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Totem Acoustics Rainmaker Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 150 68.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 66 30.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 4 1.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Major Contributor
Oct 31, 2021
I think you're getting a few things mixed up. The CTA-2034-A is a standard method for measuring (in-home) speakers and reporting data (using standardized methods) - nothing more. This standard does not specify at all how a loudspeaker should be tuned or designed and has nothing to do with listening tests.
Agreed, I kind of see the CTA-2034 as the foundation of the Harman score introduced by Dr. Olive. Now it is my turn to play the 'best pratice" card, though.

At most, one could say that listening tests have imposed the need for such a standard, since a correlation between subjective evaluation of loudspeakers and their "complete" (hor and ver) measurements has been established.
Exactly, the CTA-204 implicitely states that the measurements it takes are the ones to be relevant. Insofar it implicates their usage in an evaluation.

CTA-2034-A is a powerful "tool" for loudspeaker design and analysis. It extends the before used non standardized evaluation methods (on-axis, angular frequency response measurements, sound power, SP DI, sonograms, ...) with standardized evaluation methods like LW, ER (hor + ver), PIR, ERDI (hor + ver),...
That's related to the Harman score, right? The data is injected to the calculations that yield a single valued (ordinal?) position on a scale.

A completely different aspect is the connection between measurements and subjective evaluations of loudspeakers.
To measure but not to evaluate the outcome, not to relate the values to a 'model' of an understanding, not to tell what they mean is worthless.

Despite the weaknesses of a circular conclusion when using arbitrary but 'most revealing' recordings done elsewhere, I actually appreciate the CTA-2034-A light-heartedly Because I think the data is relevant, because studios were the first to adapt to speakers that comply to the CTA-2034-A in particular with the notion of 'linear' as the natural target. In other words, not the evaluation method with some 'natural' outcome cuts the vicious circle of confusion, but the standard as a mere standard did. While of course the standardized measuring topics ask the right questions within a correct 'model' of what a speaker does in-room with human hearing. Reiterated, appreciated!

This only means that already at the time of the totem-acoustics-rainmaker release, the connection between measurements and subjective hearing sensation was known.
Regarding this I cannot share your perspective. My key-words with this are 'subjective, unquestioned preference', 'most revealing recordings' and 'statistics with averaging'. One might say that the Totem's engineer sitting in his room listening to his records didn't represent the norm, and so his evaluations don't count. But the methodology of searching out for the most pleasing sound is shared. Why would anyone forbid, that said engineer wants to evaluate his speaker in his room with his recordings subjectively, without questioning his preference for what he delivers to the customer? It is literally the same what the test-panel did during so many investigations you mentioned above.

What you say is actually, that the individual that the engineer is, isn't qualified, but an arbitrary, still not representative person is.
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New Member
Apr 16, 2022
Thanks for adding this brand to the set of speakers reviewed. I had (then sold) a pair of their Sttaf towers. While they were initially pleasant sounding I was happy to sell them to move into Revel speakers.

Totem definitely comes off as under-engineered here.
I did the same move, in my case from Totem Forest to Revel F208. I couldn't be more happy. I drive the Revel with a Bryston 4B Cubed and, as preamp, the BR-20 (also from Bryston).
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