Dutch & Dutch 8c

I am thinking about putting a simple (second) system together with very few components but still high SQ:

P12 with a nice TBD power cord
DSD fed by Nucleus + via Matrix I2S
BHK preamp fed by Iconoclast
Dutch & Dutch 8c fed by Belden BAV XLR (need the flexibility)
No disc spinner
No vinyl spinner
No visible power amps
No jungle of cables and interconnects.

Purists or tinkerers may scoff but I think it may be both a good start and end to a nice simple system. I have done a fair amount of research as always and this looks like it should meet SQ expectations and also be room friendly. This will be in a shared kitchen / dining room / living room and room treatments will not be allowed. Also trying to stay away from a rack full of gear. I can stack these three and the whole pile will only be a foot high or so. The speakers have a 30 day money back so no worries there.


What is wrong with your 1st system that you feel you need a simple 2nd system?

Many of us have multiple systems, wholly independent of how good/satisfying any of the others we have may be.


@Brodric - he might have a 2nd home.

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A Headphone amp might be a good add…

Hi Baldy,

if you connect nothing else than the streamer and look for a real simple system:
Why do you intend to go from digital to analog to digital to analog. How would these 4 conversion stages improve the sound quality?

The advantage of DSD seems down the drain anyway as the DUTCH & DUTCH like any DSP controlled speakers will only handle PCM. The weakest link in the chain determines it’s strength. And from a SQ perspective, every component in the path is a source of error or noise. The DSP’s and DAC’s in the D&D 8c will eventually determine your sound.

The D&D 8c are able to stream directly, they have Ethernet inputs or if you prefer another streamer, it has AES EBU digital balanced input that is a very reliable and good digital interconnect.

Then, what purpose do the DSD and BHK Pre serve? Other than being able to play downloaded or streamed DSD, which SQ properties will most likely not make it through the D&D 8c. Unless off course you have these units floating around, doing nothing. The. Yes, a hack of a system with tons of possibilities.

If you prefer active speakers and wat to remain the OS Audio DSD sound, which I do too, I’d look at the Elac NAVIS ARF 51. However they do not reach down to 35 Hz like the D&D but are all analog, and as such not defeating the DSD purpose. I listened to the NAVIS ARB 51, via my SGCD they sound really great.

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@Brodric It’s for a second home as suggested.

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@netspecht-2 The BHK preamp has a killer headphone amp built in. That is one of the reasons for that choice.

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@Rudolf_Appel From what I understand the network port is only for controlling the internal DSP and operating system upgrades. I will check again. Also I understand that they do sound better using output from a good preamp which in this case also will be my headphone amp.
Thanks all for the input

Hi Baldy,

I got my wisdom from their WEB-site and DAKRO review. The Ethernet ports are intended for streaming and Dutch & Dutch claim it sounds better than other streamers as each speaker processes left and right signal fully separate but synchronised. I am afraid it doesn’t really work flawless yet, as you can read/hear in DARKO’s review.

DARKO Dutch & Dutch 8c unfinished business

So yes in practice I trust you are right, most reliable is the configuration you mentioned, it’s just not a thin system anymore.

Dutch & Dutch are a Rotterdam based young company and like PS Audio pioneers in what they do. Can’t blame you for looking at those speakers, they look like a million bucks, their concept sounds like it really makes sense, they deal with room inconsistencies. I think those speakers have a great potential and you will be up for software updates that might even improve that system.

I am always critical as you can read. But that does not take away that I like those speakers very much.

As a matter of fact I sent the specs to Paul Mc Gowan after he talked about tweeting room inconsistencies. Somewhere last year.

And yes, please do keep the Dutch economy rolling, they are actually manufactured and assembled here and I admire you for being able to buy them and Dutch & Dutch for their fabulous ideas and the guts to think out of the box and come up with something new and unique. Likewise I like the closed concept enclosures and servo driven sub’s PS Audio is going to incorporate. Another great way of dealing with the matter.


@Rudolf_Appel I like the concept of their speaker system very much and they seem very energetic in the endeavor. I also like that it is the only product they offer so the focus is laser sharp. I have been waiting for PS audio’s AN3 but it appears as though PSA’a may be a ways off and the D&D have ~5 years of R&D work already done. The PSA units will also be a little too big to fit the room these have to go in.

Agreed this system may not be as simple as it could possibly be but I needed a headphone amp and the one in the BKK preamp is really good.

Once I get the system up and running and the speakers themselves become Roon aware I will do some back to back testing between the BHK output and straight from the Nucleus+.

I realize that the signal will change back and forth a couple of times but don’t think that will degrade anything.

I also looked really hard at Kii3 and some ATC active speakers but the D&D kept winning out in one point or another. I like the fact that they are ±1db for basically the entire audio spectrum so a sub should not be needed. Time will also tell on that detail. Another point that helped sway me was I could not find one single pair for sale used anywhere.

Thanks for your input. All of it helps in the decision tree.

I guy who runs a local studio here has been using the 8c’s for monitors for a few months. They are really impressive. Were I looking for such a setup, they would be right up there for sure.

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Why bother with DSD and BHK pre? Those speakers have DACs in them. Seems to be a waste of money. You only need to convert digital to analog once! LOL

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The 8c have an analog input as well as a digital (AES) input, so you can use the DS or BHK pre without a problem. The question is, how good is the internal DAC? That would drive the decision to use the DS.

On a more general note, I heard the kii 3 at AXPONA and was very impressed, one of the better demos. As far as I can tell the 8c were not on display so I couldn’t make my own comparison. Regardless, this type of speaker is very intriguing to me and it would be a suggestion that PS Audio give this a thought. Seems like a more future proof concept then a traditional speaker, not that the AN series is traditional, but it isn’t at the same level as kii or D&D.

Baldy, if you do get these let us know what you think. I’d use them as my main system since I have a small room and they seem far better suited to it than most high end speakers (maybe including AN3 :slightly_frowning_face:). I too have a second home (in Michigan‘s UP), but my stereo there is far more modest just in case some strangers come in for a look see …

Good info on the analog inputs, still redundant, but, may come in handy down the road!

I’ll let you know how they sound once everything is setup and working. They seemed very interesting to me on a couple different levels. The DSD may not be required but will be a nice addition anyway.
We almost bought a lake house in Manistique, Mi. but we found a really nice one a lot closer to home. We live in SW Michigan so the trip to Manistique is an 8 hour haul. Love the UP but the place we found near home is very private and the lake and woods look like a typical UP location. It’s certainly beautiful and desolate so I understand having a modest system there.

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Nice! Been going to visit a couple of days the last few summers at a place my brother and his family get for a week in Cross Village. Sandy beach rather than the rocky stuff : )

I’ve not heard the Kii’s, but from what I can tell, and having seen, heard, examined and chatted about the 8c’s with an owner, the D&D’s are much larger in every sense. If you had a small room (like an average bedroom) they could be too much speaker potentially - or another way of putting it would be that you would not realize the potential of the speaker in a smaller room, despite their adaptability. They are capable of surprisingly loud-ish, full-range-ish output.

I sound like a shill. They are indeed Impressive. But frankly, I don’t trust stuff that I hear and am “Impressed” or “blown away” by - I look more for, “that’s Right”. Not Amazing. Right. Would want more time with them in my space to know if they were for me long term. I’ve thought about it recently, as I can get a good deal on them. Where I live now is too small though, but I’m figuring on moving to a bigger place. And I also just got a more properly-scaled 2nd system for a small space - Harby P3ESR’s and a Sprout 100 with my old JL f110 sub.

Hi Baldi, I had contact with D&D today, they plan on a DSD to PCM converter. It is simply impossible to digitally process DSD.

I asked them when they resolve the “unfinished business”with John Darko, bienfait issues with synced volume control in both channels during streaming.

I think those speakers are top. At least connected through analog XLR or digital AES/EBU. If you are looking forward to use them for streaming, I’d wait till they announced that they took care of the last issues in their development.

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Cross Village is only about an hour away from where I am in the UP (Hessel). Nice area! As for the 8c’s, they say on their website they will work great in a small room. The problem is they don’t define “small”. My room is in the basement, concrete floor, concrete block walls, and is 16’ x 14’ x 7’, but is partially broken up by a wall that extends half the 14’ dimension (there’s a stairway above this area) making the area where the speakers are 13’ rather than 16’. My Vandersteen 5’s work pretty good, but I bet the kii’s or D & D would work better since they have more adjustability. One enticing point of these speakers is they can (should?) be placed close to the wall. Can’t do that with the Vandersteen’s or similar speakers (AN3?) and certainly would give me more flexibility in listening chair placement. Of course, going this route would mean an almost complete refresh of my system, not sure if I’m ready for that!

The concrete will help with resonance for sure. I’m thinking defining “small” as a typical bedroom in the US, with 2x4" studs and sheetrock walls. Nasty, resonant space. These speakers can put out some bottom. Regardless of the adjustability, they are capable of “playing” a large room, and I’m thinking they would tend to bang a small room like a gong.

If I got them, I would want them away from the walls a couple of feet at least. Not sure if the way they are made means you can’t put them further out in the room. I realize one of the selling points is that you CAN put them close - but I wouldn’t. There’s only so much magical stuff you can do before Reality takes over ; )

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