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Old 8th April 2015, 08:23 PM   #1
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Default Olive One

Bought one, just to try out with a high chance of passing it on later. Surprise, it is a very good device. Software is not fully developed yet but the firmware update of last weekend improved some small quirks. Of course it is a computer but a highly "device-like" one as it can be operated like HiFi separates and does not give any noise at all as it has no fans (BIG plus). Is there anyone of you that has the Olive One too ? What are your opinions ? IMO it is more user friendly than a Squeezebox Touch and it is a more complete solution. Still the Touch is standing brotherly together with the One. Decisions...

My fingers are itching to open the One and check the innards but I wait a little to have it fully broken in. To be honest I didn't expect the amplifiers to be that good. My DDA-100 seems better but I will have to do AB again after some time. They go together as green and blue with regards to form and design... No IR remote control though so I had to start using a tablet to control it. It was forced but I reluctantly can tell it is way better than IR remotes. This feels like a confession

I feel all in ones and/or DDX are the future as separates seem to die out and those left standing are in a price category that I don't like. So... DDX, "all in ones".... No more class A, DACs, analog switching, expensive potentiometers, gold plated relays, cap rolling, opamp rolling ??? Maybe even no more DIY ???

If I imagine my audio rack without the amp and the Touch it is a lonely affair. Just one (1) device doing everything. Possibly a high WAF factor too (assumption!) but I don't mind myself as well. The round form makes it a strange device in audioland but it has a high attraction factor as everyone that sees it wants to try it out Recommended ! Let me know your thoughts and experiences please.
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File Type: jpg Olive-ports.jpg (111.1 KB, 273 views)
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Old 8th April 2015, 08:50 PM   #2
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I don't have this Olive, but I can comment on the last thought of Yours.
Yes, these modern all in one devices are winner just because they work.
I started building a similar server with a small board computer, hard drive, and a DAC, it can be controlled by my cellphone, etc. Since I did not have any useful enclosure for the thing, I put it in a box a few months later. Now when I need music, I put some on my phone... which is crap compared, but it just works. This world, people have no time to thinker... people need things that... again, just works.

How do You use the One?
It seems like a nice addition to a glass table, but then You have a lot of wires to hide.
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Old 8th April 2015, 08:56 PM   #3
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It is on the upper shelf of an old Target audio rack but it looks a bit non optimal and lonely there. The One has more furniture-like properties than I would like to admit. Let's just call it an object of art

Yeah, I also feel that I want devices that just work. Last listening session with audio pc's brings back memories of guys fiddling around with pc's, Linux and driver tuning. Took way too much time and made way too much noise. I don't need to be able to change things just to change things I know this is old fashioned but I will not change that. The focus should be on the purpose not on the means IMHO.
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Old 9th April 2015, 09:55 AM   #4
kukynas is offline kukynas  Czech Republic
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nearly hit the "buy" button few months back as I was looking for network streamer but than went through several owners feedback especially on their unfinished software part and decided to look elsewhere, hope it will be fixed soon and you will be happy with it ...on the other hand I can't imagine it as AIO solution for my main stereo due to limited amp power and input connections but can imagine it as second stereo with bookshelf speakers
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Old 9th April 2015, 11:22 AM   #5
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Well, after having used it for some days I can imagine it being the main system as it sounds very good. Haven't run into volume problems yet with my speakers. Software improvements have been decided on a road map so I took the chance. Volume control was quite nervous but that has been solved with last firmware update .

It streams but it offers the possibility for using a SATA 2.5" harddisk or an SSD. Mine has an SSD which results in no mechanical noise at all. No dependance on network quality that way.
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Old 10th April 2015, 01:49 PM   #6
GaryB is offline GaryB  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-paul View Post
Let me know your thoughts and experiences please.
JP - your spies must know my every move . I bought one of these a few months ago and my experience has been mixed. I like the convenience of listening to music directly from the built in hard drive. I use a 1TB HDD and it works well and the mechanical sound of the drive isn't noticeable. Streaming of internet radio has been unstable and I find that annoying. My Squeezebox never dropped radio streams but the Olive does it frequently. The latest versions of the Olive software do seem to be an improvement, so I am cautiously optimistic. But this product is still a work in progress.

The sound through the digital outputs wasn't as good as I would have liked so I upgraded the output to a 75 ohm BNC which was a nice change. I also thought that the line out sound was OK but not as good as I would like. When I opened up the Olive One, I saw that it had roughly the following architecture:
PCM5122 DAC --> DRV632 buffer chip to line out or a separate DRV632 buffer chip to the input of the power amplifier. See the attached picture. U43 is the buffer for the line out and U38 is the buffer for the internal power amplifier. C582 and C583, C561 and C562 are the coupling caps between the PCM5122 and the buffers.

The coupling caps are 1uf ceramic SMD caps. I know that these aren't the best sounding caps so I replaced them in the line amp output with 1uf acrylic caps and found that to be a nice upgrade in sound quality. Note that the parts in the Olive One are very small and the traces aren't very robust so extreme care is needed when desoldering parts. The 1uf acrylic caps that I used were 1210 size and they are bigger than the stock caps, which must be 0805 size. So the 1210 caps are a tight fit but it is possible to fit them in. I haven't played around with the internal amplifier yet but I'll get to that in the not too distant future.

Hope this info is helpful.
----Gary
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Old 10th April 2015, 05:14 PM   #7
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Yeah, despite being an "adversary" I have direct contacts with NSA We both concluded that you watch way too much porn.

My Olive One has only some weeks on the counter. The thought of changing the SPDIF RCA to a BNC 75 Ohm connector already occurred (took exactly 1 second) Please note that I haven't used the analog line outputs or the digital output yet, I just used the device as stand alone device as I feel it is intended to be used like that FWIW. I will listen to it connected to my DDA-100 though. It is not the absolute best there is (what is ?) but let's say that I have heard many worse sounding devices. I will look into the coupling caps too.I was hoping they would have used DDX technology but I already found out they didn't. It is a pity analog outputs are via a miserable 3.5 mm jack so I suppose the digital output is the way to go when connecting an external DAC + amp or a digital amplifier/powerDAC. I have only used the wireless connection with the external antenna to copy my files which went flawlessly and quite fast too. You are right it still is a work in progress but the software/firmware and app updates seem to improve the performance and/or user friendliness of the One.

Thanks for the picture. BTW since you already opened it: does it have an SPDIF transformer ? And how good is power supply decoupling done ? Well enough ? What chips did they use for the power amps ?
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Old 10th April 2015, 05:47 PM   #8
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Just checked the datasheet of DRV632. A line driver with charge pump OMG. It seems symmetrical power supplies are banned these days. Good specs though. What about shorting the caps ? Both PCM5122 and DRV632 are supposed to have very little DC offset.
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Old 10th April 2015, 05:59 PM   #9
GaryB is offline GaryB  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-paul View Post
BTW since you already opened it: does it have an SPDIF transformer ? And how good is power supply decoupling done ? Well enough ? What chips did they use for the power amps ?
It does not have an SPDIF transformer. But I was able to fit a Newava S22083 and it works fine. I've traced out the digital output and can show you how I wired it up if you're interested. Essentially it uses a 74HC04 as the SPDIF output driver with appropriate resistors and coupling cap to get the right impedance and voltage level. The coupling cap is 0.15uf, the series resistor is 374 ohms and the resistor to ground is 93ohms. Disconnect the 93 ohms resistor and hook up the primary of the S22083 where the 93 ohm resistor used to go. Hook a new 93 ohm resistor on the secondary of the S22083. Works like a charm.
---Gary
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Old 10th April 2015, 06:02 PM   #10
GaryB is offline GaryB  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-paul View Post
Just checked the datasheet of DRV632. A line driver with charge pump OMG. It seems symmetrical power supplies are banned these days. Good specs though. What about shorting the caps ? Both PCM5122 and DRV632 are supposed to have very little DC offset.
I think that the input to the DRV632 isn't at 0v so one needs a cap to protect/isolate the input.
---Gary
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