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Article: Dutch & Dutch 8c Loudspeaker Review

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Hello Mitchco,  i own a pair of Dutch and dutch 8c , i don't have any knowledge of how to get best sound quality out the speaker.  Like Parametric eq, and measurements. I just fixed it out of box on stands and just measured the front and side wall and entered the values in lanspeaker. Is that all i need to get best sound quality from the speakers.

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12 hours ago, mitchco said:

Great review by @Kal Rubinson and measurements by @John_Atkinson at Stereophile for the 8c! Excellent to see a good correlation of both subjective listening and objective measurements when reading both articles. This speaks to the robustness of @mensink design and engineering acumen that results in a neutral sounding package regardless of set up and room . . .

 

Thank you. As well as the flat response and time-optimized performance, the aspect of the 8c that most impressed me was the superbly well-controlled lateral dispersion. See fig.3 at https://www.stereophile.com/content/dutch-dutch-8c-active-loudspeaker-system-measurements

 

John Atkinson

Technical Editor, Stereophile

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13 hours ago, mitchco said:

Great review by @Kal Rubinson and measurements by @John_Atkinson at Stereophile for the 8c! Excellent to see a good correlation of both subjective listening and objective measurements when reading both articles. This speaks to the robustness of @mensink design and engineering acumen that results in a neutral sounding package regardless of set up and room. Leading the pack IMO.

 

I fully agree with you Mitch, Kalman Rubinson did an outstanding job of capturing the essence of what the 8c is about. I couldn't be more pleased with the review!

 

13 hours ago, mitchco said:

One item of note Kal is your comment, "The treble was smooth and open but somewhat under-stated,
Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/dutch-dutch-8c-active-loudspeaker-system-page-2#ju5uiVG81a5oqZ2E.99

 

Sure, not only agree with you, but prefer that as most other consumer speakers sound overly bright to my ears. Typically measuring +5 dB hotter starting anywhere from 2 to 4 kHz all the way up to 20 kHz as compared to the wonderfully neutral sounding 8c.

 

Overly bright to my ears is what I hear going on at audio shows. I don't know if loudspeaker designers are not using the latest design and engineering best practices ... Or not understanding the science that a neutral sounding speaker will measure flat in an anechoic chamber, but an in-room frequency response measurement will have downward/sloping tilt of ~20 Hz to -10 dB at 20 kHz, which is perceived as neutral sounding to our ears. By this measure, and as the science shows peoples preference, it turns out that most speakers are designed to be too bright sounding. But D&D "gets it" 🙂 

 

Thoughts?

 

I personally don't think the treble is really under-stated, although it most certainly isn't over-stated. The on-axis response is smooth and flat and the off-axis curves strongly resemble the on-axis. 

 

However, the highs may indeed sound a bit under-stated in certain situations, depending on the program material, listening distance, acoustics of the room and the room curve at lower frequencies. Kalman actually remarked on this himself:

 

Quote

 

The 8c's sound is warmer and less obviously detailed than the Kii Three's, but I don't think that's anything more than a slight shift in perceived balance due to the 8c's fuller, more powerful bass. 

 

 

I agree. I've had the Kii's and the 8c's side by side in my living room for a while. The Kii's too are remarkably good speakers. With just some subtle EQ the two could be made to sound very similar on most program material - to the extent that I might not be able to distinguish them in a proper blind test. I'm still amazed sometimes by the extent to which differences in sound can be explained by frequency response. 

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2 hours ago, John_Atkinson said:

 

Thank you. As well as the flat response and time-optimized performance, the aspect of the 8c that most impressed me was the superbly well-controlled lateral dispersion. See fig.3 at https://www.stereophile.com/content/dutch-dutch-8c-active-loudspeaker-system-measurements

 

John Atkinson

Technical Editor, Stereophile

 

John, I felt very proud when I read your measurement report of the 8c's. When I read the "Wow!" bit at the end, my heart skipped a beat. I've been a big fan of how you combine the subjective and the objective for years, and this coming from you really means a lot to me. Thank you. 

 

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14 hours ago, Samuel said:

Hello Mitchco,  i own a pair of Dutch and dutch 8c , i don't have any knowledge of how to get best sound quality out the speaker.  Like Parametric eq, and measurements. I just fixed it out of box on stands and just measured the front and side wall and entered the values in lanspeaker. Is that all i need to get best sound quality from the speakers.

 

Hi Samuel. In most rooms the 8c's will sound well-balanced using just the boundary compensation settings. However, it usually pays great dividends to deal with room-modes. Who's your dealer? Please send me an email at martijn.mensink at domain. 

 

Martijn Mensink

Dutch & Dutch

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4 hours ago, mensink said:

With just some subtle EQ the two could be made to sound very similar on most program material - to the extent that I might not be able to distinguish them in a proper blind test.

I'd like to see the adjustments you'd make to each speaker to do that.😉 I appreciate you saying you might even be able to make the indistinguishable in a proper blind test. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Making speakers, playback chains indistinguishable is the aim, or should be; all you then hear is the recording, the common element.

 

"Easy material" is the first step; then, step up the complexity of the mix, the dynamics of the piece, and the loudness at which one makes the rig work - this unearths aspects beyond FR, the ear starts to hear the various weaknesses still present, unique to each system, which distinguishes them.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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On 7/26/2019 at 12:44 PM, John_Atkinson said:

 

Thank you. As well as the flat response and time-optimized performance, the aspect of the 8c that most impressed me was the superbly well-controlled lateral dispersion. See fig.3 at https://www.stereophile.com/content/dutch-dutch-8c-active-loudspeaker-system-measurements

 

John Atkinson

Technical Editor, Stereophile

 

John, great review on the 8c's from yourself and Kal as always.

 

Can I just ask though, in your measurements you determined that the 8c's are limited to a 48Khz sampling rate and internally re-sample everything to 48Khz. Do you feel this down sampling would make any audible difference when replaying high resolution music files of a higher sampling rate?

 

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Hi mitchco,


As usual a great review! I enjoy reading your contributions to the audio world, which I initially encountered on Archimago's Musings. 🙂 Let me summarize my impressions on the latest "DSP loudspeakers":


I never was too interested in the Devialet Phantoms, to be honest, as it looks like unfinished business. As you said, the potential is there and that makes it even harder to understand why there's no complete room correction (like Dirac Live) with storable presets implemented. However, I appreciate the unconventional but acoustically effective shape of the loudspeakers. Furthermore, Devialet's marketing is absolutely not my cup of tea, I have to admit...


Similarly to the Phantoms, I see a big compromise regarding distortion at higher SPL with the Kii THREE (especially at low frequencies output), which is why also those have never really caught my interest. At such a high price tag I expect better overall performance, going beyond a sophisticated implementation of /internal/ correction by DSP.


With the Dutch & Dutch 8c we are a big step closer to what I personally would like to see in a set of reference loudspeakers.


All of those DSP-featured loudspeakers seem to use drivers from other manufacturers, unless I missed something? Of course that's not a big deal; I remember having read that the Kii THREE's tweeter (apparently same as found in the Grimm Audio LS1) is the Seas H1499-06 27TBCD/GB-DXT ; for example. [Can anybody confirm with regards to the LS1v2? There's an optional LS1be with Beryllium tweeter, though.]

 

However, I am sure there are more advanced drivers available as the mentioned Seas (just an example) and I would expect those latest transducers to be found on such an expensive system. For instance, JBL Professional have their proprietary D2 compression tweeter which was introduced with the M2, along with the formerly know 2216Nd woofer - to reach even lower distortion (also at higher SPL). Dynaudio just released their finest tweeter, the 'Esotar Pro' which has a new inner dome - called "hexis" - that will control the unwanted inner resonances, while also smoothing out the frequency response [found on the Core series]. We can continue with Genelec's new MDC coaxial midrange and tweeter + new woofer drivers [see 'The Ones', e.g. 8361A and W371A], Focal's Pro audio drivers [as found on the Trio11 Be] etc..


It seems the domain of distortion/resonance vs. SPL (resonances: as well regarding the cabinet) has been neglected on most reviews, which I personally find is a big miss. Furthermore, with the Dutch & Dutch 8c I cannot understand why they apply a 1/24 octave smoothing to the frequency response and 1/6 octave smoothing to the horizontal directivity plot. No smoothing at all would allow to really judge the speaker's performance; else a max. of 1/3 octave smoothing, as it comes close to what we can still distinguish by listening. Plus, why don't they provide a vertical directivity plot? [Please advise me if it is hidden somewhere, I didn't check. ^^]


Despite the difference in price, for a set of full-range speakers the JBL Professional M2 remain my reference choice and with regards to price/performance, the JBL Professional 708P are remarkable performers.

 

Generally, I would like all manufacturers to be more transparent and more accurate with the data they release!


Best regards.

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Speaking of Roy Allison... I would love to see Dutch & Dutch make a pair of desktop or office speakers designed to work well in a corner...

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1 hour ago, Ralf11 said:

Speaking of Roy Allison... I would love to see Dutch & Dutch make a pair of desktop or office speakers designed to work well in a corner...

or two.😉


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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@detlev24 Thanks for your kind words and comments! Given I like large, high efficiency loudspeakers with horns, I like your reference choice 🙂

 

Re: Generally, I would like all manufacturers to be more transparent and more accurate with the data they release!

 

Totally agreed! Especially since there is a standard for loudspeakers measurements called, "CTA-2034-A Standard Method of Measurement for In-Home Loudspeakers". The standard is publicly available and free to everyone.

 

"This standard describes an improved method for measuring and reporting the performance of a loudspeaker in a manner that should help consumers better understand the performance of the loudspeaker and convey a reasonably good representation of how it may sound in a room based on its off-axis response and how this response affects the consumer’s experience."

 

It is well worth the read and embodies the accumulation of work by Floyd Toole, Sean Olive and others in a industry acknowledged standard. It offers a standard report format that consumers should demand to see for any given speaker purchase. Sometimes referred to as "spinorama" report. The only place I know that informally catalogs similar reports is: https://speakerdata2034.blogspot.com But given the science of designing and measuring loudspeakers, that has been proven over and over again, even since Floyd's spinorama paper from 2002, it seems very few speaker manufacturers have cottoned onto this.

 

I hope consumers put more demand on loudspeaker manufacturers to produce these reports, especially the new CTA 2034 A standard (from 2015 to be updated by the end of this year) format where it is clear to see the speakers on and off axis response and especially the predicted in-room frequency response. 

 

Cheers!

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Your review just made it VERY difficult for me to decide on the 8c's or the Kii's. I am a mixing/mastering engineer. Would you favor one over the other for that task?

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4 hours ago, anaudiopro said:

Your review just made it VERY difficult for me to decide on the 8c's or the Kii's. I am a mixing/mastering engineer. Would you favor one over the other for that task?

You don't have any ability to in store or home audition either one? There are definitely dealers who will give you a home audition. 

BTW, I'm sure you could't go wrong with either one. It's more a matter of which sound you prefer. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 hour ago, firedog said:

BTW, I'm sure you could't go wrong with either one. It's more a matter of which sound you prefer. 

True but isn't that preference the whole ball of wax?


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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8 hours ago, anaudiopro said:

Your review just made it VERY difficult for me to decide on the 8c's or the Kii's. I am a mixing/mastering engineer. Would you favor one over the other for that task?

 

Oh boy. Well, in post 107 above, just using the the onboard DSP one can almost make them identical from a spectral balance perspective. Both have excellent cardioid technology and polar responses, state of the art. As you can see I am avoiding the question 🙂

 

As others have stated, it is all about preference at this level of performance. Personally, I would be happy with either. The "perceived" difference I heard between the two systems I have a hard time trying to qualify and quantify what it is, but to my ears, it is there. I don't know objectively what it is, but the Kii's sound "dryer" than the 8c's to my ears. It is hard to describe. The 8c's sound familiar to me compared to other speakers, whereas the Kii's does not sound like any other speaker I have heard. The 8c's have slamming dual 8" subwoofers that seem just slightly under damped to give them that thump whereas the Kii's sound over damped with no sound to them at all. I wonder if it is because of Bruno's current feedback loop... Whatever the difference, it is quite small and could not say if I could reliably pass a blind test.

 

Which one would provide the best translation in the studio? At this level of performance, it really is preference. Both are incredibly linear sound reproduction devices. I hope you can get a chance to hear both.

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On 4/12/2020 at 6:57 AM, mitchco said:

 

As others have stated, it is all about preference at this level of performance. Personally, I would be happy with either. The "perceived" difference I heard between the two systems I have a hard time trying to qualify and quantify what it is, but to my ears, it is there. I don't know objectively what it is, but the Kii's sound "dryer" than the 8c's to my ears. It is hard to describe. The 8c's sound familiar to me compared to other speakers, whereas the Kii's does not sound like any other speaker I have heard. The 8c's have slamming dual 8" subwoofers that seem just slightly under damped to give them that thump whereas the Kii's sound over damped with no sound to them at all. I wonder if it is because of Bruno's current feedback loop... Whatever the difference, it is quite small and could not say if I could reliably pass a blind test.

 

Have you had a chance to listen to Kii Threes with BXT? I wonder if adding the BXT module would fix the "dry" sound.

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8 hours ago, ralfs said:

 

Have you had a chance to listen to Kii Threes with BXT? I wonder if adding the BXT module would fix the "dry" sound.

I have no idea if we are talking about the same thing, but I give mine a slight boost (half a db) between about 100-400hz. I just think music sounds better that way. Not just through the Kiis. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Hi @ralfs it wasn't just the bass, it was at all frequencies that I noticed a difference. I think this has to do with Bruno's current drive and feedback tech he is using. From Bruno, "I use current drive wherever it helps reduce distortion. The midrange for instance is entirely current driven."  There is more techtalk from Bruno here, but I did not dig into the details...

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On 4/12/2020 at 7:57 AM, mitchco said:

I don't know objectively what it is, but the Kii's sound "dryer" than the 8c's to my ears. It is hard to describe. The 8c's sound familiar to me compared to other speakers, whereas the Kii's does not sound like any other speaker I have heard.

 

My experience & impression was exactly the same when I demo'ed both of these.

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4 minutes ago, asdf1000 said:

 

My experience & impression was exactly the same when I demo'ed both of these.


I've reached the same conclusion after dealing with both brands during recent years. Dutch & Dutch has a more natural sense to them that Kii lacks.

 

/ 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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