A True Dreamcatcher
According to this month’s issue of Stereophile magazine (May 2011), our Totem Dreamcatcher is a speaker which fully lives up to its name! Allowing those who dream of enjoying $2000.00 monitors, an equivalent musical experience without the cost! (See review by Robert J. Reina). Reading his review will make you want to own a pair for yourself. We have been thoroughly enjoying them since shaking hands with Vince Bruzzese (Totem’s Chief Engineer/CEO) at Totem’s state of the art factory in Montreal. Totem, as their name may suggest, uses mostly native components from North America, but adds the worlds very finest drivers, which are made in Europe. Not a single part in a Totem speaker is sourced from Asia. Vince is a firm believer in quality sourcing, and states unequivocally, that though his components cost him many times more, it is because of this, that he is able to maintain the highest standards in all aspects of production, quality control, fit and finish! This extremely high level of quality production is evident in every single model. Yes, all the way down to the Dreamcatcher. Most speakers built with this level of engineering cost three to four times as much from other manufacturers. In fact, most manufactures don’t build anything themselves, but only design & outsource!?! Personally, I feel this is due more to “greed than necessity”. And those who do some of their own manufacturing more often source everything under $2000.00 to China.
I highly suggest not only reading Robert’s review, but looking over what John Atkinson’s test bench report revels. As this is a perfect example of a very common disparity in true state of the “art” products, like the Dreamcatcher, and those most common these days, which are designed and built by computers. Which brings up another little know fact – most speaker names today are just that -“names” with the designers who started the company long gone! These companies were taken over by the suites, who use computers for their designs and “never” actually listen to their own products??? How on Earth can you claim you’re building a great “sounding” product, if “humans” never listen to the design prototype? The good news is, Totem’s are designed by humans. They undergo multiple listening tests, and are hand tuned by ear not oscilloscope. Of course, they use computers for the preliminary designs, but the speakers are FAR FROM finished at that point. Vince will experiment with lots of different drivers, crossovers, and designs before he is satisfied that is the absolute BEST he can do for a particular model. And what’s particularly entertaining about John Atkinson’s report, is that in the end, he too concedes the sound quality, albeit begrudgingly.
In my experience, it seems far too many “techie types” can’t get their heads around what truly makes an outstanding speaker, or audio component. If they can’t “see it on paper” they can’t understand the artist’s vision, or accept the outcome. They seem to forget some of the most important things in the equation, such as the human ear. Only the very finest speakers in the world are built in this way, and sadly, too often, the street prices for these stay well into the thousands of dollars. This is where Totem is a true breath of fresh air, sculpting each work of art with the same dedicated love and devotion, making absolutely beautiful speakers affordable for everyone!