|Olive 06HD Music Server Review|
|Home Theater Media Servers Music Servers|
|Written by Andre Marc|
|Tuesday, 30 August 2011|
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Set Up & Listening:
Setting up the Olive was not difficult. The only “tweaks” I used were a high quality Transparent AC cord, Symposium Acoustics Roller Block Jr isolation devices and, for the hell of it, a Shakti Stone. The 06HD connects to home network via WiFi or Ethernet, but I chose Ethernet. Once connected, I transferred about 80 GB of ripped CDs and downloads. I also ripped dozens of CDs, via the slot loading TEAC CD-RW drive. The whole process was flawless. I was then able to navigate artists, albums, songs, genres etc via the large touch screen or the supplied chunky remote control. One can also control the Olive via a web browser or the ubiquitous iPad or iPod Touch with a downloadable app. You can also connect a monitor via the HDMI output. This kind of flexibility is pretty impressive. As a last set up note, errors in metadata can be corrected via a web interface.
I spent quite a bit of time in long listening sessions with the 06HD. The music flowed gracefully, and there was not a hint of brightness, edge, or glare. Nor was there a smearing of transients, loss of detail, or a lack of resolution. On the contrary, I have not heard a one box digital playback device that could trump the 06HD on sonics. The Bryston BDP-1 shared many of the same sonic characteristics, with low distortion, and a natural flow to the music. However, the Bryston is part of a more complicated, multi box system. Ergonomically, the Olive is the cleanest server solution I have seen, except for perhaps the far more expensive Meridian Sooloos system which, incidentally, offers far fewer features.
I loaded the 06HD with a quite a variety of music. I listened to everything to high rez classical jazz, and vocal music, to recent rock releases from Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, John Hiatt, Robert Plant, and R.E.M. Everything sounded amazing, with spacious soundstages, clean, extended highs, and solid, and articulate bass. I noted how consistent the 06HD’s performance was across all genres and sources.
On various tracks from Ultimate Hits, Johnny Mathis’s voice sounded rich and buttery, and on tracks from Ocean Of Confusion, a best of compilation by the Screaming Trees, the guitars chugged along relentlessly, the drums thundered, and Mark Lanegan’s Jim Morrison inflected voice was huge. Music streamed via my network also sounded amazing. After I downloaded Twonky, a UPnP server software, I was able to access files housed on various hard drives attached to my computer. Everything I sourced, whether ripped Redbook CDs, downloaded Hi Rez material, or streamed files, sounded superb.
Olive 06HD Music Server
β Anodized fine-grade aluminum shell
β Passive cooling without noisy fan
β Ultra-quiet operations
β Width 17.125"
β Height 4.5" (at highest point)
β Depth 14"
β Weight 16.5 lb
β Silver or Black
Box also includes
β User manual, Remote control with battery
β w/ battery, WiFi-antenna, Power cord
Olive Media Inc .
Cd Player: Naim CD5 XS with Flatcap 2X,
Cd Player: Marantz 5003, Audiolab 8200CD