Totem Dreamcatcher 5.1

 

Anonymous
 
Hello, I am new to this forum and just have a question about this speaker system which was recommended highly to me.......

Would anyone here have any thoughts on these speakers......

And would anyone have a recommendation for a receiver if I move forward with the purchase of these speakers......

Regards.
 

Anonymous
 
One more effort to see if anyone is familiar with and can tell me some things about Totem speakers.....

In particular, the Dreamcatcher 5.1....

Regards.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 28
Registered: 01-2004
Totem is an audiophile brand of speakers made in Canada. Their website has this about the Dreamcatcher system:

http://www.totemacoustic.com/english/products/homeTheatre_dreamcatch.htm

Some reviews include:

http://customretailermag.com/doc/278956222635332.bsp

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue8/dreamcatcher.htm

If you want larger speakers for the fronts then you could substitute the Totem Arro.

Note that Totem sells grilles as an option, if that matters to you.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 199
Registered: 12-2003
Anon:

I was very intrigued by your post, so I e-mailed Totem for a referral to a Totem dealer--and they e-mailed me with a name and address of a dealer I was unaware of not too far from me. So this morning I went there and spent about two and a half hours testing several Totems, but focused mostly on the Dreamcatcher system.

I was pretty impressed. Now, I don't know what you are going to use them for (music/HT?), but the Dreamcatcher is a highly detailed small speaker that makes an excellent system for most applications. Not real strong in the bass, nevertheless the sub does a nice job of filling in the low end to present an excellent soundstage. They are just a little bright sounding and a littel bit forward, but not in any way displeasing, so I would recommend this system with just a couple of caveats:

1. Not meant for a large room;
2. They are low impedence speakers (4 ohm), but the dealer I heard them at drove them with a H/K AVR630 without any difficulty. Therefore, I would suggest they need high quality electronics. In other words, I think they would be comfortable with an NAD 743 on up, for instance, but not a Marantz 5400. You would probably need to be into a Marantz 7400 to be comfortable with the DreamCatcher system. An H/K 630 is obviously a good choice, but not a 230. I think the key is that it must be a high quality power supply. The dealer told me that he never tries to demo them with Integras, for instance, so I conclude any Onkyo would be a poor choice.

Nevertheless, at $1695(US) for the full 5.1 system, I think they are a real bargain if you are careful with the electronics you pair them with.

I hope this helps.
 

Anonymous
 
I cannot believe you were so intrigued to check them out, but I am very happy that was the case. And I thank you!

I have heard good things about that system and plan to give a listen this weekend.....

I appreciate you checking them out, as another opinion is very valued. I am surprised that this system needs to be paired with such high quality electronics. But I will take that caveat.

I am also plan to give a listen to the Totem Mite, which I believe is a bit pricier.

Can you explain the significance of low impedence? On the receiver match and then just its significance standing alone? What does it mean? I know that some I am considering have a higher impedence.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 31
Registered: 01-2004
Hawk, did you happen to listen to the Arros? From information lying around the web they seem interesting, and my "local" NAD and H/K dealer also sells them. I plan to listen to them myself once I finally get up there, but I was wondering if you had any comments, especially with regard to NAD and H/K.
 

New member
Username: Beamer

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
I would be very cautious when purchasing a NAD receiver. I just purchased a T752 and right out of the box I have no sub output in all modes except for 7.1 Matrix and EARS. I sound tested NAD and it sounds great, when it works. I read multiple reviews and came to the conclusion that in the early stages the 752 had a lot of bugs and the newer makes took care of the problems. Well......They didnt. No second chance, the unit is getting replaced with a Rotel..
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 205
Registered: 12-2003
Anon:

Believe me it was a pleasure. I heard the Mite, along with several other Totem speakers and they were all very high quality. I seem to recall that the Mites are priced at $699/pair, which is about $200 more than a pair of the DreamCatchers, but they certainly have more depth and a better tonal balance. I think the thing that stood out for me about the Totems as a whole is their control--when the music stopped, they stopped. There was no overhang. Pretty impressive.

Lower impedence means that the speakers present a lower load to the electronics. Now the receiver does not have an impedence, per se, they merely specify what impedence speakers work best with their receiver. A lower impedence speaker causes the electronics to work harder, run at a higher temperature, and push the receiver closer to its limits. Most receivers are not built to handle a low impedence (4 ohm) load. In past years, 4 ohm speakers were only for the high end, and it was believed that a buyer of such a speaker would be getting quality separates, not a receiver. For the Japanese based mass market brands, this is a question of cost (an amp that can handle 4 ohm loads cost more to build) and a question of reliability (a tighter operating envelope will last longer--30 years instead of 25). Thus, you will not generally see one of these brands building a unit that will handle 4 ohm loads--instead, their protection circuits kick in and they shut down. But it is also true that a lot of very fine speakers are now being made available in a lower price range that are true 4 ohm speakers, so the mass manufacturers are just now beginning to come to the conclusion that they may have to build products that can drive a DreamCatcher system, for instance. I know the new Denon 1804 is the first Denon in my memory that says it can handle some 4 ohm speakers (it is in the Owner's Manual). Nevertheless, those speakers really deserve quality electronics, not just anything that can handle most 4 ohm loads. I really dislike most of these mass market products where you have no idea what the parts are inside--instead, they buy their DACs and DSP from that week's low cost bidder. So when I talk about high quality electronics, it does not need to be high price (e.g., NAD 743 is available under $600)--just that it is built with a high quality power supply and output transistors that can generate enough current to allow the speakers to get to their optimum operating envelope and not audibly strain.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 206
Registered: 12-2003
Goose:

I did hear the Arros. They are really just Dreamcatchers in a taller body (about 30" tall), but the drivers are the same and the cabinet is just a tall version of the DreamCatcher--but you do get more bass extension since the cabinet has more volume. Interestingly, they also have a second hole on the back so that you can insert lead shot into the bottom of the speaker--Totem recommends 25 lbs. of lead shot, I was told. Now that will really couple those speakers to the floor! Definitely worth a listen.
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