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Article: Dutch & Dutch 8c Loudspeaker Review

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22 hours ago, mitchco said:

Depending on how lively your room is will depend on whether you ditch the room treatments or not. In the article, I reference industry guidelines for studio control rooms and critical listening rooms, which there is a spec for decay time based on the volume of the room. Mostly it is a range.  Even with a few broadband absorbers on the back wall and heavy acoustic drapes on the front wall, my room is at the upper limit of the spec for being almost too lively, but the response is smooth across the frequency range. It's late now, but I will post the decay time of my room tomorrow.

 

Just following up and posting the RT60 or REW decay time for my room. This is with 4 x 2' x 4' broadband absorber panels on the back wall, 2 more on the left side wall, that you can see in the room pic. 2 x bass traps on the left, in front of an unused fireplace. Keeps the metal from rattling and the cavity from resonating. Heavy 20 oz velour acoustic curtains. Thick carpet with double underlay between the speakers and couch.

 

While I get a nice flat response for reverb/decay time, it is at the top range of recommended reverb (i.e. decay) time for my room. volume.  Top range is 400 ms. Meaning, while the room has an even decay time over a broad frequency range, it is still a lively room. You can hear it on the sub recording above in Rihanna's voice about 3 seconds before the video ends...

 

D&D 8c RT60 measured at the LP.jpg

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12 hours ago, PeterG said:

 

Interesting question in two ways, starting with the "reference".  Now that you push me, I see that I do not mean reference in the literal sense--I mean that a reviewer needs to put us in the ballpark of how he is defining "good".  The answer I was looking for would be something like--"beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you should listen for yourself, but the 8c's are good competition for other stand-mounts in the $5-10K range such as....Of course you'll need to buy an amp for those".  Virtually every professional review does this, including your own.

 

Back to your assertion that the room is the biggest instrument.  That may be the answer to the big question--maybe the 8c's are not in the big leagues in a good room, but jump to the front of the pack in a problem room?  I am not asserting that either of these things is true

 

I also do not accept the idea that these are unique in the way that matters most--i.e. there's more than one way to skin a cat.  I'd really like to know how a person might evaluate the 8c's and a headphone amp (as Mitchco has done) against a price comparable combo of amp/speakers/room correction, or just amp/speakers in a typical room.  The whole area of room correction is fascinating, important, and debatable--let's have the debate!

 

Big picture--I think CA's guest reviewers bring a welcome fresh take.  Mitchco has written a terrific piece that we never would have read elsewhere.  But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.  There are certain things that every review should include.  Price and performance against some defined competition are two of those things.
 

 

 

Peter, as you may or may not know, I am big into digital room correction. You will find four articles here on CA, plus a book

 

I understand what you are saying. Based on the directivity and voicing of the 8c's, I would say that super smooth, tilted response would sound similar to the Revel Salon2's.  If one overlaid the frequency responses measured at the LP, they are quite alike...

 

The issue is that many speakers are still voiced using a flawed approach, as mentioned in the soapbox section and elsewhere. Sean Olive and other studies have shown that there is no correlation between price and frequency response.   When it comes to speakers, frequency response is the determining factor for our subjective opinion of sound quality. This makes it harder to compare to other speakers...

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6 hours ago, mitchco said:

I understand what you are saying. Based on the directivity and voicing of the 8c's, I would say that super smooth, tilted response would sound similar to the Revel Salon2's.  If one overlaid the frequency responses measured at the LP, they are quite alike...

 

Based on this comment, I'll stick with my JBL M2's.  I still much prefer them over the Salon2's.  Now I just need to get focused on Audiolense when time allows.  


2 ch Setup:

Motorola Modem sb6141> Emo Systems EN-70HD > (5) eero > Synology 1813+ (DSM 6.2), 4TB Seagate NAS Drives, 4GB RAM & Zero Surge & APC XS BX1000G/backup to Synology DX513) > Emo Systems EN-60KDS  > Roon > Mola Mola Tambaqui > BSS BLU 50 > (2) Hypex NCore NC502MP > JBL M2 Master Reference

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19 hours ago, PeterG said:

 

Interesting question in two ways, starting with the "reference".  Now that you push me, I see that I do not mean reference in the literal sense--I mean that a reviewer needs to put us in the ballpark of how he is defining "good".  The answer I was looking for would be something like--"beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you should listen for yourself, but the 8c's are good competition for other stand-mounts in the $5-10K range such as....Of course you'll need to buy an amp for those".  Virtually every professional review does this, including your own.

 

Back to your assertion that the room is the biggest instrument.  That may be the answer to the big question--maybe the 8c's are not in the big leagues in a good room, but jump to the front of the pack in a problem room?  I am not asserting that either of these things is true

 

I also do not accept the idea that these are unique in the way that matters most--i.e. there's more than one way to skin a cat.  I'd really like to know how a person might evaluate the 8c's and a headphone amp (as Mitchco has done) against a price comparable combo of amp/speakers/room correction, or just amp/speakers in a typical room.  The whole area of room correction is fascinating, important, and debatable--let's have the debate!

 

Big picture--I think CA's guest reviewers bring a welcome fresh take.  Mitchco has written a terrific piece that we never would have read elsewhere.  But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.  There are certain things that every review should include.  Price and performance against some defined competition are two of those things.
 

 

Thanks for the well thought out reply Peter. 


Founder of Audiophile Style and Superphonica

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7 hours ago, JR_Audio said:

Hi Mitch. Wow, another great review from you. Congrats on that. I enjoyed every paragraph you have written. I am familiar with both speakers (Dutch & Dutch 8c and Kii THREE) and do agree with many points you have described. But for most, it is great to see such thorough review of speakers with the focus, how they behave at home, and not mainly in anechoic chambers. Juergen

 

Thanks Juergen!  I appreciate you giving my articles a read and your kind comments! Yes, I am amassing a nice little library of in-room measurements. There are some interesting correlations... In the end, it is all about how speakers sound in a home environment. More to come... Thanks again.

Cheers, Mitch

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11 hours ago, firedog said:

If it is anything like the Kii, you may surprised how little difference that makes. The A/D/A conversion in the Kii, is transparent - or very close to it. 

 

Agreed.

 

When I auditioned the kii3 and the 8c side by side I would run one from analog and the other from digital to A/B them. Swapping cables so the sources were reversed wasn’t noticable. 

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On 9/6/2018 at 4:32 AM, mitchco said:

 

I am glad you liked it! The packaging is excellent, double thick cardboard boxes with foam inserts that float the speaker. I believe there is a dealer network, but, it is unlikely that the whole speaker would need to be shipped back to the Netherlands unless there was physical damage to the cabinet or drivers. The electronics panel has 6 screws on the bottom and 3 cables to unclip to be able to remove the panel and ship. So in the unlikely event that the loudspeaker needs servicing, it is more likely that it would be the electronic panel that needs shipping, which is small and weighs less than 5 lbs.

 

Ah, this is interesting. I guess theoretically the electronic panel can be replaced/upgraded with the inevitable progress in technology. 

 

Not locked into "legacy" hardware.

 

 

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On 9/7/2018 at 11:19 AM, firedog said:

If it is anything like the Kii, you may surprised how little difference that makes. The A/D/A conversion in the Kii, is transparent - or very close to it.  There are Kii owners using it with a turntable as the source and they say they are quite satisfied with the result. 

A turntable is an analogue source, so there is no alternative but to convert it to digital at some point and in a speaker with a built in DAC using it is the most direct approach.  I was thinking about a digital source like a computer could skip a separate DAC and let the electronics in the speaker do all the work.  

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1 hour ago, Ron Scubadiver said:

A turntable is an analogue source, so there is no alternative but to convert it to digital at some point and in a speaker with a built in DAC using it is the most direct approach.  I was thinking about a digital source like a computer could skip a separate DAC and let the electronics in the speaker do all the work.  

But, of course.  Isn't that the general intent?


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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Fabulous review.  I am really heartened to see someone from a pro-audio background doing reviews that reach the traditional HiFi/audiophile audience .  I think this adds a much needed perspective in the audiophile world.

 

How do the Dutch and Dutch speakers compare to the mixing monitors you used in your career as an audio engineer? I'm not sure if you mostly mixed on Genelec, Focal, ATC, Barefoot, etc but would be nice to hear what you think as the pro monitors strive for this truly neutral sound as table stakes.

 

Great work and kudos to Chris for bringing you on board!


Genelec 8030a with 7050b sub > Peachtree Decco 2 > Apple TV

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@heycarlos Thanks for your kind words. It was a long time ago... At that time, most studios had a soffit mounted pair of Urei 813 time aligns or Westlake's were very popular. For near fields, Yamaha NS-10M, JBL's of all sorts from 4312's to 4401's to 4406's to 4311's and on it went -  it was all West Coast sound where I was...  I had Tannoy NFM-8 which were really nice, but they still had not worked out the odd midrange bump of their dual concentric design.  Auratones (horrortones!) were everywhere and far from being fidelity - used to check how your mix would sound over a car radio ?

 

Relative to the nearfields back in the day, none compared at all to the 8c's. Nearfields sitting on the mixing bridge were typically free field and always lacked bass. Also the industry was just catching on how controlled dispersion was a big deal as most speakers from that era had narrowing directivity as frequency increases. So during final mixdown, the artists and producer would take turns sitting in the mxing chair as that was the only place where to top end balance was correct...

 

Really wish I had the 8c's back then!!

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So many thanks for this stellar detailed review! I’m really tempted to give the 8c now a detailed „test run“ and compare to my Accuphase/Martin Logan combo....!

 

Do you know any way to control the volume of the 8cˋs with a „real“ remote control instead of the webinterface? It’s really hard to pitch a system to my wife without a real remote control ?

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10 hours ago, joergchm said:

So many thanks for this stellar detailed review! I’m really tempted to give the 8c now a detailed „test run“ and compare to my Accuphase/Martin Logan combo....!

 

Do you know any way to control the volume of the 8cˋs with a „real“ remote control instead of the webinterface? It’s really hard to pitch a system to my wife without a real remote control ?

You'd need something like the Weiss INT203 or 202 (I'm not familiar with exactly the inputs/outputs needed for this and the 8c to match up, but that's the idea) that will transfer a signal and has a remote volume control. You should ask an 8c dealer what they recommend.

My guess is that you can find something in the pro audio world that will do the trick and not cost thousands. 
I'm with you, don't want software volume control.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Very well written review. Extremely thorough. I do disagree with the rolled off treble that you appear to like. I know you've played a role as recording engineer/producer. You obviously have heard a drum kit in person. How do you reconcile the sound of live drums/cymbals with a rolled off top end? The last thing I want to hear is the lifeless, boring, no top end of the original "Born to Run" of the seventies. A drum kit in a real room is bright and aggressive. Why shouldn't it be when played through a stereo system?

 

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Quick but hopefully not silly question to all proud 8c owners(since I can’t find any description in the specs):

 

Do the speakers turn on (by music signal) and off (after some time without signal) automatically ?

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Nice review, @mitchco.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the acoustic/electric design of the rear-facing subs of the 8c, as it's unclear to me if the subs are designed to also produce or contribute to the controlled (cardioid?) radiation pattern. From the video clip you shared, it appears to my eyes that the subs are out of phase with each other. I could be deceived about this though given that only a small piece of the bottom driver is visible.

 

Given the recommended proximity to the front-wall, the subs will pick up some boundary gain. They will also radiate half of their power around the enclosure (less so if significant radiation-shaping is in play). Do the enclosed back-waves also contribute here? Add to this recipe the blending of the subs with the mid-range speaker and the result is that I'm both super-impressed and super-confused ?

 

A little help, please?

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On 9/4/2018 at 11:34 PM, Emlin said:

Hi Mitch. How were you controlling the volume (and mute) on these? The Kii has the Control which seems very convenient. Did you try the web browser "app" for this? If so, is it adequate?

 

The volume can be adjusted using the web app from your mobile device. When the Roon Endpoint implementation is released, you will of course be able to control the volume through Roon as well.

 

/ Marcus, www.perfect-sense.se


 

PERFECT SENSE

www.perfect-sense.se

 

Showroom in Stockholm, Sweden | [email protected] | 08 518 368 00 | Follow us on Facebook

 

 

 

 

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