- Mario Bellini
The Totem (rr231) stereo system with removable speakers was created in 1971 by the Italian designer Mario Bellini for the Italian brand Brionvega. The minimalist design and auditory function take the listener through an experience like no other. When closed, it is a smooth, compact, and understated cube, and when you open its "wings" (the speakers), it transforms into a striking and dominant geometric structure and allows the user to start listening. Its design encompasses the search for primary forms, such as the simple volume of a cube, which leads to modularity and composability—hiding the functions of a hi-fi.
A faithful re-edition of the original project, the system is re-proposed, renovated, and equipped with the best contemporary technology. Thanks to the Plug + Play device, streaming or playback of your music in high definition becomes accessible. The device is compatible with all Bluetooth audio tracks on the market: smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. It incorporates both aptX HD and a standalone TI PCM converter. This device pushes the boundaries of HD hi-fi transmission. The technology used not only 24-bit end-to-end audio, but also offers superior digital signal processing and a lower 20kHz signal-to-noise ratio.
This product is important for the way it combines sculpture and sound. The act of opening the cube, inserting the disc and playing the music requires the participation of the user and creates a "ritual". Overall, the product is a piece of modern art and transforms a simple shape into something more.
Each speaker is equipped with a 2-and-a-half-way speaker system (one mechanical reflex loading woofer, one mid-woofer and one tweeter). By leaving the speakers in their rotating supports, the distance between them is sufficient to ensure excellent sound quality. The speakers are removable, so they can also be positioned in other points of the room far from the console and with sufficient sound power to cover medium and large rooms. What distinguishes it from normal turntables is the way it integrates the speaker system into its design, making the object more of a piece of art than a simple stereo system.
Each Totem is a unique piece of craftsmanship, but at its origin there is a very high precision production process. The sanding of the wooden panels, the assembly of the different components, and the application of screen printing are all processes through which the Italian artisan tradition makes each Totem unique.