Dutch and Dutch 8c

Heard such great things about these speakers that I was intrigued enough to arrange a listen.
They were paired with Auralic Aries G2.1.

Must be honest, compared to my Bartok/ATC SCM40A, I much preferred the sound.
I have arranged to borrow them for a week at home.

Until today I hadn’t realised that the 8c have Dacs and the 8c will redigitise the signal from the Bartok.

Can’t help thinking I am negating the strengths of the Bartok but the dealer is confident the quality analogue signal from the Bartok into 8c will still improve over the 40As

Does Bartok into 8c make any sort of sense.

For me , no for the very reason that you say. What is the point of using a multi-thousand pound DAC of near state-of-the-art performance when you will never get to hear the actual output of that DAC? As you realise whatever analogue output Bartok provides it will be re-digitised by the 8c’s ADC and then be converted back to analogue (after DSP conditioning) by the chip DAC they use. Fine if the ADC/DAC that Dutch & Dutch use is equivalent to a dCS rig. Do you expect their DAC to be as good as the Ring DAC especially given the price of the speaker which includes all required amplification? BTW D&D are coy about the digital specs so I don’t even know the bit depth or maximum sample rate of the processing - it’s a black box.

The 8C does have several advantages which I would not want to overshadow but they are all more or less related to its frequency domain performance - extended bass from such a small cabinet, ability to compensate for boundary positioning etc. In my book that is all about the sound of the music whereas that re-digitisation may affect the music itself.

Try to borrow another decent DAC as well and see how much positive difference the Bartok continues to make. Who knows, a trade in of the Bartok plus a cheaper replacement may make the 8Cs even less expensive when viewed as a package.

Remember that your dealer’s advice may be somewhat coloured by his desire to sell you a pair of speakers. Still you are doing the best thing to make up your mind; trying them at home in your own system.

Ah well, at least it confirms I understand it correctly.

To be fair to the dealer it really is a case of
“If I wanted to get there I wouldn’t start from here”

The dealer has suggested that the better value option is Auralic to 8c. It is me who is hamstrung by the fact that my Bartok is only 7 weeks old.

The fact that it improved over my system has opened a can of worms

You will understand that I am on the side of your dealer on this. 7 weeks old? That makes your decision tougher. For my part I would trade in the ATC 40As for 50As and keep the Bartok. However I admit that is a biased view and also depends upon your location as the 50As cost an awful lot IMO in some territories.

I must say I would hate to be in a position of wanting to change speakers, where to start? And once you get bigger than stand mounts it is more challenging.

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Thanks for the input.
It is indeed a tough decision.

Be interesting to see if they sound just as impressive in my own room


Keep your Bartok, try a Sugden class A amplifier with Proac loudspeakers (I mention these brands because it seems you enjoy British brands, me too actually, even though the only British hifi in my system is dCS).

But selling a 7 weeks gear shall make Greta Tumberg very angry :laughing:

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I’m sure Greta would be happy to see it recycled to a good home.

Thanks for the advice.
Think I can hear another can of worms opening😄

I have 8Cs fed by a dCS Network Bridge. I’ve never tried an analogue source as it seems daft given the 8Cs will digitise again. And the internet says digital is best into those speakers. The Internet also says the 8Cs will FINALLY become roon end points this month so you will not even need a streamer and that will sound even better. Just connect Ethernet if roon is all you need. I’ve heard that claim for years though.

In my opinion the 8Cs sound great in many ways. Full range, excellent dispersion and you can mitigate room modes etc to get a nearly perfect frequency response. And such a simple system. I do not think they sound better than a dCS quality system to me though. That system may be many times the cost of the 8Cs of course. My Vivaldi based system and a previous Bartok has much higher levels of detail, nuance, sound stage etc. Just a much deeper insight into the recording. But the 8Cs may give a flatter frequency response and less room effects. It’s not a fair comparison of course. For the cost I think they are fantastic.

And anyway it’s all personal preference.

Thanks for your comments.
I completely agree. It is not the best way to maximise the Bartok.

I’ll be honest, I was curious about the 8c but fully expected the dem to confirm my wisdom in purchasing the ATC SCM40A.
Alas, the combination of Auralic Altair 2.1 and 8c, to my ears at least, was better than what I was used to with the Bartok/ATC.

I could trade in both the Bartok/ATC for the Auralic/8c for no cost, much as that breaks my heart after 8 weeks ownership of the Bartok.

Assuming Roon ready status for the 8c I wouldn’t need the Auralic, just a Roon nucleus or similar and have money in my pocket and a perceived increase in quality.

Home dem starts next Tuesday when they will be set up for my room and I can try them for a week.

I’ll report back.