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Old 03-17-2019, 09:00 PM
Parabellum Parabellum is offline
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Default Help me hunt for a new pair of speakers

Hey!

I currently have my speakers since 7 years now and really enjoy them, but I feel it's time now to upgrade to something different. They are Totem Mani-2 Signature in maple finish as you can see in the picutre (these are actually mines but from an another ad some years ago).

As excellent as they are, they have some drawbacks. First, the load. It's 4 ohms at 85 db and they require a lot of power since this is an isobaric configuration. Before I had a McIntosh MC252 and I felt they would have needed a MC452 or Bryston 4B SST2 to really sing. Next, this is not a speaker to play loud and the metallic tweeter requires good electronics to not sound edgy.

Their sound is rich and plentiful. They really can make the room shake when properly driven. Now my modest modified Yamaha CA-1000 is quickly showing signs of fatigue when the speakers are pushed. True, I could find another amplifier up to the task but there is this desire to move to something else but also I often feel that I have to make compromise with the choice of amplification.

I wish to find a sound signature similar to them, but with an easy load of 8 ohms and better efficiency. My budget is 4-5K on the used market.

There are some models that I have found interesting. The PMC twenty5.24 is one of them. I remember I heard the OB1i at an audio show and was very impressed with the PMC sound. But still, the twenty5.24 is a two way design and I know that even my Mani-2 Signature cannot dig on some material. Before them, I had a pair of Harbeth C7 ES3 which I sold quickly because I felt they were truly lacking that grunt and weight that I like. And before them, I had the Verity Audio Rienzi. This is a 3 ways design and the bass and transparency was much better than my M2S. The thing is that I felt they needed to be cranked to sound better since only the mid is working at low volume. That's is a reason why I like a 2 ways design since the woofer is always working. Maybe I didn't have a good 3 ways design that would blend the frequencies more seamlessly.

The M2S has Dynaudio woofers. And I really like the sound of the Dynaudio Focus range. The thing is that they are 4 ohms. Maybe they would be easier to drive than that isobaric configuration.

My room is 16 ft wide X 25 feet deep but I sit halfway at 13 ft. Ceiling height is 7.5 ft all drywalled. Listening space is fully soundproofed with Roxul. Equipment consist of a Yamaha CA-1000 restored/modified and is 70W at 8 ohms. Front ends DAC and source are Bryston BDA-3 and BDP-2.

I don't like a lean sound or too much clarity as it exacerbates my ears. I like a plentiful sound with meat on the bones. Based on all this, what would you recommend to have a look at?

Thanks!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mani-2 sig.jpg (27.4 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4429.jpg (84.5 KB, 94 views)
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Last edited by Parabellum; 03-17-2019 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:21 PM
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audio bill audio bill is offline
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Hello Serge! I used to own the original Totem Mani-2 speakers, and they're quite a unique design. With their dual woofer (one internal) in an isobaric configuration they achieve an unusual amount of bass extension for a monitor speaker. Totems have always been known for their soundstaging ability and being able to recreate a sense of the recording's space. I'm sure that the Signature versions are further improved, so to replace them with something significantly better may prove to be a relatively costly endeavor. In order to help you with some possible suggestions we would need to know some additional details... what is your target budget range, do you want another monitor or would you consider a floor standing speaker, what electronics do you have or plan on using, and what types of music you primarily listen to? Hopefully we can come up with some ideas for your consideration.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:36 PM
Parabellum Parabellum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audio bill View Post
Hello Serge! I used to own the original Totem Mani-2 speakers, and they're quite a unique design. With their dual woofer (one internal) in an isobaric configuration they achieve an unusual amount of bass extension for a monitor speaker. Totems have always been known for their soundstaging ability and being able to recreate a sense of the recording's space. I'm sure that the Signature versions are further improved, so to replace them with something significantly better may prove to be a relatively costly endeavor. In order to help you with some possible suggestions we would need to know some additional details... what is your target budget range, do you want another monitor or would you consider a floor standing speaker, what electronics do you have or plan on using, and what types of music you primarily listen to? Hopefully we can come up with some ideas for your consideration.
Thank Bill, I was editing my post prior your reply as I hit the "submit" button by mistake.

I really like film music scores, from Hans Zimmer as an example. I am not into jazz at all, I enjoy the likes of Enya, Loreena McKennitt, music of the world, some classic from time to time. I like also well recorded acoustic music. Some Depeche Mode and death metal depending how I feel

I too often find piano is rough on my ears, unfortunately. Another thing, I will need the speaker for some TV watching and 2.0 home cinema.
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Last edited by Parabellum; 03-17-2019 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:50 AM
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You're certainly correct about the Mani-2s being a difficult load, due to a combination of their low sensitivity and isobaric loaded woofer configuration. I'm not surprised that your Yamaha at 70wpc into 8 ohms is being taxed driving the Totems. Since you seem to like their sound one choice would be to keep the speakers and invest in better amplification, but it seems like you've got the itch to try some different speakers. Since you're looking in the used market I'd suggest sticking with brands that you've previously been impressed with like PMC or Dynaudio which you specifically mentioned. Neither of those are of generally high sensitivity designs but wouldn't likely be as demanding a load as the Totems.

Unfortunately the only way to know how a given speaker will work with your existing amp or even another one you may choose is to try the combination in your room. The size of your listening space is also a consideration since it's pretty large which is going to also demand more power from the amp. If you have a local dealer who sells used gear seeing what they have available would be the best place to start since you could likely arrange to borrow used gear from them to try in your system before a purchase.

You can buy used gear from various online sources or dealers, but it can be a risk since you won't be sure that you'll like a given set of speakers better than what you already have. Shipping speakers back and forth can be costly and most individual sellers of used gear do not accept returns. Sorry I can't provide more specific suggestions but given your situation I think those are the options you should consider.
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:41 PM
Parabellum Parabellum is offline
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Thanks Bill, I totally agree with what you wrote. Right now I am looking at a pair of Verity Audio Fidelio with the Encore upgrade. Verity Audio facilities are 2 hours from my home so it would be easy to go there and perform the upgrade. Fidelio Encore are 8 ohms (minimum 6) at 89 db. Sellers accept I can go audition before purchase. I am more worried about listening at low volumes since it's a 3 ways design.

Also, there is a discounted brand new pair of Dynaudio Excite X44 on canuck audio mart. These things are beast and would outperform my Mani-2 Sig even in deep bass at 27 Hz. They are more efficient at 89 db instead of 85 like the M2S. That would be a good choice for listening music and home cinema even if they are 4 ohms. The choice of amplifier will not last forever, as I may find the itch to upgrade sooner than expected. The CA-1000 is a very good amplifier with all the modifications I performed but it is no match to my previous McIntosh setup (MC252 + C46). Not the same league but I know how my M2S can sound and so far, they do not sing as with the Mc.
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:36 PM
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Best of luck Serge, and please let us know how things progress with your mission!
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:37 PM
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Hi Serge,
There will be the Salon du Son de Montréal this week-end.
Maybe it will be a good thing to go since you are not too far from Montréal.
C’est dommage but only you will know what work best in your room.
Bonne chance.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:42 PM
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I think the PMC twenty5.24 retails for around $7,500 which would be over your 4-5k budget. Even the twenty5.23 is over budget at $5,500. You could look at the twenty5.22 bookshelf speaker which would be in the budget range you listed. It uses the same drivers as the twenty5.24 but has a shorter transmission line. The bass output isn’t bad at 39Hz and it has an 8 ohm impedance with a sensitivity of 89db.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:13 PM
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Have you looked into an of the Bryston T series speakers?? Either Active or non-active they might just suit you needs!
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:16 PM
Parabellum Parabellum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PierreB View Post
Hi Serge,
There will be the Salon du Son de Montréal this week-end.
Maybe it will be a good thing to go since you are not too far from Montréal.
C’est dommage but only you will know what work best in your room.
Bonne chance.
Merci Pierre, yes I am anxiously waiting to Saturday to attend the show. There are many boots I wish to visit and have a chat with the manufacturers.
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