Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!

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davidada

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First listening RWA Olive
« Reply #40 on: 9 May 2006, 03:28 pm »
Well, I think I am the first test customer of Vinnies for the Olive mods, as always Vinnies work is first class, the unit also feels much more substantial due to the huge internal battery and sound deadening materials.
Enough of that, I know you allwant to know how it sounds.
I already have the RWA squeeze box with latest mods whichin itself was an excellent sounding system which bettered any previous source and I have had very very good sources ie Meridian and Audiomecca drives as well as a variety of Dac's , Bel Canto 2, modded zhalou( the best so far) etc.
My tastes in Music are generally Jazz and Rock and some alternative.
My altime torture test disk is Miles Davis Kind of Blue, the horns will make your ears bleed if not done right.
Ok, first impressions were of a very smooth rich sound almost tubey-but not rolled off at all.
Lots of fine detail but with a deep warm underlayer, especially vocals just sounded so human and analog sounding. The match is perfect with my Clari-T mono's which are quite forward and could be a tough to strident on certain tracks.
I sat my wife down in the sweet spot and although she does not do critical listening I asked for her impression. She said every instrument now seemed to be more separate and dynamic as wellas wider spaced side to side and in depth.
I agree- the best source I have had in my system period
Bravo Vinnie

Jon L

Re: First listening RWA Olive
« Reply #41 on: 9 May 2006, 05:03 pm »
Quote from: davidada
Well, I think I am the first test customer of Vinnies for the Olive mods, as always Vinnies work is first class, the unit also feels much more substantial due to the huge internal battery and sound deadening materials.
Enough of that, I know you allwant to know how it sounds.
I already have the RWA squeeze box with latest mods whichin itself was an excellent sounding system which bettered any previous source and I have had very very good sources ie Meridian and Audiomecca drives as well as a variety of Da ...


Which Zhalou DAC (1.3?) with which mods do you have, and could you compare Zhalou vs. Olive sound signatures more?  

I've been thinking about picking up the Zhalou 2.0 just for the heck of it..

Vinnie R.

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #42 on: 10 May 2006, 11:54 am »
Quote from: Loftprojection
and by the way, if you do some "headphone" testing, I will post your results on the head-fi forum, the guys there will go nuts, I'm sure you already have lots of them as your customers...


Hi Loftprojection,

Yes, the iMod is HUGE over at head-fi!  I don't think they know about the modded Olive yet.  :wink:   And yes, the K1000s are definitely not a fair test.  I would have been floored if they were well-driven using the Olive's headphone stage.  I will have to try something different and report back soon...


Quote from: davidada
Ok, first impressions were of a very smooth rich sound almost tubey-but not rolled off at all.
Lots of fine detail but with a deep warm underlayer, especially vocals just sounded so human and analog sounding.

I agree- the best source I have had in my system period
Bravo Vinnie


Hi davidada,

Wow, sounds like you like it!  :P   And it barely has any burn-in time on it!
Many thanks for posting your impressions and giving some examples of other CDPs and dacs that you've used in your system.  

Please keep us posted after you put more hours of use on it.... it WILL get even better!  

Cheers!

Paul_Bui

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Re: First listening RWA Olive
« Reply #43 on: 10 May 2006, 02:24 pm »
Quote from: davidada
Well, I think I am the first test customer of Vinnies for the Olive mods, as always Vinnies work is first class, the unit also feels much more substantial due to the huge internal battery and sound deadening materials.
Enough of that, I know you allwant to know how it sounds.
I already have the RWA squeeze box with latest mods whichin itself was an excellent sounding system which bettered any previous source and I have had very very good sources ie Meridian and Audiomecca drives as well as a variety of Da ...


Could you tell which do you have modded, Musica or Symphony?

davidada

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #44 on: 10 May 2006, 02:52 pm »
Hi It was the Musica with the 160 gig drive, one of the thing that I like best about this system is its non-reliance on a PC. I have been in the process of minimalzing my system, for some time and this allowed me to remove the SB2 and power supply a preamp, a dac and the whole Mac front end along with various inteconnects and power cords. So what I have now is the RWA Olive and ClariT's thats it! off the grid

Gordy

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #45 on: 10 May 2006, 03:15 pm »
I made the two hour trip up to the VTV Show on Saturday afternoon in a near record two and a half hours... and no, it wasn't the scenic tour.  In general I thought the rooms were better sounding than at the Denver show and it was also much easier to get a prime seat and to speak with the various reps, designers and dealers.  My main reason for attending was to see and hear the Olive machine for myself, so not much time was spent elsewhere.  Probably a mistake, but I was on a fairly tight schedule  :(

Being a true dinasaur (thanks Louis  :D  ) when it comes to techy things like computers and SB's, my questions were all pretty basic. With the storage issues now covered and a (very) little hands on experience, I'm pumped!  I'll be purchasing a Symphony unit, due to the much longer battery run time, and an outboard drive just as soon as possible. If this dinasaur can make the transition to apeman, I'll have it off to Vinnie for the full conversion.

The sound, oh yeah!  What can I say, hotel rooms suck.  Despite that and the ambient sound generator just outside the Omega/RWA room... The system sounded fantastic!  The combo of Vinnie's new amp and Louis's 8" hemps were much more detailed in the bass and possibly went deeper too... the top end sounded more refined to these ears too, all this compared to what I remember of the Denver show.  At one point we (notice I'm taking partial credit here?) recorded one of Louis's Satchmo 45's onto the Olive and did a nearly synch'd comparison... most impressive!  A far truer transfer than what I've heard compared to my brother's vinyl archiving on cdr.  Bravo guys!!!!

In speaking with Louis I picked up on a few of his trade secrets, so if anyone is interested in learning the details of the new three week full immersion coffee smoker treatment he's now using on all his drivers just pm me  :wink:

mr_bill

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #46 on: 10 May 2006, 06:21 pm »
Quote from: davidada
Hi It was the Musica with the 160 gig drive, one of the thing that I like best about this system is its non-reliance on a PC. I have been in the process of minimalzing my system, for some time and this allowed me to remove the SB2 and power supply a preamp, a dac and the whole Mac front end along with various inteconnects and power cords. So what I have now is the RWA Olive and ClariT's thats it! off the grid


What do you use for the volume control with this simple system?
Is their a volume control on the Olive?
Thanks,
bill

davidada

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #47 on: 10 May 2006, 07:10 pm »
Hi Yes, the Olive has a built in digital volume control with a remote

mr_bill

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #48 on: 10 May 2006, 11:58 pm »
I didn't know the Olive units had a volume control.  Thanks for the news.  Is it a high quality volume control - do you notice deterioration?


Vinnnie, have you used the Olive with volume control direct to amplifiers?


Thanks

tubesguy

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #49 on: 11 May 2006, 08:46 pm »
Gordy, or others with hands-on experience, could you give us some more info on the vinyl recording process? Does the Olive use some software that automatically breaks up the recording into individual tracks, or do you have to do that manually?

If I could relatively painlessly archive my vinyl collection, this thing becomes quite attractive.  I could sell off the SB3, the new Zhaolu DAC, the Alesis recorder, and the preamp, and have a nice one-box solution. Hmm ... TIA - Pat

Vinnie R.

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #50 on: 12 May 2006, 12:03 am »
Hi Guys,

Quote from: davidada
one of the thing that I like best about this system is its non-reliance on a PC. I have been in the process of minimalzing my system, for some time and this allowed me to remove the SB2 and power supply a preamp, a dac and the whole Mac front end along with various inteconnects and power cords. So what I have now is the RWA Olive and ClariT's thats it! off the grid


Hi David,

That is a sweet little setup using the modded Olive's analog output with built-in volume control to feed directly into the custom Clari-T monoblock power amps!  8)

Quote from: Gordy
My main reason for attending was to see and hear the Olive machine for myself, so not much time was spent elsewhere.

Despite that and the ambient sound generator just outside the Omega/RWA room... The system sounded fantastic!

At one point we (notice I'm taking partial credit here?) recorded one of Louis's Satchmo 45's onto the Olive and did a nearly synch'd comparison... most impressive! A far truer transfer than what I've heard compared to my brother's vinyl archiving on cdr. Bravo guys!!!!



Hey Gordy,

It was great to see you again and thanks for making seeing our room a top priority!  We tried out best to make the best of the room situation, and yeah, that was a lot of fun archiving from vinyl to hard drive (which could then be burned to CD with the built in CD burner).  I modded the analog input as well as the analog output, and it really does a clean job.  I actually like hearing the little pops and clicks of the vinyl when playing back off the hard drive!  :mrgreen:    Thanks again for stopping by!

Quote from: mr_bill
I didn't know the Olive units had a volume control. Thanks for the news. Is it a high quality volume control - do you notice deterioration?

Vinnnie, have you used the Olive with volume control direct to amplifiers?


Hi mr_bill,

The built-in volume control is done digitally before the dac section and it sounds very clean.  I have used the modded Olive directly into my Clari-T and Signature 30 and this combo "off-the-grid" redefines the term "black background."  Davidada is also using his modded Olive into his Clari-T monoblock amps...

Quote from: tubesguy
could you give us some more info on the vinyl recording process? Does the Olive use some software that automatically breaks up the recording into individual tracks, or do you have to do that manually?


Hi tubesguy,

Great question!  The answer is BOTH.  You can set it to automatically detect the gap between tracks and create a new track, or you can do it manually.  Another great feature is the option to "auto level set."  You hook up your source to the analog input, press a button, and let it play for a minute and it will automatically adjust the input gain to give you the best dynamic range w/o clipping.  You can also adjust this manually and goose the gain if you want to make a Britney Spears style recording with maxed levels and no dynamic range  :lol:

The Olive is a lot of fun and does almost everything...all in one enclosure.  

BTW, I just picked up a 160GB SeaGate USB drive for $99.00 at Best Buy.  The input is 12Vdc so you know what I'll be doing.  :wink:
It is a quiet drive and doesn't take up much space.  Here's the link if anyone is interested:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7441832&type=product&id=1124432398244

You can also go the 400GB route for $200 more:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7714967&type=product&id=1138086736825

Best regards,

Gordy

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #51 on: 12 May 2006, 02:13 am »
Hi Tubeguy,

I didn't do the actual recording, but Vinnie did say that the Olive automatically recognizes the individual vinyl tracks so they can be selected for playback.   You will have to manually type in album/song title info of course....  HTH!!!

woodsyi

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #52 on: 12 May 2006, 02:44 am »
Quote
Being a true dinasaur (thanks Louis  ) when it comes to techy things like computers and SB's, my questions were all pretty basic. With the storage issues now covered and a (very) little hands on experience, I'm pumped! I'll be purchasing a Symphony unit, due to the much longer battery run time, and an outboard drive just as soon as possible. If this dinasaur can make the transition to apeman, I'll have it off to Vinnie for the full conversion.


So, Gordy.  That's what you been up to -- looking for easy way to rip your CDs! :lol: I would like to hear it after you have had some time with it.

Gordy

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #53 on: 12 May 2006, 02:56 am »
Yeah, having no opposable thumbs is a real bummer... but that SB shootout we did has ruined me and I think the Olive / one box is a great solution for Dino and I.

Levi

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #54 on: 12 May 2006, 03:00 am »
Hey Gordy, Long time no see!

Here is your next source.  It is so versatile and easy to use.

tubesguy

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #55 on: 12 May 2006, 05:17 pm »
Thanks for the info, guys.  I'd like to actually get going on the vinyl collection.  It's been slow going with the Alesis, in part because I have to record in real time (obviously), then go back and listen again to insert track breaks, then burn to a CD, a process which is quite lengthy, and then take the CD and add that to my iTunes collection on the computer.

If I do the Olive solution, I realize that I'll have to convert to FLAC, about which I know next to nothing.  One nice thing that I've noticed about iTunes and GracenotesDB is that I can make that CD on the Alesis and Gracenotes can recognize the resulting collection of tracks, even with at least slightly different timing than the original vinyl and, I assume, the commercial CD, and give me artist and song info, automatically.  I probably have about 500 or so albums that I can archive, and the thought of entering individual song titles for them is a little daunting.  Does the Olive/FLAC system have the ability to search a database for matches and automatically enter info?

Thanks again for the responses - Pat

Levi

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #56 on: 12 May 2006, 05:55 pm »
Yes.  On most popular Albums and If you have the Olive connected to the internet.  You can also connect an external USB HDD to increase storage capacity.

Quote from: tubesguy
Thanks for the info, guys.  I'd like to actually get going on the vinyl collection.  It's been slow going with the Alesis, in part because I have to record in real time (obviously), then go back and listen again to insert track breaks, then burn to a CD, a process which is quite lengthy, and then take the CD and add that to my iTunes collection on the computer.

If I do the Olive solution, I realize that I'll have to convert to FLAC, about which I know next to nothing.  One nice thing that I've noticed ab ...

tubesguy

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #57 on: 12 May 2006, 06:11 pm »
Hmm, now where is that credit card?   :wink:

Vinnie R.

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #58 on: 12 May 2006, 06:12 pm »
Quote from: tubesguy
If I do the Olive solution, I realize that I'll have to convert to FLAC ...


Hi tubesguy,

You don't have to use FLAC if you don't want to.  You can use .wav files and other files types as well.  You don't need to know how to rip to flac because the Olive does this for you automatically.  You simply tell it to rip to the file type that you want (e.g. FLAC) and when you import the music to the hard drive, it does all the conversion to FLAC automatically.

As for all the features, it is probably worthwhile to download the .pdf owner's manual to get an idea how it works, what it can do, etc.

http://www.olive.us/downloads/manual_symphony_musica.pdf

Yes, it is 52 pages long, but if you check out the table of contents (pages 9 and 10) you can jump to the sections that are of most interest to you.

Sections 3.4.1 through 3.4.6 discuss recording from an external source (e.g. from vinyl).

Best regards,

tubesguy

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #59 on: 12 May 2006, 07:00 pm »
Thanks Vinnie -

I actually meant that I'd have to try to convert the library that I've already created in iTunes to FLAC.  I know there are utilities for doing conversions of one lossless compression method to another, so I'll check into that.

The owner's manual answered most of questions, including the most important:  Is this thing the way to go?  Looks like it to me.  I've liked the SB, but the user interface is not so hot.

Now I've just got to save up the $649 to send to you.  :)  - Pat