DACs, Pre-Pros & Speakers
Digital Store for DACs, Cables,Speakers and more…
Over the years, we have auditioned a vast range of digital cables, DAC or pre/pro and speakers. Either directly or through our clientele, we have become quite knowledgeable about the “front end” of the digital audio system. We therefore have selected a few components to sell alongside our Baetis computers as authorized dealers.
Putting it all together
From the start of your music and video chain to the very end, including the cables, we sell or build the best components you can get at any given price. We would be delighted to help find you a partial or complete multi-component system built around your Baetis computer. See blowfor some of the components we liked so much, we decided to sell them too.
Cables, listed in approximate order of price (most expensive to least):
We are great fans of the Anaconda models for either digital or analog signals. Shunyata also makes some of the best AC conditioning equipment and we use their conditioning equipment for our digital equipment in our own listening rooms.
Revelation Audio Labs™
These cryo-treated silver cables are used both inside and outside our best models. Our Prodigy models also now use copper cables made by Revelation Audio Labs.
Digital and analog cables, we sell many of these for our Prodigy models; they are a very good bang for the buck. We also have experience with other brands of digital cable and some of these are truly great and not extravagantly priced. We only recommend cable brands that are as good as each of the 3 brands above, in each price range.
Regular visitors to our site will have noticed in the past that we are NOT fans of many DACs whose “main” input is the USB port. We also did not like USB outputs in general from computers. However, now we have developed USB outputs relying on Baetis-modified SOTM USB cards and clock boards that permit the best in native DSD and Multi-channel DSD. These USB solutions are not connected to the PCIe bus because these create way too much common-mode noise. We changed our stance on USB once we heard it done right.
The T+A™ DAC 8 DSD ($4450)
T+A, which stands for Theory + Application, a German company that is extremely well known and loved in Europe and Asia, but is relatively unknown in the U.S. T+A’s DAC sounds great through its AES input when playing PCM – rivalling DACs that cost several times more. Its USB input is spectacular, especially for native DSD. If you are fortunate enough to have a few albums that are high sample rate DSD (up to DSD512, which has a sample rate over 22 million Hz), the T+A will play those files at full DSD512 and do so as true native DSD, not the typical DoP (DSD over PCM) through its USB input.
So, yes, we became one of the few T+A dealers in the U.S. BTW, if you have seen that the T+A DAC 8 DSD is priced at under $4K, that was before T+A raised the price to at least partially reflect current costs of production. Good thing T+A doesn’t think and price like most audiophile manufacturers, or the price would have risen to well over $15k!!
Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ ($2195) and Manhattan DAC 2 ($5995)
Mytek needs no introduction to most audiophiles. It is the DAC that, in pairs, Kal Rubinson of Stereophile uses for Multi-channel audio!! It was named by TAS as the “most significant new product” at CES 2016. It sounds, well, GREAT. And, at $2195 (for the Brooklyn DAC+), it is a true high-end bargain. You might also want to look at their new Manhattan DAC II which has an even better list of internal components.
The Mytek DACs have some of the best handling of MQA we’ve seen. They offer full unfolding and rendering, so you can select MQA Passthrough in your Tidal Streaming options if you wish. When you see the MQA light come on, you know you are getting the perfect, unadulterated MQA signal. That’ll make it easier to compare whether you like MQA or not! These DACs have the full range of inputs for use with your Baetis.
We only started to carry a speaker line when Robert Harley of The Absolute Sound reviewed the Tannoy™ Revolution XT 8F speaker (retail $2600 per pair) and thought it sounded like a pair selling for 4 times as much. We were looking for a speaker that would complement a Mytek Brooklyn DAC and power amp, in a room where all the equipment sold for $12k or less. And, in such a room, the most expensive piece of equipment is the Baetis Prodigy X2, at $5200. So, we became an authorized Tannoy dealer, after our usual, thorough testing. We can help you complete a multi-channel system around the Tannoy Revolution line of speakers to achieve an incredible value for money.
Of course, our taste in speakers runs to much more expensive equipment, given that some of our reviewers use such high-end speakers (Magico™, Wilson Audio™, B&W™, and many more). Also, a few of these speaker makers also use Baetis servers within their own showrooms (most notably, Magico; see our Reviews page). Ask us about any of these and we’ll try to help.
Multi-channel Pre-Pros and AV receivers
We are now also authorized Marantz resellers. We are partial to their recent multi-channel home theater processors and AVRs because the AKM DAC chips they use are fantastic. We would go so far as to say that the Marantz AV8805 Pre-Pro ($4500) makes a pretty impressive 2-channel SPDIF DAC, with a lot more capability aside. Yes, it sounds weird too us too, hearing us say “Marantz” on the same pages as Berkeley. But those AKM chips are just that good. This powerhouse of a Pre-Pro can process a whopping 13.2 channels for your ATMOS, DTSX or AURO 3D multichannel home theater. Excellent value for money if you are on a budget, but want a quality multichannel system.
If you’re on an even tighter budget, try the 9.2 channel Marantz SR-7013 AVR ($2200), which will not need a multi-channel amplifier paired with it. Both of these Marantz boxes process 4K UHD with HDR, so will pair nicely with the Baetis Prodigy XV or Revolution XV media servers.