I had these speakers to audition at home for about a week. Not really long enough to get a good feel for a component, to be sure. But they made enough of an initial impression on me for me to be able to provide a (hopefully) useful review. I've also spent a fair amount of time at a local dealer listening to them as well, so let's say I'm pretty familiar with them.
Right out of the gate, I'd like to provide readers with a caveat: These are not speakers for headbangers. Like me. If I listened to jazz, vocal, piano and Diana Krall, these speakers would have blown me away here at home. But I don't.
These are relatively small monitor speakers. They're actually much smaller than they look in pictures you see on the internet. I think the size of them is a factor in them being preferable for less dense, complex music. I'm sure Vince's design also has a bias towards jazz/piano/vocal. Another limiting factor of these speakers (in my opinion) is that they have no bass. NO BASS.
While being very precise, very detailed, they have a "small box" sound that I couldn't quite seem to get my head around. At some times they actually sounded a bit "honky" like small monitors often do.
OK, I've talked about what I didn't like about that. Let's talked about what I liked. I'm an imaging freak - I love it when speakers take themselves out of the room and just disappear. These did an amazing job of these. Some of the best imaging speakers I have ever heard. They were also very detailed, I could hear things in the music that I usually only heard if I listened very carefully. Those of you with an aversion to "bright" sounding speakers will probably not like these.
Construction, and fit and finish of the Model-1's is remarkable, just like all Totem speakers. Plus the fact that they're Canadian made too. A bonus.
Because of my bias towards "heavy" music, these were not the speakers for me, hence my "B+" rating. But if I was actually into the type of music these speakers were designed for they would get a solid "A" from me.