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shaynegw
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What to look for in an amp?

Hi

I'm new to HiFi audio, and would like to know what kinds of things to look for in a new amp for our new Totem Model-1 Signature (4ohm) speakers? Our current Onkyo amp (TX-SR876) sounds kind-of anemic compared to the demos we heard.

BTW, the sound room is about 12x15ft and our tastes lead more towards blues and male/female vocalists (Sinead, Paulo Nutini, Dido, Tracy Chapman, Lucinda Williams, etc)

Our plan is to build out a new HiFi system, one piece at at time, built around the Totem Model-1 Signatures. Our dealer did suggest that Arcam, Marantz and Anthem would be a good fit. I'm thinking of maybe an integrated amp that I can use with our AVR (using HT bypass). Music is far more important to us the AV. Our budget is about $2000CAN

Thanks and take care,
Shayne

bierfeldt
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Taking a look at the measurements

This speaker was reviewed and measured by John Atkinson. Here are the measurements:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/totem-acoustic-model-1-loudspeaker-measurements#Hc9lVKABu5lBaU2y.97

As a Marantz owner and fan, it will not do to drive those speakers. Anthem will also be inadequate. These are low sensitivity, low impedance with a low of 3.6ohms. You need an amp that is stable at 2 ohms to drive them well and given the extremely low sensitivity, you need a lot of power. I would look for at least 150w into 4ohms.

The Peachtree Audio nova150 is one worth giving a listen too as it will easily drive those Totems and has a HT Bypass. The Roksan Kandy K2 BT might also be a good option. Not sure what the current exchange rate is but they should both be on budget for you and are definitely worth listening too.

The Creek Audio Evolution 100A would be a good choice but it is above your budge as would the Parasound Halo Integrated. Both are nice units that are highly regarded and are worth you going out and demoing if you can fit them into your budget.

The Rogue Audio Sphinx would be a lovely choice but it lacks a HT Bypass.

The Musical Fidelity M3si has a HT bypass but is not good with low impedance speakers. I have seen specific issues with it driving Dynaudio's which are similarly hard to drive and I think JA mentions that the Totems are actually using a Dynaudio driver.

I am unfamiliar with Naim and Rotel's lines. They may have something that is priced right and can do the job. Someone else may have a POV on them.

shaynegw
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Has much changed?

Thank you very much for the info it is very helpful.

I'm wondering though if the measurements have changed much from the original Model-1's reviewed and the 2016 Model-1 Signatures? I'd love to find a newer review (measurements) if you are aware of any.

Take care,
Shayne

bierfeldt
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There is a review at hometheaterhifi

There is a review at hometheaterhifi that had updated impedance with a floor of 3.9 ohms instead of 3.6. I can find nothing that would suggest the signatures were any more efficient.

shaynegw
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What about the Marantz PM-15S2 Limited Edition Integrated Amp?

As a fan of Marantz do you think the PM-15S2 Limited Edition Integrated Amp (140w into 4ohms) would drive these speakers?

bierfeldt
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Yes

based on the specs that should be fine and drive those speakers well. I was thinking of Marantz's base line and receivers which would be completely inadequate: The reference line should do just fine. I have a Marantz Reference DAC/Network player and the build quality is obscenely good. If it is priced right, that could be a good choice.

shaynegw
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Roksan Kandy K3

Thanks again

I've looking quite seriously at the Roksan Kandy K3 IA (140-watts per channel into 8 ohms, and 220-watts into 4 ohms)

Are there any questions I should ask? I'd be buying it new, but without being able to listen to it first.

Take care,
Shayne

shaynegw
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Roksan Kandy K3

Thanks again

I'm looking quite seriously at the Roksan Kandy K3 IA (140-watts per channel into 8 ohms, and 220-watts into 4 ohms)

I'm new to HiFi, are there any questions I should ask about the amp? I'd be buying it new, but without being able to listen to it first.

My inputs would be a turntable and cd, and possibly a network receiver down the road.

Take care,
Shayne

bierfeldt
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Couple things

First question I would ask is what is the return policy and is there a restocking fee. Until you get any piece of equipment home and in your room, you won't know exactly how it will sound. You might hate it and if you do, it would be nice if you could return the amp. I have purchased a couple products having never heard them based on conversations with dealers and been happy. However, I had lots of reference points and they were able to guide me to something I was happy with.

You heard your speakers driven by something at the dealer and liked them. What amp were they using? Share that and ask the dealers POV on how the Roksan will sound relative to it. They may be able to give you an idea if you will like it based on a point of comparison. This may decrease the likelihood that you will hate it

i have only heard the K2. I saw a review of the K3 out on Whathifi and the only critique is that the volume control is a little weird. I have no POV otherwise

shaynegw
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Primaluna ProLogue Premium Integrated Amplifier

Hi

We originally demoed the speakers with the Primaluna ProLogue Premium Integrated Tube Amplifier (35Wpc@8ohm). I asked but the dealer isn't familiar with the Roksan amps.

Take care,
Shayne

bierfeldt
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If you liked it with PrimaLuna

If you liked it with the PrimaLuna, you may not love the Roksan. PrimaLuna tends to be a bit warm based on my experience and Roksan more neutral. If you do opt for it, be certain you have a return policy. It might be fine but might not.

labguy
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Totems with PrimaLuna

Somebody knowledgeable please answer this.... If the Totems are low impedance and low sensitivity spakers, how are they being demo'd on a tube amp like the PrimaLuna? I wanted a PrimaLuna amp, but was under the impression that I needed high or relatively flat impedance curve speakers with a high sensitivity. So how can somebody say an Anthem wont work, but the PrimaLuna does? I'm beyond confused.

bierfeldt
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I like this article

Here is a simple explanation of impedance.

http://www.prestonelectronics.com/audio/Impedance.htm

There is a big difference between having a flat impedance curve vs a low impedance. The PrimaLuna ProLogue is rated for and can do a tremendous job with 4 ohm speakers. Now, the low efficiency on the Totems means that it won't get super loud but it will not waver and the sound won't get thin like some of the more underpowered, Class AB amps will. A more efficient speaker would be louder with the same power supplies to it.

My experience with Anthem and Marantz receiver is that they tend to sound very good driving speakers that don't have particularly low impedances. Any time you have speaker that has an impedance below 6 ohms, they tend to struggle to meet the power demands due to the relatively modest power supplies. Arcam, NAD and Cambridge all tend to use larger power supplies that can handle that higher level of power draw and do well with 4 ohm speakers.

shaynegw
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Thanks

Thanks for all the informative feedback.

In the end I found a Canadian dealer (Everest Audio) for the Roksan Kandy K3 and expect it to be delivered tomorrow :-)

All the best and take care,
Shayne

bierfeldt
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Good luck and please let us know what you think

Please let us know what you think of the Roksan and how it pairs with the Totem's. Context of how different it sounds vs your current setup would be great to hear.

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