Totem's on Fire

Have you ever attended one of those speaker demos where a large pair of floorstanding speakers were supposedly playing, and then it was revealed that the speakers playing were small hidden ones? (I recall Joseph Audio doing one of these.) Well, it was something like that in the Totem room, but not intentionally. The speakers that I thought were playing were the Metal floorstanders ($12,000/pair) and I was particularly impressed by the deep, dynamic bass produced by these speakers.

And then . . . in discussing the performance of the speakers with designer Vince Bruzzese, I found out that the speakers playing were not the Metals but the much smaller bookself-type Fires ($6000/pair) that were behind them, against the wall! Bruzzese was not trying to fool anyone; he was just alternating playing the speakers in the front and in the back. I listened some more—to what I then knew were the Fires—and continued to be impressed. The bass was certainly helped by the against the wall placement, but then that’s part of the Fire’s design.