Is no one using these units?
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The Musica and the Symphony are identical other than their HD size. Since both units have 2 USB ports and now allow your choice of outboard HD's (or PC) the Symphony seems the better deal to my thinking.
The Opus has 24 bit dac chips and a redesigned analog output stage which does away with the three 2134 opamps that are in the other units. That's about all I can contribute...
I thought others might like to know: I called Olive. The guy I spoke to was very nice and helpful.
He told me that the analog input circuitry is identical on the Opus and Musica, so presumably there wouldn't be any difference in the quality of the ripped file that you create from an LP.
The non-cosmetic differences are three:
1. The Opus has a higher-quality DAC for analog output.
2. The Opus has a higher-quality power supply. This, again, enhances analog output.
3. The Opus has a larger hard drive (400mb vs. 160mb).
So: If you have an external DAC, there's no difference in sound quality. There's also no difference in recording sound quality. The Opus is aimed at the audiophile who wants to avoid an external DAC.
He said that he can hear the playback difference on the expensive reference system in their office (I didn't get details), but not on his $300 Yamaha receiver.
You can indeed use an external USB hard drive with the Musica, either to backup the internal hard drive, or for additional expansion space. He said the process for initializing that drive is a bit cumbersome, because you are formatting it for LINUX, which also means you can't read it on a Windows machine. Once that's done, he said it's easy to use.