One of the hallmarks of a great stereo system is its ability to balance form and function. It’s one thing for a stereo system to offer quality sound; offering a fantastic listening experience while also having a striking design, however, is a whole different ball game. One of the best examples of a stereo system that alchemized gorgeous design and high-resolution sound was Brionvega’s Totem. Designed by Mario Bellini in 1971, the Totem quickly became famous for its modern, modular design and stunning sound quality. More than 50 years later, Brionvega has reissued an updated Totem to celebrate its legacy.
Saying the Totem has an iconic design isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of fact. The sound system’s beauty was so well-known that it earned itself a position in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent design collection. Given the importance and impact of its original design, Brionvega’s modern-day reissuing retains the exact design elements that launched the Totem into the design stratosphere in the first place. The updated Totem is still a perfect cube with modular speaker wings that can either be left on the cube or removed and placed elsewhere. Moreover, each speaker wing includes a reflex-loading woofer, a mid-woofer, and a tweeter for an optimal listening experience. Additionally, the updated Totem retains its turntable and radio but includes two RCA audio inputs for external sound sources, two RCA outputs, and a USB 5V output. Even better, each of the updated Totems come signed and number by Mario Bellini himself.
Regardless of whether or not you’re an audiophile, the Totem stereo system embodies minimalist and modern design language at its finest without conceding audio quality. For those willing to front the scratch to own one of these, you can buy one on the MoMa Design Store’s website for $18,800.
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