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  1. #1
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    Totem v/s Monitor Audio

    Both manufacturers make great speakers. Which one, in your opinion, makes better speakers in the same price range in terms of clarity, sound stage, imaging, vocals, instrumentation reproduction, etc, etc. Thanks for all the input.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken88 View Post
    Both manufacturers make great speakers. Which one, in your opinion, makes better speakers in the same price range in terms of clarity, sound stage, imaging, vocals, instrumentation reproduction, etc, etc. Thanks for all the input.

    I have a pair of Monitor Audio RS6's but have not yet heard Totem speakers. Monitor Audio speakers are what I think of as leading edge transient speakers. Very good with the attack but not much decay. To my ears the music is not complete. It is like a note from a spinet piano as compared to a full note from a grand piano. I tried every position in the room but try as hard as I might I could not like them for very long.

    They do have clarity and they are okay with imaging. They just do not make music for me. I have a smaller stand mount speaker the Mobile Fidelity OML1's which image better and their smaller more solid cabinet allow for better soundstaging. Opposite of the MA RS6's they have good note decay but less attack.

    What size of room do you have for your new speakers? What is your budget? Are you interested in floor standers or stand mount?

    Lately I have been enjoying a new speaker. I find it gives me the best of both speakers. The best imaging of the three. A good balance of attack and decay. Great clarity and excellent detail. Now I am ready to move the MA RS6's to someone else's home.
    JohnMichael
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  3. #3
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    I am comparing, say, the floor standing Totem Sttaf v/s Monitor RX 8. Any opinions?? Thanks.

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    I personally would choose the Totem. MA can be system dependent, on the wrong gear I would find them a bit fatiguing, but that's my taste, the highs are very lively, they do have good bass. The Totem I've heard had a balanced frequency response, no one area drew attention to itself but nothing was lacking either, and excellent imaging.

    What will you be driving them with? Just stereo or are you doing home theater?

  5. #5
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    I have the receiver Anthem MRX 700 to drive the 5.1 speakers system. I will be using the Totem /MA as front speakers and I listen mostly to music although I watch movies 25% of the time.

  6. #6
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    I'm not familiar with the Anthem receiver so not sure which would mate best. What are you using for center?

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    I got the Totem Mite T as centre speaker.

  8. #8
    Charm Thai™
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    Not a fan of any Monitor Audio speaker whatsoever but I have heard some Totem's that i liked. The Model one, Hawk and Forest are decent but for what they are but maybe priced just a tad bit higher than similar competitors. Plus Monitor Audio speakers are so damn ugly to look at, bleh.

  9. #9
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    Having a Totem center is a good reason to go Totem mains, even if not a perfect timbre match with the model you get it would be closer than using Monitor Audio.I haven't seen the Silver series but the new Monitor Audio Gold looks pretty good with the piano black finish.

  10. #10
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    Have you listened to the Totem Sttaf or the Mite compacts? Those are your targets to aim in on with that Mite T center.

    I took several chances to listen to the Sttaf columns and really try to decide why they would NOT work in a two channel system project. I failed at finding a reason...
    -delicate highs
    -rich and silky mids
    -bass...yep. It's not in your face about it but the low end is surprising.
    And all from a simple (diminutive) 2 way column. I just kept throwing music at these speakers to be really happy and involved with the sound.

    The only drawback that I noticed was the lack of higher volume performance. These excelled at moderate levels but really did not blow me away with higher sound levels. Again, it is a small speaker and I was not trying to take quantity over quality from the package Totem has put together. All things considered, I'm sure they would never find a way into a HT system (sans a bedroom rig) but they sure fill my needs for a two channel system...YMMV.

    Monitor Audio? I'm sure they are a capable company but I feel they are a bit overpriced. I auditioned some RX packages a few years back and ended up spending my money with Polk Audio...most of my audio circle choked and laughed when I made the purchase but I saved a ton of money and picked up a package of just as ugly cabs with better sound (imo).

    Your Anthem will have zero problems with a Sttaf/Mite T/Mite compact package. 90 legit watts all channels driven is likely a conservative benchmark and the quality of power is something Anthem hangs a hat on.

    Good luck with your hunt.

  11. #11
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    I wouldn't label Monitor as over priced, they have several levels Bronze, Silver, Gold & Platinum, comparing to other brands in the same price they do well. In fact, the Silver RS-6 gained quite a reputation as a value to performance champ. You might think the GX300 at around $5k is expensive but it held it's own very well against a more expensive Revel, each had there own presentation but the 300 did well. MA is like any other speaker, it has a particular presentation and it suits you or it doesn't. MA and Polk would certainly have different characters.

    What did you drive the Totem with at high volume?

  12. #12
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    Mitchellin, I already have the Totem Sttaf, Mite T centre and the 2 Mite compacts as surround. I am very happy with this set of 5 speakers. The only thing I wish more with the Sttaf is to have deeper bass. When I review the Monitor Audio RX8 , I read that they have much deeper bass and I am thinking to myself if I replace the Sttaf with RX8, may be I would then have a "perfect"system. Is this a good idea? What are your thoughts?? Thanks.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken88 View Post
    Mitchellin, I already have the Totem Sttaf, Mite T centre and the 2 Mite compacts as surround. I am very happy with this set of 5 speakers. The only thing I wish more with the Sttaf is to have deeper bass. When I review the Monitor Audio RX8 , I read that they have much deeper bass and I am thinking to myself if I replace the Sttaf with RX8, may be I would then have a "perfect"system. Is this a good idea? What are your thoughts?? Thanks.
    Oh did not know you already had a Totem system.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  14. #14
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    Can't you set your receiver to use the sub when using 2-channel? If not, it would be a first.

    Any way to listen to the RS-8? It will have more bass but will be an overall change in sound as well. If your HT is important at all you will definitely degrade the experience with mixed brands, EQ isn't going to help much there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    What did you drive the Totem with at high volume?
    The amp used for my auditions was a Jolida 302BRC. I'm thinking (and as you mentioned in another post) something with a 6550 would perform better...for me enter the Jolida 801ARC.

    Quote Originally Posted by ken88 View Post
    Mitchellin, I already have the Totem Sttaf, Mite T centre and the 2 Mite compacts as surround. I am very happy with this set of 5 speakers. The only thing I wish more with the Sttaf is to have deeper bass. When I review the Monitor Audio RX8 , I read that they have much deeper bass and I am thinking to myself if I replace the Sttaf with RX8, may be I would then have a "perfect"system. Is this a good idea? What are your thoughts?? Thanks.
    I auditoned the RX8. That speaker will produce some decent bass. What I found it failing at was mid, mid-bass, and the upper register. Too much sibilance for me in the mids, murky mid bass (lacking punch and definition), and the highs were WAY to bright. I moved about the room (off/on axis), changed up the discs I brought, played with tone control, moved the speakers around a bit, and nothing helped the areas that seemed unnatural to me. I moved on.

    Just me, I would not sacrifice the middle and upper register of what the Sttaf can bring to my ears. Bass (or lack of here) is the issue. What sub have you employed in your system?

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    I am just toying with the idea on how to get better bass from the system. The receiver is already set up with the sub. The bass is pretty good right now but as with everything else, you always want to improve to get the "best possible sound".

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken88 View Post
    I am just toying with the idea on how to get better bass from the system. The receiver is already set up with the sub. The bass is pretty good right now but as with everything else, you always want to improve to get the "best possible sound".
    It is a journey for sure.

  18. #18
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    My sub is a Polk Audio with a 8" driver (don't remember the model #). I am very happy with the Sttaf, they produce very detailed clarity with amazing sound stage and imaging. The vocals are excellent and as you said, the mids are just incredible. I guess there is no such thing as a "perfect" speaker!!!

  19. #19
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    In my opinion keep your Totem and buy yourself a better sub, a 12" with a big amp. The Polk may be alright in a small application but yours requires moving more air and the more power you can afford the better, it takes power to produce bass and never hurts to have plenty of headroom.

  20. #20
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    If you have access to Monitor Audio look at the Silver series subs they are pretty good. I'm partial myself to SVS but the options are many.

  21. #21
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    Thank you Mr Peabody for your suggestion to look at the Monitor Audio subs. I have a better idea: I am checking out the Totem Storm subs !!!! I know they are pricey, may be I have to start saving my pennies from now on to afford one!!!! Anyone with the Totem Storm subs? If so, what are your thoughts? Are they good?

  22. #22
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    JUST MY 50 CENTS: From that why I am reading over the years and indeed owned year ago a pair of older bookshelf model of Monitor Audio I would blind purchase a Totem speaker ! I found the MA sounding anyhow "boxy". My opinion and impression about the Monitor Audio: they distribute (look at the newer designs) better than produce above average sounding speakers.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    If you are looking at subs and want to drop some coin, take a look at REL Britania line, JL Fathom subs. If you want a great sub for a great price, take a look at Rhythmik subs.

    Rythmik Audio • Servo subwoofer products

    Sumiko Audio : REL

    Home Audio - Powered Subwoofers - Fathom®

    But I can't agrue with SVS or HSU subs. I am also a fan of the more expensive Velodyne and Marin Logan servo subs.

    Digital Drive PLUS Series - Subwoofers

    MartinLogan | Descent i
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  24. #24
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    Blackraven, what are you talking about? Have you heard SVS? My SVS bests the Velodyne SPL I had in every aspect.

  25. #25
    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Blackraven, what are you talking about? Have you heard SVS? My SVS bests the Velodyne SPL I had in every aspect.
    I want to hear one of the sealed SVS models. I don't like their cylinder models and i've only heard the ported box versions which I did not like better than the Velodyne SPL's.

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