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Amir's 2023 Pacific Audio Fest Report Day 2

Love my Buckeye amps! I'm not out to impress my friends with CNC machined cases, giant heatsinks, and pointlessly large electrolytic capacitors.
That's all that matters!

Although, I don't think everyone buys a fancy CNC case is buying it to impress someone else. Just like I don't think men date hot women to impress other men, mostly for [censored by admin] :D
 
Love my Buckeye amps! I'm not out to impress my friends with CNC machined cases, giant heatsinks, and pointlessly large electrolytic capacitors.
There were some real nice cases for Hypex NC400 carved from billet. I think they were a group buy or something. I'd say large electrolytic caps are neccessary for most Class A and A/B amps with conventional linear power supplies.
 
Exactly, I don't own a Rolex, but I do own couple of decent mechanical watches, although I only wear my Fitbit nowadays.

Rolex will never be more accurate in time keeping than a Casio. But the mechanical movement is mesmerizing and adoring, the brand has a history that give you a pride of ownership, the fact that it's hand made by a person who had to master his craft is satisfying. The Rolex is heavy, big and clunky yet it's exquisite, hence, it's luxury.

Not to say that's how I would feel with HiFi, I don't think I will get that kind of feeling with a d'agostino amp.
I've got a basic Breitling my dad gave me. I wasn't looking for such a thing but now that I have it I really appreciate it. It keeps time and I don't have to worry about it. It won't break, the crystal won't scratch, there's no battery to go bad over time, it won't get hacked or bricked after an update, the charging port won't get fowled up, no chance of water damage, doesn't need an internet connection, winds itself. I only have to adjust it every now and then.
 
Indeed, the Dutch & Dutch room was a standout. Most amazing was the lack of anything much in the room at all except the speakers, right up against the glass. No acoustic treatments, no cables and wires all over. Just great sound! They're really amazing. People use these for both professional mixing and mastering, and hifi playback. The weird thing we notice with our customers in the pro world is that they rave about them and we're reluctant to sell them acoustics since the speakers seem to work so well without help. But, when they call back 6 months later they've switched to some other speaker. No complaints, just moved on for various reasons. I've read in other forums glowing reports from audiophiles as well, and when I check back on their latest posts they've moved on. This is a mystery.

Any long term 8c owners out there with no complaints and no urge to try something different?

I believe those former owners you refer to are the exception since I rarely see used Dutch&Dutch speakers for sale.
 
I've got a basic Breitling my dad gave me. I wasn't looking for such a thing but now that I have it I really appreciate it. It keeps time and I don't have to worry about it. It won't break, the crystal won't scratch, there's no battery to go bad over time, it won't get hacked or bricked after an update, the charging port won't get fowled up, no chance of water damage, doesn't need an internet connection, winds itself. I only have to adjust it every now and then.
I know what you mean, my dad has a mechanical watch that his father gifted him. Now my brother has it.

Not saying you can do that with a HiFi, although I do know some father's passing on their receivers to their kids. . .the point is, pride of ownership. . . I personally just don't get too much of that feeling with some of the race to the bottom of the barrel HiFi equipment out there today. But there is no right and no wrong, people get whatever they want.
 
It is a very fragmented market. A few companies get bulk of the business and the rest divide the pie into hundred pieces.
. . . and they also need to get past you and ASR, to get even a smallest piece! :)
I am surprised you managed to escape with your life and limbs intact.
BTW, great work!
Its like having gone to the show myself. They should pay you.
Come my donation day, I shall remember this.
This is above and beyond.
 
I can only speak to the DD8C, but will say that it is highly serviceable, with most repairs being possible in the field, including by owners with some very basic skills.

The entire electronics package can be changed out in less than 5 minutes, and despite the fact that we don't use surface mount components, even the most difficult to reach component (the tweeter) can be swapped out in about 20 minutes.

Again, this not only makes the product highly serviceable, but as a platform, it is also easily upgradeable down the road.

-Gabriel

That's somewhat reassuring for owners.

The proviso being parts are available for a decent period of time after the warranty expires, those parts are reasonably priced, not just entire costly assemblies, and of course schematics and/or service manuals are freely distributed to competent technicians.

You say "we don't use surface mount components". Every board is covered in SMD components.

4.jpg
 
Same here, I am a bit confused as to which comments of Amir’s refer to the songs and which refer to the systems, or which are both.

How is he, or anyone, supposed to disaggregate the two unless he knows a given track very well?

Believing you can judge speakers sighted in a new room with unfamiliar program…that’s a trap.

FYI, the Apple is an Apple IIe (2 E) and it appeared to have a screen for the classic game Oregon Trail.
You can even play Oregon Trail in browser if feeling nostalgic.

It looks like several of the rooms died of dysentery.
 
That's somewhat reassuring for owners.

The proviso being parts are available for a decent period of time after the warranty expires, those parts are reasonably priced, not just entire costly assemblies, and of course schematics and/or service manuals are freely distributed to competent technicians.

You say "we don't use surface mount components". Every board is covered in SMD components.

4.jpg
If that was all thru-hole components it would be pretty large. I am highly doubtful we are going to see service literature distributed like we saw back in the day when we serviced near everything that came in the door. I've copied schematics and made circuits with those schematics and the manufacturers must be aware of this occurring sometimes. :D Otherwise with a service manual this assembly of PCBs does look like it could be serviced with some care and attention.
 
Excellent high hat in left channel.

Did Dutch & Dutch mix up the left and the right channels at the demo?
There's no high hat in the left channel in that track as the whole drum set is positioned to the right side of the mix. :)

I appreciate that you mention a lot of music played at the demos, I always found it interesting to listen to the same tracks at home and analyze how I hear them on my sound system. I often do that when I read the subjective part of any reviews where the reviewer mentions particular tracks, do I hear it in a similar way as the reviewer? "Is it really sounding that harsh as he hears it, or as pronounced in the mix, or as good as he describes it..." etc.
 
I don’t think it is possible for the D&Ds to mix up the signal, I imagine the 8Cs were being used to stream directly from Roon, the only connection would be the power leads and the two rj45 cables from the LAN.
Keith
 
They do really quite carefully select songs which makes it very difficult for the systems to sound bad or average
 
They do really quite carefully select songs which makes it very difficult for the systems to sound bad or average
The very nature of audio shows means that you have to choose the least offensive/appeals to the majority of listeners programme.
Really transparent speakers just reproduce the file, if it isn’t a great recording then that is what is reproduced.
Keith
 
The very nature of audio shows means that you have to choose the least offensive/appeals to the majority of listeners programme.
Really transparent speakers just reproduce the file, if it isn’t a great recording then that is what is reproduced.
Keith
I used to go against the grain sometimes and play whatever music struck my fancy @ the time to surprise the customers. I think that works pretty well sometimes. It's a great conversation starter for sure.
 
Dutch & Dutch 8C active speakers:

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Charles Lloyd & Zakir Hussain & Eric Harland - Dancing on one foot​

Super clean sounding.

Another classic: Magnetic Lies · Malia · Boris Blank

Superb sound!

Jugglers Parade · Dave Holland Quintet
Excellent high hat in left channel.

Submotion Orchestra - Variations [Official Music Video]​

Superb vocal in the center. Amazing clean bass.

Sweet Emotion · Leo Kottke · Mike Gordon

Amazing clarity of strings.

Really, one of the highest fidelity sounds at the show. The only minor hit was that speakers being small, projected a 4 to 5 foot high image. In this regard, it could not compete with full sized speakers. But in every other respect, it blew others away. The clarity of bass due to room optimization and dipole bass was apparent. As was the ability to play with authority at any volume (in the small room at least).
Sounds like you should get your hands on some 8Cs. If Erin's NFS info is anything to go by, it's a truly superb speaker.
 
Listening to the Malia and Boris track for the first time. Dig it. I wish there was a thumbs up on this site.
 
I believe those former owners you refer to are the exception since I rarely see used Dutch&Dutch speakers for sale.
That makes sense. Not seeing them for sale second hand is a good sign. I know some studio people get forced into changes by their clients, who want specific equipment used for certain jobs. One guy had to buy a whole bunch of Genelec stuff and have his room measured to meet exacting specifications to get the contract for a big movie production. Hifi listeners can get sentimental about an old sound they remember and miss, so they go and buy a dipole when there's nothing at all wrong with their Dutch & Dutch 8c.
 
How is he, or anyone, supposed to disaggregate the two unless he knows a given track very well?

Believing you can judge speakers sighted in a new room with unfamiliar program…that’s a trap.

This is such an unreasonable line of thinking, sorry. Statements like these are exactly why we destructively alienate ourselves from classical audiophiles/subjectivists.

So If I am at an audio show, and I walk into a room with these speakers, right after hearing the Dutch&Dutch room right next door, both playing classical music I don't know, my clear perception of 3-5khz being 15db sucked out, and horrific laser-like dispersion, are totally invalid because I saw the speakers, and don't happen to know the particular piece, orchestra, and specific recording, or possibly re-master that they are playing?

If I walk into my friend's house, and for some reason, he is playing a song I don't know thru a $100 tv soundbar, I first must put on a blindfold, and have him lead me (blind btw) to the couch so that I can't see the bar, and then ask him to play a song I am intimately familiar with before I am allowed to make the conclusion that, in fact, it sucks, has no bass, no stereo width, audible amplifier distortion as volume is raised, and huge comb filtering/cancellation effects off-axis?

If that wasn't enough, I'll give you this tidbit of info, I work in live sound. I need to tune and mix on PA systems I have never worked with before, with artists I have never heard of before. Are you suggesting that if mid-set, a change in the performance reveals a minor issue with the subwoofer to line array integration, or the guitarist changes a pedal setting that creates a screechy unpleasant resonance, according to your logic (judging subjective acoustic effects is only valid blind, and with songs you know well), therefore I should radio to the stage manager and have them stop/pause the show, so that I can put my blindfold on, and play songs that I know well, and fix the issues?

And before you say "Oh well actively engineering isn't the same as listening/judging speaker fidelity", a -15db 4500hz Q=4ish dip like in the above linked Zus, sounds the same to the listener if it is a filter in my mixing console, or a fault or the speaker, this is precisely why we can EQ speakers to make them sound better/more on target, and as a result more subjectively pleasing.

Lastly, at audio shows like this, you can just sit in the room for 2-3 songs, and maybe walk around, and by using some critical thinking, associate traits you are hearing/experiencing with either the mix/master of a particular song (goes away when song changes), or with the system/setup/room (trait stays identical across multiple tracks). And then there are fixed traits, like dispersion for example, which are not song dependent, yet easily apparent subjectively.

Trying to memorize the tonality, stereo characteristics, and other quirks/etc of hundreds of songs you'd request to judge audio, is significantly more unreliable than using the magic of simple comparison/elimination.

Vocals were diffused. Seems partially to be an aspect of the recording.
Even Amir was able to make distinctions on speaker vs song by the magical virtue of.... Listening to more than one song.

I 100% agree with you for A/B/X comparisons, but please do not project that you might not have a very good ear for these things, as a hard rule to the community. If judging how something sounds (speaker, mix, room, etc) is only possible blind with material you are familiar with, then please explain how you expect a mastering engineer to do their job. They couldn't, because their job requires them to use their ears to (get this), listen to a new song they have never heard before, and optimize it to make it sound the best over numerous playback mediums. :eek:
 
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