Olive Symphony Build Quality
Servers… they don’t just bring you your food anymore. Nope, now they’ve got to bring you your music and movies and just about everything else you can think of. When the Olive box arrived on my doorstep, it was just after my newest son was born and I thought, “Oh, that’s nice, a salad bowl or something.” Those thoughts were quickly dispelled the minute I picked it up. This was one heavy salad bowl! I’ve done enough of these reviews that I kind of know what to expect. It should burn. It should rip. It should give you a choice of formats when ripping. It should give you configurable playlists. It should stream Internet Radio? Hold on, wait a minute, that’s not usually part of the package!
The Symphony unit was packed normally with two Styrofoam end-caps. I was dismayed when I found the antenna attached to the unit as it could have been broken by the manual in transport. As it is your general screw on kind, I thought that asking the end user to attach it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I received a large three ring binder with all kinds of materials in it but upon inquiry found that generally users are given a quick start guide and a reference to the website to look up the latest manual. As the software can be updated via the Internet, this is not completely unfounded.
Build Quality and Fit and Finish
The unit came with some fairly nice analog cables, a TOSlink cable that is impossibly thin, a recovery disc (the white square on top of the unit), and a removable power cable. The aesthetics of this unit are superb in my opinion. Everything save the “turn and select wheel” and the four little buttons to the right is flush-mounted. Even CDs are inserted into the unit like a vacuum-loading car system. I’ve often wondered why manufacturers still use trays when this technology is available. It makes the front of the unit so much cleaner. The forward edge of the unit is rounded giving it a slightly different look from the other components in your rack.
The screen on the unit is too small but the software version I was using allowed you to blow up the text so that it was legible from a distance. Future iterations of the software promise to allow control over the Internet by dialing into the unit’s IP address. The power and control buttons (play, fast forward, etc) light up with a glowing white light that makes the buttons visible in the dark but casts very little ambient light. The screen can also be dimmed. The Symphony is the PERFECT example of how to light the front of a unit. The last two units I reviewed were literally brighter than nightlights. The Symphony sits on four plastic round grey legs. I connected the unit to my Denon AVR-3805 via S/PDIF coax.