For this special, we’re focusing on the massive range of studio monitors – the heart and soul of any studio set-up – glancing our eyes over everything from entry level creative reference monitors through to high-end solutions for mixing and mastering professionals.
Dutch & Dutch 8c
Key Features: With a bespoke, stylish aesthetic that is only matched by its reputation for stellar reproduction in the open air, the 8c from Rotterdam-based newcomers Dutch & Dutch is a name that has been popping up more and more within mix engineer and audiophile circles in recent time, and rightly so.
A fully active, premium 3-way solution, the 8c is a speaker that well and truly pushes the boundaries of acoustic cabinet design and its interaction with the room, taking just as many design cues from the world of audiophile Hi-Fi as it does the recording studio, really placing an emphasis on the ‘acoustic’ side of ‘electro-acoustics’.
The result is an incredibly accurate nearfield monitor for the working studio, with the ability to operate between the nearfield and mid-field with relative ease, and whose focused cardioid properties down to 100hz can really allow you to get away with a multitude of placement sins: in fact, D&D actually recommended placing the 8c close to a wall, essentially thumbing their nose at decades of acoustic convention. To put this into perspective, many industry-leading monitors barely achieve cardioid directivity above 300hz, so as far as technological advancements go in the monitoring world, this is really something!
This directivity and focused dispersion is a powerful tool for anybody working in a less than ideal acoustic environment or for anybody looking to rid their monitoring environment with pesky backwall reflections. This lack of interaction with the backwall also translates to exceptional accuracy in the low mids or upper low register, where so many fundamental frequencies are located.
For this kind of task, you’d be hard pressed to find anything as well suited to the task as the 8c, and to do so acoustically, without the aid of conventional DSP, is sure to bring a smile to the faces of many purists out there.
Mixdown Says: Boasting D&D’s proprietary waveguide tweeter, acoustic cardioid midrange, boundary-coupled bass drivers and active room matching technologies, the 8c is very much a pure listening experience, doubling as an awesome Hi-Fi speaker as well as an exceptionally flat studio monitor. Listening to a well-mastered reference track on the 8cs is something of a revelation and is sure to let you know exactly how your mixes measure up in no uncertain terms.
The clued-in audiophile will also find this appealing, having the ability to listen to recordings as they sounded by those who worked on them, while their stylish aesthetic available is in multiple colour-ways (and without the need for additional egg carton style treatment), ensuring they get the tick of approval from a Feng Shui conscious significant other.
When connected to your network through the Ethernet port on the back, you can set and control the 8c’s parameters, such as gain and EQ, in your phone’s web browser, which can useful for nailing any additional room modes that might be keeping you up at night. The 8c is also available in the studio edition, sharing exactly the same dimensions and specifications as the flagship, but without the audio over Ethernet/Bluetooth features.
Overall: Weighing in at a hefty 26kg and nearly half a metre in height, the 8c is definitely on the larger side as far as near-field studio monitors go, but packed into those 26 kilos is some serious Dutch legerdemain that pushes the acoustic envelope into virgin territory. A legitimate trailblazer in the field.
Find out more about Dutch & Dutch’s availability in Australia via Sound and Music.