As a chill electronica listener, should I stop at a Med-Fi system?

Hi All,

As an electronica music listener of chill, downtempo, folk, and similar music, is there any point of me seeking an ultra high resolution system...DAC, cables, power conditioning..etc?

If its all about the source material, much of the music i listen to is not an orchestra or live band with lots of microphones, so I'm assuming there's not a ton of imaging and micro-detail going on.

Is there, then, any purpose to seeking equipment that can resolve all of those little details?  Should i just stop at a healthy Mid-Fi System?


Example of Chill Music

Meadowlark - Can I have this Dance (Youtube)

Meadowlark - Can I have this Dance (Spotify)


Example of Chill Electronica Music

Meadowlark - Can I have this Dance [EMBERZ Remix] (Youtube)

Meadowlark - Can I have this Dance [EMBERZ Remix] (Spotify)


Definitely. Found the Progress ep and it sounds great on my $ 90,000 system. Start with a really good sub for electrónica like the velodyne DD12+ and go from there.

@gosta , can you share more details about your system?  Source, Streamer, DAC Preamplifier, Power Amplifier, cables?

Sounds like you've got a great setup.

You don’t have to spend that much to get wa very good system. Like I said a very good sub is essential for electrónica. When you have the sub you can start saving for a used Revel Studio 2.

Talofa @fai_v (yes, I’m making assumptions)

I am into chill and EDM, downtempo trance, and acoustic chill, a highly resolving system will be enjoyable, so long as you’re not breaking the bank.
As others have taught me, the room the system is in matters, a lot!

Mine is a pretty humble system compared to many of the wealthier Agon members and many who’ve been collecting and swapping out equipment much longer than I have.
There’s lots of options out there, some better for less money, some not as good for more money. You’re in a good place to find reviews, differing opinions and tips and tricks to get you ahead of the game, before you walk into a hifi store. Others will no doubt tell you, ultimately you need to go listen for yourself, and I wholeheartedly agree with that notion.

OMG, yes. I listen to that stuff all the time. If your system is good enough it plumbs the depths of bass… the high frequency is natural sounding and images incredibly well. But the biggest thing is musicality… the warmth of the beat draws you in and  the ambience becomes ethereal. I am literally this moment listening to an electronic piece by Xande.

I listen to most music types, I use acoustical music to calibrate my ears and mind to buy natural and musical equipment… which makes the electronics and ambient stuff sound simply incredible. With a truly great system elevator music sound compelling allowing a real emotional connection.

@fai_v some people have system pages here in the forum.
I really appreciate them actually, the time someone goes to putting one up.
It may be humbling to see some crazy money spent and just the incredible systems people have.

Take for example ghdprentice above this post, he has two systems on his profile.
Hover over his name, left click and a drop down box will appear, if you right click and open in a new tab on "details", you keep the primary tab open and then go see system pages if people have them. Or you can see what they write, or personal message them. Now if you go look at ghdprentice's system page, you're going to see some really nice gear, and he's got both vinyl and digital going on, valve amps and really, you aught to look at his stuff - it's inspiring.

I have learned a lot from looking at system pages, and I'm grateful to those willing to share what they have, what they've chosen and efforts they've made.
You should have a look around at what people have done, their progression to where they are now and where they started. Some really gracious and helpful people in here, have fun mate.

Some of the songs I use to show off my system are electronic. Bass, imaging, and soundstage can be incredible. If you heard Music Is The Drug by Bassnectar on my system, you’d want to take your system up a notch or two. I’m sure the same thing would happen with a lot of the music you like. I realize Bassnectar isn’t exactly chill.

First of all it depends on what do you consider mid-fi? Its relative as even a pricey system could be considered mid-fi by some.

I listen to a lot of EDM/downtempo/Deep House and I'd say a highly resolving system definitely sounds fantastic when the specific recordings are extremely high quality.

Nicolas Jaar, Bonobo, Koop, Tosca, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Massive Attack, Thievery Corp, James Blake all have fantastic sounding albums that sound great in my system. Having good bass certainly helps, but a lot of these albums also have great mid and high frequency detail and live instrumentation. 

A song that is truly demanding of the system is Askvik - Liberty. Not because it's very bombastic. Contrary it's rather sublime. With myriads of sounds in a 3D universe. Still trying to achieve the perfect rendition. Of course you have to fight your room for this....

  I listen to Classical Music about 99% of the time.  I think it is the most demanding genre to reproduce for many reasons, including dynamic range.  When I listen to non Classical on my system, I always feel like I am driving a Rolls Royce in a driveway.  I enjoy pop much more on my mid fi systems

mahler123,      I agree !

Only diff is I listen solely to jazz  when my car is moving.

it all depends on how the music is engineered. many music of this genre are very well recorded and engineered such as Men I Trust and Saint Etienne. IME it’s usually the large US labels that have bad recordings.

Hi All,

Thanks for all of the feedback and excellent suggestions.  I can see that electronica music can still have hidden detail to be resolved, and its up to me to make sure my system is up to the task!

@fai_v - just keep in mind that sometimes TOO much detail is not desirable and can be distracting - try to listen to as much gear as you can to see how your EDM sounds on it - good luck! 


I feel as if i will have to re-do my system and start with a sensitive speaker, like Omega Super Alnico.

Then i can get used to hearing more detail, and increase components along the way (DAC, cables, etc) to get even more detail.  I'm currently using Bryston Mini-Ts and they have enjoyable sound, plus low bass, so i'm going to keep them...but i definitely need to try out a much more sensitive offering to hear what detail is all about.  I might even consider electrostatic speakers i'm not sure.

Good quality speakers are the place to start. The real trick in buying speakers is getting ones that really speak to you… you have get an emotional connection with. To do that… I really recommend listening to speakers… as many and as high end as possible. Even if you are not going to buy really expensive ones… it will show you the character you like. Then, you can slowly swap out electronics to best support the speakers you chose. 

There are a number of strategies to music reproduction, like: really efficient speakers and low power components, inefficient speakers that are very accurate (ridged cones so they snap back quick… but require lots of power), electrostatic / planner… that reproduce sounds way into the high frequencies and impact what you can hear through harmonics. The major groupings have advantages and disadvantages… 


I recommend Robert Harley’s book, The Complete Guide to High End Audio. It will show you the different classes of speakers… pros and cons, how to pick them out and get supporting electronics.


One more word about sound. Detail is one of a dozen sound characteristics that are important in choosing equipment. It is also probably the easiest to get and in doing so get an unlistenable harsh system. If I read highly detailed… without lots of additional discussion on how natural and warm sounding it is, with a low noice floor… I go running the other direction. 

Getting a high end system does not require enormous amounts of money, but it does require education and lots of thought… then you’ll get an incredible system.