High End 2022: Totaldac in Munich

When I reviewed the Totaldac d100 loudspeakers last year, I felt they were a bit of an enigma–albeit a great-sounding one. Cutting-edge products from this French company are rarely spotted in the US–there’s no distributor/importer, no real high-end audio dealers–but you can get these products sent directly from founder Vincent Brient. Totaldac in Munich was a welcome sight, therefore, since show attendees were able to see a system comprised of amps, preamps, DACs and a “new” pair of d100s. No risk involved! (You can also try them out at home for 20 days before buying.)

How did this Totaldac system sound? I should know, right? I reviewed that pair at home and enjoyed their company for a couple of months. These are physically big and imposing horn speakers with high sensitivity, not absolutely huge in high-end audio terms, but still one of the biggest pair of transducers I’ve had in my current listening room. Despite that, these big black boxes sounded coherent and controlled in my medium-sized room with all images presented in realistic proportions.

This system from Totaldac in Munich was a different animal–incredibly open and full-range in every respect. Wild, even. Vincent was leaning heavily on classic rock recordings and soon it became apparent that Totaldac gear can party hard, yet in an extremely refined way. The room was big, but the Totaldac in Munich was even bigger in pure visceral impact than I could have imagined back at home.

The Totaldac d100s (from 13,800 euros/pair) in Munich were touted as new, however, despite no new version designation. Even the website doesn’t go into that much detail on the changes. The rest of the system included the beefy Amp-1 power amplifier (22,000 euros) and the three-piece d1 digital stack (starting at 32,900 euros). All of the cables were also supplied by Totaldac in Munich.

What I remember most about Totaldac in Munich was the system’s tremendous sense of space, as well as pure and unbridled dynamics in a fairly large listening room. I almost laughed to myself when I considered that the d100 is actually the smallest speaker in the line–the flagship d150s are much bigger and priced at 45,000 euros/pr. I couldn’t imagine needing any more gumption than the d100s, but I could be convinced. Maybe next year Vincent will bring the real monsters.