#TBT: Look Back at Totem Unveiling No-Crossover Element Speakers

Back in 2010 Stereo Exchange hosted a sneak preview of Totem’s new loudspeaker line, which was unveiled at CES 2011.


For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we go back to late 2010 when CE Pro’s Jason Knott previewed Totem’s Element Loudspeakers leading up to the 2011 CES.

When Totem Acoustic’s founder Vince Bruzzese has an idea, nothing is going to stop him. His latest vision took five years to come to fruition, culminating in the form of the new Element Loudspeakers that feature no crossover components to manage the driver arrays.

The Element line has models that follow one of the five basic elements in nature: Wood (center channel), Fire (monitor), Earth (tower), Metal (tower, twin woofers) and Water (subwoofer). The speakers have “very interesting inter-relationships with each other,” Totem says, and have the ability to strike “the perfect balance between function and form.”

Bruzzese has succeeded in creating a broad soundstage by eliminating any active or passive crossovers in the woofer.

The line was unveiled during a special preview at Stereo Exchange in Manhattan. Company owner Dave Wasserman hosted the press at his showroom to see and hear Totem’s newest line, which will officially be unveiled at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas (Jan. 6-9). Wasserman had a listening area set up and two other areas showcasing Totem speakers.

Technology Innovations
The Element loudspeakers include several technical innovations developed by Totem. First, each model features Totem’s 7-inch Torrent hand-assembled drivers and an exclusive magnetic technology. The Element woofers, built in-house, have a precision-machined chassis that are not molded or stamped. Each driver has three hours of machining time devoted to it and four-plus hours for assembly and testing.

The thick, stainless steel aluminum-based voice coils are under-hung within the magnetics and fully immersed in a localized magnetic field. This specialized enclosure-like cradle holds multiple claw-shaped magnetic segments that allow for a full 1-inch throw of the driver. The 7-inch cone is fully rear damped yet light and stiff. All Element drivers have free air resonances in the 16Hz to 17Hz range.

The reason for the magnetic and construction is to make the Element series use “no active or passive crossover parts” in the woofer. Once this challenge is resolved, it offers advantages in clarity and phase correctness with control and accuracy both on and off axis. The crossover-free network in the woofer path allows for a broad soundstage and unfettered flow of information, sound and energy.

The tweeter is already used in Tribe V. 3/8-inch thick faceplate and finned aluminum alloy.

“It was five years of work,” says Bruzzese, who said the design was inspired by the Hallbach Array, a special design in which magnetics are used to augment and cancel each other. The array is the basis for maglev high-speed train locomotion. “I call it the Totem array,” says Bruzzese, adding that “the larger room the better” to handle the huge imaging produced by the Element loudspeakers.

Three units are currently available (Fire, Earth and Metal) with the center channel (Wood) and subwoofer (Water) out in Feb. 2011.


Width: 8.81 inches; Height: 16.6 inches; Depth: 11.7 inches
Frequency Response: 40Hz to 22 kHz
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 88 dB
Recommended Power: 50W to 150 w
MSRP: $ 5995.00

Width: 11.7 inches; Height: 39.5 inches; Depth: 15.4 inches
Frequency Response: 31Hz to 22 kHz
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 88 dB
Recommended Power: 50W to 200 w
MSRP: $ 8995.00

Width: 11.7 inches; Height: 43.5 inches; Depth: 14.9 inches
Frequency Response: 30Hz to 22 kHz
Impedance: 4 ohms
Sensitivity: 91 dB
Recommended Power: 50W to 300 w
MSRP: $ 12 995.00

About the Author

Jason Knott
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.




CESTotem Acoustic