All Totem drivers are custom engineered but the best example of Totem’s unique approach to driver design is the Torrent woofer, found in the Element series and select models of the Tribe series.
The genesis for the Torrent’s revolutionary application was our conviction that a driver could be made without using any active or passive crossover parts in the signal path of the woofer section. All speakers with Torrent drivers have only a simple crossover which is composed of as few as two components, exclusively for the high frequency section.
A crossover-free network in the woofer path allows the purest flow of sound and energy. Coupled with a remarkable magnetic structure, Torrent drivers display remarkable control and striking accuracy both on and off-axis while projecting unsurpassed clarity and phase correctness. The result is an immersive and gripping musical experience.
Above: The 4-inch Torrent woofer first appeared in the Totem Tribe III on-wall speakers. Notice the massive structure at the back of the woofer. This is the Torrent compound magnet system, which features unique geometry and seventeen 2.5-inch long neodymium magnets to completely encircle the voice coil.
A standard driver features a voice coil wound with wire that is mechanically controlled by the suspension and travels in and out of the magnetic field created by the thin doughnut shaped magnet encompassing it. The issue with this traditional approach occurs when the voice coil moves out and away from its ‘rest position’ because the further it moves out, the further it leaves the magnetic field. As a result, the driver’s control is compromised. The magnetic flux and gauss change translate into dulled dynamics, a blurred transient response and a distorted frequency response. The exact same effects occur as the voice coil moves back into the magnetic field.
Torrent technology was conceived with the idea that the extended voice coil throw can be constantly immersed in a powerful magnetic field. This allows the voice coil and by extension, the attached woofer cone to react blazingly fast, yet in a completely controlled linear manner. That means bass performance from a speaker that is as accurate and natural as that from the finest stand up bass played by a skilled musician.
Above: The 7-inch Torrent driver represents Totem’s largest and most capable Torrent driver. Its artisanal craftsmanship is akin to the manufacturing process of a fine watch or racing engine.
The very first Torrent woofer was a 4” platform designed for the Tribe III. This incredible on-wall speaker dazzled the industry with its ability to generate stunning bass output that defied its dimensions. It was the launch of Torrent, and served as a technology statement to celebrate Totem’s 20th anniversary. Years of research, development, and critical listening eventually resulted in the 7” juggernaut driver found in the Element series. This remarkable driver best exemplifies Torrent technology.
This platform uses a compound magnet system of unique geometry, deploying seventeen 2.5” long neodymium magnets to completely encircle the voice coil. These magnets have a geometrical claw shape to further optimize magnetic efficiency and directionality. This creates an extraordinarily high magnetic flux throughout its enormous 1” throw so it accelerates blazingly fast and brakes instantly. It is a new level of speed and power, consider it the Ferrari of woofers.
Above: a standard driver features a voice coil wound with round wire that is mechanically controlled by the suspension and travels in and out of the magnetic field created by the thin doughnut shaped magnet encompassing it.
No ordinary driver components would suffice in this application and hence all components required special modifications as innovative as the Torrent magnet structure.
A cradle was machined and fabricated from 3 alloys selected for their strength to hold the symmetrically arranged Neodymium magnets and contain the monstrous magnetic field.
The voice coil is made of stainless steel and wound with square copper wire to eliminate air gaps to maximize the magnetic strength while minimizing distortion. The spider material is a specialized natural cotton hybrid to provide the required resilience. The cone is bolstered with multiple compounds and reinforced with an O-ring for enhanced linearity and edge diffraction attenuation. The natural rubber surrounds are micro-processed to the thinnest possible formulation for minimum resistance. Every part and material was painstakingly chosen not only for their individual benefits but for how they interact harmoniously together.
The framework and motor structure of the 7” Torrent is micro machined and hand assembled from over 30 pounds of aircraft grade aluminum, stainless steel and other alloys. The artisanal craftsmanship is more akin to the manufacturing process of a fine watch or racing engine, taking over 10 labor intensive hours to meticulously assemble. The finished driver weighs just under a staggering 10 pounds. The ultimate goal of Torrent was to achieve musical purity coupled with prodigious power. The crossover-less design means the amplifier makes a direct connection to the woofer, bypassing distortion and coloration introduced by a crossover. The magnetic structure bestows a controlled fury of bass energy that is at once both explosive and tuneful. In other words, Torrent is the purest expression of Totem DNA.