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Olive and Thiel team up for a high end, high priced audio server


Call us crazy, but we think this is an idea that just might work. Olive, known for high-end music servers, and Thiel, who we've seen in this space purveying high-end speakers and IP-based audio solutions, have joined forces to rock your condo, trendy loft space, or dentist's office. Built around the Olive 4HD (with its 2TB storage, 24-bit / 192kHz sound, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, and an iPhone / iPod touch remote control app), the Olive+Thiel can rock up to four pairs of Thiel's SCS4D IP-based self-powered speakers with 6.5 Inch Coaxial/Coincident driver and 200W Class D Power Amp. In addition to the server functionality, this bad boy can rock you out via its analog and USB digital audio inputs -- trust us, Butterfly by Crazy Town has never sounded this sweet! (OK, maybe its never sounded that sweet to begin with.) Available this month for $7,900. PR after the break.

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Olive+Thiel Networked HD Music System

Olive+THIEL unifies the convenience of a consolidated music library, superb sound quality and IP-based multi-room HD music streaming in a plug-and-play solution

The Olive+THIEL project combines the expertise of two companies devoted to high-end audio by creating an elegant integrated system, combining source, amplification, and loudspeakers in a complete high performance package that eliminates set-up confusion for consumers. The Olive+THIEL system is all-digital, streaming music over Ethernet in HD quality and with perfect synchronization, directly into THIEL's IP-based SCS4D high-performance speakers. For a multi-room music experience, users can very easily add an additional pair of SCS4D speakers per room.

Based on Olive's flagship 4HD music server, the unique Olive 4HD server can store 6,000 CDs or 20,000 24-bit HD music tracks in lossless quality. A built-in touch-screen LCD allows users to find and play their music with ease, and an iPhone™ app that allows an iPhone™ or iPod® touch to act as a remote is available at no charge. Music can be easily copied to the hard drive via the built-in CDRW drive (which can in turn burn playlists for the car), or from a networked computer (either PC or Mac). There is also an HDMI interface allowing for connection to a TV.

"Olive and THIEL share a mutual passion for audio perfection at the best possible value," said Dr. Oliver Bergmann, founder and CEO of Olive. "Joining forces on the Olive+THIEL HD Music System allows us to offer a complete HD audio experience at home that maintains the golden-master standard of 24-bit/192 kHz-the same quality used in the studio by high-end recording engineers. Combining source, amplifier and speakers in one system allows us to offer an unprecedented complete sound solution from start to finish."

The new Olive 4HD has been specially modified for digital HD multi-room music streaming via proprietary IP technology and a 4-port gigabit Ethernet switch. This delivers perfectly synchronized sound from the Olive 4HD to up to four pairs of THIEL's SCS4D IP-based self-powered speakers. Additionally, the Olive 4HD has analog and USB digital audio inputs to allow streaming from additional music sources such as television, satellite radio or computer. The Olive 4HD connects to each SCS4D speaker via simple Ethernet cables, enabling easy connectivity anywhere within a home network. No additional equipment or expensive audio cables are required.

With the Olive 4HD, it's a breeze to rip, play and burn music CDs - or import a digital music collection from any networked PC or Mac. Olive also offers a time saving preload service, ripping the user's CD collection onto the Olive 4HD at the factory. The first 100 CD conversions are free.

"THIEL views the Olive+THIEL HD 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.

The SCS4D speakers are based on the award-winning SCS4, a time and phase coherent bookshelf-sized two-way speaker that can be placed either upright or sideways with no detrimental effect on sound quality. The SCS4D features a die-cast aluminum baffle and robust cabinet construction with ample internal bracing to reduce enclosure resonances. For the Olive+THIEL HD Music System, THIEL modified the SCS4 to include THIEL zöet proprietary IP-technology which eliminates latency issues that typically plague network-connected systems. Additionally, there is an ultra-high performance DAC and a 200-watt class D amplifier.

THIEL SCS4D IP-based Coherent Source® Loudspeaker

* 6.5-inch coaxial/coincident driver
* 200W Class D Power Amp
* Burr-Brown 1792A 24-bit/192kHz DAC in mono mode
* IP-connectivity with 32-bit DSP
* 48Hz-20kHz (+/- 2dB) frequency response
* IR Receiver Input
* 1-inch thick cabinet walls
* 8.37 x 17.62 x 11 inches

Olive 4HD HD Server

* 2TB ultra-quiet hard drive
* TEAC CDRW mechanism
* Network technology: 4-port Gigabit Ethernet (wired) 802.11n (wireless)
* Analog and USB Audio Inputs
* IR Receiver Input
* Navigation: 4.3-inch (480 by 272 pixel) color touch-screen LCD
* 1 HDMI output
* 17.13 x 3.35 x 11.42 inches
* 13.2 pounds

Pricing and availability
The Olive+THIEL HD 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.

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