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Apartment Audiophile: A ‘subjective’ review of Dutch & Dutch (D&D) 8c speakers for pop, electronic and rock music fans


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Excellent review.  A refreshing way to see how the common apartment dweller deals with limitations and genres of music that they (you) enjoy that are not considered of audiophile grade. Kudos to you. 

PC/NAS/JRiver/Roon - PS Audio P5 Regenerator - KEF LS50 Nocturne - Rel 328 subwoofer - PS Audio AC5 Power cables 

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11 hours ago, ecwl said:

Very cool review.

 

I'm curious about the REW parametric EQ you had to dial in in the end.

Was this an automated process?

Just curious what room issues there were

I need to check if I stored the data. I did my rew rather hastily. 

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10 hours ago, ShawnC said:

Excellent review.  A refreshing way to see how the common apartment dweller deals with limitations and genres of music that they (you) enjoy that are not considered of audiophile grade. Kudos to you. 

Thanks a lot for your comment indeed!

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3 hours ago, PCmusic said:

I need to check if I stored the data. I did my rew rather hastily. 

No worries. Don’t waste your time looking for it.

I was more curious about the parametric EQ integration of the D&D 8c.

And I suddenly remembered Mitch Barrett reviewed it too so I found his article:

Yes, these sound like phenomenal speakers and it’s fantastic you have it perfectly integrated into your room to enjoy your music. Not a Facebook person though. Thanks for the article again. I’ll have to check out these speakers at a store when I have a chance in the future.

 

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8 hours ago, ecwl said:

No worries. Don’t waste your time looking for it.

I was more curious about the parametric EQ integration of the D&D 8c.

And I suddenly remembered Mitch Barrett reviewed it too so I found his article:

Yes, these sound like phenomenal speakers and it’s fantastic you have it perfectly integrated into your room to enjoy your music. Not a Facebook person though. Thanks for the article again. I’ll have to check out these speakers at a store when I have a chance in the future.

 

 

I know there're a lot of debates between smoothing ... but I can't find the answer. I am simply not an expert. I have these charts for psychoacoustics smoothing for left and right channel.

651066151_8cLeftpsycho.thumb.JPG.a90f2efc548245f13158dc2b5ee25104.JPG1855624137_8cRightpsycho.thumb.JPG.bc9819aa407a8bdebf6ab2c3e5a4fd67.JPG1016211513_8cLeftRT60Decay.thumb.JPG.923679815095c4b2977b88940d517ba9.JPG1020526920_8cRightRT60Decay.thumb.JPG.1df371c21c562e5aa458d5082ff5fac4.JPG

 

Several points:

1. Yes, that should be what the FR is like for now.

2. The increase of treble region seem to be sidewall reflections.

3. The valley after 100Hz is very likely due to ceiling, and I could take care of that later.

4. The notch around 50 to 60 ... I can't do anything for now. I either put 8c back to the front wall but I don't have the time now, or, I use active bass trap to take care of that.

5. I generate a RT60 decay curves for L and R measured at the center (cannot generate waterfall for averaged positions) - I am still learning and I dunno if it's correct. 

 

As said, I only know the basics of REW. The room is still on the livelier side, but has been much suppressed than before and listenable to me. 

 

 

 

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Without being able to completely remove sidewall reflections and to cure cases where certain sources cause more treble problems, my easy solution now is to turn down the treble by 3 to 5 dB, easily done from 8c app. I like simple though imperfect solution, especially when I have no time to completely cure the problem. 😅that’s why I said I’m an ordinary audiophile ...

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11 hours ago, ecwl said:

Thanks for digging the measurements up. Super cool. I definitely have to find the speakers somewhere to listen to. 

 

I was both lucky and unlucky for audition. Lucky - the local dealer is willing to give me a room with a shape similar to me and let me pull out the speakers to the middle of the room and let me move the speakers around. I finally settled on a position, without REW correction, and checked the potential. I discovered if being pulled out, 8c is actually as sensitive as conventional speakers regarding positioning. A few cm left or right, back and forth, could remedy some soundstage problem, for example.  I believed when it is close to the wall, a few cm may make some differences too, even it has coupling adjustment supplied through the app - though overall the performance variation may not be as great as being put in 'free space'. I don't have enough experience to tell the whole story admittedly.

 

But it would be great if you're allowed to play around positioning, in either free standing or close-to-the-wall mode.

 

Unlucky - the dealer can't do a home demo. Some countries/cities can, but not mine. 

 

Here's my list of auditioned songs lol (I ended up playing 1/3 of them perhaps lol):

1547143917_Testingsongsclassicalandjazz.JPG.569d2c198c26c2168d6f44f282568624.JPG

Testing Jazz and Pop 2.JPG

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Hello PCmusic, thank you for this very detailed review. Can you help me understand what you mean by a curved soundstage? Also what do you mean when SLP and SRP are shifted further left and right in the soundstage? Do you mean that the L and R images appear to be coming right from the speakers themselves or from outside the speakers towards the side walls?

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On 3/20/2021 at 7:16 AM, Cadguy said:

Hello PCmusic, thank you for this very detailed review. Can you help me understand what you mean by a curved soundstage? Also what do you mean when SLP and SRP are shifted further left and right in the soundstage? Do you mean that the L and R images appear to be coming right from the speakers themselves or from outside the speakers towards the side walls?

 

Hi Cadguy

 

When I say curved, it means 

1. 8c is being pulled out 180cm from the wall, and placed close to the sidewall (90cm away from the tweeter center) - it is my case.

 

2. For my case (stated above), and for many recordings, soundstage remains at the center, left and right 'plane' at the front wall location. It means the soundstage and the speakers are completely detached. This is the case even if I don't use 45 toe-in. The curved soundstage is 'source dependent' - which leads to point 3.

 

3. But for some recordings, some instruments / effects were panned STRONGLY to the far right and left. For these recordings, the left and right instruments / sounds could appear to be coming directly from the drivers. But since majority of sound coming from the center area of the front wall, the overall effect is a seemingly 'curved' soundstage. It's like an inverted smile.

 

4. NO - those tiny portion of sound in scenario 3 seems to be coming from the driver, but not outside the speakers towards the sidewalls - at least in my room.

 

5. I find it strange since I re-read Stereophile's John Atkinson's review, his 8c were rather close to the wall and he said he finds sidewall reflections had no problems at all. But I find it hard to compare since I don't know the details of the placement. His room size is "Room: 20' (left side), 25' (right side) × 16' × 8'.—John Atkinson" according to another review. But I actually don't know what he means. I can't figure out exactly how he placed his speakers by his descriptions, and he has abfusers. Simply put ... I cannot find experiences from another user who pull out 8c, close to the wall, like me. 

 

6. But as said, the curved soundstage has been largely resolved in my case. I also placed the speakers 210 to 220cm part ... if they're put closer, sidewall effects will be much more reduced. 

 

7. When I audited 8c in my dealer's room (in free standing mode), no such problems existed. So it's room dependent - that room is noticeably wider than mine, and has more absorption treatment. 

 

Having said all this, this is really my particular experience. And you can give me personal messages if you have other questions.

 

 

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No I don't have the chance. I just auditioned it in the dealer's room, one around 100 sq ft one over 300sq ft. Both in my view not very properly positioned. One thing I am sure is that the active bass cardioid worked! Bass was rather even in both rooms. But in the smaller room, room reflection problems did not go away (it was not toed in though). 

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I fully agree that the impact that a room has on the playback quality of an audio system is enormous. I am also a great supporter of loudspeaker manufacturers (Dutch myself... :)) who recognise this and come up with smart solutions. But in your set of four assumptions/hypotheses about additional treatment needs for you beloved genres, I think you are totally missing the point. In these genres commercial interests and an acceptable reproduction on a boombox, in a car, etc., play a much greater role than a lifelike experience. And I'm not even talking about the loudness war and ignorance of mixing and mastering. Recalibration: bad recording/mastering = bad reproduction.

 

This is also easy to verify by listening to the genres you name on a very good headphone system. Although not completely comparable with in room listening, in any case there is no influence of a room with its reflections and other imperfections. By doing this you will also notice that there is quite a lot of good pop, rock, r&b and techno, but that the vast majority sounds mediocre or bad according to audiophile standards. In my system if an album sounds good on my headphone setup, it also sounds good in my loudspeaker setup. Regardless of the genre. Note that I heavily rely on DRC/DSP in my loudspeaker system with Lyngdorf's Roomperfect and additional PEQ in Roon.

 

 

Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, balanced) | Uptone Audio EtherREGEN + Ferrum Hypsos | Sonore OpticalModule + Uptone Audio UltraCap LPS-1.2 | Jensen CI-1RR Cables Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad with Oyaide connectors for AC, Ferrum for DC and Ghent for ethernet Software dCS Mosaic | Tidal | Qobuz

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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Incredible write-up!

 

Thx! 🙃

Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, balanced) | Uptone Audio EtherREGEN + Ferrum Hypsos | Sonore OpticalModule + Uptone Audio UltraCap LPS-1.2 | Jensen CI-1RR Cables Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad with Oyaide connectors for AC, Ferrum for DC and Ghent for ethernet Software dCS Mosaic | Tidal | Qobuz

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On 3/24/2021 at 6:14 AM, morespin said:

I enjoyed the writeup even if I ended up with Dynaudio Xeo 20 for my small aprtment room (6 feet by 10 feet). I am sure 8C at four times the price would sound more 'refined', but Xeo 20s provide me great joy.

 

I am not an absolutist insisting doctrines ... I actually wanted to buy LS50 but I really can't put subs (GAF) ... Love to know your experience of Xeo 20 and how you setup this in your small room and how it let you enjoy your preferred music. I have some friends living in apartments also have rooms similar to yours. If you could share a bit the best way to set up Xeo 20, I could share your post to them. 

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On 3/22/2021 at 11:41 PM, skatbelt said:

I fully agree that the impact that a room has on the playback quality of an audio system is enormous. I am also a great supporter of loudspeaker manufacturers (Dutch myself... :)) who recognise this and come up with smart solutions. But in your set of four assumptions/hypotheses about additional treatment needs for you beloved genres, I think you are totally missing the point. In these genres commercial interests and an acceptable reproduction on a boombox, in a car, etc., play a much greater role than a lifelike experience. And I'm not even talking about the loudness war and ignorance of mixing and mastering. Recalibration: bad recording/mastering = bad reproduction.

 

This is also easy to verify by listening to the genres you name on a very good headphone system. Although not completely comparable with in room listening, in any case there is no influence of a room with its reflections and other imperfections. By doing this you will also notice that there is quite a lot of good pop, rock, r&b and techno, but that the vast majority sounds mediocre or bad according to audiophile standards. In my system if an album sounds good on my headphone setup, it also sounds good in my loudspeaker setup. Regardless of the genre. Note that I heavily rely on DRC/DSP in my loudspeaker system with Lyngdorf's Roomperfect and additional PEQ in Roon.

 

 

 

You have a great system and thanks for your comment. Why certain albums are compressed - I personally think there're many reasons. Economic, practical and aesthetic and some out of control, which I have mentioned already. But ultimately audio is also really a matter of taste and preferences. Let's enjoy our beloved music.

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A user of Roon and 8c has created a Facebook group for 8c users worldwide. Given that many 8c owners are probably rather 'pro' and less an FB person, I guess users will join the FB group very slowly (or not joining). But I guess when the user base gets larger (like having 200 to 300 members if possible), things will start getting more interesting.

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/449617959639445/?multi_permalinks=449948672939707&notif_id=1616820825950433&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic&ref=notif

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On 3/26/2021 at 7:41 AM, PCmusic said:

 

You have a great system and thanks for your comment. Why certain albums are compressed - I personally think there're many reasons. Economic, practical and aesthetic and some out of control, which I have mentioned already. But ultimately audio is also really a matter of taste and preferences. Let's enjoy our beloved music.

 

I think you will like this: 

 

 

 

Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, balanced) | Uptone Audio EtherREGEN + Ferrum Hypsos | Sonore OpticalModule + Uptone Audio UltraCap LPS-1.2 | Jensen CI-1RR Cables Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad with Oyaide connectors for AC, Ferrum for DC and Ghent for ethernet Software dCS Mosaic | Tidal | Qobuz

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  • PCmusic changed the title to Apartment Audiophile: A ‘subjective’ review of Dutch & Dutch (D&D) 8c speakers for pop, electronic and rock music fans

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