Totem Storm Sub

I’ve just brought a Totem Storm sub to go in my media room, running of a Nova and paired with Totem Hawks, I’m mainly looking a better lower end for Blu-ray movies.

For connections, I could use the RCA sub out from the Nova to the sub. But the sub will also take a speaker cable connection from the Nova and then take speaker outputs to the individual speakers using its cross-overs - I have a spare pair of NAC A5, so could do this and my dealer recommended it - is it the better approach?

@Blacknote, hi again.

I’ve just got the sub today, and have only tried it with music. It’s certainly very musical with tight and controlled bass. Most surprisingly it’s significantly improved the whole dynamics and scale.

I’m running it off a Nova with Totem Hawks. It’s close to the right speaker and was quite quick to get the gain set.

What source and amp are you running?

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Hi @Mike_S,

is your sub already broken in? If not, things should improve even more!

Your sub sounds so tempting! I’m surprised at your comments, I wouldn’t have expected such an improvement, but of course that is more than welcome! I would love to improve those two aspects as well. The Sky Towers’ bass is very enjoyable, articulate and balanced, but I would like a bit more punch from time to time (especially with movies and some soundtracks). I’ve never tried the Hawks, but they might have less bass than the Sky Towers (I might be wrong though).

Right now my amp is an Exposure 3010S2D and my source is a Naim NDX 2. The NDX 2 changed the game quite a bit and I had to change the position of my speakers, that’s why I was curious to know the impact of the Storm in your room. I’m curious to know what will happen when you add the sub to your Forest Signatures. By the way do you miss the sub in the other system or do you find it already complete and balanced?

Now I need to understand if I’d be better off with a new amp (or a NAC/NAP) or new speakers (or sub). What to do next? Difficult choices ahah.

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Hi @Mike_S, any progress with the Storm?

Hi @Blacknote, yes, I have it settling in nicely now. It takes a bit of fine tuning with the cross-over and gain settings, but I think I am there. It certainly adds quite a gain in the dynamics and scale of the presentation of music, which is very noticeable when you turn the sub on and off. I have the gain quite low (less than 9 o’clock), as the room is quite small at around 18 sqm. Off course, it does all the fancy stuff with sound effects on movies too! - though it’s not at the level of a pair of massive house moving large subs!

I’ve decided to keep it.

@Mike_S Thanks for your update.

Great news then! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it a lot especially now that you have found the best setup with the cross-over and gain (better for it to be low if you get a more organic and balanced presentation indeed).

I was wondering: have you compared it to other Totem subs as well?
I think you have chosen the best compromise, but I’ve always wondered how the Storm compares to the Thunder II.

I hope you are willing to try your sub with the Forest Signatures. I do wonder if it blends in well or if it’s better to keep those speakers alone.

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I haven’t been able to compare the others unfortunately, we have limited opportunities for testing here in New Zealand. I went into the Totem Facebook group and asked for feedback on matching with the Hawks, and the consensus was the Storm. For the media room, the Thunder II would be too much I think.

I will indeed, once my wife is back at work and I can try it out. We don’t really want a sub in our lounge though (well her…being the royal we). So the plan is to add some mono block power amps to the SN2 and see / hear what that does.

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On paper the Hawks go down to 32Hz and the Sky Towers 36Hz. When I got the sub, my dealer had the Sky Towers and he feels that the Hawks have the edge in bass, but the Towers are more musical - mind you, the Hawks have a very special soundstage like all the Totems. I think a Storm would be the right match with the Sky Towers?

Did you set the phase? That’s the first thing you need to do.

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Yes, it’s set to 0, as it’s next to the front right speaker:

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That might be right. The best way to set it is by ear. Play some music with a deep repetitive bass line. Sit in your spot and have someone flip between 0 - 180 in one of those two positions the bass will be louder and more pronounced. That’s the correct phase. Then you can go about setting cross over and volume.

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@Mike_S Thanks again for the update.

Really? I’m sorry for that, I wasn’t expecting it. I would be curious to try the Thunder II but the system would probably be quite unbalanced, especially if you mostly listen to music instead of watching movies. A Thunder II might be a better match with your Forest Signatures, but still I have many doubts, it might break their balance.

She might change idea after listening to it, who knows! Surely it’s not nice to have such a box in the room, but if she cares about sound quality as much as you do, you might have a hope. Fingers crossed!
By the way I’ll be waiting for your review (if you feel like sharing it).

That’s correct, but I wonder if you feel that or not. Numbers only say a part of the story, you can’t understand how the bass is articulated, I think. However, you tried them both and you surely have a better idea than me. How would you compare the bass between your Hawks and Signatures?

I love the Totem soundstange, that caught me immediately after I auditioned the first Totem speakers in my life. From that moment, I knew I had to get them sooner or later. The Storm would surely be a good match with my Sky Towers, but first I might consider upgrading to the Forests and do that later if needed according to the circumstances.

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