Saturday fun with Tekton, Mistral, and Totem! (Three examples of hi-fi excellence)

Since I’m stuck inside for the day, I thought I’d take a moment to riff about the Mistral BOW A2’s, the Tekton Design Double Impacts, and the Totem Acoustic Hawks.

Mistral Audio

Tekton Design

Totem Acoustic


S Gals says:

Excellence is a bit far, IMO. Unless you like extreme SPLs, I would say a pair of monitors and a sub will outperform in this price range.

kwazykilla87 says:

Boy I wish you’d listen to the B&W700 line especially the 702S2

Scot Smith says:

Do I sense a future blind 3-way, know what i mean nudge nudge wink wink, know what i mean? I enjoyed the last one you did with the Totem Sky and co., even with the obvious limitations (caveat listenor?)

Yippie says:

Why not play all three for us? Arrghhhh. 🙂 Pretty please.

19Graywulf says:

Hi Sean, I took a plunge and ordered a pair of BOW-A2 unheard for a self Xmas pressy (2017). No local dealer, and spoke to the only dealer/importer in another city, who has a pair himself. I’d agree about the boxing being a little ‘light’ Mine had all the foam and reinforcement on each corner. But would have expected a ‘double boxing’ like yourself, as they were shipped direct from the dock. Equipment connected, Oppo BD105D, and either a MingDa MC-34AB 70 watt integrated, or a pair of TRI M88SE 50 watt monoblocks with an ASL AQ2006 mk1 pre amp {re-capped}. Cabling is Canare both line and speakers. Comparison speakers I own are a set of 3 way Peerless and the WAD KSL9 {my previous main speakers, audax aerogel drivers}. The peerless are far more ‘one note’ bass and almost OTT, the Mistral’s are not as overpowering, but boy do they produce some solid bottom end. I use the Paris by night track by Curved Air as a regular ‘test track’ repetitive, but almost 3 minutes of mainly ‘top scales’ on a grand, then changes into more bass oriented. The Bow A2 are very detailed and revealing, if anything a little ‘too’ revealing. Harsh/poor recordings on a CD are reproduced as such. They can get a bit ‘Honky’ in sound in those instances… {caveat, I still have less that 250 hours on them} They are not as position critical as the peerless, but fussier than the KLS9’s. Tube rolling, or, maybe some Mundorf’s may ‘tame’ that critical top end down. Compared to the KLS, they are more detailed, produce a far better image, the peerless really are a very poor 3rd place. Listening to CD’s like Paul Simon’s {essential} is an absolute pleasure. The bass is not overpowering in a small/med sized room and they are not ‘ideally’ placed as in the Terry London review. On the paris by night track, the bass goes pretty deep, but the band used 3 instruments ‘overlaid’, Grand piano, double bass, then electronic. The A2’s do show their ‘limits’ on the very depths, but then SS amplification may well offset any ‘roll off’ that I can hear. One thing that is very nice is the A2’s clearly reproduce each individual instrument, something I have head a lot of systems/speakers struggle with on that track. Overall for the price I think these are bloody good value, they drive easily, produce a lovely open soundstage, detailed, lively, good bass {sub woofer really is an optional/not needed for music} { I suspect that replacing the spirit MKP’s etc will lift them to a much higher level.} Like the MC34AB, they punch well above their price range.

Scott Lowell says:

The Tekton’s tweeter array has me at a loss. So many technical reasons why that won’t be accurate or fidelity.

Chris West says:

will cleaning a speaker rubber surrounds damage the rubber over time? thanks. getting worried

Buen Provecho TV says:

I have both the Hawk’s and the Double Impacts. I can’t agree with you more, even though the double impacts produce beautiful sound the Hawk’s are simply more revealing. The Hawk’s put out a holographic three dimensional sound stage and disapear. It is mind blowing to hear the Hawk’s bass response which pretty much doesn’t fall too short from the double impacts with their four 10″ drivers. I completely understand your metaphor when you stated that the Hawk’s dig down on the recording.

Eric says:

Hey. Any chance you have had time with the Kef LS50. Just got a pair and I am having a hard time liking them.

Next Nexit says:

I want to hear the loudspeakers,not your voice.

Nick Damianides says:

I wish I could buy those tektons in Greece while not worrying about any shipping damages and paying twice as much …

Philip Gana says:

Hey buddy could u please review Tekton’s Urus?

Nick Burklow says:

Looking over the Mistral Audio site, I don’t see any dealers or ordering options listed for the US market. Any idea how one would buy their products in the US if one wanted to acquire a set of these?

Calvin Curry says:

How about The Salk Song 3 s or the Nola Contenders around The $3000 mark?

Calaf_72 says:

Thank you. I do not understand the beef some people have with stuff manufactured in China. Not everything made there is cheap or cheaply made. Actually we get our hands on really cool equipment that we would never be able to afford some years ago just because companies can produce their amps and speakers there.

ufopulse says:

The Hawk appears to use a ScanSpeak revelator driver… good stuff

Barry D'Souza says:

Thanks for sharing your opinions on these; always appreciated.
I’ve narrowed down my search for my next upgrade to the Double Impacts, the SVS Ultras/Primes or the DefTech Mythos ST-Ls (or the new 9080x, not a fan of bipolar speakers though).
Any thoughts on the above 3 (comparison wise) that you can share? Maybe even a dedicated video discussing these..?
Either way, thanks for your contribution to the audiophile world.

Ro main says:

hi, i’m a french guy who can’t wait anymore for your feedback on the mistral BOW-A2!!!
did you listen music with the one whitch is not broken? how the sound is? and comparing to b&w, cabasse, etc…how does it sound because i’m really interessed but i can’t ear them before buying :/
thank for your attention, your review , it’s great even if i can’t understand everything

Zero Fidelity says:

A few things that I wish I would have mentioned in this video:

1) If I sound slower than usual, it’s because I haven’t slept in awhile. But psh. Who needs sleep when ya have great music and great hi-fi?

2) The Mistral BOW A-2’s truly are the real deal. Even with careless placement and one damaged speaker, it’s obvious that these towers offer up some serious performance for the cash. The fact that they are sexy AF is a nice bonus.

3) So I just realized that there’s another reviewer who covered both the Mistral BOW A-2’s as well as the Tekton Double Impacts. After looking at his work, it looks we’ve experienced a lot of the same gear. It’ll be interesting to see if I land on the same page as this guy.

4) No, I do not evaluate, let alone seriously compare speakers in the side-by-side configuration that you see in this video. No product should be disadvantaged during a serious comparison. I have everything set up this way for fun, and for badass picture opportunities.

5) Some of you will complain about there being no sound clips in this video. I will do what I can to restrain myself from saying what I *really* want to say about that.

Martin Tousignant says:

Two Mistral Bow A2 factors you didn’t mention: 1) lower price ($2300 US vs. $3000 for the Totem and Tekton), and 2) more forward room placement is required (they have rear ports). Otherwise choose on taste!


really you like Totem?? I worked for 2 years and half in the local hifi store and they was Totem retailer. I know well every model. My final assestment is: they are fake. They sound too much elegant (live music is rough, in some sort) so they are not close to true music. They are too little, too little speakers and too little cabinets, they offer a little model of sound but not true sound. Have you ever listened to music with a 12″ woofer? if yes you will agree with me that Totem bass is invisible! And we had technical problem with those speakers: the subwoofer never worked and their top speaker model, named Wind”, is impossible to drive. It is an awful load for amplifiers, and they oscillate to motorboating. One day we retired a pair from a client and we tried it, and the sound was strange. To be short, we opened one speaker and one woofer, just one, was factory connected with contrary phase! terrible! I never expected this factory error from a twelve grand speaker! best regards from NE Italy CIAO. Gian

itoosh says:

Great review.
One of the best hi-fi channels in youtube!

sid vicious says:

Sean, your room is set up like a dealers show room. You are enjoying this aren’t you. Is the company still sending you the replacement tweater and are you waiting on that to arrive before you do a full review of the Mistral? We got to get you to get in a set of highend Sonus Fabers in.

Calvin Curry says:

Hey zero fidelity. There are some very nice speakers from Salk Audio,Nola, Gallo around the $3000.00 point. Esp the Salks. Have you ever reviewed any thing from these companys?

Ty Ger says:

I hope you never go away from YouTube.

Philip Gana says:

Hey buddy could u please review Tekton’s Urus?

Chad Ridsdale says:

Hi there. Thanks for all the good vids. I’m looking to upgrade my towers which will be primarily stereo but also ht use. I have auditioned the paradigm 85f, the focal aria 948 and totem forest signature. I really like all of them but I have a bit more positive emotional response to the focal. The speakers will be in my living room / kitchen about 600 square feet. I dont have a sweet spot and tend to move around on the room. I am really interested in the tekton double impact. The problem is I live in Canada so the shipping is not a free audition. Plus when you add in the 35% exchange rate it puts these tektons close in price. Have you ever had a chance to compare any that I have listed to the tektons DI? THANKS for your help. Chad.

Wat Dis says:

Any chance you can review Golden Ear Tritons? Your vids almost always feature highly rated interesting speakers, so kinda surprised you havent gotten to GE’s Triton range yet. Thanks.

Joel Doxtator says:

Chinese speaker drivers are actually really good. They always have very flat frequency responses and are very easy to integrate into crossovers. I would pick HiVi or LCY over Seas or Scanspeak any day. You get very similar quality at much reduced price point. Only real step up is to go to the big boys the Audiotechnology Flex Units and they cost an arm and a leg.

Julia Set says:

I designed a set of speakers in the 70’s with multiple midranges and tweeters arrayed in concentric circles. The crossovers rolled off each outer circle as the frequency went up until at the top only the center tweeter was singing. The imaging was phenomenal. I miss those speakers. I don’t know if that is what Tekton is doing, but if it is I want to hear them.

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