Totem's The One

Totem Acoustics knows how to do a show. Each year, I'm impressed not only by the sound they achieve in their room, but by the room itself. To enter the Totem room is to leave the hotel behind, is almost like stepping outdoors, into a great, green forest. The ground is soft, the air is fresh and touched with cedar and pine. It's kind of strange, but I like it. I start to worry about bears and other things. Did I bring my compass and flashlight?

Over the last couple of shows, the only things missing were a sleeping bag, s'mores, and some new products. This year, Vince and Nico Bruzzese still forgot the sleeping bags and s'mores.

However, I'm happy to say they did demo the new on-wall Tribe III and gave a warm introduction to The One, a special version of their acclaimed Model 1, and a celebration of Totem's 20th anniversary.

The One will be available in all-new custom finishes, and features WBT Platinum binding posts, added bracing, and upgraded parts. The sound was what I've come to expect from Totem, smooth and clean with well-defined bass and excellent imaging. The One, the only speaker in the Totem line to receive the 20th Anniversary treatment, will cost $3500/pair and will be available this fall. Say September 1.

After delighting a large crowd of show goers with The One, Vince Bruzzese gave a short demo of the Tribe III. In mono. Leaning, so very casually, in a corner of the room (it might as well have been smoking a cigarette), the Tribe III, featuring Totem's new 3.5" woofer, absolutely filled the space with clean, natural sound. I was so impressed I thought I was being fooled. But there were no tricks involved. The Totem team spent over two years designing the woofer, and is so pleased there are plans to incorporate larger versions of the design into other loudspeakers in their line. Word is the new driver might be the very thing to inspire a speaker to fill the gap between the company's Forest and Wind. But that'll be for another show.

"Nico," I asked so very politely, "Would you please pose with The One for me?"

"Oh, no!" he declared.

"C'mon, please," I nearly begged.

"Not me, not this year. I'm still getting e-mails about that last photo you took of me. Ask Vince. Vince'll be happy to do it."