Audiophile system for Techno and Dance music

Hello fellow audiophiles. What would be your choice of speakers (and other components) for audiophile listening of Techno (!) and Dance music, in a moderate size room ?
80b15b3d 94e1 4621 9129 b96c25f636f2twodolphins
Altec A7 Voice Of The Theater's driven by a Crown XLS1502 amp direct from a CD player or a digital streamer! The Crown has input level controls so no need for a preamp. This system will really get your booty shakin' - even in a large room! 
The above will play at disco spl's (100+ dB's) all day or night long without clipping! For the real disco experience!
What kind of budget? Are you going to be dancing? Think off the floor.
I love to dance, but tearing up 5-10K speaker. Dancing is one thing, partying is another. Ones off the floor, ones not.. Ones Audiofile, ones entertainment.

Seas use to be VERY popular, around a dance floor. They had that tight techno, ability. 6-8-10" drivers,(metric) I use to be amazed how clear, the music was EVERYWHERE. Does that sound right.. It was always overhead, pointed at a dance stage. The DJ was in his little sound dampened snug, spinnin’ vinyl..

Dance. Dance, Dance.... Tap Tap, Samba!

We use to do a harvest party, Halloween! Mercy. My gear room was off limits, the speakers were in the shop
50 X100 15 foot lids. 1978-88.  6 Bose 901 hung and 2 500 lb bass bins. All pushed with Mac SS and valve gear...1-200 people.. Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, The Bee Gees, THEN Mr Funk-O-Delic, and alway Carlos... Salsa... Amego.. Cha Cha Cha....

Remember the system is only part of the equation. Don’t forget room treatments. 

Personally I would go with the Robosphere Q3! 

That’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it!
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If I were in the market purely for dance and techno I'd give B&W a real look. They rocked it the few times I heard.

In my opinion, techno and dance music, is loud and bass driven music, so you would want a system that had plenty of power, especially low end power. I would also go with a balanced system over a single ended system. A true balanced system should give you an extra 6 db of gain over single ended. This can be huge when pushing the limits of your rig.

The techno that I listen to, the low end is very prominent in the 30 to 60 hz range, but bass that low can be difficult to control so I would recommend using multiple subs and since the low end in techno is also very impactful (you can feel it as much as hear it) I would say multiple subs with drivers 12” or larger. 

This will be rather controversial but I would also look into a good electronic crossover or speaker management system, aka DSP.  A good speaker management system will help improve the systems impact especially at lower volumes and improve the mids and highs in your main speakers by reducing the amount of low end that they need to reproduce.  If your mains do not have to reproduce the low bass you no longer need such a large amp for the mains nor will you need large beefy mains, you would have many more options to choose from including book shelves if you so desired, which could help in reducing over all system costs. Another advantage to speaker management is that it gives you an easy way of adjusting the volume ratio between the lows and the mid/highs which can help when dealing with those annoying variations between recordings.

With a good sub system and speaker management your main speakers and amp/s can be pretty much whatever you want them to be as long as you can insert the speaker management between the preamp and the main amp so you would either need separates or an integrated that has pre out and in.

And so we come full circle back to the Booty Sweat.
Good quality prosound drivers often have 10-20 dB more clean headroom than what’s normal for high-end home audio drivers, which translates to a very relaxed sound even at fairly intense home audio sound pressure levels. Prosound woofers and midwoofers tend to not go particularly deep, so often subwoofers may be called on to fill in what’s missing. I use prosound drivers and often rely on subwoofers for the bottom end. That being said, there are speakers with prosound-type drivers which do go deep... the Classic Audio T-1, T-3 and Hartsfield come to mind, along with the JBL M-2.

If you’re like me, when no one’s looking you just might jump out of your chair and dance around, in which case you’d want good sound over a fairly wide area, and you’d want to NOT lose the highs when you stand up.

And if you’re going to dance around, then imo you probably want speakers which sound good right up against the wall, so that they do not intrude on the dance floor area, especially if it’s not a huge room.

Do you have a general price range in mind?

Sounds crazy, my daughter bought us a disco ball, one of the real nice one.. "Light Beats" too. Flashes different colors to the beat..

Again if your dancing.. DRINKIN’, yikes! Off the floor..

These work VERY well. I saw a setup with these in a sports bar.
Three or 4 makes a circle, for center ceiling placement.. and in the corners. Glasses weren’t rattling off tables, Clear as a bell. EASY to adjust if certain areas are HOT..

Push the mains back out of harms way.. Barricades go UP...

We party over here... :-)

I’ve never heard bagpipes at a dance...

Coulda sworn you were Navy. Heck even an old WSU Cougar can dance and drink at the same time- its actually required for graduation! Okay well technically two out of three dance, drink and frisbee, unless you go full bong hit then dealers choice.

Seriously though I have to ask- is this techno and dance music something you sit there in the dark listening to like an audiophile? Is there a sweet spot in the room? Or a dance floor? 

And the million dollar question: Disco ball? Or Lava Lamp???
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I call it the pepper spray / taser dance.. Come to close to my gear at a party... YUP, I'll ask ONCE.. :-)

Thanks for all your inputs. There are some techno artist which make Techno music not to dance, but primarly for concentrated listening. For exemple Jochem Paap (aka Speedy J), Oliver Lieb (aka Spicelab and L.S.G.), Steve Law (aka Zen Paradox, Starseed Transmissions) etc. They experiment with strange sounds and build lanscapes in very simmilar way like J.M.Jarre or Klaus Schulze with the addition of powerfull bass and rythm. They give a lot of attention to the sound-quality of their work (particularly Oliver Lieb) and their compositions are complex and inspiring journeys. Listening that kind of music on audiophile grade system is thrilling! I have in mind speakers in price range of 3-10K, eventualy combined with AudioKinesis The Swarm subwoofer system. Duke’s suggestion to use prosound drivers in audiophile speakers make a lot of sense to me. Almost all speakers on my shortlist have one big woofer, some type of horns and are high efficiency speakers or field coil drivers. I’m longtime user of electrostatic speakers, and currently looking for a second pair of speakers with better (?) dynamics and same level of transparency and precision for which stats are very popular.
Tekton Moabs with 4 or 5 subs will rock your techno like nobody's business. Sorry. Nobody's business was the bees knees 30 years ago. Substitute modern vernacular for whatever is currently in vogue for awesome, which dang that's out of date too.  

Tried some of that music. Usually being as I am a recluse with a keyboard a billion have been and gone by the time its news to me. Like, no kidding, Gagnam Style, literally over a billion views, never heard of it. So I was prepared. And...this techno stuff is.... Merely in the thousands. Got my work cut out for me now....
Peachtree Nova 500 and Tekton MOABs, done
Wondering if you’re a fellow German... love some of those artists you mentioned.
Nowhere did I read you need ear-bleeding decibel levels in your moderately sized room. Seems most here equate electronica/techno with clubbing.
Maybe a combo of good, fast, punchy monitors (as "basic" as LS50s or new Meta versions or wireless?) plus 2 Rel T1 subs.
Experimenting with 4 monitors in each corner could be fun for some of this music that is very spacy - you can always turn two off for proper 2 or 2.1 listening? Just chiming in for fun ... I am not speaking from having done this set-up. But I like the music and I love the addition of my Rel sub for ambient, electronica, dub etc
I’m with you on some version of a normal 2 channel setup being able to pull this off while providing amazing holography at a primary listening position. I love what my system does with electronica.

I also agree with folks above that some version of a subwoofer swarm will be a necessary addition to nail the critical 10-100hz needed for the genre. I added a four sub array to my full range coincident PREs and it made a huge difference in my room (8 total 12" drivers across 6 cabinets), but not until I did a bunch of REW measurements and tweaked bass eq, level, and crossover points in a miniDSP. That said, I still have a partial dip at 50hz and every once in a while a song will just pound that weak spot to torture me.

And great stories @oldhvymec. I wish I could have attended.

It’s nice to finally run into a thread where people aren’t just hitting repeat on the same old music (see e.g., the "best live band" thread). Looking forward to listening to some of the bands suggested in here...
Ohh, and obviously I don’t think you need to worry about being perfect down to 10hz, but your subs at least need to bow out gracefully without hitting xmax when pushed (maybe just a problem for me for stupidly over boosting down low early in my home brew setup).

If you’d like an album that tests that sub bass region, give this one a go:
If you have two corners in the room...a used pair of Klipshhorns. Another option would be a pair of JBL JRX225 speakers. You could always upgrade the compression driver later. Basically shop at Guitar Center instead of Best Buy. JBL and Crown are owned by Harmon. Those are some "off the shelf" options.
I liked the Altec Voice of the Theater suggestion. I kind of have the same thing going in my basement. I have an Altec VOTT horns and compression drivers sitting on a pair of Decware Imperials with dual 15" drivers. Not everyone is willing to have a pair of speakers that make refrigerators look small. The sacrifice is do worth it.

If you want bass response with impact old school large cabinets with big drivers may be the only way to go. Diy pro speakers with "upgraded" drivers might be the ticket.

Check out his bass "tubas".

Check out his bass "tubas".


Serious Boom Boom, I had a pair that were as big a LARGE refiers..They were back to back, the pair together weight in at 480 lbs I had two pairs..  You could load 1 or two 15" inside.. I used 1 per enclosure. 100 X 50 X 15 room, About 100-150 watts per bass bin

Half throttle over 100 db..

Jensen Imperials are wonderful too. Have to make them, but..they are 100-103 sen. 30-50 watts.. all you need.  I'm not sure on the Techno sound part though.. Kids took us to a Rave 15 years ago.  We did everything BUT the drugs...I had toilet paper in my ears, still way to loud..

Sure had a great time..

I would start with three or four SVS SB-16 or Velodyne DD-18. And Dirac Bass Management to that.

Then I can recommend the Revel Ultima speakers.

At least that's about what I’m listening to. Gives me a good feeling playing Marcus Miller "M2"....

Hopefully you still got room enough for a chair.

Fun thread!
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VOTT A7 would fit your described need. I used mine in my farmhouse with only a moderate room. They really shine with techno and dance. And generally available AND reasonably priced unless shipping. Very Heavy units. There are pure A7’s and custom variations, (like mine known as Hernias). 515 woofers are older and condition should be determined. 
My Classic Audio Loudspeakers (T-3s) are flat to 20Hz. But I have a standing wave at the listening chair so I break that up with a pair of Audiokinesis Swarm subs. Future Sound Of London, Global Communication, Speedy J, Skylab, Orgship, Carbon Based Lifeforms all sound great on them.
I listen to Trance, House and then back to orchestral on my system.
The less distortion the happier I am to listen to it.

I will undoubtedly end up with a swarm sub integrated into my system as well.

Enjoy the mu51c
Good quality prosound drivers often have 10-20 dB more clean headroom than what’s normal for high-end home audio drivers, which translates to a very relaxed sound even at fairly intense home audio sound pressure levels. Prosound woofers and midwoofers tend to not go particularly deep, so often subwoofers may be called on to fill in what’s missing. I use prosound drivers and often rely on subwoofers for the bottom end. ...

This. To really have dance and techno music "take off" requires what Duke points out above; i.e. high efficiency prosound drivers, which is to say compression drivers or other/similar fitted to horns/waveguides and larger diameter pro woofers/mids that deliver the ease, ignition, cleanliness and impact this genre of music needs. It’s very much about a visceral experience and as such it’s the core modus I believe of how it works; properly reproduced at higher SPL’s it’s a thrilling, loss-of-control kind of experience that can almost make you feel high.

I also agree that adding subs here is mandatory, but I’d stress the need to continue the use of large diameter high sensitivity prosound woofers into the lower octaves as well, although I’m fully aware this is likely to turn those subs into fridge sized behemoths. While I can see the rationale with regard to extension approximating 10Hz, or even into the single digits (this requires outlandishly large subs, or smaller sealed dittos - still with large drivers - in multiples and massive amounts of power for frequencies this low to be properly felt), a lower tune affects the bass presentation in ways I find to negatively impact the 30-70Hz region in particular - an area where much of the vital energy of techno and dance music rests. Practically I’d forego <20Hz and concentrate on the 25-90Hz range with prodigious air radiation area and high sensitivity for the bass really to be felt here with physical impact and low distortion.

Personally I like high order bandpass bass system like tapped horns or other, and while very big they’re excellent in pressurizing the air (even shake it) in a wholly effortless and enveloping way that smaller direct radiating subs, even in multiples, can’t replicate. It’s what I use myself; a pair of 15"-loaded 20 cf. per cab tapped horns with a tune just below 25Hz. Mains are pro cinema speakers from Electro-Voice with 2 x 15" woofers and a 2" exit compression driver fitted to a constant directivity horn (Don Keele design) - all driven actively. It turns techno and dance music into an electrifying experience, while also serving from classical, jazz, etc. very well.
@phusis Can you post a link to your tapped bass horn designs? They look great... 
You can consider a pair of legacy Meridian DSP5500s, tons of intense bass.  They are a digital active design.
@cal3713 --

Can you post a link to your tapped bass horn designs? They look great...

Thanks. The plans are shared in this post:

Build thread here:
Thats awesome!  👍👍
How about a pair of Mackie DRM315’s on poles connected to a pair of Mackie DLM 12S’s?
Two very different recommendations that would sound awesome with the Swarm would be:

- ATC SCM40 v2
- Spatial Audio X5 or M3

Both use pro drivers but similarities absolutely end there.  ATC is sealed-box design and need power while Spatial is open baffle and relatively easy to drive.  I’d probably pair either with a good Class-D amp from D-Sonic, Bel Canto, VTV, Nord, etc.  Just a couple other ideas FWIW, and best of luck in your search. 
Klipsch Forte III Speakers with a Primaluna EVO 400 Integrated Amp.
Seriously works well together and sounds better than one can imagine. Covers all genre of music effectively and also knows how to rock! 
They look great and fit in with most interior designs as well. Retro looks with a modern sound. Trial them... you'll be glad you did.
Massive SPL, huge volume cannot possibly compete against a highly resolving sytem, even for Techno or any other EDM music.
I am not saying my 400 watts per channel doesn't perform, and cannot play loud. However I will state that low distortion, high resolution is certainly more engaging.

@twodolphins not sure if you like Trance of not, but I've now got two of Above and Beyond's live acoustic albums and I am lovin' them. Thanks for introducing me to Oliver Lieb, I quite liked it actually. I will investigate more of your artists listed as well. Cheers brov.
A7s are obsolete basically (I had a pair of 'em in the 70s), as my experience as a current live sound tech has shown. For a fraction of what hifi stuff costs, you can get a pair of (for example) powered Mackie SRM 450s V2 (neo bass driver, etc.) and a powered 18" bass bin or two (out of business DJs sadly may be a good source for this stuff) for relative peanuts, and the sound quality can astonish...cleaner and better dispersed highs than any A7, much more robust drivers and bulletproof amps.
@rixthetrick --

Massive SPL, huge volume cannot possibly compete against a highly resolving sytem, even for Techno or any other EDM music.
I am not saying my 400 watts per channel doesn’t perform, and cannot play loud. However I will state that low distortion, high resolution is certainly more engaging.

One thing doesn’t exclude the other, nor can it do without both in this case. Massive SPL *capabilities* and huge volume translates into ease and very low distortion (lower distortion than most commercial speakers out there) at most any SPL one may desire in a domestic environment, and such a system can as well be very highly resolving. We’re not talking lowest grade Cerwin Vega’s or other boom boxes here (not to speak badly of C.V. per se; the XLS 215’s are decent sounding all-round speakers, underrated or misjudged even, at a very reasonable price), but high quality prosound drivers used in configurations spanning from commercial offerings like Audiokinesis, JBL, Classic Audio, OMA, PBN Audio, JTR and others, to the more outright pro segment including cinema speakers, studio monitors and a variety of other selectively chosen sound reinforcement speakers from the likes of Danley Sound Labs, Electro-Voice, Meyer Sound, K.C.S., JBL and others. Run these actively, preferably and if possible, with quality gear, and I’d be glad to show you that you can indeed have one and the other: massive SPL capabilities, huge volume, low(er) distortion and very high resolution - the combination of which I’d say is what really makes named genre of music tick, and not only that genre.

One example of a pro speaker that can hold its own against most anything is the (no longer in production) Meyer Sound X-10:

Sonically, the Meyer Sound X-10’s kick the hell out of nearly every consumer speaker in the market in term of dynamics and power. They play more loudly. They play more clearly. And they have better bass than nearly any consumer speaker money can buy. I couldn’t disagree with you that they are an odd shape and that they do not have industrial design by Jonathan Ive or Pininfarina, but if you cue up a good recording of a drum kit - there is no one speaker more capable of reproducing the explosive, resolute power of the instrument than the Meyer Sound X-10’s. Blast a shotgun from a movie with an HD soundtrack via Blu-ray and you might reasonably check to see if you have been shot. Where many high end speakers shine best with string quartets and more modest musical compositions - the Meyer Sound X-10s thrive on complicated material. You can play car crash movie scenes in DTS Master Audio at 120 dB all day long without a hint of fatigue, fade or loss of resolution. Play Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite or Mahler’s Tenth at full orchestral levels while listening in a Le Corbusier chair and make your own Maxell ad.

User "review"/feedback of the commercial tower version of the X-10:

Meyer Sounds current über offering, the Bluehorn system:

Above are expensive pro speaker examples, but the good thing is excellent quality here can be had cheaper, not least bought used.
Vimberg.Rockport or Magico ASAP!!
At what price point? Not knowing this I would suggest one of the bigger 3-way JBL monitors with 10 or 12 inch woofers or a pair of the big ZU speakers.
@ phusis
I’ll be the first to admit, the list of devices you have posted URLs for, I have heard not one of them.
I have been to quite a few events, and despite the fact I wasn’t under the influence of recreational pharmaceuticals, I had a great time with the other thousands there.

I worked in a hifi loudspeaker manufacturer’s factory, and in the same area of industry there was a pro audio supply store, where DJs would come and invest in gear. Anyway, I did go and listen to some systems they had from time to time. I was asked what kind of power we were running in our system?? Then the few times I was met with, well.. we have 2000watt amplifiers on each of our bins/speakers.

I am opinionated, I’ll admit it, but just one of their guys ever came to see what we did, and he was very impressed at the information he could hear in the more accurate system with significantly less power. At the time it was a pair of Mac MC-501.

What is a moderate sized room? Would one really require a KW of amplifier to energize the room enough to make Techno and EDM enjoyable?
I have yet to hear a pro sound system that delivers a truly low distortion immersive sound that I enjoy.

It may exist somewhere, I hope it does it would be great, I haven’t witnessed it yet.