The arrangement of Totem's new Tribe 5 wall-mounted speaker in on of their rooms at SSI raised my eyebrows. I asked Totem's main man Vince Bruzzese what gives? "We must reach out to non-audiophiles!" he said, adding that this was one of the impetuses behind the launch of the "skins" that Art Dudley wrote about above. "By arranging these speakers in an unconventional manner but showing that they can still play music, we reduce the fear non-audiophiles have." (My apologies if my paraphrase didn't capture the passion with which Vince spoke.) But the Trentemoller track I listened to, played on Chord CD transport, DAC, and amplifier, didn't sound any the worse for the unusual speaker setup.
The Tribe 5 uses four of the Torrent drive-units designed and made in-house by Totem and first seen in the Tribe 3 wall-mount, This unit is used without a low-pass filter, the unit being allowed to rolloff naturally in the treblethe only crossover components are thus the high-pass feed to the tweeter. Vince is developing a 7" drive-unit, with a revolutionary motor, with 52 small magnets arranged in an array so that the voice-coil remains within the magnetic gap at all times, this minimizing distortion.