“In my September 2015 column, I reported on the coincidence of my reference DAC, the exaSound e28, and my reference music player, the Baetis XR2, being updated at the same time…. Well, lightning has struck the same places again. Above, I describe the evolution of the e28 to the e38 – and now I get to report about a new, smaller, more advanced Baetis server, the Prodigy X. And, with even more bells and whistles than the XR3, the Prodigy X costs less!
(the Prodigy X) represents another evolutionary step in an already distinguished line. Like its predecessors, the Prodigy X is a fully configured music engine with all the software needed to rip CDs and BDs, and to play any music-file format from directly attached or networked sources.
I am unrepentant. The Baetis Prodigy X is more compact, equally capable, and less expensive. If it’s a little better, too, why argue?” Kal Rubinson, Stereophile, July 2017 (on the new Prodigy X).
“Having now had some time to really listen to the Prodigy X from ripped CDs I am very familiar with, I can truly understand the efforts and dedication of John Mingo et al to develop and continue to enhance the Baetis line of media servers. The difference from my prior media server in playback through the same equipment and AES/EBU interface (but with a different AES/EBU cable) is very, very noticeable across the spectrum (pitch, timbre, air, bloom and decay) with layers of what I now realize must have been “background” noise from the prior media server’s standard interior PC motherboard, plug-in boards, drives and power supply no longer in evidence. You are there is much more “there”. And my previous media server purchased direct sells for the same price as the Prodigy X, but is really no comparison in fit, finish, graphics, transport, etc.
I only hope that you can “get the word” out to fellow audiophiles about this amazing media server and the quality inherent in the entire line of servers. It is really no contest, but how to get the public to find the better mouse trap is always hard….”
J.S., on the Prodigy X, Anchorage, AK, March, 2017
“Being an old-school audiophile, I had been procrastinating for many years about getting into computer audio… One of my main reservations was that I feared the sound would not be emotionally engaging. And isn’t that we listen to music for, so it can speak to our heart? Well, I have good news on that front.
But to begin, I must admit I was confused with all the acronyms I encountered in researching your products. USB, HDMI, AES/SBU….. But what I quickly discovered is that you forgot one: IMM. That’s for Involuntary Muscle Movement. More on that later.
With the sound of the Baetis Prodigy 2 with AES option, I frequently find myself irresistibly drawn into the musical experience. I often connect with the music in a way that has been all too rare in the past. It’s an emotional thing. I marvel at how great a particular artist and their creation is. How it forms such a heart to heart, soul to soul connection.
If I’m in another room, I find myself running back, lunging into the sweet spot on the couch and reaching for the volume on the remote. (Good thing I don’t have a cat!) Since receiving the Baetis, I’ve been playing my stereo more than I have in years. I should mention that I was previously happy with my $6,000 CD player as the source.
All audiophiles know that an upgrade to our system is an incremental thing, and hopefully in a positive way. But this time it’s more than a subtle improvement, it’s a whole new world of sound! I now own one of the most musically engaging stereos I have ever heard anywhere, including in showrooms with six figure systems.
I previously had mentioned my new acronym IMM, for Involuntary Muscle Movement. This new sound just gets you head boppin’, foot stompin’, booty wiggling couch-borne jazzercising, whether you want to or not! With the Baetis, “Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated….”. In fact, in the two months since it arrived, I’ve worn out one carpet, two couch cushions and 11 pairs of shoes!
To add to your list of accolades, I hereby announce the Baetis Prodigy 2 as the recipient of the esteemed “Bob Award” for 2017.
R.G., on the Prodigy 2 with AES option, Wilderville, OR, March 2017
“In a real sense, the Baetis Reference is the product I’ve been waiting for since that profoundly disappointing moment in 1983 when I first placed a compact disc in the drawer of a newly purchased Sony CDP-101—and decidedly did not hear “perfect sound forever.” Over the past three decades, digital’s deficiencies have been steadily mitigated, and I’m now ready to say that the technology’s potential has been fully realized. I can’t imagine enjoying music at home to the fullest extent possible without the Baetis Reference and will be returning the warranty card that came with the review sample along with a check. If you’ve embraced the digital future and have the means and the motivation, you must make a point of experiencing what this remarkable machine can do.”
Andrew Quint, The Absolute Sound, December 2015
“…the best digital sound I have ever heard in my system.” (reviewing the Revolution II)
Andrew Quint, The Absolute Sound, issue 240, February, 2014″ read article
By far, the XR2’s (special) S/PDIF output produced the best two-channel sound over every DAC I tried, and at all resolutions from 16/44.1 through 24/192 and DoP (DSD over PCM).”
Kalman Rubinson, Stereophile, September, 2014, pp. 61-65 read article
“All of the presets delivered on the promise of the best possible sound; this was the best I’ve heard my system sound to date.” Kris Deering Sound & Vision.com, June 12, 2014 read article
“…I’ve now been living with this unit for about 3 months and I can tell you it has changed the way I listen to music…”
“…the customer service is even beyond that of the music quality…”
“The server works perfectly; it is a real upgrade from (the) $6k Naim CD player!”
“WOW — @#!!* – WOW!!” From P.B., Charlotte, NC, on our XR3 model.
“I never thought a computer could make this much of a difference….a turning point in digital audio.” From M.P., Sao Paulo, Brazil, on our Reference.
“Frankly, I did not expect the magnitude of change to be this huge from the Revolution I model….you have once again delivered a product of sterling quality and value.”
From A.K., Singapore, on our Revolution III.
These reviews by professional reviewers and by Baetis owners are just the tip of the iceberg. The Baetis Reference servers are regularly used by Magico speakers, Synergistic Audio, Coherent Speakers and Lemay Audio at audio shows such as RMAF, Axpona, CES, TAVES and the Montreal Audio Fest. Both the Magico room and Kharma room used our Reference at CES 2016 and CES 2017. Magico also used the Reference at RMAF 2016. Some of our clients have very high-end systems – Magico Q7’s, Spectral or Tenor amplifiers, dCS Vivaldi or Berkeley Reference Series 3 DACs, — and listening rooms that have the very best in physical acoustical treatment.
This process of developing two-channel sound that many believe is the best out there, regardless of price, took us more than 4 years of 60 hour weeks. We spent a LOT of money trying different alternatives, including computer components, handmade internal wiring, various EMI-reduction treatments, and, especially, our proprietary circuit board that takes a VERY good SPDIF signal straight from the motherboard, and improves it quite significantly. We have proved that our approach beats USB or SPDIF/AES via PCI cards.