Totem Torrent Technology

Totem Torrent Drivers
Totem Torrent Drivers

Pushing the Boundaries of Sonic Performance

From Inception to the Latest Generation of Torrent Drivers

Totem Acoustic has a rich history designing and producing handcrafted loudspeakers in Montreal, Quebec, since 1987. Totem’s greatest achievement to date is the development of its own, proprietary Torrent driver, which represents one of the most advanced, highest performance drivers in the loudspeaker market. The technology behind this revolutionary driver has allowed Totem loudspeakers to achieve new levels of sonic accuracy and musicality. You simply have to hear a Totem speaker equipped with Torrent drivers to believe it.

The genesis for the development of the Torrent driver was Totem’s belief that a driver could be made without using any active or passive crossover parts in the signal path of the woofer section. Why is this a big deal? It’s a well known fact that the more components exist in the audio signal path, the more altered the original audio signal becomes. Therefore, there is a significant benefit to using as few components as possible in the signal path since this approach results in the purest, most accurate audio reproduction.

Totem Torrent 4-inch Driver

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.

What Makes Torrent Drivers Unique

A traditional speaker driver uses a voice coil wound with wire, which is suspended in a magnetic field created by a thin doughnut-shaped magnet that surrounds it. The excursion of the driver – how far the driver travels forward and back – is controlled by the magnetic field. The issue with this traditional approach occurs when the voice coil moves forward 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.

In contrast to traditional drivers, a Totem Torrent driver offers a uniquely engineered magnetic structure which allows the voice coil to be constantly immersed in a powerful magnetic field, even when the driver is fully extended. This allows the voice coil and the attached woofer cone to react with incredible speed and remarkable linear control. It also allows an extended voice coil throw compared to traditional drivers. Equally as important, the Totem Torrent driver was engineered to avoid the use of a crossover in the woofer section, offering a significant sonic advantage over traditional drivers.

The advanced engineering of the Totem Torrent driver results in a musical performance across the full frequency range that is as accurate and natural as that from the finest musical instruments. Torrent drivers are capable of producing a more immersive and gripping sonic experience that draws the listener deeper into their music, compared to traditional speaker drivers. Additionally, Torrent drivers offer remarkable control and striking accuracy both on and off-axis while projecting unsurpassed clarity and phase correctness.

Totem Torrent 6-inch Driver

Above: The 6-inch Torrent woofer made its debut in the Totem Element V2 series.

Totem Torrent Driver Development History

Totem’s Torrent technology was originally launched in 2007, coinciding with Totem’s 20th anniversary. The original 4-inch Torrent driver made its debut in the now-legendary Tribe III on-wall speaker. This speaker dazzled listeners with its remarkable sound performance and ability to generate stunning bass output that defied its dimensions. Today, the Tribe III and its larger sibling, the Tribe V, continue to exemplify what is possible from on-wall speakers and stand among the highest performing on-wall speakers in the world.

Continued research and development of Torrent technology led to the launch of the 7-inch Torrent driver, featured in the original Totem Element speaker series introduced in 2011. This larger driver employs a compound magnet system of unique geometry, which consists of sixteen 2.5-inch long neodymium magnets to completely encircle the voice coil. These magnets have a geometrical claw shape to further optimize magnetic efficiency and directionality. This design creates an extraordinarily high magnetic flux throughout its enormous 1-inch throw, allowing the voice coil to accelerate at incredible speeds and brake almost instantly.

During the development of this advanced magnet system it became clear that ordinary driver components would be unable to house this newly designed magnet system. This prompted Totem to reengineer many of the driver components.

A Torrent driver cradle is machined from 3 alloys selected for their strength to hold the symmetrically arranged neodymium magnets and contain the monstrous magnetic field.

The voice coil is constructed out of a selected metallic alloy and wound with square copper wire to eliminate air gaps and maximize the magnetic strength, while minimizing distortion.

The spider material is made out of 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 its individual benefits but for how they interact together in harmony.

The framework and motor structure of the 7-inch Torrent driver is micro machined and hand assembled from over 30 pounds of aircraft grade aluminum, stainless steel and other alloys. The artisanal craftsmanship required to construct each Torrent driver is akin to the manufacturing process of a fine watch or racing engine, taking over 9 labour intensive hours to assemble. The finished driver weighs almost 5 kilograms, a staggering weight for a speaker driver.

Totem Torrent 7-inch Driver

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 a race car engine.

The Latest Generation: Torrent V2 Drivers

In 2018, Totem launched the Element V2 loudspeaker series equipped with Torrent V2 drivers. These new drivers are among the most advanced drivers in the world and represent Totem’s relentless drive to push the boundaries of sonic performance. The Torrent V2 drivers are an evolution of the original Torrent drivers, offering several significant improvements.

The new Torrent V2 driver cradle is outfitted with seventeen 2.5-inch long neodymium magnets. The most significant upgrade in this new design is that the magnets use a new proprietary topology in the way they are magnetized, rather than being magnetized all in the same way as they were in the original Torrent driver. Copper cladding has also been added on the inside of the magnet structure. Copper was chosen because it has attributes that let materials slide off of it (or are held back by it).

The metal composition of the voice coil former – that’s the metal cylinder which connects the woofer material to the magnet structure – has also been improved in the Torrent V2 drivers and now offers better cooling capabilities. The voice coil is wound more tightly around the former and it is better dampened. Finally, new proprietary coatings have also been applied to the voice coil itself.

Also noteworthy is that the Torrent V2 driver features a larger woofer dust cap than its predecessor. A new specialized dampening material is applied on the inside of the dust cap.

Combined, all of the improvements found in the Torrent V2 driver allow it to achieve a very high speed of attack but further allow the woofer to be progressively released in a specific way. Sonically, this translates into a midrange with greater articulation, organic harmonics, speed, clarity and detail extraction. Equally as important, the Torrent V2 driver is capable of producing roughly twice the amount of apparent bass energy in a room compared to the original Torrent drivers.

Musically speaking, the upgrades are enormous.

The ultimate goal of Torrent technology was to achieve musical purity combined with extraordinary power. All Totem speakers equipped with Torrent drivers feature a crossover-less design, in the woofer section meaning that the amplifier makes a direct connection to the woofer, which eliminates the audible distortion, coloration and phase irregularities introduced by a crossover found in traditional speakers.

Totem Speakers Equipped with Torrent Drivers

To date, Totem has released six loudspeakers with Torrent drivers. These include the:

• Element Metal V2 tower
• Element Fire V2 bookshelf
• Element Wood V2 center channel
• Tribe Tower
• Tribe III on-wall
• Tribe V on-wall

We invite you to step into the world of Torrent and explore the various Totem loudspeakers that offer this remarkable technology at the link below.