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Sydney Audio Club Meeting - Sunday 8th September 2019 - Dutch & Dutch presented by Bill Mclean

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For our September club meeting we are very pleased to have Bill Mclean of Mcleans Smarter Home Entertainment present the Dutch & Dutch 8C Studio Monitor Full-Range Active Loudspeakers. These active speakers have been very well received around the world since their launch. 


Last month we had a massive amount of gear in. This month it’ll be very simple… a source and the Dutch & Dutch speakers. That’s it.  That’s because the Dutch & Dutch speaker system has DSP for room correction, plus d/a and a/d converters, plus a preamp section and  amplifiers.  An ideal solution for those wanting to downsize, or have less clutter, or fewer cables … but still have great sound. 


For his music presentation, Bill will likely stream Tidal and Qobuz with his ultraRendu / SonicOrbitor.  As a fall back, Bill will also bring a Cocktail Audio X45. 


Details of the base system…


Dutch & Dutch 8C Studio Monitor Full-Range Active Loudspeakers. As the name would suggest, the Dutch & Dutch speaker system is from the Netherlands.

From Bill’s website… “It is a unique acoustic concept. Its revolutionary cabinet design provides the 8c with constant directivity from 100 Hz upwards. As a result, the 8c is above and beyond any other studio monitor in terms of neutrality, precision, and in-room tonal balance.”

Refer to http://www.mcleans.info/shop/productDetails.do?productId=264619 and https://dutchdutch.com/8c/.


Oppo BDP-105D – additional source for our BYO session. 



The second half of the music sessions will be our popular BYO.  Members and guests are welcome to offer music to share with us all.  So bring along your favourite music on CD or USB thumb/flash drives (sorry, no vinyl this month).  All we ask is that the music and recordings be interesting. We'll ask you to tell us a little about the artist/recording before it is played. Tracks over 6 minutes will be faded out, to give everyone a fair go. 

Whether you are a novice or a seasoned veteran, you will have the opportunity to listen, learn and share your experiences with others.  Feel free to come and hear the capabilities of the system, or to just share the experience with like-minded music lovers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. 


Guests are welcome – we are a very friendly club so you don't need to know anyone to join us for an afternoon of fine music and sound.

Venue:  Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park
Address:  26 Stanley Road, Epping

When:  Sunday 8th September 2019


Doors open 1pm
Meeting starts at 2pm


Tom Waters


Sydney Audio Club

W: http://www.sydneyaudioclub.org/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaudioclub

E:  tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au


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I think you are in for a treat. I heard these at his store the other weekend and was very impressed. That was with the Cocktail Audio as source.

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It was great to have Bill Mclean back to present to the club.  Bill is knowledgeable, good natured and always friendly. And he is obviously well known and liked as well judging from all the interactions! 


Bill opened his presentation with some general questions about people’s preferences – analog or digital; vinyl, CD or streaming; etc. to get a feel for the audience.  It appeared that few people listen to only vinyl, and few people listen only via streaming services such as Tidal or Qobuz.  It appeared that some people listen to a combination of vinyl and CD/SACD, and some primarily stream locally from a NAS drive or similar.  He also pointed out the ambient noise level in the room was around 60db – so that means it’s near impossible to hear quiet sounds below that. That in itself will limit the perceived dynamic range of a system.


As usual, the feedback from the many attendees was varied.  Some people thought the system had poor transient response, others thought it had great transient response.  That difference could be due to where they were sitting in the room.  Bass response was also commented on.  I noticed that the bass was lighter in some seats than others, but again, that is pretty typical too as speaker response is always dependent on the speaker position, your listening position and the room itself.  Others commented that they thought CDs through the Cocktail player sounded better than the content streamed from Tidal and Qobuz – that did seem to be the case and even Bill said as much at the onset.


We didn’t do exhaustive REWS measurements such that we could fully calibrate the Dutch & Dutch system.  No doubt it would have sounded even better.  We did however, use a Spectrum Analyser to find the best speaker position and toe-in to ensure the bass response (below about 200) was as flat as we could get it.  The truth is, even with fully calibrated speakers we knew we wouldn’t get them sounding 100% in our room – that isn’t faulting the Dutch & Dutch speakers, but rather that it’s difficult to get great sound in a mediocre sounding room.  Even DSP controlled speakers may need the assistance of room treatment when setup in inhospitable surrounds.


All in all, the Dutch & Dutch speakers are a great package.  I believe the asking price is very reasonable when you consider that the D&D loudspeaker system includes speakers, a/d converters, d/a converters, DSP room correction, preamp and power amps all in one package. 



Here are some comments from the feedback forms…


“Great to have Bill visiting again. He always comes with great sound. Speakers were impressive, very capable of any music type.

I thought CDs sounded somewhat better than streaming.  Great player, versatile and jack of all trades.  Love it!

You can always tell an active setup!  Dynamics AAAAA+.”


“Very impressed with the overall sound of the D&D Speakers.  Thanks Bill for some very interesting music choices!”


“Nice session.  Thanks Bill for coming down from Gosford.”


“In the second half the speakers were a revelation.”  [TomW – note that the second half was all CD instead of streaming from a service.]


 “Good, very clean sound.”


“Good presentation from Bill.  Simple setup and control.”


“Dynamic with good soundstage.”


“Very interesting - more attuned to heavily produced recordings.  Enjoyed the discussion of system.”


“Spectacular imaging, flat response.”


“Compressed and lacking transient response.”


“Great transient response.”


“Overall an enjoyable music afternoon.  I loved the dynamics!!”


“Well balanced speakers.”


“Quite satisfying gear.  CD sounded better than streaming.”


“Enjoyable and capable speakers.  Great variety of music.”



Photos to follow…






Edited by TomW

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Had to think for a week and (mentally) absorb what this great setup was capable off!

It's quite amazing what a pair of modestly sized speakers can do, even in a large and mostly, un co operative room such as the one we usually use.

These transducers can easily put into shame some large floor standers with the sheer sense of power they convey to the listener. Quite amazing I thought, one can only imagine what 

they would be like in a properly set up and tuned environment..

I for one, had never even heard of the brand and, I thought,  Bill's choice to expose them to an appreciating audience group such as ours, was a clever move.

When one thinks what one gets in the price asked (around $ 20k which at first glance may look expensive), it's a system quite reasonably priced when you consider the fully active

design with individual amplification for each driver and all the other 'goodies' Tom is mentioning above.

A complete setup without the expenses of 'high end' cables, converters, etc. etc.


Sincere thanks to Bill for making the trip from the Central Coast to make this a most enjoyable afternoon session for, I trust, most of us.

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