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I'm auditioning the Dutch & Dutch 8c and Kii Three Monday - Any Tips?
Old 18th August 2018
  #1
Gear Head
I'm auditioning the Dutch & Dutch 8c and Kii Three Monday - Any Tips?

On Monday 8/20/18 I'll be auditioning both the Dutch & Dutch 8c and the Kii Three monitors side by side in the same room.

This will be my first high end pair of monitors I'm investing in and mixing on, and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice about what to listen for sonically. I guess what I'm really curious about, or trying to make sure of, is that I'll be focusing on the correct elements of the sound when listening to recordings at the dealer. Clarity, transient response, distinctness of one mix to another, evenness across the frequency spectrum, stereo image plus strength of the center, phase, things like reverb tails decaying, space between notes. Anything else? Any general approaches or methodology? Any essential listening test reference tracks?

Further info about my current setup and some background info below - completely optional reading, but don't have time to edit to be concise:

I work with many different types of artists, rock/metal, acoustic folk, edm, hip hop, and the occasional orchestra recording in a hall and back here to mix. I'm also very into sound design whether itb or analog synths and effects, and I regularly transcribe music. It's sort of always been an obsession of mine since childhood to be able to hear as much detail and separation in a 2ch mix as possible, which ended up being a benefit, especially for transcribing, and I'm always pursuing more detail and separation in my monitoring.

I have what one might call a mid-level professional studio. The mix room is 23'x15'x8.5' top of a barn style garage so the walls and ceiling are not parallel. I have a decent amount of acoustic treatment all roxul covered in guilford of maine. The wall behind the speakers and desk is fully roxul'd and at varying depths like a wave with up to a foot of air space behind the roxul. There's a cloud above the desk the width of the room and 5 feet out into the room. We had 6 windows that became 2ftx4ft acoustic panels on the side walls (3 on each side). The floor is bare pine floating on cork, and some natural slate tile (uneven natural features, not sealed) at the back of the room where a baby grand piano sits (although I'm rethinking that part of the design now a few years after building the room). Apollo into d-box currently, but thinking about Burl - I should be going in digital and using the monitors conversion though with these though, right?

When the room was built, I had planned on buying a Focal Sm9 pair, but we were surprised with the separation and clarity of the room with just the JBL LSR 2300 with 4312sp sub and NS-10 combo I'd been using for years that the upgrade kept getting put off as I invested in outboard and getting the live room (separate building, same property) to the level I wanted it to be. Yet another testament to acoustic treatment. We've made some great records here over the past few years, but things here are changing now (in a good way), and it's finally time for an upgrade.

I appreciate any advice at all, including discouragement from getting them at all, although I don't see much of that happening, but again, this is more meant to be about how to compare the two than "should i buy this or that". Also, I've been following the other threads about both of these manufacturers, so I have a fairly decent idea about what is what with them.
Old 18th August 2018
  #2
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

when listening to recordings at the dealer

I wouldn't bother. The reason why is actually stated in your post.
Old 18th August 2018
  #3
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Have them lent to you from the dealer to take to your studio. Listen to them in your space. A very familiar space.

The most you can get at a dealer's space is if you like the "character" of the sound produced to narrow down your selection for what to take to listen in your studio. Decay, stereo image, frequency response, etc are very dependent on your actual studio room and positioning. What you hear at the dealer's space is not reflective of what you'll get once you own them. If you've already narrowed down to 2 pair, you need to start listening at home. (Not to mention, comparing to your current setup)

Any respectable dealer should loan them out. If not, contact the manufacturer.
Old 18th August 2018
  #4
Gear Head
I was under the impression that these kind of loaner demo situations I was hearing about required some kind of purchase agreement, large non-refundable deposit, or previous rapport with the dealer.

I was also under the impression that the influence of the space was minimized with the cardioid designs, but of course I realize it is still a factor, to whatever degree.

I’ll contact Tyner again and then the store in NY I’m working with. I’ll still follow through with the visit on Monday since it should give some insight either way, but thank you both, point very much taken.
Old 23rd November 2018
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Any word on how the comparison went? Would love to know your thoughts, as I'm also considering purchasing the Kii's or 8C's down the track (for home listening).
Old 23rd November 2018
  #6
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puriteaudio's Avatar
 

As everyone has said you need to her them both in your room , and if possible leave your current speakers up and switch between all three.
Then you will have a much more valid opinion.
Keith
Old 23rd November 2018
  #7
Use a really good power amp and speaker cables. Don't let that stuff chew your food for you.
Old 23rd November 2018
  #8
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From everything I've read (here and elsewhere) using the D&D's in a room with the wall behind the speakers treated as would be "normal" doesn't give you what the speakers can offer. So, trying them out in his studio without doing a lot of teardown work wouldn't really help.

How about talking to your dealer and seeing if a happy client with D&D's in a good room would be willing to let you spend a couple of hours there? Hell, it would be worth it to rent the studio if necessary.

But the one thing you're not going to get from any of these scenarios is translation. You'd need to take the leap and commit to learning them. I admit, everything I've read does sound inviting, so I understand your motivation.
Old 24th November 2018
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by myles View Post
From everything I've read (here and elsewhere) using the D&D's in a room with the wall behind the speakers treated as would be "normal" doesn't give you what the speakers can offer. So, trying them out in his studio without doing a lot of teardown work wouldn't really help.
From my own experience of spending 8 days in my own room demoing the both Kii's and 8c's simultaneously - and having to change my front wall to deal with it...

Do you have a friend with a pickup truck? Go to Home Depot or Lowe's and get some sheets of 3/4" MDF. You want to double them up for rigidity by screwing them together back-to back. Then put them up on your front wall directly behind the Kii's/D&D's. It'll take some time and money but you're buying expensive speakers and it'll be worth it. This way you won't have to permanently mess with your front wall until and if you decide if you want to go for SBIR-type speakers like these.

It's a hassle demoing them both at the same time because they probably want to be in the same place/position to sound their best. So a proper stand arrangement must be considered if you plan to actually A/B them by switching them back and forth on the same source material. You can't block their side speakers (Kii's) or side ports (D&D) or their back speakers. Putting them side to side is problematic also - again because of the side dispersion.

I set them up individually first and auditioned them. Later I cobbled together an OK stand arrangement with them one above the other on a double Sound Anchors stand - making sure not to block speakers or ports for A/Bing purposes. Then I went back to another day each setting them up individually in their ideal monitoring positions.

How are you feeding them - analog or AES? Make sure you have enough AES cables and ethernet cable runs from your LAN. You'll need 3 AES cables and 2 ethernet cables for auditioning both speakers simultaneously.

I also spent a bunch of time making them sound pretty much identical with a Trinnov.

Learned a lot.... don't want to go through that again...

But they're both incredible (and reasonably different) technology. Definitely the way to go. My ATC's and Amphions are no longer in operation here. In my opinion, once you get either of these speakers set up correctly you don't need a second pair - for any reasonable volume level.

I keep wondering who will be the next speaker manufacturer to take the leap into this SBIR area? It seems like it would take a lot of time, money and technology to make quality products like these.

I wish you the best.

.
Old 24th November 2018
  #10
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Use a really good power amp and speaker cables. Don't let that stuff chew your food for you.
both brands are self powered active speakers.
Old 24th November 2018
  #11
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
1-Demo in your room.
Tyner can help facilitate w the 8c’s.
2-Make sure the rear walls aren’t absorptive.
3-They need space around themselves so side by side A/B is a challenge.
4-(very important) ..mix on both for a few days=real world translation.
Old 24th November 2018
  #12
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenjoy View Post
Any word on how the comparison went? Would love to know your thoughts, as I'm also considering purchasing the Kii's or 8C's down the track (for home listening).
I’m still super interested, but the dealers space was less than ideal, and my spot is tuned for these cheaper JBLs that I’ve been working with for a decade. I do believe these can both work in any space with minimal setup and treatment compared to traditional speaker designs, but they absolutely are not a plug in and go thing. I need to reconsider my room design (detailed in my earlier post). They apparently must have a solid wall close behind them or you can have a serious drop off below 100hz. I won’t say how significant the numbers were because I don’t want to give a false impression of their capabilities. Anyone else who had these issues and took the plunge seems to have overcome the problems quickly once they had proper guidance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by puriteaudio View Post
As everyone has said you need to her them both in your room , and if possible leave your current speakers up and switch between all three.
Then you will have a much more valid opinion.
Keith
Yes, I was able to demo all three. The strengths other than the low end was apparent and the character of each was obvious enough. Very similar to what others have written about each brand. I definitely had some emotional moments with some good reference tracks. The distant mics and/or reverb on the strings on the Brian Wilson Smile album version of Surfs Up woke me up for sure. Usually you hear clear tails on good monitors in a good room. I was hearing verb decay so clearly while the notes were still crescendoing on the 8Cs. Crazy cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myles View Post
From everything I've read (here and elsewhere) using the D&D's in a room with the wall behind the speakers treated as would be "normal" doesn't give you what the speakers can offer. So, trying them out in his studio without doing a lot of teardown work wouldn't really help.

How about talking to your dealer and seeing if a happy client with D&D's in a good room would be willing to let you spend a couple of hours there? Hell, it would be worth it to rent the studio if necessary.

But the one thing you're not going to get from any of these scenarios is translation. You'd need to take the leap and commit to learning them. I admit, everything I've read does sound inviting, so I understand your motivation.
Correct on all points. Visiting/renting studio time in a room that has them working well should be the next step.

I want to add that Tyner and Martijn had nothing to do with these initial demos, and both of them personally made generous offers of their time to help me out. I just needed to take a step back when I realized it was going to take more effort than I anticipated on my part, and luckily I’ve been busy working on some great projects in the meantime. I’ll at least get the Dutch & Dutch in for a proper demo soon for sure though. I was leaning towards them when I posted this, but I had read about the Kii Three monitors long before I knew the D&D existed so I had to check them both out! Hmm.. anyone know what’s going on with the Kii BXT?
Old 24th November 2018
  #13
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Weaver View Post
From my own experience of spending 8 days in my own room demoing the both Kii's and 8c's simultaneously - and having to change my front wall to deal with it...

Do you have a friend with a pickup truck? Go to Home Depot or Lowe's and get some sheets of 3/4" MDF. You want to double them up for rigidity by screwing them together back-to back. Then put them up on your front wall directly behind the Kii's/D&D's. It'll take some time and money but you're buying expensive speakers and it'll be worth it. This way you won't have to permanently mess with your front wall until and if you decide if you want to go for SBIR-type speakers like these.

It's a hassle demoing them both at the same time because they probably want to be in the same place/position to sound their best. So a proper stand arrangement must be considered if you plan to actually A/B them by switching them back and forth on the same source material. You can't block their side speakers (Kii's) or side ports (D&D) or their back speakers. Putting them side to side is problematic also - again because of the side dispersion.

I set them up individually first and auditioned them. Later I cobbled together an OK stand arrangement with them one above the other on a double Sound Anchors stand - making sure not to block speakers or ports for A/Bing purposes. Then I went back to another day each setting them up individually in their ideal monitoring positions.

How are you feeding them - analog or AES? Make sure you have enough AES cables and ethernet cable runs from your LAN. You'll need 3 AES cables and 2 ethernet cables for auditioning both speakers simultaneously.

I also spent a bunch of time making them sound pretty much identical with a Trinnov.

Learned a lot.... don't want to go through that again...

But they're both incredible (and reasonably different) technology. Definitely the way to go. My ATC's and Amphions are no longer in operation here. In my opinion, once you get either of these speakers set up correctly you don't need a second pair - for any reasonable volume level.

I keep wondering who will be the next speaker manufacturer to take the leap into this SBIR area? It seems like it would take a lot of time, money and technology to make quality products like these.

I wish you the best.

.
Thanks Jack! Yes, we had everything feeding through AES. It was unideal otherwise - absorptive wall behind them, stands probably too lightweight, only 2 hours or so, no mixing etc. I’ll be well prepared when I get a demo in for a week or two. That will likely happen end of December or January.

I really appreciate the two MDF screwed together instructions. I was wondering what would be rigid and dense enough to deal with it. If I pull down the Roxul and repurpose it elsewhere, I can always add the mdf to the wall permanently so no waste there.

They’re definitely different animals. I have a live room that I also write and do a fair amount of sound design in. I could almost see having one brand in there and the other in the mix room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
1-Demo in your room.
Tyner can help facilitate w the 8c’s.
2-Make sure the rear walls aren’t absorptive.
3-They need space around themselves so side by side A/B is a challenge.
4-(very important) ..mix on both for a few days=real world translation.
Noted. Totally agree.
Old 24th November 2018
  #14
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myles's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Weaver View Post

Do you have a friend with a pickup truck? Go to Home Depot or Lowe's and get some sheets of 3/4" MDF. You want to double them up for rigidity by screwing them together back-to back. Then put them up on your front wall directly behind the Kii's/D&D's.
And bring along those two really strong friends as well. You're talking about a couple of hundred pounds or more of MDF once you get up in the "some" range...
Old 24th November 2018
  #15
Gear Addict
 
puriteaudio's Avatar
 

BXT is promised for mid December, apparently the ‘pro’ versions later.
Re the 8Cs and the rear wall, they do have settings for ‘free space’, you will gain some headroom is you can place them within 10-50cm, I think 12dB.
Keith
Old 24th November 2018
  #16
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Ben F's Avatar
It's the next generation of speakers where you need to change your room walls and have a room correction system in order to comment on their sound

Even though they "take the room out of the equation"

So many factors to consider making objective testing difficult compared to non DSP / cardioid studio monitors.
Old 24th November 2018
  #17
Gear Addict
 
puriteaudio's Avatar
 

You don’t need to change your room walls at all, if you position any loudspeaker away from a hard boundary you introduce cancellations,
From Genelec,
https://www.genelec.com/sites/defaul...guide_2017.pdf

Keith
Old 24th November 2018
  #18
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
It's the next generation of speakers where you need to change your room walls and have a room correction system in order to comment on their sound

Even though they "take the room out of the equation"

So many factors to consider making objective testing difficult compared to non DSP / cardioid studio monitors.
Nope.not really.
I tried the Trinnov then turned it off. and getting the surface sorted behind and playing nicely in the room was easy.
Old 24th November 2018
  #19
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
It's the next generation of speakers where you need to change your room walls and have a room correction system in order to comment on their sound

Even though they "take the room out of the equation"
Only when you have changed the room in order to "take the speaker out of the equotation". Any normal room would be fine for this type of speakers.
Old 24th November 2018
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Ben F's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Only when you have changed the room in order to "take the speaker out of the equotation". Any normal room would be fine for this type of speakers.
Any normal lounge room or normal studio?
Old 24th November 2018
  #21
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
Any normal lounge room or normal studio?
Where I live (and where these speakers come from) most buildings have stone or concrete walls (yes, inside) as a standard outfit. Even plaster board is very unusual, unless it is in a converted attic or something like that. (Plaster board could work as a resonator, which would not be desirable.) One would need to go through a big hassle to change those stone walls into soft, absorbtive walls, with a huge danger of creating a fungus farm inside of it, due to condensation of damp against the stone layer. So yes, normal/standard lounge rooms have stone walls, as do studios, although due to their sonic purpose the latter could be treated with (free floating/hanging) absorptive materials. My mixing room is, although not the front wall, which is glass and stone. Would I have had treatment hanging there it would have been very easy to remove it in order to let my speakers use that wall for their boundary coupling.

I am aware that there are different styles of building structures though and in some parts of the world we see cheap steel or wood beam constructions, covered with plasterboard as "walls". But where these speakers come from this is not the norm. Sometimes wallpaper is being used on those stone walls, but that will in no way inhibit their working as a reflective surface. Very rarely rooms with walls covered in fake fur can be found here, but those are usually not employed for high quality music listening...
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