, 2005]
hotber
AudioPhile

Strength:

Fully engaging, makes you stop analysing your system and you just listen. Deep extended bass for a small speaker clean clear highs, beautiful midrange

Weakness:

A little expensive.

OK, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would spend this much on a pair a speakers. I had heard the Forests at the dealer about 6 months earlier and the sound never left my head, so warm and pure. I recently bought a new amp (Redgum RG120iENR) a big upgrade over the reciever I was using for 2 channel music but it really brought out the limitations from my HT speakers. Listening to music through my HT speakers (Def Tech BP10)the bass was lacking and the highs were overwhelming. Enter the Totem Forest. I bought the speakers from a local dealer with a 30 day return policy. What did I have to loose? I was told they need a long break in period, but from the first listen I was hooked. I knew they were not going back. My wife thought I was crazy at first but after listening to them for a couple of weeks she would'nt part with them either. We are not audiophiles but we do expect excellent sound when we sit and listen to music. We listen mostly to Jazz with female vocals (Diana Krall, Norah Jones) as well as clasic rock and some clasical. The Totem Forests are engaging, you feel wrapped up in the music, totally engulfed. The sound stage is massive with detail never heard before. I experimented with speaker position for about a week and found they wanted to be closer to the back wall than most calculations would have them. I was also a little concerned with bass response given the specs. My concern was not nessesary, bass is deep and extended, sometimes you would swear there is a sub in the system. The Bass drum from China Grove hits you right in the chest. The highs are clean and clear, never biting at your ears. The sweetest part though is the midrange, makes you feel part of the music, its an experience you dont want to stop. I might have stumbled upon the ultimate system for under 10K. My system consists of: Totem Forest (with beaks) Redgum RG120iENR integrated amp Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 cd player Transparent Music plus interconnects and speaker cables.

Similar Products Used:

Def Tech BP10, Def Tech BP6, Pro Linear, Cerwin Vega.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 01, 2005]
fanofmsu
AudioPhile

Strength:

Imaging, sweet top end, very musical

Weakness:

Can play loud enough to please me, but if you want to blow your neigbors away, they're probably not for you.

Just to give you a benchmark, my previous speakers were Dynaudio Contour 1.3 mkIIs (which I liked a lot). Both speakers are very balanced, with solid bass response and a smooth top end, but the Forest's are much more involving. They image very well, present lots of detail, and have a suprisingly full bottom end (after break in). It's true they don't produce the very lowest octaves, but I'm a bass freak, and I don't miss anything. To my ears, the Forest's have a sweet top end that's never harsh or etched. These speakers made me love my stereo again, and have prompted some additional upgrades (it's like crack!). Highly recommended, to say the least...

Similar Products Used:

Dynaudio Contour 1.3 mkII, PSB Stratus Gold

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 01, 2004]
johnrob
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Build and looks Sound

Weakness:

small concern is bass

After auditioning a number of speakers over several months, I chose the Forests. Several factors led to this choice. Most importantly, I enjoyed the Forests more than the other speakers. I can listen to the Forests at loud volume all afternoon without any fatigue. The range seemed very good, however, when I brought them home to my very bright and large room (over 5000 cubic feet with lots of large windows and hard wood floors), the bass was somewhat reticent (not surprisingly considering the room), but is always very musical. A sub-woofer quickly fixed that problem. The midrange of the Forests is excellent, and I find the highs to be very pleasing, clear and not too bright. Female vocalists (e.g., Diana Krall, Margo Timmins, Sarah McLachlan, or Patti Smith) are presented in an exceptionally pleasing way. The Trinity Session of the Cowboy Junkies sounds outstanding, and you can clearly perceive that the recording was made in a church. Male vocalists, such as Dave Mathews' range in Some Devil, seems to me to be exquisitely clear and leads to goosebumps. Tom Waits voice is lifelike, rich and dark in Mule Variations, as I imagine it to be. These speakers excel at Jazz (e.g., Chick Chorea or Pat Methany) at either soft or loud volume. I found them to be particularly strong with solo instruments, and ensembles, groups, and orchestras are also full of life. I was a little disappointed, at first, with rock, but once I added a sub (the Totem Thunder), the Forests performance was very good. The speakers seem to disappear when listening - my nine-year-old daughter commented that it seems that the music isn't coming out of the speakers. I like the sound-staging, which is layered for well recorded music. Finally, I think the quality of construction of the Forests is excellent. They are beautifully finished and add a nice addition to my furniture. (I have the mahogany finish.) A couple of things helped the performance of the Forests. Having sand in the bottom of the speakers improved (tightened) the bass response. I only use the front foot riser (a large ball bearing) and leave out the back foot risers. This tilts the speaker by a couple of degrees, and this greatly improved the size and quality of the soundstage, and raised the "sweet spot" somewhat. Overall, I'm very happy with the Forests.

Similar Products Used:

Infinity, B&W 703, Paradigm Studio 40, 60 and 100, Proac R15,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 02, 2004]
Highfyle
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Deep solid bass, nice sweet mid and top end. Holds composure at loud volumes. Good bang for the buck. At or below this price, almost a no brainer.

Weakness:

I observed problems with the 100v3's midrange clarity, probalby due to bass intergration. All those drivers seemed to cloud or muddy up the mids for me.

I'm still pretty new in the audiophile realm as my associated equipment reveals, so the "grain of salt" practice may require observing, especially for you more seasoned audiophiles. Alrighty then... My two year quest for the "perfect" speaker ended recently. I am an obsessive researcher and bargin hunter and have spent the past 2 years on this web sight and others as well as inside numerous audio stores listening and head-scratching. After reading the reviews about the paradigm reference line and listening, I decided I liked them very much. The V.3 60 and 100's were both to my liking. My room size had me leaning toward the 100's. The v3's bass in particular impressed my even more than the v2's already had. THe 100's have a sweet pleasant midrange and clear, open, not overly bright top end. These speakers hold their composure at loud volumes and capable of powerful, dynamic reproduction. Imaging and sound stage were also failry good. I was nearly ready to make a purchase based on many listening sessions and what I had read in reviews on this sight, but yet I hesitated, not fully convinced. One day I listened to a small 2 way pair of speakers by Totem Acoustic: The Forest. At this point I must say, "WOW!" The pair was a Demo set for $2,700, a bit more than I wanted to pay and a bit more than the 100 V3's were going to cost, but for me the sound difference would have been worth it. The soundstage alone was worth the extra hundreds they would have cost me. A relativly small two-way floorstander, the Totem Forest gave me what I think of as my first taste of true high-end sound. They are wonderful. Bass is surprisingly deep and dynamic for such a small cabinet, and quick quick quick. Clear, beautiful, open, revealing, with an overall stunningly alive vibrant sound. To date, I have never heard piano reproduced so realistically. It's actually startling. But... I didn't buy these either. I was days away from taking them home when, in a final effort to better the Forests with something at or near their price, I stumbled into Deets' Sound Room in Sacramento (wonderful shop, by the way). Deets, the owner, showed me a few things he had, but after a few minutes of listening he saw I wasn't experiencing the magic I sought, he sat me down in another part of the showroom and popped one of my audition CD's (Diana Krall, I think?) into another system featuring two large floorstanding speakers: The Zingali Overture 4B's. My search ended then and there. I took them home that night at $2,800 out the door. They list at around $4,000, but these were taken as a trade in for a customer who upgraded to the Zingali Overture 4S's. At this point I must interject a Double WOW!! Speakers presentation was very different from that of the Totems, but very very wonderful. While the Totems were biased toward the bright side (sometimes painfully so, with poorly recorded rock), the Zingali's were just right, not laid back but more natural and non-fatiguing for all types of music. The imaging is great, soundstage too was very nice, although not quite as impressive in this department as the Forest's. The Zingali's bass is just wat I wanted; deep (down to 32hz), tuneful and dynamic, although a bit slow compared to the Forest. The midrange and top end on the other hand... well, let's just say it was one of those "Oh, my God!" situations. My eyebrows went up in surprise and my jaw went down in disbelief and amazement. My wife, who I dragged along for most of my demo listening and who two years ago couldn't hear or care less about the diffenences in the speakers we auditioned, looked at me with a new look. This was not the look of "yeah, these sound pretty good" or "these hurt my ears". This look, a triumphant moment for me (finally understanding--she gets the reason for the quest), was the look of disbelief and amazement. "Wow," she said. "These sound way better than any of the other ones we've heard, I think." I put in a rock CD (Evenescence) and the first thunderous drum impact at the beginning of "haunted" was, well...thunderous. The testicles were there, the imaging (particularly front to back) was believably wonderful with a very decent soundstage. The midrange and top end were to die for. Zingali speakers use a new patented circular horn-loaded driver for the mid and upper freqs named Omniray (don't even think Klipsch when I mention horns, this horn is something special all the bennifits, none of the drawbacks). All Zingali horns are lathed out of Poplar wood by a million dollar, computerized machine. I really didn't want anything with a horn considering I've been listening to a small pair of Klipsch's for quite some time. But THIS horn is not what I expected. If you have the means, I urge anyone serious about music to audition Totem acoutic speakers and of couse the Zingali lines. A bit more money, but you Will hear the difference, and to me was totally worth it. I Love my Zingali's

Similar Products Used:

Klipsch, Tannoy, Paradigm 60's and 100's both v2 and v3, Vienna Acoustic, Acoustic Research, Energy Veritas, B&W, Meadowlark, Totem Acoustics, Martin Logan, Dynaudio, Zingali (where's the Zingali reviews? too new I guess..Made In Italy and just came to U.S. about a year or two ago.) Most of these were merely auditioned, not owned. If I had enough money to have owned all these speakers, I would have gotten the Zingali 4S instead of the 4B

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 13, 2003]
Phil
AudioPhile

Strength:

See review above.

TOTEM HAWKS: This review is for the Totem Hawks, which are unfortunately not listed among the choices on this website. I have been listening to my brand new pair of Totem Hawks for almost 3 months now, and after a fairly intense period of break-in (they have approx. 200 hours on them now), they are now really starting to sound fantastic. But let me emphasize the importance of adequate break-in for these and other Totem speakers: they can and do sound somewhat harsh straight out of the box, with the bass sounding seemingly disconnected from the musical whole and the treble almost irritating at its shrillness, but after around the 150 hour mark or so, the treble magically smooths, the midrange blossoms, and the bass gets more extended and taut. Patience with break-in is definitely a virtue here. But once this somewhat agonizing period is over, you will be blessed with exceedingly excellent sound that will likely appeal to the majority of serious listeners out there, and there are a number of reasons for this that are worth mentioning. First, I find the Totem Hawks characterized by their ability to make almost all music sound wondrously fresh and dynamic, imparting a sense of "energy" that draws you into the music and gets your feet tapping and head bobbing to the ebb and flow of the performance. My feeling is that this results from the Hawks' fantastic midrange and treble integration and "speed" - the midrange instantly and consistently blossoms when required, while the treble exhibits an ability to follow transients superbly, and what results is a truly excellent portrayal of rhythm and timing. As an example, if you are into any type of jazz music, you are definitely going to love this speaker: the rhythm and timing that makes jazz music so fun to listen to is so clean and articulate on the Hawks that you find yourself completely immersed in the flow of each tune. The second quality is their strong sense of musical "naturalness." This is in part based on their utterly breathtaking soundstaging ability, with the sounds completely separated from the loudspeakers and with the walls of the listening room melting away as the Totem Hawks recreate the acoustic venue to an awesome degree. Although I have by no means heard every loudspeaker out there, I can say without question that the Hawks are definitely among the best speakers I have ever heard at soundstaging. The other part of the naturalness equation is made clear when you listen to the Hawks' bass response. It is absolutely incredible that Totem has been able to achieve this level of bass response from a floorstanding speaker of this size: the bass was extended (probably into the low 30s in my room), but yet also had the correct balance of authority and weight that almost all types of music would require. Keep in mind, though, that this is not the kind of bass that will rattle the windows out of their frames, nor is it the kind that will completely simulate the bass heard at a rock concert; rather, it is bass that leans toward quality over quantity, but still with more than enough impact to be quite satisfying. (As a side note, I actually HAVE been able to rattle the windows with the bass by placing the speakers closer to the walls, but that amount of bass is just too much for the music to remain naturally presented). In short, this speaker definitely has certain qualities that allow it to successfully compete with many excellent speakers out there and at many many times its price. But considering its retail price of only $2300 I'd have to say that it is a downright steal. I should mention that I am also using 2 pairs of Beaks (a pair for each speaker), which aided the treble tremendously and is worth every penny of the $100/pr price. With the Beaks installed, the performance of the Hawks is, in my opinion, in the same league as the Forest and in some ways even better - how you would choose between the two is another issue, but I would recommend careful audioning because it could save you a bit of money. Finally, a note about associated electronics. The Totem Hawks are a very revealing, high resolution speaker, but I think the Hawks would work well in a variety of systems, from ones that cost just a couple thousand dollars to ones that cost ten thousand or more. For reference, I am using the Totem Hawks in the context of an all-Naim system, comprised of: NAC 102 preamp, NAP 180 amp, CD 3.5, Hicap power supply, NAPSC power supply, and Naim interconnects & speaker cable.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 38  

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