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Sound Quality - Music Server vs CD?

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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I am interested in the Olive 4HD but was interested in the difference in sound quality compared to a similar priced CD player.

I like the idea of the flexibility but would like to understand the compromise
 

Trefor Patten

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Mar 31, 2008
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Almost no compromise as I see it. There may be very slight gains on a CD player of a similar price in terms of presence and dynamics, these could be lost by cables and mains condition anyway. On the other hand the Olive player will play back CDs 'on the fly' when mates come round with a new disc which you simply must hear and has the further advantage of being able to store the same disc to play back later (along wiith all the others in your current collection. You could even get your money back on the purchase by selling all your CDs at a car boot sale. As I see it, it is a win, win, win situation. One thing however is lacking, that of SACD playback for the price of the Olive you could get a machine which plays these as well. If you have a large collection of SACDs already that may be a factor. If not, the fact that we are on the verge of a whole new market of 24bit 96 Khz or even 192Khz downloads makes SACDs redundant.
 

Craig M.

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Mar 20, 2008
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i don't have the mag to hand but i think there was a brief mention of it being comparable to a marantz cdp, 6003 maybe.
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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Trefor Patten:......You could even get your money back on the purchase by selling all your CDs at a car boot sale.....
If you don't own the source data, i.e. the CD, how do you stand legally? If the cops break down the door and start asking questions about your tunes, how do you prove you bought them?
 

scene

Moderator
Sep 25, 2008
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You don't need the mag, the review is online and, yes, WHF do say it's comparable to the cd6003, which retails at £250 from RS. That's £1900 less than the Olive, so hardly a "similar priced CD player".

Question is, does the convenience of having the ripping, storing and serving music all in one box, combined with a DAC that can be used for other devices justify that price difference?
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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scene:
Question is, does the convenience of having the ripping, storing and serving music all in one box, combined with a DAC that can be used for other devices justify that price difference?

Errr, no. Not £1900.

Why not go for something a little cheaper that comes without a DAC or an HDD? How about this?
 

Craig M.

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Mar 20, 2008
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i think you're missing the point of the olive pj, i think for a lot of people it could be worth the extra just to have something that is no more of a faff then a cdp. for example you could compare it to a naim hdx and say it's brilliant value, or you could add a naim dac which would make it a fairer comparison based on price, those who've compared say the naim dac slays the hdx on sound quality.
 

scene

Moderator
Sep 25, 2008
766
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19,070
PJPro:scene:
Question is, does the convenience of having the ripping, storing and serving music all in one box, combined with a DAC that can be used for other devices justify that price difference?

Errr, no. Not £1900.

Why not go for something a little cheaper that comes without a DAC or an HDD? How about this?

Exactly PJ - funnily enough, that was the post I was thinking of (just couldn't find it
)

Get something like that and buy a nice Cyrus with the spare change, or maybe a nice Cyrus, some decent interconnects and a lot of CDs to rip onto your new storage....
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
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I'd rather have a NaimUniti (and those who've been watching my ebay activity recently might see where I'm going with this) - it's nearly as good as a 5i combo (it says here) and the only disadvantage it has compared to the Olive is that you need to go to your PC to rip the disc. It has an amp built in, and is cheaper.
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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Craig M.:
i think you're missing the point of the olive pj, i think for a lot of people it could be worth the extra just to have something that is no more of a faff then a cdp. for example you could compare it to a naim hdx and say it's brilliant value, or you could add a naim dac which would make it a fairer comparison based on price, those who've compared say the naim dac slays the hdx on sound quality.

Faff? Producing the perfect rip, cataloging it and finding superior album art is the fun bit ;-)

But once you've done the fun bit and got the data on your PC, getting it onto something like the WDTV Live is simplicity itself.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The Marantz 6003 comparison is interesting - I wonder that if I pair ir with the ATC SIA2-150 Amp & ATC SCM40 Speakers it might not be able to cope
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
amp33385:

I am interested in the Olive 4HD but was interested in the difference in sound quality compared to a similar priced CD player.

I like the idea of the flexibility but would like to understand the compromise

Interesting that the Olive is considered no better than an entry level CD player. I haven't heard the Olive, so can't comment on it's sonic abilities. In principle though, I would have thought ripping your CD's to a HDD, then streaming through a quality DAC to your speakers would give you a great result. I say this on the basis that even cheap CD transports put down bit-perfect rips to the HDD. Then the DAC is down to your taste and budget. And in that respect, the whole assembly mimics a CD player anyway. What you are avoiding though is a CD being read on the fly by a CD player which potentially compromises sonic quality. When a rip to HDD is done by your PC, it can have as many goes as necessary to create a perfect file, a luxury not available to your CD player. Then there's the convenience of having your whole library available on demand.

Given that you can hard wire your PC to your amp or active speakers, or even go wirelessly, there's no reason to clutter up your hi-fi with computers at all.

The one downside to my using a streaming arrangement is that if someone brings a CD to be played, we either have to listen on a little Curry's music centre, or download onto the PC first. The upsides though are so much better than using CD's.
 

The_Lhc

New member
Oct 16, 2008
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Yes I'm somewhat sceptical that a 2 grand device like the Olive is only considered the equal of a £250 quid CD player but again I haven't heard it and don't know how much of the cost of the Olive goes towards the non-audio reproduction part of the device and how much that leaves for the device's DACs and so forth.

I also have to admit that, having not owned one for many years I have absolutely no idea how good or otherwise, a £250 CD player sounds these days.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Craig M.:

i don't have the mag to hand but i think there was a brief mention of it being comparable to a marantz cdp, 6003 maybe.

I am not a native english speakin/readin/writin peron, but I thought the article said that the CDP inside the olive is compared to the marantz 6003 machine. Intrestingly there's not a remark about the comparisson between a CDP vs ripped files on the Olive's HD. It states that it can be compared to the Naim HDX. Thats it. I've been lookin everywhere on the internet to see for example; a cyrus 8se compared to this machine. But I just cant find it.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Whatever differences in sound quality between a hard drive based system with CD quality files and a CD player is down to the DAC.

Same thing is the case with different hard drive/network based system. If the signal is transmitted unaltered (which it is, unless you're using BlueTooth based or other systems that compress the signal to save bandwith), your choice of equipment and software is a matter of taste. Before reaching the DAC, a 16bit/44.1kHz signal from a £81 AirPort Express is identical to a 16bit/44.1kHz signal from a billion dollar 'high end' system, as well as any CD compatible player regardless of prize.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Well then a NAS and a streaming device, and super duper DAC, would outperform CDP in the same Price bracket. Which I think is indeed the case, and the reason why you never see a head to head comparison.
 

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