Best Speakers For Electronica Music


Hello all,

I have purchased Totem Arros second hand and I really like them a lot, however, when I spoke with an authorized Totem dealer and told him the music I like, he recommended I get a subwoofer or I run the risk of blowing the Arros. He told me the Arros are more for vocals, jazz, and classical. I like music like The Chemical Brothers, Tycho, Radiohead Kid A, and I like some harder rock at times like Jack White.

My system is a Logitech Touch, Peachtree Audio iDecco (for sale now) as a preamp, running to a Parasound Zamp V.3, with 60 wpc into the 4 ohms.

I like the speakers a lot, but I do not want to get a subwoofer, so is there a brand that is known for being more stoutly built, but still very detailed and with tight bass that people can recommend? I do not like the sound of Cerwin Vega, and I have heard other similar forums where they are recommended, and I do not like Klipsch. Other than that, I am open to suggestions. As a last constraint, I am on somewhat of a budget as you can tell from my system.

Thank you all in advance.
regafan_1972
Legacy (FocusSE, AERIS, V), PBN Montana (various) and others in the line and quite a few other speakers will fit this need nicely. The Legacy's I've owned go down solidly to 16Hz and stand the test for Taiko drumming, pipe organ, rock, prog-rock, electronica and alot of other music. For electronica there is a good amount of signal info below 16-18Hz so you MAY want to get a subwoofer to round out your experience. Check out the various threads where people are asking for speaker recommendations for speakers that do Rock and Hard Rock well and you'll get a lot more speakers added to the list of candidates....
with your amp you will less-likely do any damage to your existing arros unless you're willing to drive it to clipping very loud.
totem forest actually is perfect match for electronic music, new wave, great with punk and noise and at the same time very strong.
I agree with Czarivey. Consider the Forests. They have a relatively easy to handle impedance curve so something cable of 60 W into 4 ohm should be able to drive them to good dB levels without clipping. I think they sound fantastic with all sorts of music. Properly positioned (that's key) they can produce amazing, deep and well-controlled bass.
I think Totem products including Arros are quite well made. Thing is Arros are big hitters for teh size due manily to the quality of the product but also quite small. They might due fairly well with Electronica with a good powerful amp (to avoid clipping) bt there is only so much bass that can be extracted out of a small package so clearly not optimal for Electronica, although they will still probably do surprisingly well for their size. I would be concerned about damaging them though if driven too loud for too long with lots of low frequency action. Also dynamics might be somewhat compressed compared to the optimum especially as things heat up over time when driven particularly hard.
Regafan, I also listen to electronic music quite a bit and I also like Totems quite a bit, arros included. You're best bet might be to add a subwoofer and use the crossover on the sub to cross the arros over at 80hz to lighten the load on the arros so that you don't damage them and it should also allow you to play them louder.

If you are going for that loud, throbbing bass you will probably need a sub with most any speaker without going crazy like a pair of PBN Montanas (theres a pair here on AGon right now for $2k which seems like a good deal). Keep in mind though that you would need to get a different amp also to run a speaker like the Montana to its full potential.

I've gone through a crazy amount of speakers over the past 5 years and my best setups for Techno were probably a pair of Paradigm Studio 20's V.5 combined with an SVS SB12s. The Paradigms played crazy loud but could get a little bright at times; the SVS sub shook the windows, closets and doors throughout my house so I had to brace everything that was rattling. I also like my Vandersteen 2CE's because of the bass response.

Again, I'd add a sub first because you'll probably want one anyways, and it just might be what you are looking for!
Zu Audio
Often electronic music has a plethora of very loud and low music. A sub would be advantageous. Also, you will get better sound because (if set up properly), your main speaker will not be stressed. The amp in your sub would relieve your amp and speaker.
I was going to recommend ZU Audio also but am still staying with the idea of adding a sub first to see if that gets you where you want to be
I've always liked certain electronica, especially soundtracks but I've never experienced the lows and strength of the music until I got my Clearwave Duet 6 monitors. They can really plumb and punch like nobodies business.

Once you hear it correctly, you'll love it. The Peachtree may not be enough to get the Clearwaves going (85db) but just keep searching and you'll be rewarded without the need for a sub.

All the best,
Nonoise
Your dealer was probably under the impression when you mentioned electronic music...he was thinking Who-level volume in a nightclub...if you are after that then by all means upgrade.I also enjoy crystal method/chemical brothers at moderate levels with no sub and my main, full range speakers are fine.Granted, I am missing some bass but im a city dweller in an apt, and I have head phones if needed. I would add a sub (if feasible) instead of taking a loss to upgrade in the Totem line.Or don't sweat it and keep the volume reasonable.
Many think that electronic music is house and techno, but it's far beyond that. For instence if you'll be listening to Jean Michelle Jarre, then Arros are plenty enough.
I run a 2.1 system, and speakers that are voiced for jazz and classical do well with electronic music because they can draw out the little details. My sub handles the subtle sub-bass that adds texture to the mids, this is something you miss with speakers that do not have large drivers. Low frequencies are about moving large amounts of air. Subs are not difficult to set up, I connect mine directly to the taps on my amp. but, if you're set on not having a sub, you could try Paradigm, I've had them before and liked them. I've been listening to electronica and IDM since the 90's.
I've also had B&W 685s and 604 s3s, and I liked them, but my Quads are better for electronic music, they are more neutral.
I have no experience with Totem. But I have heard good things.
If you are on a budget, Audiokinesis is very good about getting good bass for the buck. He also has a subwoofer system called the Swarm which can be used to eliminate spots in the room where there is no bass. It just got an award in The Absolute Sound.

FWIW, the better the speaker, the better it will be for any particular genre of music. Speakers and electronics don't exercise taste; if its really good at classical it will be really good at electronia or heavy metal too. The idea that a speaker is particularly good for a certain genre is one of the biggest myths in the world of loudspeakers.

As an example- my speakers do classical really well- they also do electronia really well (some of my faves are Global Communication, Massive Attack, Infinity Project; I guess I like the downbeat stuff with big bass...). But they also do 80s heavy rock (there is a thread on this forum about the best speaker for that genre; IMO a lot of 80s rock borrows heavily from electronic music), they do heavy metal very well (there is a thread on this form for that topic too...) and they do jazz very well.

The speakers are the Classic Audio Loudspeakers model T-3. They go down to 20Hz without the need of a sub. They are also 98 db 1 watt/1 meter. Efficiency is always helpful regardless of musical genre. It seems that musicians of all types find ways to make that efficiency useful :)
"The idea that a speaker is particularly good for a certain genre is one of the biggest myths in the world of loudspeakers."

I'm glad THIS was finally noted, I've held this belief for a while. Really, why should a speaker/system "specialize" in a particular type of music?
Tubegroover, The speaker should not specialize in certain kind of music, but nevertheless, certain speakers just can't play certain kind of music period.
I always make sure the speakers I choose are good for all types of music.
My speakers can handle Mumblecore and Emo, as well as Norwegian Death Metal and Vivaldi played on period instruments with subtle percussion provided by hammering steel trash can lids using enameled baby stroller frames. That's pretty much it...any pop music causes them to weep uncontrollably, which can warp the floors.
@Regafan, I just ordered some Ascend Sierra Towers with the RAAL tweeter upgrade. You might want to take a look at them, with or without the tweeter upgrade.

Until I receive the Sierra Towers, I am currently using some Tekton 6.5 monitors. I like all kind of music, including classical and jazz (mostly small sized ensembles), classic rock, metal, 80s and also techno like Chemical Brothers and Prodigy.
Thank you all very much for the excellent feedback and sound advice (literally). I think I will definitely consider getting a sub for now, then eventually looking at all of the brands you all recommended.

Thanks everyone.
That was my point Czarivey, but it shouldn't be the case. Good speakers, well designed should and DO play all kinds of music if you search them out. The idea that one should have to purchase a particular speaker for a specific genre of music is ludicrous and unworthy of any consideration IMO. The idea, at least I thought, was for a speaker to play music aside from the fact that a larger enclosure will generally play louder/bigger or is better suited for a larger space but that is another issue.

Regafan, if you like to listen louder and like the Totem's as others note you should seriously consider moving up the line. I know a lot of folks like subs but of the numerous systems I've listened to, few blend properly, particularly the cheaper ones, good one that DO blend are generally larger and more expensive, more often than not they just rear their head in but scant few of the systems I've heard them implemented, plus additional space they require. Honestly, I don't get them at all, get a larger speaker. Subs are for home theater and folks that like the realistic reproduction of pipe organ in a large space IMHO!
good speakers