On Sunday, March 28, 2021, we held another Live Test in the Artone Studios. We had three active speakers play: the Grimm LS1a, ATC SCM40A and the Dutch & Dutch 8C. Yes indeed: a familiar trio. But with one big difference: the prices are the same this time. How do they compare this time?
Live tests are always interesting. The fact that viewers can watch and listen makes it exciting. And the feedback we get from that also provides new insights. It also always shows that taste is the biggest factor when picking out new gear. One fan wants clean sound, the other is looking for a warm bath to drown in.
We have previously put the brands below side by side. However, at that time we tested from 12,000 to 36,000 Euro. Now that is possible, but it is not a comparison. Now we wanted to compare apples with apples. Although it is and remains extremely difficult to really do so; brands always have a different philosophy. And so the possibilities, construction, et cetera differ.
However, we ended up with the ATC SCM40A, the Grimm LS1a and the Dutch & Dutch 8C. The ATC is going for 8900 euros per pair at the time of writing, but will soon cost 9500 euros per pair (outside UK) due to additional levies due to Brexit. Compared to the rest of the test field, the ATC also requires a DAC to play. And that makes it that this one certainly does fit into the test field.
The Grimm LS1a costs around 13,000 euros and the Dutch & Dutch sells for 12,000 euros a pair. In fact, the latter is the most favorable, as it has a built-in streamer in addition to an analog and digital input. Although it still needs a pair of stands to make them fit the room.
The test setup
For sampling the speakers, we used the following:
- DPA 4015A microphones
- Grace M108 pre-amp
- DAD A/D converter with Dante
- Grimm wiring
As test tracks we used:
- A live recording by Tim Knol
- Jacques Loussier – Little Fuge in G Minor
- James Taylor – Fire and Rain