The Baetis Reference S Media Server $12,325



We no longer make our “plain” Reference model. It’s superb components and circuitry are now improved by the Prodigy X model. The Reference models, including the Reference S, now have several components that are not available on either the Prodigy models or the original Reference:

  • All Reference models now have a new EMI shield on the daughterboard to protect that special circuitry that reduces common mode noise (well below the point of simply eliminating ground loop hum), increases amplitude (voltage) of the SPDIF and AES signal, decreases rise time, and improves the digital signal on the oscilloscope.
  • All the critical internal circuitry in the Reference models now use cryo-treated pure silver cables, with extra anti-EMI sheathing, produced for Baetis by Revelation Audio Labs™. These special cryo-silver cables include:
    1. The internal DC cable that comes from the Neutrik™ Powercon connector on the chassis to the internal ATX board that distributes DC within the computer;
    2. The SPDIF cable connecting the header on the MB to our proprietary daughterboard;
    3. The SPDIF cable from the daughterboard to the BNC connector on the rear of the chassis;
    4. The AES cable from the daughterboard to the AES connector on the rear of the chassis

      These internal cables result in significant improvement in the quality of 2-channel audio, even before full burning-in.
  • The Reference S then goes on to use another significant improvement in both 2-Ch and MCh audio – the world’s best linear power supply. This 400W PSU is made for us by HD-Plex, including Neutrik-brand external connectors. We add another Revelation Audio Labs cryo-silver cable to take the 12V DC signal from the PSU to the computer itself. The combination of this PSU and DC cable provides another “oh wow” improvement – and the DC cable is at least half of that improvement.
  • The Reference S also has, like the Reference 2 and the original Reference, the best possible hybrid cooling system, because of the 120mm Noctua fan in the extra-large chassis. This fan cools the Motherboard down to levels not measured on other music servers, while the cooling pipes work to cool the CPU to extremely low levels (widely found on other music servers). All the while, the sound produced by the Reference S on a digital sound pressure meter is equal to the noise of a fan-less computer. That’s right, fan-less computers are not noise-less. They cool by using the same heat pipes we use to send heat to the external heat fins. Those fins move the hot air away from the computer; and, yes, that moving air is measured by a digital sound pressure meter even though you can’t hear it. But the fan-less units cannot cool the MB and its critical HD Audio Codec down to levels that make us happy, especially if you use your Baetis or Prodigy for MCh music or movies.
  • The HD Audio Codec on the Reference S is the one preferred by some of the world’s leading reviewers and equipment makers, including the CEO of Magico™ speakers. This codec, coupled with our proprietary AES daughterboard that does NOT use a PCI-bus, coupled with the R.A.L. internal pure silver cables, coupled with the best linear PSU in the world (read our section on Power Supplies to understand the benefits of linear PSUs over battery-based PSUs), are the combined secrets of the Baetis sound as optimized in the Reference S. No other Baetis can produce this kind of 2-Ch audio, and only the Reference 2 has this same quality of 2-Ch audio while also producing the same MCh audio as our Reference X. You must audition the Reference S in your own home to hear the difference – and the amount by which the Reference S will impress you depends on whether you own one of the world’s best DACs. We are talking about the dCS™ Vivaldi, the Berkeley™ Reference Series 2, EMM™ DAC2X, Light Harmonic™, MSB™ Diamond, Audio Research™ Reference, Soulution™ 560, Playback Designs™ or DACs of similar quality and expense.

The Reference S can have as an option, to couple with the best AES output, the world’s best USB output for 2Ch or MCh. No sense re-inventing the wheel here. We have chosen the SOtM™ USBhubIN USB board for USB output because it a) is the only such board that does NOT use a PCI-bus with its high common-mode noise, rather it connects straight to a header on the MB; and b) has a separate clock board that improves further this USB signal. We do NOT use separate clock boards for the SPDIF signal because all of the auditions and engineering tests show that such clocks MUST be placed as close physically as possible to the digital-to-analog process. In other words, for SPDIF or AES, you want the word clock in the DAC; for USB, you want the word clock in the computer.

If you want even better USB performance (all our Baetis servers do USB up to DSD512), you will get our Ultra SOtM USBhubIN model option. This includes two cables that you will swear are the best cables of their kind out there – the R.A.L. cryo-silver 9V DC cable to go from the HD-Plex PSU to the SOtM USBhubIN non-PCI-card, and the R.A.L. cryo-silver double-cable USB cable to go from the SOtM USB card to the USB input of your DAC. The Revelation Audio Labs USB cable to the DAC is the only one so far that uses 2 cables on the computer end – one cable sends only data to the DAC, the other cable sends only USB power. The 2 cables rejoin at the DAC, and boy is the difference obvious. See our Digital Store to see how the new T+A USB/AES DAC 8 DSD performs with these cables.

The Baetis Reference series, including the Reference S, are sold through Baetis Reference Dealers or Demonstrators who have the necessary knowledge and, most of all, the quality showrooms that will allow you to hear the difference. Today, the Front End is as important as the speakers!! If there is no dealer in your area, call our Joe for an in-home trial.

Contact us at: or toll free 1-888-357-0035.