I haven't seen much at all here about the Olive Opus (or any of the Olives) so I don't know if anyone cares but I just got one and thought I'd share initial impressions.
1. My sound system:
Arcam AVP 700 pre/pro
Anthem MCA 50 Amp
B&W 703s front speakers
SVS PB 12 ULTRA/2 SW
Previously I used a Denon 3910 for music.
2. Sound: Well I have been doing some A/B comparisons with the 3910 and the Opus. I'm not an expert but: The Opus sounds cleaner, purer in some sense. I now think the 3910 was adding distortions. A/Bing between the units with one song sounds like I'm listening to a different song. The 3910 is way more in your face, the bass booms and rumbles. The Opus has a more ascetic sound and maybe better imaging (but I could be imagining that
). I have to admit that I kind of grew to like the bass rumble from the 3910 but I'm now starting to think it was some sort of distortion added to the sound. I could be making all this up but I'm just telling you my initial impressions. I've only had the unit for a few days. PS: I've listened in Stereo and Surround mode (with stereo recording). When I'm in stereo mode I've got the Arcam configured to use the SW as well. I know a lot of purists hate the idea of using surround mode for stereo. I'm not sure one way or the other but I don't notice that in surround mode it changes my impressions of the Opus v 3910 at this point.
3. Other stuff:
a. Opus is a nice looking unit and seems substantial and well made.
b. First problem is that it was not straight forward to load my ripped CDs from my computer. Some initial problems getting the Opus recognized on my LAN (and now that I have my WLAN up I'm having a bit of a configuration problem with that too that I have not solved). The Opus manual says all you have to do is activate the network function but, as I just said, that was not my experience. Then the big problem: I had ripped my collection in iTunes using Apple's lossless format (m4a). It turns out that the Opus doesn't read that format. So I had to convert everything to Aiff in iTunes and then copy it over to the Opus. It took a long few days and also the AIFFs are uncompressed so a lot more drive space. Copying to the Opus was very fast; it was the conversion and copying to the Olive shared folder on my computer that took all the time. BTW, the Opus is supposed to be able to convert AIFF to FLAC which would maintain the sound quality but compress the flies. My first attempt at that didn't work. I haven't really fiddled with it but at this point the last thing I want to do is spend hours more converting files. I want to listen! So I'll leave that for later.
c. I don't have hawk eyes but I'm pretty close to 20/20 and I can't read the Opus menus when I'm sitting in my listening seat about 9 ft away from the unit. So I have to go up to it to select a cd or playlist. Olive says they are coming out with a new remote that will have an LCD on it so you can read the menus from the remote. Supposed to be out in the third quarter of this year and will cost extra (no swap with existing remote).
d. You can also manage your library on the Opus from a web interface provided that you have the Opus linked to your LAN or WLAN. My experience is that it is VERY SLOW. Olive told me they are coming out with a firmware update in the next month that will address that issue.
e. The Opus remote seems to be on the same IR code as the Arcam and when I use some functions on the Opus it changes the music mode on the Arcam. Olive told me they have no fix for that and I'm waiting for my local Arcam dealer to get back to me about if it's possible to change the IR code on the Arcam. Luckily it only seems to be a problem when I'm scrolling through the Opus menu and, since I can't read the menu from my listening position, I have to use the buttons on the Opus to get around the menus anyway. The play, stop, skip track etc commands don't seem to affect the Arcam.
f. The Opus does not support SACD so that means I still have to keep all those wires between the 3910 and the Arcam! I'm keeping the 3910 on my rack anyway for movies.
That's all I can think of for now. Hope this is of interest to some of you.