Brionvega is certainly the Italian brand of electronic equipment that left the deepest mark in the history of world design.
On this page, one of the most beautiful equipment of the Brionvega is presented: the TOTEM RR130.
It was designed by the architect and designer Mario Bellini in 1970.
Eight times Compasso d'Oro, Bellini counts among his most famous creations the Centro Espositivo e Congressuale di Villa Erba (Exhibition and Congress Center of Villa Erba) in Cernobbio, the Tokyo Design Center in Japan, the America Headquarters of Natuzzi in the United States, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the Headquarters of the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, the Department of Islamic Arts at the Louvre in Paris, the new Convention Center in Milan.
The Brionvega Totem, along with others of Bellini's works, is exhibited at the MOMA in New York. It is visible on this page of the museum.
When closed it looks like a smooth cube of 51 cm per side.
Once opened, the turntable, the console and the two adjustable and removable speakers are found.
The turntable is a beautiful DUAL 1257 with a magnetic cartridge DUAL DN145E. The turntable and the cartridge will be analysed in detail later.
The central body includes a 22W stereo amplifier, an AM/FM tuner and a muzak receiver.
The Totem project follows the famous RR126 Radiofonografo. The two devices share different circuits, but several improvements and updates have been implemented in the Totem.
The acoustic quality is interesting. Leaving the speakers in their rotating supports, the distance between them is sufficient to guarantee a fair stereo separation, even if the best results are surely obtained by extracting the speakers from their supports and placing them at a distance of more than 1,5 meters.
The power is more than enough to fill medium-sized environments.
Rather than the frequency response, which is still quite linear, the most interesting feature is the kind of musicality the device can express. In fact, the sound is warm and mellow, close to the sound of tube amplifiers. This result derives from the type of circuit with a low negative feedback rate and the use of fair components, in complete contrast to the projects of Japanese derivation that were so fashionable in the 1970s.
A musicality with these features, a brilliant design, such a strong personality have determined its remarkable commercial success.
In our restorations we propose a small modification to the loudspeakers by equipping them with a brighter tweeter, which associated with the insertion of a bluetooth 5.1 circuit or of a wi-fi connection allows the listening of liquid music or any web-station of the world with a satisfying level of pleasantness in the listening.
The aesthetic remains absolutely unaltered but the sound changes significantly, becoming considerably more precise and free of disturbances.
Almost all the devices that are sent to us are stained, yellowed and with damaged edges.
For this reason we have equipped ourselves for the total double repainting (white and anthracite) and the screen printing of all the front and back writings.
These incredible restorations are photographically documented at the bottom of the page in the dedicated section.