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  • Writer's pictureKeith Cooper

Dutch&Dutch Reloaded!

Eight years a slave to the Dutch&Dutch 8c!

I think it was early 2016, I was still a relatively young man back then, that was then but sadly this is now.

I was discussing Kii loudspeakers on a forum, we hadn't had the Kiis that long and they had impressed, compact, more or less full-range, a cardioid response through their midrange they were a leap forward no question.

I can’t even remember the forum or whom I have to thank for first bringing Dutch&Dutch to my attention but someone replied that there was this new Dutch company based in Rotterdam ‘Dutch&Dutch ‘ who were developing an  interesting  loudspeaker which also had a  cardioid  response through the mid-range.

When I looked at the Dutch@Dutch site, I don't think the 8C was there but there were some interesting 'live sound' designs which were cardioid.

I contacted them and that was the first time I 'met' Martijn Mensink whom I later learned was the 8Cs designer, at this point I believe they hadn’t actually produced a finished 8C loudspeaker.

I ordered and waited a few months and took delivery of one of the first pairs of production 8Cs.

They impressed immediately, as good as Kii were the 8Cs were just more 'human' voices had real weight, bass was tremendous their sound was just beautiful.

I remember the very first potential customer I took the 8Cs to, we set them up next to his large Harbeths and we were switching between the two set of speakers, Neil called his partner over to ask her opinion, we played both and she said, pointing at the 8Cs 'those are clearer and have better bass', short and to the point but in actuality she completely summed up the 8Cs, they offered a deeper insight into the music and they worked supremely well in actual living rooms.

D&D for a short time made a 8M variant, same enclosure, but no cardioid and no twin 8" bass drivers.

The character of the speakers was similar, the 8Ms obviously had less bass extension, but what was really noticeable was that the 8Cs with their cardioid midrange response were just that much clearer, you just heard that bit more.

Subsequently having measured and compared them to many traditional designs the 8Cs in-room measurements are always tidier, the reduction in SBIR ( speaker boundary interference response) is in my opinion really worthwhile and worth pursuing.

The 8Cs strength is that it combines differing strands of really smart engineering none of which are unique in themselves but together…

The speaker is a large 28kg standmount , it has a tweeter in a oblate spheroid waveguide, an 8” midrange driver and two 8” high excursion woofers on the rear.

It is full-range, depending on the room we often get full output ( no roll-off) down to the low 20Hz , it is active with built in dac/adc, it has built in volume attenuation via its 'Ascend' app, in fact all the speaker's parameters are set using Ascend so no separate expensive ' kii control' type boxes required

The waveguide ensures that tweeter and the mid-range have the same directivity, (constant directivity) which means that the speaker’s  ‘on’ and ‘off’ axis  response  is the same.

It is a ‘ragged’ off axis that adds colour, distortion to most traditional loudspeaker designs. Th 8C is amongst the finest if not the finest measuring loudspeaker currently available, excellent measurements equal transparency.

Because the 8Cs are completely full-range their bass extension can excite room modes (boomy bass) but that isn’t an issue as the 8C has sophisticated tone controls and parametric EQ built in, it even has REW ( room eq wizard) integration included, simply acoustically measure with REW the software works out the filters you need to remove any room gain and at a press of a button the requisite  filters are sent to each speaker.

The result, completely full-range reproduction with no ‘boom’.

The 8Cs are also ‘Roon and Spotify Connect’ ready which means that a complete system is just a computer or indeed your phone and a pair of 8Cs.

Yes that's right just a computer and the 8Cs nothing else!

Because they have adjustable bass output, you tell the speaker where it is relative to the front and side walls via the D&D ‘Ascend’ app allows the 8Cs to be placed anywhere they  actively enjoy being  close to the front wall, within 10cm, which just gives your room back.

They are also phase coherent and have perfect step response, they are the solution you arrive at when you simply want to hear the finest full range reproduction in your room simply, elegantly and without fuss.

Dutch&Dutch have continually worked to develop the 8C design, first there was 'Roon ready' then REW integration, Spotify Connect and the most recent development of their software allows third party 'plug-ins' to be loaded into the 8Cs.

The first of which is the Bacch crosstalk cancellation algorithm, which can with sympathetic programme material create a real sense of holographic envelopment.

The 8Cs are really almost perfect, obviously if you enjoy swapping components they probably aren't right for you but if you just want to hear everything on the record with absolutely no colouration, if you want a speaker/system that the whole family will be able to enjoy, because with the 8Cs you literally press 'play' and music comes out, and if you would really like to re-claim your living room from he hi-fi then the 8Cs might well be perfect.

Erin ( Erin’s Audio Corner ) measured the 8Cs with his Klippel NFS system,

John Atkinson also measured them for Stereophile his comment simply ‘wow’!


Purité Audio London.

Gratuitous cat photo.

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