Totem Acoustic Hawk Speaker Review

This is my review of the overachieving Totem Acoustic Hawk speakers. This is the pair I picked for my personal hi-fi system. The midrange is just too sweet!

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anjinsan1977 says:

I went from a 50 wpc Naim to a 115 wpc Carver to a 200 wpc dual mono amp. What a difference the extra power made! I love how different this speaker sounds with new gear. 

Harry T says:

Very nice review !

Siong Chan says:

Hi there, I too own a pair of Totem Hawks and I do agree that they stand out in Totem’s floorstander line (I find them even better than the higher Forest model – mainly with the Scanspeak Revelator driver). I wanted to draw your attention to the Creek Evo 5350 integrated (120wpc into 8Ohms and 200wpc into 4Ohms). There is just something magical about this pairing, I hear a lot of details and ambience cues. I hear texture in voices (vs. voices being sweet but glossed over). Check it out!

Photo314159 says:

Great sounds good. I agree about the Revelator driver, I was thinking of putting some in my car even, lol. I sell Creek as well, I just haven’t put them together yet. I’ll check it out thanks!

José Juan G. Belman says:

Hi, I do not speak English properly, I know they are two different types of speakers. For simple taste. Which one did you like best, Revel Performa3 M106 or Totem Hawk? Which is more detailed, with better bass? Thank you

Photo314159 says:

@Parkflyers I assume you mean the now discontinued Focus 360? I really can’t say since I have not heard that particular speaker, although I would guess by looking at specs that the Dynaudio will play louder and have more impact, while the 2 way Hawks midrange purity should be superior. I can’t comment on soundstaging since I haven’t heard those particular Dynaudios, but the Hawks are stellar in this category, so they’ll be tough to beat. Dynaudio makes some nice speakers to though.

MKI4EVA says:

Your reviews are awesome dude. If only you could include a small demo…..hehehhe just to liven the vid up a tad : ).

Bau Kiki says:

Try to drive this totem with BAT vk 60 , 75 or 150 tube amp. You will be surprised. They beat my 200watts Aragon solid state amp and not even close.

corpsecart says:

@Parkflyers they are 2 totally different speakers . one a fully 3 way and the other is a 2 way. if you have a small room the totem wil be a better match but anything larger will need the 360. as for sound with the 360 you will have significantly deeper bass and the tweeter is also of better quality. i personally own a pair of 140, and was also considering the hawks but i preferred the treble sweetness of the dynaudio. be aware that the dynaudio are power hungry as well… i drive them with 300w

José Juan G. Belman says:

Hi, I do not speak English properly, I know they are two different types of speakers. For simple taste. Which one did you like best, Revel Performa3 M106 or Totem Hawk? Which is more detailed, with better bass? Thank you

Photo314159 says:

Yeah I wish I could. Every time I try to put music in, YouTube gives me a copyright notice. I don’t want strikes on my account or they cancel it.

Paul Davis says:

Is there a comparable Rotel amp that would drive these well? Cheers!

alfred tolentino says:

Are these ‘touchy’ when comes to placement?

RR redaxis says:

test that shit already damit

Photo314159 says:

@upstateaudio Good, yeah they’re pretty awesome!

Vladimir Pandovski says:

You mentioned NASA at least once, thank God! Hehe 😀

Photo314159 says:

It varies on finish and country, but in the US currently they start at just under $3,000 a pair.

Jean-Paul Phan says:

Do you think I will be able to drive them with a musical fidelity integrated amp? I was planning to get the m3si which is 85w integrated amp with the focal aria 926. But the Hawk are basically the same price. I found the focal lacks of bass so I thought the totem would be a good pick instead. Tell me what you think

Stephjam63 says:

I had the fortunate experience to hear those bad boys last week when I was auditioning a NAD C 375BEEE integrated amp. I couldn’t believe the wonderful soundstage and deep bass that came out of those speakers. Wow!  Including some sound from those speakers in the video would not have done them justice.            

corpsecart says:

@Photo314159 btw the mani-2 are the hardest of totem 2 way speaker to drive . as they are known as amplifier slayers hehehehehehe

Mike Freer says:

Where are you located? I am in Columbus Ohio. Thanks, Mike

Photo314159 says:

I believe it. I don’t have one to try though, but I bet it sounds good.

APESHIT Airsoft says:

Good review!
Been listening to the hawks for bout 5 years now. In the beginning single amped them with a mass load of around 4 pound each speaker cabinet. But after a year or so, I switched to bi-amp the hawks with about 135watts per channel. Had to get rid of the mass loading then to get them to my taste in my room. Added 2 beaks per hawk, wich brought in just a bit more in high and tighten the low a bit. Might try that out yourself maybee.

A realy nice speaker for a very reasonable price imho

Gary Cooper says:

I bought these speakers recently to “upgrade” from Totem Sttafs and so far it has been a big problem for me. I have blown 3 drivers in a short amount of time. I have a Rotel RB 1070 amplifier, which is rated at 130 watts per channel at 8 ohms. Based on this review I was under the impression that the Hawks really need to be driven at 200+ watts to be at their best, so I was not concerned when I bought them that my amp puts out more like 190 watts at 6 ohms. I do like to play my music at a fairly loud level on occasion, but these Hawks fry out on me at well below the volume that my dearly beloved Sttafs used to handle. They seem to play at a lower volume at a higher level on the volume control knob than the Sttafs did. They start clipping somewhere around 10:30-11 o’clock on the dial, but the Staffs used to put out the same volume at a lower level (at least that is my ear’s recollection).

Right now I am sort of afraid to use these things. The drivers are $225 with shipping, and I am on number 3. Don’t know if I should just cut my losses and go back to the Sttafs, change/”upgrade” my amp, or if maybe there is actually something wrong with the amp this is showing up with the Hawks that never showed up with the Sttafs. Any thoughts? Help! Thank you.

phantasm1004 says:

Hey Clint, what does price run roughly for the Hawks?

corpsecart says:

@Rackman1073 great canadian speaker

Bluetrane100 says:

How much do the Hawks retail for?

Clayton Lam says:

Will you review the Totem Forests?

Lee L says:

I’m more of a Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 kinda guy

Photo314159 says:

@englishinfidel As long as it’s a good quality stand alone amp you should be fine. No recievers! I had a customer bi-amp his with two channels from a 135 watt per channel receiver and he burned out the woofers from not enough current….twice! He wasn’t even listening loud. This speaker needs controlled. What does your amp put out in 4 ohms?

Siong Chan says:

Would really appreciate your feedback on the Creek Evo 5350 and Totem Hawk pairing (since you have had more opportunity to hear many different combinations). I have paired the Creek 5350, Simaudio i-3SE, NAD C320BEE and an old Carver CM1090 with the Hawks and much prefer the Creek combo. Please let me know what your thoughts are after your audition!

Richard Grimaldi says:

Just picked up a pair of 2nd hand Hawks. I am really enjoying them but am definitely under powering them. After reading your line about the client who keeps killing drivers with his receiver I am getting a bit worried. (I am using a vintage Marantz 2250B 50WPC) I am slowly trying to build a great system in my apartment. I would like to go with separates. Since I really cant afford a pre and power right now I am thinking about using my pre-out on the Marantz into a new/used Power amp(s) until I can save the funds for a pre. Any good recommendations under $2K for the Hawks? Or does this idea sound crazy and should I go for an integrated under $2k?


Could you please recommend any warm sounding amps in the range of $2000 for these Hawks? I found the treble to be a little bit bright in some songs. It might be more suitable for me if I can tone them down a bit. Any recommendation will be highly appreciated. Thanks.

rudyluphotos says:

@Rackman1073 I bought my Hawks 6 years ago. I love them. I drive them with a Simaudio I5. Even at 70wpc ,it sounds great.

Photo314159 says:

I did one pair of beaks on mine, with 5.5lbs of mass loading per speaker, single wire with Tara Labs RSC1 and replaced the jumpers with the Tara RSC jumpers. All connections got Walker Audio’s Extreme Silver contact treatment…oh yeah, and a little over 800 watts per speaker on tap, lol. It’s quite magical! 🙂

Bluetrane100 says:

Thanks for your response. That’s pretty reasonable. BTW, in your Totem reviews, you really seem to favor solid-state amps over tube amps. Do you simply prefer solid state generally, or is it that the Totems perform better with solid state amps? Have you tried Totems with tube amps?

LAB YAN says:

You prefer these to Forrest I gather ? I went to listened today but they didn’t have Hawk sadly ! Great post thanks.

corpsecart says:

@corpsecart even when totem made an amplifier , it could just not handle it hehehehehe

Ed Martin says:

I picked up a set of Hawks as well. I was using a larger amp to drive them and the tweeters went. A Totem dealer quoted me almost $800 for a pair. The dealer said he was embarrassed to even tell me the price. I will never own a pair or any speaker by Totem again.

Joe G says:

How are they with low to moderate volumne?  Or ar they best when turned up.

Photo314159 says:

Never tried REGA amplification, I’m a Parasound fan boy you could say, lol. I haven’t heard the Embers yet, but I’ve heard the rest of the Element line and it’s very impressive!

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