Olive + Thiel's $7,900 Audio Server is the Sheeeeeeeeit

Olive and Thiel may sound like a TV pilot about a crimefighting duo starring Joey Tribbiani, but it's not. The former do swank AV stuff like this , while the latter do expensive speakers and whatnots. Behold their bastard child.

The Olive + Thiel is, basically, the Olive 4HD, a server with 2TB storage, gigabit ethernet, 24-bit/192Hz sound, Wi-Fi, analog and USB digital inputs, plus an app to let you use your iPod Touch or iPhone as a remote. Add to that the Thiel SCS4D hi-performance speakers - actually, you can add up to four pairs of speakers. And then go on the game, because, let's face it, high-arse audio stuff is expensive sheeeeeeit, as Clay Davis would say. Press release below.

January 05, 2010 09:01 AM Eastern Time
Olive and THIEL Team Up to Introduce Networked HD Music System

Digital Music Server Leader and High-End Speaker Legend Swap Speaker Cables for Ethernet Cables to Produce Breathtaking Sound in an Easy-to-Use System.

2010 International CES
LAS VEGAS—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Leading music server manufacturer Olive Media Inc. and legendary high performance loudspeaker maker THIEL Audio today introduced the Olive+THIEL HD Music System (HDMS). The system bundles award-winning Olive and THIEL components that easily connect over a network – eliminating the ugly and expensive amplifiers, speaker cables and interconnects of traditional high-end audio systems. See – and hear – the difference at CES 2010 in Las Vegas. The Olive+THIEL HDMS will be on display January 7-10 in The Venetian Bassano Ballroom 2601, and will be available at selected audio dealers that sell THIEL speakers.

"Joining forces on the Olive+THIEL HD Music System allows us to offer a home music experience that plays normal CDs, but also extends the listening experience to the gold-master standard of 24-bit/192 kHz signals -the same quality used by studio recording engineers."

The Olive+THIEL project combines the expertise of two companies devoted to high-end audio and simplicity at an unbeatable value. The basic system only has three parts: Source, speakers, and cabling.

Driving the HD Music System: Olive's flagship 4+ HD music server, which can store 6,000 CDs or 20,000 24-bit HD music tracks. The built-in touch-screen LCD allows users to find and play their music with ease, and if you want to kick back and relax, a free app turns your Apple® iPhone™ or iPod™ Touch into an Olive remote control.

With the Olive 4+, it's a breeze to rip, play and burn music CDs – or import a digital music collection from any networked PC or Mac. Don't want to spend time loading CDs onto a new server? Olive offers a preload service, ripping your CD collection onto the Olive 4+ at the factory.

THIEL's SCS4D loudspeakers deliver all this amazing sound quality in a small package. The time- and phase-coherent, bookshelf-sized two-way speaker can be placed either upright or sideways with no effect on sound quality. Its die-cast aluminum baffle and robust cabinet construction with ample internal bracing reduces enclosure resonances. Each speaker features a high-performance 24-bit DAC and a 200-watt class D amplifier.

Conventional cables are gone with the Olive+THIEL HDMS. The Olive 4+ HD music server connects to each speaker via simple Ethernet cables – no need for difficult installations or special shielding. The SCS4D speaker employs THIEL zöet proprietary IP-technology, which eliminates latency issues that typically plague network-connected systems. As a result, you get perfectly synchronized sound from the Olive 4+ to up to four pairs of THIEL's SCS4D, anywhere within your home network. Hook up your Apple® iPod™, satellite radio or computer to the Olive 4+ analog or USB audio inputs to broadcast music to all speakers in the network.

Clearly the companies' two CEOs are pleased with their new baby: "Olive and THIEL share a mutual passion for audio perfection at reasonable prices," said Dr. Oliver Bergmann, founder and CEO of Olive. "Joining forces on the Olive+THIEL HD Music System allows us to offer a home music experience that plays normal CDs, but also extends the listening experience to the gold-master standard of 24-bit/192 kHz signals -the same quality used by studio recording engineers."

"THIEL views the Olive+THIEL HD HiFi Music System as an important step forward in our quest to give consumers uncompromised sound quality in a complete package that is effortless to set up and operate," commented THIEL president Kathy Gornik. "We wanted to eliminate all of the confusion and techno-babble and just let our customers enjoy listening to their music," Gornik added.

HARDWARE BY THE NUMBERS

Olive 4+
HD Music Server
THIEL SCS4D
IP-based Coherent Source® Loudspeaker
2TB ultra-quiet hard drive 6.5-inch coaxial/coincident driver
TEAC CDRW mechanism 200W Class D Power Amp
Network technology:
> 4-port Ethernet switch (wired)
> 802.11n (wireless)
24-bit/192kHz DAC in mono mode
(Burr-Brown 1792A)
Analog and USB Audio Inputs IP-Connectivity with 32-bit DSP
IR Receiver Input 48Hz-20kHz (+/- 2dB) frequency response
Navigation:
> 4.3-inch color touch-screen LCD
> 1 HDMI output
IR Receiver Input
1-inch thick cabinet walls
17.13 x 3.35 x 11.42 inches
13.2 pounds
8.37 x 17.62 x 11 inches
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

The Olive+THIEL HD HiFi Music System will be available in the US in January for a retail price of $7,900 and will be sold through a selected number of resellers. More information is available at the Olive+THIEL website at www.olivethiel.com or by phone at 1.859.254.9427 (distribution inquiries) and 1.877.296.5483 (product information).

About Olive

Based in San Francisco, Olive brings the ease and accessibility of digital music to the home stereo in high-fidelity. Led by a team of music lovers, Olive makes the only Hi-Fi Music Server and multi-room Hi-Fi Players that deliver a music experience without compromises. The result of five years of award-winning design based on customer feedback, Olive products allow the experience of music in true hi-fi sound quality with easy digital music access and elegant design at a compelling value. For more information, please visit www.olive.us.

About THIEL

Founded in 1976, THIEL is a privately-held engineering-driven organization that performs research, design, and manufacturing of loudspeakers for the highest quality home music and video sound reproduction. Our products incorporate a variety of technological advancements in driver design, acoustical construction techniques, and crossover design. All our work is directed toward one end: to provide the most realistic sound reproduction possible. THIEL's product range includes surface-mount speakers, in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, customized flat-panel video display speakers, subwoofers, bookshelf and theater speakers as well as THIEL's world famous floor-standing speakers. Prices range from $990 (each) for the SCS4, PowerPlane® and HigherPlane® to the flagship CS3.7 at $12,900 per pair. (www.thielaudio.com)

[Business Wire and Engadget]