Totem Arro Vs. Sttaf


Have you heard both head to head? What differences did you hear? I have not the means to hear them in the same room, but am considering them for purchase.

Thanks for your opinion.
sandman012
Ckoffend - I have a big room (bigger than yours actually) with cathedral ceilings and lots of hard surfaces and I own the Hawks. They sound great in the proper listening position but not everyhwere in the room - a small speaker is not going to "fill the room" with quality off-axis response. The bass extension is not as great in my big room as advertsisd in the spec - the Hawks struggle below 40 Hz so I recently added two subs to fill out the sound and although hard to set up initially, they sound great. I think the Hawks will be fine in your room and even better if you add a quality sub of which there are many at affordable prices.

As for amplification, I have tried a few different things but for my tastes the Hawks sound best with lots of power. I tried a highly regarded 40 watt tube amp too and was disappointed across the board. I do have a tube preamp which really has added a richness to the sound and the 150 watts of Classe SS power provides the oomph the Hawks need.
Itball, were the subs hard to set up or the Hawks? If you are refering to the hawks, where is your final placement (obviously not the the inch, just a starting point). My room is nice and rectangular, but has a 6 foot wide doorway/passageway just to the side of one of the speakers (no reflection, but lost sound).

How far out from the back wall did you bring the hawks and how far apart? Just looking for a starting point.

I have a sub now, but am thinking I will replace it to integrate better with these speakers versus my old speakers. Any suggestions? I am definately budget minded.

thanks, CK
Ckoffend - the subs took some serious time to set up and integrate. The Hawks I found to be not very fussy to set up. I actually have them fairly close to my back walls (2 feet)and about 8 feet apart, ever so slightly toed-in. I have tried them in many positions and they sound pretty much the same. Definitely add lead shot or kitty litter or sand or whatever to the base - it tightens the bass - but do it iteratively - it's easy to put more in but harder to take out if you put in too much!

For the subs I found it important to find out exactly what my speakers were doing on their own first - ie. where did the bass actually begin to roll-off in my room? Then I set the subs crossover just above that point. Getting the volume right was tougher. Also found that even slight changes in placement of the subs made a big difference. I'm not flat but I'm close on most bass frequencies with the exception of one "hump" at 50-60Hz which is a room issue.
I'll offer my two cents since I own a ton of Totem speakers. I own both Arro and Sttaf in addition to 4 Dreamcatcher monitors, Dreamcatcher center, Storm subwoofer, and a pair of Totem Mite. I currently have the Arro set up with the Dreamcatchers and Storm in a 7.1 HT system, and the Sttaf in a stereo system all in the same room. I have the Mite set up as my desktop speakers with my computer. Anyway, back to the topic, since I have both the Arro and the Sttaf in the same room, I had some chance to do some side by side comparison. For stereo application, the Sttaf wins hands down, much fuller sound, much bigger soundstage, more musical. It definitely has a warmer sound than the Arro. If you prefer the tube sound over solid state, you will love the Sttaf. Arro on the hand is much brighter. Yes, it might provide more clarity, but I'm not sure how much of this is due to it's lack of the bottom end and its brighter nature. Since I also have the Storm sub, now I do not ever listen to the Arro in stereo mode without also using the sub. The Sttaf on the hand makes the sub redundant in stereo setting. BTW, I have driven these with an Arcam AVR300, a Simaudio I3, and a Marantz SR8500. On a side note, the Arcam AVR300 really is a very musical receiver in stereo setting that rivals many integrated amps and separates. I did find it a little lacking in its surround sound performance that I ended up replacing it with the Marantz SR8500 and the Simaudio I3. Although I think the Marantz SR8500 is a better surround sound performer, its stereo performance is not close to that or the Arcam AVR300.
Happybob,

You are finding/stating that the sub, combined with the Sttafs in stereo is redundent? Are you saying that you do not feel that the sttafs need a sub and can handle the bottom octaves sufficiently by themselves (again in stereo)? Don't get me wrong, I am not intending or implying that you are wrong, just a bit surprised.

My Hawks arrived today, but it will be a bit before I get them hooked up and burned in. I was planning on adding a REL subwoofer for either/both the Hawks and the Arros, and probably 2 (I will run one or the other pair of Totems as a zone 2 and planned to have a sub in that zone - stereo only).

Since your feeling is that the Sttafs don't need a sub, what type of bass would you say you are getting out of them and in what size room?

Thanks,