The Story of Totem Acoustic

Founded in 1987, Totem Acoustic has a rich history of producing handcrafted loudspeakers in Montreal, Quebec. Today, after 35 years in business, Totem Acoustic remains true to its original guiding principles: to offer a remarkably engaging listening experience and evoke deep emotional responses. Every Totem Acoustic loudspeaker strives to produce a performance that is true to the artist’s intention, whether you’re listening to music, watching a film or playing video games. We build speakers with passion for true music connoisseurs.

Totem Acoustic loudspeakers break conventional wisdom that remarkable sound cannot be achieved from compact enclosures. Even our most compact designs are admired for their expansive soundstage and substantial bass. Just as importantly, Totem Acoustic loudspeakers have earned a reputation among music listeners for holographic imaging that produce a three-dimensional soundstage, bass impact that defies the boundaries of the speaker enclosure and a linear phase response that results in an uncanny, almost magical realism.

Although the key role of a loudspeaker is accurate sound reproduction, we feel that looks matter equally as much. That’s why most Totem Acoustic loudspeakers offer a classic, timeless design that will fit perfectly into any home decor. And if you’re looking for something more unique, you will find it in our Element and Wind series. These models offer exotic, geometric designs and luxurious finish options that are guaranteed to satisfy the interior designer within you.

Totem Acoustic loudspeakers are available worldwide at select boutiques and from custom install companies. Please use our Dealer Locator to find your closest retailer.

Learn more about the Totem Acoustic story below.

Totem Acoustic’s founder and chief designer Vince Bruzzese was a high school math teacher who was deeply passionate about music. As a young music lover, Vince set out on a journey during the early 1980s to find a loudspeaker that could truly convey the emotion of music as intended by the artist. He listened to a vast number of loudspeakers and yet each loudspeaker managed to disappoint him in one respect or another. Some loudspeakers were not pleasant to listen to for extended periods of time, while others had a very narrow sweet spot which meant that he couldn’t easily share his passion for music with other people. He also found that the performance of some speakers degraded over time. These findings, combined with extensive research and experimentation, led Vince to develop his own loudspeaker, called the Model One, in 1987.

In contrast to typically larger loudspeakers in the market at the time, the Model One was a compact monitor that defied the sound quality that was possible from such a small enclosure. The Model One sent waves through the Canadian audio industry and quickly put Totem Acoustic on the map. Vince managed to design and build a loudspeaker that truly transmitted the emotion and the soul of the music, while eliminating all of the downsides associated with the other loudspeakers he had listened to.

Unlike manufacturers that employ traditional engineering methods to design loudspeakers, Vince relies on his mathematics background and his ears to build loudspeakers. These principles allow him to create designs that are different from the status quo because he’s not limited by the predispositions of a typical audio engineer. Vince has always taken a minimalist approach to designing speakers, using the small number of components possible in the signal path. Thanks to this approach, all Totem Acoustic loudspeakers can be enjoyed for extended periods of time without fatigue and offer a giant sweet spot which means that everyone in the room can experience the same quality of sonic perfection.

Vince prides himself on designing loudspeakers with the same level of attention to detail as the best instruments in the world. Today, after 35 years of designing loudspeakers, you can still find him in his office tinkering with new speaker designs, at Totem Acoustic’s headquarters in Montreal. Vince’s passion for music and the audio industry have become an inspiration for music lovers and speaker designers around the world.

  1. Proprietary scientific formulas are the foundation for the essence of Totem, eschewing outdated design guidelines and parameters.
  2. Customized drivers, each quite unique and either manufactured by us or built to our exacting specs.
  3. Handmade crossovers composed of the most exotic components and meticulously assembled.
  4. Artisanal cabinet construction, including lock mitered assembly, interior and external veneers, Borosilicate in some cases, and graded MDF.
  5. Our own mathematical scales.