Olive announces audiophile-pleasing O6HD Music Server
By Paul Ridden
November 23, 2010
High-end music streamer manufacturer Olive describes its latest High Definition music server as an audiophile's dream. The O6HD features Digital Analog Converter (DAC) technology to offer audio enjoyment at over 250 times the resolution of CD. The device is constructed to reduce noise and vibration to an absolute minimum, and even dampens the 2TB hard drive with eight layers of cushioning.
Music lovers who demand the very best in sound quality will no doubt be in a state of uncontrolled salivation at the O6HD's inclusion of a matched pair of Texas Instruments 24-bit/192kHz Burr-Brown PCM1792 DAC modules for both the inverted and non-inverted signals on each of the right and left channels. Olive says that "unequaled transparency and tonal accuracy" is offered by a separate temperature-compensated crystal oscillator, which virtually eliminates jitter. The system's signal-to-noise ratio of 124 dB reveals every subtlety and nuance of sound.
The music library can include up to 6,000 CDs at their original quality or 20,000 enhanced high definition tracks, and is accessed via the 10.1-inch glass-on-glass 800 x 480 touchscreen display that sits on top of the O6HD server.
The built-in CDRW drive allows for the import of music from CDs and the export of audio to Audio CDs, MP3 CDs or Data CDs. The Texas Instruments SRC4194 Asynchronous Sample Rate Converter can up-sample any lower audio standard to 24-bit/384kHz.
"MP3 files are infamous for compressing tracks to the point of destroying the depth and nuances of a performance, even CDs are incapable of reproducing the way music sounds as it is recorded live in the studio," says Olive's founder and CEO Dr. Oliver Bergmann. He claims that the O6HD's "24-bit playback enables a rich and emotional experience not found with other digital music solutions."
The device's anodized fine-grade aluminum casing with passive cooling technology eliminates operational noise and vibration, and its feet also have a role to play in canceling vibration, by allowing the chassis to float above its supporting surface and screen it from outside influences. Both analog and digital components benefit from separate, dedicated low-noise power supplies to help ensure that the listener suffers from as little system noise as possible.
The O6HD can stream music to numerous rooms over 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity, and also features Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and USB 2.0 ports. Analog output is via balanced XLR, 24k gold-plated RCA or 6.4mm headphone jack, with AES/EBU and optical and coaxial S/P DIF outputs taking care of the digital side. A frequency response of +0 / -0.5dB, 20Hz to 20kHz is achieved by using ultra-fast op-amps with at least 20V/us slew-rate (the maximum rate of change of a signal at any point in a circuit), and a gentle 2nd-order Bessel reconstruction filter.
Those who choose to listen through headphones will be pleased to find a separate 24-bit/192 kHz PCM1792 DAC and TPA6120A2 high-performance amplifier.
Each O6HD is handcrafted at Olive's own facility in San Francisco and is available in either silver or black. Unsurprisingly, there is a handsome price to be paid for such technology – the device can be purchased in limited quantities direct from Olive for a penny under US$5,000.