« Music is an immaterial message and has no visible form.
Totem hides and encloses in the ideal purity of a cube (movable on invisible wheels) its "musical vocation" which is revealed and spreads with the touch of our hands, which open it to activate all its potential for sound reproduction.
All those possible today:
From the unforgettable and still sought-after sonority immortalized in "vinyl records" (cult objects for many collectors) to the - more practical but a little more "cold" - of CDs (Compact Discs) which lie lined up in thousands in our homes…. Up to the already futuristic and now available "streaming" reception mode that allows us to connect with the entire deposit of the original "Master Files" held by the various record companies.....The rebirth of Totem - which I had the pleasure and the intuition to create many years ago - now coincides with the advent of new technologies, which bring all of us, Producers, Designers and Inhabitants, lovers of music and the legacy of Italian Design, safe from the risk of a purely nostalgic reincarnation. »

Mario Bellini
26/06/2021

totem
totem

The Totem (stereo system) with removable speakers was created by the Italian designer Mario Bellini for the Italian brand Brionvega.
The minimalist design and auditory function appeal to those who appreciate music and work to take the listener through an experience.
When closed it is a cube, when you open its "wings" (the speakers) it becomes more than it was and allows the user to start listening.

When the stereo system is closed, it is a smooth cube as shown in the image. Once opened, the speakers rotate and resemble wings. 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 modern design piece and transforms a simple shape into something more.

totem
totem

Each speaker is equipped with a 2-and-a-half-way speaker system (one reflex-loading woofer, one mid-woofer and one tweeter).
Leaving the speakers in their rotating supports the distance between them is enough to guarantee excellent sound quality.
The speakers are removable, so they can also be placed in other parts of the room away from the console.
With sound power such as to cover medium and large rooms.

What sets it apart from regular turntables is the way it integrates the speaker system into its design and makes the object more of an art piece than a simple stereo system.
The totem is also a musical monitor to which, through the auxiliary inputs, it is possible to connect, in addition to other sources, systems for receiving audio signals via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capable of offering exceptional listening quality.

totem
totem

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. Incorporating 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.

  • AM/FM/DAB+ Radio
  • ProJect turntable with Ortofon cartridge
  • 125W + 125W self-limited amplifier
  • 2 line inputs on RCA connectors for connecting external sources
  • 1 line output on RCA connectors for connection to an external amplification system
  • 1 line output on RCA connectors for connecting an external subwoofer
  • 1 6.3 mm amplified jack output for listening with headphones
  • 1 headphone output on 6.3mm stereo jack connector
  • Power supply 220v 50Hz (on request 110V 60Hz, 220V 60Hz)
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 52.5 x 52.5 x 52.5 cm (closed cabinet) 52.5 x 26 x 26 cm (speakers) 2 cm height from the ground
  • Weight: 45.5 kg
totem
Mario Bellini - totem

Born in Milan in 1935, he is an architect, critic and designer.
The 8 Compasso d'Oro would be enough - alone - to explain the genius and inventiveness of Mario Bellini, an internationally renowned architect and designer, former director of Domus magazine. The numerous exhibitions in Italy and abroad confirm an incredible career, the monographic of the MoMa - Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1987 the consecration of his absolute talent. Among the companies that have relied on him, over the years, stand out - in addition to Brionvega - Cassina, Yamaha, Rosenthal and Renault. Twenty-five of his works are present in the permanent collection of the MOMA - Museum of Modern art in New York.

« With Totem I did not want to attract the individual enthusiast, the passionate experimenter. Rather I want to give a pleasing form to the system, so as to make it easier to place in a domestic setting, and not necessarily in a room set aside for the use of professional equipment. »

Mario Bellini
Brionvega di Decio Giulio Riccardo Carugati
Casa editrice Mondadori Electa, 2003

totem
totem

Totem is a famous design work conceived by the architect Mario Bellini and launched on the market in 1971 by BRIONVEGA. An object that encompasses the search for primary forms, such as the simple volume of a cube and which leads to modularity and composability, hiding the functions of a Hi-Fi. From this apparent cube, Bellini brings out a stereo system, speakers included; he calls it Totem rr130.

The Totem, together with other works by Bellini and Brionvega, is exhibited at the MoMa in New York.

« We had to match the beautiful form with the best technological content. And here we often ran into difficulty, as the sales department would even ask us for samples to meet a demand that greatly exceeded the supply. Mario Bellini’s RR130 Totem hi-fi was a truly special case. We tested a first model with the technology of the time, obtaining wholly unsatisfactory results. »

Brionvega
by Decio Giulio Riccardo Carugati
published by Mondadori Electa, 2003

totem
totem

« Totem, a form of rare equilibrium, left no margins of tolerance: it had to be a perfect cube when closed. It was hard to fit the speakers in. We attempted to solve the problem in production, in order to satisfy the immediate interest on the model, sometimes by adjusting individual pieces. In this way five hundred exemplars were produced and sold at a price that exceeded the the cost of the Fiat Cinquecento. »

Brionvega
by Decio Giulio Riccardo Carugati
published by Mondadori Electa, 2003

« Bellini decided not to emphasize the technical aspects of the rr130’s design, choosing instead to create a supremely subtle hi-fi system that would fit easily into domestic environments. Despite the quiet simplicity of the form, an element of surprise is present when the hermetic cube is opened up to reveal the speakers, the control fascia and the turntable. »

Mario Bellini
Furniture, Machines & Objects
by Enrico Morteo - Published by Phaidon, 2015

totem