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 Post subject: My new front speaker set-up (Totem Arros)
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2024, 18:42 
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About six months ago, I was the fortunate recipient of these Totem Arro speakers (blue) to replace my ancient Sony APM-717 speakers (yellow).

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It took me a while to set them up as the new speakers are 4ohm rated and I was concerned they would be too much for my Denon AVR to handle (they only pull 20 - 80 watts but the ohm rating was the bigger concern). I ended up setting up an external amp (Audiosource AMP100) w/ the Denon's pre-amp output and it has worked out great so far (located behind my TV).

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However, I still need to get more power for the speakers since I noticed that Audyssey set-up the gain on these fronts much higher than w/ the previous speakers and the internal amp. I do have a Yamaha M50 ready to go once I figure out where to fit it in my cramped set-up.

Anyway, the bigger issue is how does it sound? Well, I can tell you they are fantastic even if they might be slightly under powered @ the moment. For a tiny two way tower that is fitted w/ a 4.5" mid bass driver, these babie's still go as low as 40hz which is amazing (the previous Sony's were designed for 60hz but Audyssey felt their x-over should be set at 110hz). In addition, they do at times sound invisible as the soundstaging is very open & expansive which may be due to the room size which is just perfect for a speaker this tiny.

Anyway, going to continue testing it mainly on two channel material (it was really designed more for music but I think it holds up well for home theater) to get a better feel for it. Thus, I'm going back to my library of CD and SACD titles to listen and hopefully discover something that I missed w/ the previous speakers :).
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 Post subject: Re: My new front speaker set-up (Totem Arros)
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2024, 21:49 
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Congrats on the speakers. They look really nice. I like the clean look of Totem speakers.

I wouldn’t worry too much on the Audyssey levels. Audiosource amp most likely has a lower gain (internally) than the Denon AVR, that’s why Audyssey increases the front levels. Perhaps the Sony speakers have higher sensitivity than the Totems. The 4ohm speaker coil is larger than a 6 or 8ohm coil. Although this increases efficiency/handling (higher watts per cone size), it probably results lower sensitivity (db per Watt) due to much heavier coil mass. Keep in mind this is the sum of all ohmic values since the Sony’s have multiple mid/bass drives that overlaps in frequencies. Typically, fewer crossover points (fewer drivers) should be easier on the amps.

I highly recommend adding 1 or 2 subwoofers to your system and cut off some of the heavy lifting (bass) from both your amps and your new Totem speakers.

If you don’t really crank the volume up often, even the Denon AVR will probably handle these speakers fine without an external amp.
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 Post subject: Re: My new front speaker set-up (Totem Arros)
PostPosted: 11 Mar 2024, 00:45 
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substance wrote:
I wouldn’t worry too much on the Audyssey levels. Audiosource amp most likely has a lower gain (internally) than the Denon AVR, that’s why Audyssey increases the front levels.


I assumed that as much too but thought it was still indicative of the need for more power. I currently have the external amp on maximum volume/gain so I figured that meant there wasn’t much gain left to push the speakers when I did want to turn it up.

substance wrote:
Perhaps the Sony speakers have higher sensitivity than the Totems.


Per the manuals, the Sony has a sensitivity of 90db. The Totem’s sensitivity has a sensitivity of 87db. Not a huge difference. Also, I didn’t realize Sony rated these speakers to hit 40hz (didn’t have the spec sheet until recently) and I can tell you they don’t as I did test its response with tone provided on a test CD (just barely hit 60hz).

substance wrote:
Keep in mind this is the sum of all ohmic values since the Sony’s have multiple mid/bass drives that overlaps in frequencies. Typically, fewer crossover points (fewer drivers) should be easier on the amps.


Here’s the kicker for corrections sake; the Sony’s are actually two way speakers. The third driver is actually a passive radiator. So yeah… maybe I will try to run the Totem’s from the internal amp just to see if my Receiver will start heating up too much. I can always go back later to an external and hopefully use my Yamaha instead of this Audiosource.


substance wrote:
I highly recommend adding 1 or 2 subwoofers to your system and cut off some of the heavy lifting (bass) from both your amps and your new Totem speakers.

If you don’t really crank the volume up often, even the Denon AVR will probably handle these speakers fine without an external amp.


I am already running one sub (located to the right in the middle of the room). I actually prefer to have the Totem’s deliver the 40hz bass frequencies since I prefer to have more directional bass and more bass in general anchored to the front soundstage. And I don’t feel it’s an issue of having the external amp do more of the heavy lifting since my bigger concern was my AV Receiver running hot. This Audiosource amp appears to run cool regardless what volume level I throw at it (I can only imagine what the Yamaha amp will do as it would definitely have more reserve power on hand).

I’ll update this posting as I continue to test and make changes.


Last edited by ldfan on 11 Mar 2024, 08:49, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: My new front speaker set-up (Totem Arros)
PostPosted: 11 Mar 2024, 01:07 
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the decibel rating is on a logarithmic scale. 3db difference means you need twice the power.
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 Post subject: Re: My new front speaker set-up (Totem Arros)
PostPosted: 11 Mar 2024, 01:13 
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Ok…. That is good to know :thumbup:. I definitely need to read up more on how sensitivity works. Sounds like I’ll just stick with the external amp option. I am running a 7.1 set-up so the Receiver is still pushing five speakers which is already a lot.
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