Montreal based speaker manufacturer Totem Acoustic has always been closely identified with company president and chief engineer Vince Bruzzese’s ability to defy expectations for what can be accomplished with bookshelf monitor loudspeakers. Refreshingly, throughout Totem’s expanding journey into free-standing, on-wall, and in-wall speakers the Canadian company has managed to avoid being associated with bloated pricing and to the consumer’s benefit has always kept a keen focus on the nexus between value and performance.
Totem recently garnered a good bit of attention when it released the Sky monitor and its slightly silkier sister, the Signature One monitor, in quick succession. It seems in retrospect as if Totem was intentionally tipping its hat to their early monitor heavy days showing yet again they are not afraid to push the limits of how a fairly priced standmount speakers can be expected to look and perform. It is natural then that riding the success of the Sky Monitor and Signature One releases, Totem would be interested in squaring the circle one more time by releasing a complimenting floorstanding speaker which applies their very latest technology and design innovations. The Sky Tower purports to take the best traits of the Sky Monitor and brings Totem Acoustic’s signature sound to those who are interested in owning a high quality and affordable floorstanding speaker. As well, Totem states that the tower version of the Sky possesses the same DNA as the monitor but with more dynamic range, projects a larger soundstage and is compatible with a wider range of electronics.
The Sky Towers share the understated and elegant design that Totem has come to be identified with across their line up of speakers. Always defer to the fairer sex’s ability spot a winner on the design front, my Sky Towers experience got off to a strong start when my wife’s first off the cuff comment regarding the speakers was “Wow those look nice! I like those, can you keep them?… please?” My better half was not blowing smoke; the white satin finish Totem Sky Floorstanders I was shipped are quite visually arresting and I too found myself gawking at them for several seconds when set upright for the first time. While these speakers certainly are gracefully designed to catch your eye, what might not be readily apparent from the supplied pictures is the svelt size of the Sky Towers. At a 6.35’’ wide by 9.125’’ long base (add a few more inches to the base for the Claw Feet) and measuring only 33.4’’ high the Sky Towers offer a compelling coin-flip of design proportion. The towers are just big enough to make you pause and take good notice, and yet just small enough to invisibly slip away into your feng shui as if your room had always been built around the chief goal of procuring them. The well proportioned size for the Sky Tower, the trim lines, and expertly applied finishes (striking black ash veneer and mahogany veneers are also available) are sure to set a higher measure for how a reasonably priced speaker can stay in a constant architectural dialogue with your listening space regardless of room size. One special feature small dwelling listeners will find particularly appealing is Totem encourages the Sky Towers to be placed close to your back wall, as close as 12’’ actually. The close proximity to the back wall should free up even more of your precious living space and as I can confirm after experimenting extensively, “hugging” the wall indeed significantly enhances the bass response without ever making the output feel tubby, slow, or congested.