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Author Topic: Totem Acoustics monitors  (Read 1778 times)

TotalSonic

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Totem Acoustics monitors
« on: June 20, 2004, 08:07:59 pm »

Anyone out there actually using these things for mastering?
I just auditioned a pair of Hawks and they seemed to be really nice on first impression - especially considering that they are relatively small, efficient, and had a great soundstage, and seem to work well in a smaller than average room.  I was thinking the step up from these (Forests) might be actually a decent buy.  And I know what most of the replies will say - but 802's are out of my budget range right now. Any thoughts?

Best regards,
Steve Berson  

bblackwood

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Re: Totem Acoustics monitors
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2004, 08:27:23 pm »

Well, I'm a firm believer in having full-range monitors for mastering, and though the 'Forest' is rated to 33Hz, it only has one 6.5" woofer. The N802s are rated to 39Hz with two 8" woofers per side. I suppose the diff is that the N802s will actually go down to 39Hz (+/-2dB) at normal listening levels.

At the end of the day, of budget constraints will not allow you to buy full ranger speakers, definitely find the ones that have the best overall response for your budget at reasonable listening levels. What those are I have no idea, but I'm really skeptical of the number that Totem published for the Forest...
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

TotalSonic

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Re: Totem Acoustics monitors
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2004, 11:42:09 pm »

really I'm just looking for a setup that will work in my small project studio that as you say can still give me a full range.  It's a smaller room than I would like it to be so my needs fo ra smaller footprint and less distance than average for a good soundstage are more important than most others would have to deal with.  

Anyway - when I auditioned the Hawks - which are slightly smaller than the Forests - I was blown away that there was a serious amount of bass extension despite their small size.  It seems the way they make this happen is by having the entire length of it essentially be a port.  So I guess the question is whether it will get huffy and puffy and compressing when really cranking it because of this - but the material I listened to things sounded very even at a healthy level - although maybe the upper mids were a tiny bit forward - but this definitely made me aware of all the details.  The other thing I noticed looking at someone elses test shots is that it looks like the Forests might have a bump at 8kHz of a db or 2 so it's possible these could be a tiny bit fatiguing and a little bit hyped in the way Genelecs are - but I didn't notice this in my audition.  I see the Forests once in a while used for as low as $1600.  In that budget range the other option I have thought of are some of the older Thiel models which I think sound pretty accurate - but these are a lot less efficient and definitely need more room to bloom.  Then again - maybe I should just heed your advice and wait around until I have the cash and room for something more "real deal" - but I'm not sure if I want to wait around that long - sometimes I've found it's best to just get to work with what is on hand and worry about the Jones in the spare time.  

I do have a Hafler TRM10.1 subwoofer so I guess I could always try to make up some deficiencies in the lower bass area with it but I am trying to avoid the "hole" and "bump" effect in the ultra lows the disconnection usually gives you around the crossover point. I always find it interesting that Bob Katz recommends working with a subwoofer - but obviously he has pretty high end components so maybe he's able to get this seamless in a way I never have been able to.

I'm curious - how many out there are using subwoofers with their mains?

Anyway - Brad - thanks for your feedback and for running a great forum where I sometimes can "think aloud"

Best regards,
Steve Berson

bblackwood

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Re: Totem Acoustics monitors
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2004, 09:27:43 am »

TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 20 June 2004 22:42

I do have a Hafler TRM10.1 subwoofer so I guess I could always try to make up some deficiencies in the lower bass area with it but I am trying to avoid the "hole" and "bump" effect in the ultra lows the disconnection usually gives you around the crossover point.

Yeah, subs can be difficult to integrate seamlessly, but it can be done if you combine the right sub with the right speakers.

Quote:

I always find it interesting that Bob Katz recommends working with a subwoofer - but obviously he has pretty high end components so maybe he's able to get this seamless in a way I never have been able to.

I dunno, I've never heard his rig. I do know that he opted for the speakers he uses as his budget would not allow larger floor-standers (as he recently stated on the mastering webboard), which means his subs are crossed over much higher. Whether or not the resulting sound is smooth throughout the crossover range I don't know...

Quote:

I'm curious - how many out there are using subwoofers with their mains?

I do, and I think it really helps, too. There are two things that make it 'work', imo:
1] all of the crossover variables on the Velodyne DD12 are handled by DSP so you can get far better integration (xover freq in 1Hz steps, phase adjustable in 15 degree increments, crossover slope, etc.), and
2] I have the sub LPF'd at 36Hz.

St the end of the day, my advice is to find a speaker that is as accurate as you can find in the midrange and top end. The bottom end can be reinforced, and though I think it will always be a compromise not having full range monitors, you can get very good results, I'm sure...
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

mcsnare

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Re: Totem Acoustics monitors
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2004, 12:26:10 pm »

I have experience with using hifi speakers similar to the Totems for mastering. I used a floor standing Dynaudio transmission line with two 6 and a 1/2's and a dome tweeter per side. They were pretty accurate and the low end went very low. However the problem I had was that at more than moderate levels, the distortion on the low end was too much to really hear what I was going on with eq and such. I was just at the point of trying some subs, not really for more low end extention, but to take some of the load off the woofers, when I lucked into a pair of 802's. The B&W's don't really sound all that different than the Dyn's, but are SO much lower in distortion, I find them much easier to work on. I also used to blow the Dyn woofer and tweeters on a regular basis and this was not from super cranking them. I think I was able to do some good work on the Dyn's, it's just harder to hear past the inherent distortion in a 2 way with small, less robust woofers. If you have a very small room with a clean high powered amp, the Totem's could still work for you, just don't expect low coloration at anything above very moderate levels.
Dave McNair
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