Totem Rainmaker vs. Studio 20's v.3 [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-27-2004, 10:33 AM
Does anyone have any experience listening to the Totem Rainmaker compared to the Paradigm Studio 20 v.3's?

My dealer invited me to a head-to-head demo tonight...I'm familiar with the Studio's (own the v.2's) but I've never actually heard anything from Totem yet...he assures me these gorgeous littel rainmakers will impress.

Just wondering what I can expect.

Jimmy C
05-27-2004, 11:20 AM
...but I like Totem speakers... they seem priced a bit too high considering the sound - the "Arro", for example. (IMO, of course)

Be sure to report back with your impressions! I'm curious as well. Hopefully, they will be in the same room...

05-27-2004, 05:43 PM
A lot of the Totem price is the wood finish. They make good speakers sound refined. I like their $1900.00 slim floorstander more than a $4k Energy Veritas - but the Totem seemed to miss things the Energy didn't. I found them both way overpriced.

That's my problem with Totem - it just costs too much IMO for what you get. but they are gorgous. The Rainmaker is new though and the company has made some recent changes - so it's possible it's better value. They like power not a reciever.

As for Paradigm it's a new series - have not been a fan in the past though I understand why some people like certain models.

05-28-2004, 04:07 AM
Well the Rainmakers weren't there sold when I arrived, so I'm going to have to put the demo off a few days, but I did give the Dreamcatcher's another go. I'm quite impressed at how detailed and rich they sound. I'd really recommend them more for surrounds in a home theater, or a nice sounding compact system. But they'd be great with a subwoofer for music too. The bottom end is lacking, but given there size, they really pumped out alot of low end. Low frequency response was something lik 57 Hz. But these are small units, only 11 X 5 X 7 and can fit anywhwere.

I don't know the price per pair, they were selling the HT kit (two pairs of Dreamcatchers, center and sub) for about $1600, so I doubt they were even $450 for the pair. I did notice that these things put out a surprising large amount of sound. The presence was incredible for such a small speaker, soundstaging and imaging were pretty good.
The store price on the sign for the Rainmaker's was just under $800 so I'm hopeful there are some improvements.
I'll have to report back when I can compare them to the Studio 20's.

05-28-2004, 04:41 AM
Home Theatre did a review on Totem's Forest model in either April's or May's edition.and were very impressed with them. The Dream Catchers earned a "hot ticket" from Home Theater in a review done last year; can't remember which edition though.

I never had teh chance to audition Totems but O have seen them. There fit and finish is miticulous (spelling), just a gorgeous piece of work.

05-29-2004, 03:53 PM
IMO, the Rainmaker is way better than the Studio 20 v.3. I auditioned side by side on Thursday and found the Paradigm way to agressive (overly bright). The equipment was a Sonic Frontieres CD player, and a SF tube amplifier. Again, just my opinion.


05-29-2004, 06:16 PM
The head to head audition was very interesting. I found the v.3 Studio 20 to be very detailed and accurate, while the Rainmaker to be a bit more warm sounding. The Studio's had more bass, and more punch, but the Rainmaker had more midrange performance. Vocals were really something else on the Rainmaker.
An Arcam integrated amplifier and Arcam CD player were the used in the side by side comparison. I won't say there was a clear winner. There wasn't. Depending on your musical preferences, both are terrific speakers. The Studios do a much better job in the high frequencies and especially bass frequencies, but human vocals sound noticeably more natural on the Rainmakers. Both are very pretty looking speakers.
I didn't experience any undesireable brightness at all in the Studio's, just accurate detail.
Given that the Totems were offered to me at a slightly lower cost than the Paradigm's I'll give them a slight edge in this head to head review. However, if you are a bass nut, or like great detail and treble in you music and movie playback, the Studio's are the dominant winner. I think some jazz and blues music would really make the Rainmaker shine though.
All in all I'm quite impressed with a few of Totem's speakers. Especially their finishes. Very "unmass-manufactured".

05-29-2004, 09:23 PM
I'll agree the Totem is more natural and better overall. Some of the newer Totem floorstanders are very good also. I just bought a set of Dynes, but Totem, Dynaudio & Vienna ended up my top available choices @ ~ $1000. Have fun auditioning!