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dave_b
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Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

....or how I learned to stop worrying and trust JA. NOT!! I can sum up the article as follows:

2 Clowns back pedaling

First I laughed, then I was perplexed...finally, I felt empty. Needless to say, I am extremely dissapointed with the excuse making. I am even more disturbed by your lack of understanding regarding Totem speakers and how they are designed. They are musical instruments, not cookie cutter overdamped boxes that need to be cranked to be appreciated. Totem speakers produce sound like a Strad does...the notes resonate and project forth with great dynamic shadings and color, even at low levels. As I mentioned before, the soundstaging is their forte'...it is holographic. EL screwed up and your covering for him or else Totem sent him a bad speaker (which I highly doubt)and he has extremely poor reviewer's skills. Either way, in the immortal words of B.B. King, "The Thrill Is Gone"....at least as it pertains to reading Stereophile reviews

smejias
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

We make the review process transparent, and you conclude that we are frauds. How is it that you come to this conclusion? How does that work?

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Sometimes in Stereophile's past there have been broken pieces of equipment under review, and the magazine has always done a pretty damned exemplary job of addressing the issues, as well as the journalistic integrity in the process. There is no difference with this review.

I totally agree with Stephen. JA and EL researched, found the issue, and addressed it, with transparency and truth. The nature of the cause, or when it happened, is not the point. EL wrote what he heard. That's all we can ask as readers. EL didn't make any mistakes- he was just the victim of unfortunate circumstances, and given that we are all human, we need to give him back the credulity we took away from him. I have.

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
EL didn't make any mistakes- he was just the victim of unfortunate circumstances,

Thanks Glotz. Much of this review has been unfortunate; from Vince's reaction to my review to the speakers ultimately failing after my formal auditioning. As you say, I reported what I heard just as a consumer might. What I will never know is if I was listening to woofers about to break due to prior damage at a dealer or if I heard the speakers working properly during my formal audition. My guess is they were working fine since the one speaker measured by JA came out almost exactly the same as the prior two Forests he measured over the years. I do know that the woofer was NOT seized during my formal audition. As JA concludes, my review is valid, but the woofer failure certainly raises some questions. Either way, I wrote what I heard and heard what I wrote.

Two positive things about Stereophile were highlighted for me in this process/brew-ha-ha. First is the magazine's commitment to subjective and objective aspects of a review. We have JA who objectively measures what we hear and he reports the facts regardless of the subjective review

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

I'm not buying the whole frozen driver thing. JA's investigation reads like a "comedy of errors". Rather convenient that the speaker was defective and no one could figure out how it happened....would EL really tell JA that he overdrove the speakers with Kanye West (what passes for review music is a whole other issue, but I'll get to it next time). EL didn't even mention the 120hz hum in the Manley Stingray JA found in his measurements...oversite or just human error? Or maybe EL should just stick to singing Friends generally make for poor employees. In this instance, something stinks and it 'aint just the blown driver. Maybe try skipping the rambling anecdotal stories and manufacturer background essays in the reviews, listen to some great music and then describe at length, what you hear without excuses...no spin, just tell it like it is without the usual qualifications. Remember, I've owned many of the products Stereophile has reviewed over the years and in retrospect, they were mostly useless for the purpose of making a purchasing decision focused on sound quality. The features and measurements are mostly reliable however

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Poor, poor boy...a victim of circumstance ay! Nyuck Nyuck Nycuk. What a stooge I mean apologist of course.

JasonVSerinus
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

You liken Totem speakers to a Stradivarius violin? That's beyond hyperbole; it's totally absurd.

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Have you owned them? Lived with them? Read anything about the design principles? I have and they are special in a similiar way....anyway, I was refering to the way they use their cabinet to operate in sympathy with the music. They are not unlike well tuned instruments.

rvance
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
Have you owned them? Lived with them? Read anything about the design principles? I have and they are special in a similiar way....anyway, I was refering to the way they use their cabinet to operate in sympathy with the music. They are not unlike well tuned instruments.

So JA mildly engages you in another thread about your religious dogmatism...

and Erick Lichte gives less than a stellar review of your Totems...

and you set off on another hysterical grief quest for our splendid amusement.

It's starting to get old.

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

I have not owned Totem speakers for several years now, but that does not diminish their ability to convey music on an exhalted level. EL did the hatchet job, not I! Read the response when your not in a stupor...even a sichophant like you should be able to smell a heaping pile of "cover your own ass" or in this case, EL's ass. Is it difficult for you to imagine a discussion between me and JA? Not used to someone having a different opinion on a topic? Wish everyone was as easy as you to convince black is white or up is down? Some people love to follow and accept answers without question...if that's your thing, so be it

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
2 Clowns back pedaling

The only clown is you. Riding your unicycle. 'Round and 'round in circles.

dbowker
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

From your religious reverence for a mere manufactured product, I can only assume you MUST own a Mac computer...

You take "loyalty" to a company beyond fetishism, to what might be closer to a "consumer stalker." This must be what happens when consumerism replaces relationship neurosis.

Bottom line: EL and JA slept with your old girlfriend and found her wanting. Get over it!

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

I've been straight forward and consistent from the start. I also have more than a little experience with the product plus over 10 years of corrobative reviews from sources other than Stereophile. Oh, and a shitload of very satisfied Totem owners would not find my comments out of line. Only dumbed down docile "followers" who believe every scrap of crap dished out by the illustrious Stereophile staff have a problem with a contrarian thought. It all boils down to one man not being able to admit he screwed up (he leaves the door open of course now apparently, based on his comments here)or simply that he could not even tell a problem existed. Let me put it this way, if I knew that a woman was raped and the witnesses repeatedly deny that she was raped, I will defend her honor from now until Hell freezes over...got it sport!

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Missed the point maybe? Reflective of many sheeple today who mistake others thoughts for their own. I don't own them anymore, I don't sell them and I have never found myself defending them before....until now. The beauty of this site is that JA et al., allow for this kind of criticism without censorship (unlike Audiogon). Of course, maybe you simply can't comprehend someone having a deep respect for a product and the people behind it.

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
Bottom line: EL and JA slept with your old girlfriend and found her wanting. Get over it!

Gross.

Monty
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Got her phone number handy? I'm not as picky as most guys.

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
The beauty of this site is that JA et al., allow for this kind of criticism without censorship (unlike Audiogon).

Interesting that you realize the liberty JA allows on this site, since clearly the Stereophile team is not afraid of criticism, yet you also think that JA is a back pedaling clown...

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Now that's funny

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

It's 867-5309...can't remember the area code however

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Look Ma...I'm putting my unicycle away! Temporarily

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

What's gross...the JA part or the girl? Just kidding

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
EL did the hatchet job, not I! Read the response when your not in a stupor...even a sichophant like you should be able to smell a heaping pile of "cover your own ass" or in this case, EL's ass. Is it difficult for you to imagine a discussion between me and JA? Not used to someone having a different opinion on a topic? Wish everyone was as easy as you to convince black is white or up is down? Some people love to follow and accept answers without question...

No, it really comes off like yr a complete ass.. really.

First, the level of care and work on a Strad is much higher than any Totem speaker. That's why they have been Strad's for a long, long time. Whether or not they breathe in sympathy to the music is important in terms of speaker set up and room placement, but not in reviewer skill level or experience. You condemn EL for his review, and he is a new reviewer. You don't show understanding for this, nor do you allow for the editors to address the concerns in any way. It appears there is no way for you to be satisfied with any positive outcome, or any process to reach that outcome.

Second, you don't use any substantive examples for your 'argument' to back up your erroneous and reactionary claims. You want to bring up a case against Stereophile's journalistic integrity? Please use a valid process. Without proof and examples, you're coming off insulting and derisive, and very little else.

The likelihood that any Totem Forest speakers will not sound good in EL's room is very high, given his time with the speakers in his room. Sometimes it's just the physical reality of one combination of room and speaker, not Erick's supposed biases or competence level. I know from experience that 6' Magnepans won't work properly in every room for the same reasons, regardless of the level of room treatment or approach to speaker placement, etc. Other rooms it is simple to integrate a given speaker to its environs.

Just because one reviewer had issues regarding a speakers performance does not invalidate his or her competence level. You disregard the process that JA and EL went to, after the Follow-Up review. Would it not be easier and less risky for Stereophile NOT to produce that Measurements and secondary Follow-Up review? I think we all would agree yes, and I commend Stereophile for being as transparent and candid as they have proven time and time again over the years.

The Sota/Perkins interview has a degree of controversy all over it, and I also feel that JVS (and JA as Editor) handled the issue with aplomb and professionalism. They did not need to print either response from Mr. Becker nor Mr. Perkins, and they DID, warts and all!

Perhaps in the next world, we can all be perfect. Until then, I think Stereophile's journalistic responsibility is more than adequate.

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Did you own Forest speakers and use them in different environments and with various electronics? No? I have Glotz. Did you follow the entire discourse here, including the previous post? Repeating the obvious seems to go nowhere here, so I will not continue beating the Totem drum. The Strad' comparison was figurative and would require some mental effort and knowledge of the speaker in question to reconcile...you apparently fall short on both counts. This whole fiasco comes down to a review of what is now known to be a "defective" speaker, a reviewer who did not discover that fact originaly, and a follow up to that follow up which gives cover for the aforementioned mistakes. Really, measuring the defective pair to show due diligence...how about JA getting a fresh pair and taking another listen before demoting the Forest to class C! Forest speakers don't "bunch up" the instruments around the drivers or cabinets...never have and still don't. EL and JA are obviously friends so this sort of drama is to be expected, but for you it seems to be a shockingly novel idea. Why don't you go hear a pair of Forest speakers for yourself and then maybe YOU would have something to talk about with authority. For the record, I thoroughly agreed with JA's and LG's original evaluations of the Forest...they got it right!

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:

This whole fiasco comes down to a review of what is now known to be a "defective" speaker, a reviewer who did not discover that fact originaly...

Once again, the defective review sample rears its ugly head.

Once again, a dealer or manufacturer can't deliver a working product, and once again some consumer with some personal investment in a product finds a way to make that a reviewer's problem.

I have a solution - ask Totem to make a product that can be delivered in its proper working state.

EL gave Totem the courtesy of assuming they know how to build and deliver their product. I guess it's his fucking problem that Totem couldn't accomplish this. At least dlb didn't berate Stereophile for not repairing the speaker themselves.

For me: A blanket thumbs down when a manufacturer can't get a "VIP" a proper specimen and then pitches a fit of pique over the review. Totem implied EL was an inadequate reviewer - maybe an adequate reviewer would have received an adequate example to work with?

"We are angry at Stereophile for not recognizing our quality of construction and universally glorious sound....from a speaker we can't guarantee will be delivered to a reviewer in proper condition."

Goodness.

I look forward to Totem's apology to EL for tossing a defective unit his way.

Or, is EL's review correct and the unit broke on the way to JA?

dlb, why do you no longer own Totems?

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:

Remember, I've owned many of the products Stereophile has reviewed over the years and in retrospect, they were mostly useless for the purpose of making a purchasing decision focused on sound quality.

Which products and how did your experience differ?

If these were positively reviewed, and you owned them, then the experience should line up; since you claim to buy based on your own experience.

If these were positively reviewed, and you owned them but didn't like them, then why the heck did you buy them?

If they were negatively reviewed and you liked them, which products?

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Calm down Buddha, your starting to sound like me, God forbid! You missed something somewhere if you thought Totem delivered a faulty product. From what I can discern, based on EL's evaluation and JA's FU(follow up) to the FU article, the speaker was damaged either toward the end of EL's tenure with them or in transit from EL to JA. I owned Totem's in my prior 2 residences and loved them, but when I moved into my new house I wanted to scale up the sound a bit. I first tried Dynaudio C4's (too big for the room), then Wilson Sophia's (too dark sounding for me), and finally went for Maggie 3.6's (perfect coupling to the room and immense soundstage-love it!).

Editor
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
From what I can discern, based on EL's evaluation and JA's FU(follow up) to the FU article, the speaker was damaged either toward the end of EL's tenure with them or in transit from EL to JA.

As I said in the follow-up, Totem's Lucy Lentini admitted that our review samples of the Forest had been used by several dealers before being sent to Erick and had not gone through Totem's QA procedure beforehand. It is possible that they had been abused before being sent to Erick but didn't fail catastrophically until he had finished his auditioning.

We have returned the Forest samples to Totem and I will check with Vince Bruzzese what he found was the cause of the frozen woofer when I see him at next week's Montreal Show.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Glotz
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Clearly you did not post to the original posts for the February Follow-Up forum. If you would have, you would have found I have put a tremendous amount of thought and effort, as well as building an appropriate case for all of my points. You have not. Moreover, you state it has been years since you've owned the Forests. I find that fact ironic, given the fact that Erick has far more recent experience in this speaker. QC issues, design changes, and many other issues bring me to realize that clearly Erick has more vaild experience than you do about this product, in the here and now. It would be illogical to suggest otherwise.

Also, that is the point of the review- One person, without subjective biases toward or away from a manufacturer or a designer, listening to the equipment without biased intervention from outside sources. If there is an issue with a driver or a speaker part, that is the fact of reality, and it played out as such. It does not invalidate the other 2 reviews/follow-ups. You seem to think it does. It does not.

Listening to the speakers is not the point whatsoever. There are myriad reasons why EL heard what he heard. You seem to accept none of them.

Eric did use them with a variety of electronics, and reported on what HE heard. In his role of reviewer and the parameters of the review process, ie: one room. Many of the reviewers do use various electronics and various rooms in reviewing equipment for Stereophile. You think it is a requirement for review. It is not.

How can you ask any prospective owner of this product to try out a mulititude of environments and equipment? It is, maybe, not unrealistic to request that from a specialized audio review magazine, but I think it is very absurd request from a pure consumer standpoint.

Lastly, I fully believe I have greater authority (to write effectively or remain unbiased in my writing) in this discussion or any other, than you.

Many would agree.

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Answer the question Glotz...did you own them? Since when is more experience a bad thing? You are quite delusional if you think more experience with a product is detrimental to understanding it's performance. Maybe you took technical writing for dummies or some such thing, but clearly you keep missing THE POINT...the Forest speakers DO NOT BUNCH UP SOUND/INSTRUMENTS AROUND THE DRIVERS OR CABINETS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!! If EL experienced such an effect, something was definately wrong and or defective in his setup(forests not excluded) and/or in his methodolgy. Why did JA and LG nail the Totem sound so well (which is not perfect, but perfectly reflected in their reviews)and EL did not? Because he made a mistake either through ignorance or by circumstance, both of which I can forgive easily. It's the fact that he didn't understand enough about the product to recognize that one of it's most highly lauded characteristics was missing in action....and the follow up to the follow up just seems to add more smoke and mirrors to the whole enchilada. Are you bucking for a writing gig with Stereophile perhaps? That would explain alot regarding your self importance.

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Thank you JA That's the kind of common sense tact and respect which I feel has been missing throughout this process. The truth will set us all free!!

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Oh my God, do really want me to dump that overstuffed sack of memories on everyone here Among others, I've owned Levinson's No.'s 32, 360s, 37, 39, 390s, 330 and 380s...ARC VT100, 200, ref2, ref3, 110 amp, LS16, LS25, LS26...Wadia 860, Meridian G08, BAT VKD5, VK55, VK-5i..my daughter needs the computer, so I'll finish this up later!!

Buddha
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
Oh my God, do really want me to dump that overstuffed sack of memories on everyone here Among others, I've owned Levinson's No.'s 32, 360s, 37, 39, 390s, 330 and 380s...ARC VT100, 200, ref2, ref3, 110 amp, LS16, LS25, LS26...Wadia 860, Meridian G08, BAT VKD5, VK55, VK-5i..my daughter needs the computer, so I'll finish this up later!!

Sorry! I did not mean a complete inventory - really more interested in how your experiences have been at odds with Sterophile reviews.

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
Oh my God, do really want me to dump that overstuffed sack of memories on everyone here Among others, I've owned Levinson's No.'s 32, 360s, 37, 39, 390s, 330 and 380s...ARC VT100, 200, ref2, ref3, 110 amp, LS16, LS25, LS26...Wadia 860, Meridian G08, BAT VKD5, VK55, VK-5i..my daughter needs the computer, so I'll finish this up later!!

But this may prove your own auditioning/reviewing process may be flawed due to going through so much equipment
Don't mind me, just in a cheeky mood here and appreciate audio is always more complex than it seems

Which, is why more seriously I think you are jumping the gun being so critical of the Totem follow up and also the follow up investigation by JA.

Bah and still no Stereophile on Zinio, its like being Billy no mates and hearing all these cool conversations and sort of just staying at the fringe while listening but pretending to also be part of the group .

Cheers
Orb

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Not really flawed so much as fortunate to have had the opportunity to own alot of wonderful gear over the years...I am a Capitalist remember Again, how one equates lot's of experience with not being able to discuss said products effectively is beyond me my friend. Have a pint for me mate!

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Man O Man, that will require some thought (gonna have to go again soon for karate class-daughters, not mine). One that comes to mind was the ML No. 330 amp and 380 preamp. Reviews were fairly glowing, and although they were respectable products with tremendous definition, they had a nasty upper midrange glare from the sliding bias scheme ML used....nasty when pushed a little on classical music massed strings etc... Never mentioned that real world factoid! Of course that is a minor quible....more later when I return home :O)

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

John, FWIW, I can give you my full name and particulars off line regarding the Totem Forests (2pair), Winds(2pair) and Hawks I've owned. All were purchased from Surround Sounds in Exton, Pa (owner is Ron McGill). Say hi to Lucy for me...she is sweet isn't she?

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Imagine if we'd had internet for the Alon I review(s)?
I wish my mag would show up. Hopefully tomorrow...

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Here's another: Krell (I've owned their FPB stuff extensively...600, 400. KCT etc). Well, when I got the Evolution 402, 202 and 505 kit mated to my Dynaudio C4's...all Class A stuff right? How can I put this, the gear was dry sounding and brittle on top...not the krell sweetnes and color I was used to previously. Very aggravating indeed! The reviews don't really comment on this aspect of the sound and minimize the fact that the amp is no longer Class A, plus the amps are using more off the shelf parts these days as well (insider stuff). I also found out the parts content was way up to get around the Class A architecture/heat issues (European Safety/green crap)...the thing still ran way hot. In a nutshell, compared to the FPB series it sucked big time. Oh, very smooth and rich sounding, but grey and devoid of emotion IMHO. It is usually the most casual mentions in the reviews that wind up pissing me off the most. I also suspected the the 505 was a bit odd sounding as well (first one broke/replaced quickly however) and the second one worked but sounded gritty. Later I learned that they reworked the internals quite a bit because they found a problem with their DAC/MClock/software...not privy to the exact fix. The preamp was kinda constricted dynamicaly and did not deliver the warmth of the KCT, nor the exquisite liquid treble...when I put an ARC Ref3 in the mix, the amps jumped and sounded huge, but they still retained that dry brittle sound. So many stories, so little time. None of this has ever given me cause to complain directly to Steroephile per se, because I understand it's part and parcel of the process and personalities. The Totem thing just happened to have stood out for me in bold relief, plus the fact that i had just come on board the forum here If you want more anecdotal trivia that's fine, but it's personal to an extent and I'm sure all the big boys around here can figure this stuff out for themselves....I hope! JA is a gem to put up with this kind of feedback and remain sane

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
Thank you JA That's the kind of common sense tact and respect which I feel has been missing throughout this process. The truth will set us all free!!

Are you even aware of what you say anymore, man?

(I love how you address questions directed you, as well..)

Yr a pointless waste of time dude. I think I'd rather talk to a pair of Forests than listen to your illogical douchebaggery.

Yr still an ass.

rvance
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
John, FWIW, I can give you my full name and particulars off line regarding the Totem Forests (2pair), Winds(2pair) and Hawks I've owned. All were purchased from Surround Sounds in Exton, Pa (owner is Ron McGill). Say hi to Lucy for me...she is sweet isn't she?

Okay, who is THIS dlb?? Did you start back up with the Prozac? I was recoiling at the "2 Clowns backpedaling" knee-jerk dlb. THIS dlb sounds almost human!

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

This shit is like politics...people hear what they want to hear and agree with what they feel comfortable with. All I wanted to do is highlight a discrepancy between what EL experienced and myself and JA and LG and pretty much everyone else who's ever heard the speakers set up properly and in working order.

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

See my last response to rvance and try to calm down. I was just trying to reinforce JA's continued efforts toward resolving this debacle (that's why I answered myself)..please forgive me for the deuschbaggery! I re-read some of your early posts on this subject and find alot to agree with....I'm not you however, so don't expect me to follow your approach to writing. I'm not trying to please anyone or engratiate myself either, nor am I attempting to uphold some sort of journalistic integrity. It's only me and my take on the situation as I see it...forgive me for offending your sensibilities

dave_b
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Forgot to tell you where I ended up after the Evolution and subsequent ARC gear I cashed in (had Mcintosh stuff as well, but that's another story). I went back to Krell FPB gear...KCT, 400Cx and undecided currently on a permanent disc spinner, although I have a Sony XA5400ES which sounds awfully good for the $$$...maybe I'll have it modded. The sweetness is back, the liquid treble, dynamics and warmth with definition...no lack of color or brittlness.

jamesgarvin
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:
As I said in the follow-up, Totem's Lucy Lentini admitted that our review samples of the Forest had been used by several dealers before being sent to Erick and had not gone through Totem's QA procedure beforehand. It is possible that they had been abused before being sent to Erick but didn't fail catastrophically until he had finished his auditioning.

We have returned the Forest samples to Totem and I will check with Vince Bruzzese what he found was the cause of the frozen woofer when I see him at next week's Montreal Show.

John, this sort of raises a question, in light of Totem's manufacturer's comment. Had he not received the speaker back before essentially calling EL deaf? I would have thought it reasonable for them to at least listen to the speaker before charging EL deaf and not fit for reviewing audio equipment. It would certainly not be the first time that a manufacturer claimed a reviewed product defective in some way.

Now, if that is the case, will Totem apologize to EL and Stereophile for its premature comments? Perhaps Mr. B will tell you in Montreal.

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:

Quote:
We have returned the Forest samples to Totem and I will check with Vince Bruzzese what he found was the cause of the frozen woofer when I see him at next week's Montreal Show.

John, this sort of raises a question, in light of Totem's manufacturer's comment. Had he not received the speaker back before essentially calling EL deaf?

No, the speakers arrived back at Totem after Vince had seen the preprint of the follow-up to a follow-up we had sent him in order that he could write a Manufacturer's Comment.

A thought belatedly strikes me, BTW, in that I have just remembered that I also had a woofer failure, when I wrote my recent follow-up of Totem's Mani-2. (See http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/462/index8.html .) Could there be a power-handling problem with the drive-units Totem uses?

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Lick-T
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


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Now, if that is the case, will Totem apologize to EL and Stereophile for its premature comments?

For what its worth, I don't feel I'm owed an apology, nor am I waiting on baited breath for one. I would, however, like Stereophile and Totem to return to normalized relations in the future.

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


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A problem developed toward the end of the review period: I was hitting the speakers hard with solo bass guitar, to try to unmask midrange colorations, when one of the pair, serial no. M2MA2922, developed a crackle on sustained bass notes between 60 and 100Hz, and started to sound boomier than it had before. As the other speaker, serial no. M2MA2923, continued to behave correctly, I assume this was a one-off problem rather than an indication of limited LF power handling.

Well, that might acount for the boominess I heard in the Totems, but I certainly heard no crackles - even with my ear next to the driver, as I did at one point in the review.

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....


Quote:

John, this sort of raises a question, in light of Totem's manufacturer's comment. Had he not received the speaker back before essentially calling EL deaf? I would have thought it reasonable for them to at least listen to the speaker before charging EL deaf and not fit for reviewing audio equipment. It would certainly not be the first time that a manufacturer claimed a reviewed product defective in some way.

Exactamente!

Great post.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

Regardless, you have gone to great lengths to unearth the problems of why Eric heard what he heard. I know of no other pub that would have jumped through the hoops you all have. It does raise questions for me.

1.) If I was the MFG I would get EL a new pair (if he was willing) and try and reaffirm what the previous reviewers heard and enjoyed. I don't think that any of us are shaken by a defective product as long as the MFG reacts in a positive way and does what they can to make it right. For me, I am still waiting for Totem to do this.

2.) I was surprised that with the follow up there was such a short MFG comment about the findings. With all the fizz that came out of the bottle months ago, I think something else needs to be said beside "go visit one of our dealers and judge for yourself". attitude. Rather than the Fizz being so profuse, the MFG should be thanking Phile for finding out the problem for them. No one doubts the poorer performance that results from a seized driver, but the huge reaction to a defect possibly unknown was certainly unwarranted in my opinion. I read early on in EL's review that he at least recommended them to his friend over of hundreds of other contenders, and did his best to like them, is not to be dismissed.

The other final thing that strikes me odd is that AD seems to get a serious amount of attention when it comes to the set up of gear at his home, which I think is a very smart thing for a MFG to do. Would it have been so hard with the findings of EL that the local Totem dealer may have taken a ride up to EL's place for a quick listen to find out what was going on. That would have been proactive, rather then just the negative reaction that followed, still not knowing the truth of it all.

There is still more to be learned from this episode, but whether or not fences can be mended at this point is anybody's guess. From the last MFG comment, I doubt it. The final MFG's comment has still not rinsed out the bad taste in my mouth from the aftermath of the original review. I am glad that EL has moved on.

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

John A. I want to thank you for your editorial. So many of us 'bust our butts' to make a better quality design, and someone thinks that they can just repackage a much cheaper (even if it is a very good) design. I believe this derives from the cynicism that many have after believing in ABX type tests, as is most probably run by HK. They WILL ruin the audio industry.

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Re: Totem Acoustic Forest Follow Up To The Follow UP....

John,

I have to say that it is extremely disturbing for me to see the drumbeat continue for throwing this problem back at Totem. I think they should have QC'd the pair before they went back out the door to Stereophile, but let's be fair and follow this episode in context. Dropping a not so subtle "bomb" regarding driver power handling capabilities adds fuel to the fire and is simply unfair. In my experience, using good quality amplification, I could drive the Forests to extremely high output levels for extended listening sessions (Krell 400cx or even my 400xi could command them well with no concerns or damage). After re-reading the posts and the follow up articles again, I still place the majority of my suspicion in EL's lap. His admission of overdriving the Forests with excessive bass material makes my spidey senses tingle more than a bit...perhaps some guilt is seeping out? All I can say is that none of my 6 pairs of totem speakers ever protested under heavy use and all of them produced extremely spacious, holographic and musical sound

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