Music Servers - Baetis vs. Music Vault

I, like many, are looking to add a music/media server to my system.

Aside from fabulous sound and performance, I really want ease of use, with minimal involvement from a computer.

My preference would be a unit that has the hardware to rip/store my cd's, download high-rez files from the internet, set up playlists and then kick back and enjoy the music.

As I explore the options in the under $5K price range, both Baetis and Music Vault are floating to the top.

Ripping and playing Bluray is a nice bonus, but not critical.

I'm looking for feedback from anyone who has compared these two brands, in your own system or demo'd at a recent audio show.

Which unit sounds best?
Which unit is easiest to use??
Which unit has the most features???
Which unit is the best value????

Thank you.
If Cerrot is correct then it truly is a shame that this industry has been forced to (or has chosen to) focus on USB, simply because most computers don't have spdif outputs, etc.
USB is like a belly button - every puter has it. USB kept users from having to open their puters, mess with drivers, etc - it saved a ton in customer service. if you remember, usb was created to connect printers, key boards, mouse. If you look at a USB bus implementation, and how it behaves with IRQ settings, its realy the wrose what you can try to transmit audio. It actually gets worse. If you study the way data is passed on a usb cable, you can see it is much more complicated than just developing an asysch relationship to the slave. I do believe that if an engineer take's it seriously, and has no cost to work within, you can develope a decent USB interface (look at the Berkeley), but you are realy going the long way around... and the usb interface is much more susce[table to jitter, and a ton of other effects.
Get a decent PC or Mac and stick the extra $1300 into your rig. Baetis PITA is my experience.
USB (even the best implementation, which is an
oxy-moron), I find, sucks the emotion out of the music

Wow! What a statement! If USB is sucking the emotion
out of your music, your system has issues elsewhere.

I have been using a 2006 Mac Mini given to me by my son to drive an
older OffRamp USB-SPDIF converter into the way-ahead-of-its-time
Manley Ref DAC. The MAC was updated to 2 GB RAM, a 160 G SS drive,
added a 2 TV Omega drive and Snow Leopard OS. The system has
worked flawless for several years .running under iTunes! Yes I know, I
will look into JRiver soon.

And tonight I took delivery of a Lampizator Big L6. With a VUE V3 USB
cable straight from the MAC to the L6, the sound (3D) is simply stunning.
The Manley/OffRamp is impressive indeed, but the L6 is at a new level of
performance for me. Delineation, clarity, ultra smoothness, decays, all at
new levels of refinements. And I have been a diehard Analog user for

I would put the old old MAC and L6 pair against any super decked-out
server/transport/converter and DAC. In fact the Manley/OffRamp pair
would embarrass many highly touted "new" digital setups.

There's been so much talk year after year about transports being the
more significant contributor. After comparing so many CDP's as
transports and going through a slew of DACs over the years, I continue
to be in the minority camp that feels the DAC and its PS and output stage
to make a greater difference. And the L6 is another example in DAC
technology improvement that brings on a level of refinement that I have
yet to hear from a digital data transfer "update". Looks like
Lukasz got the USB "right" here.

I have no desire to spend a fortune on a server update until the MAC
dies. And the performance with the MAC straight into the L6, I have no
longing now to "upgrade" the digital data link. Tube rolling,
power systems and isolation will be much better places to focus updates.

So my tip would be to start with a simple server, perhaps used MAC, get
the digital system up and running, pour as much as you can into the DAC
and then go back to refine the digital data if you desire. As stated above,
you could have a killer server starting for $1300 or so.