Advice on Creek evolution amps


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Mar 16, 2008
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I really like the Creek sound. I have had a 4330 for a few years and I think for its price range it is an amazing amp. However I recently moved house and decided to use an older 4040s2 Ive always had just out of curiosity. I really had forgoten how musical the little thing is and it made be realise what I've been missing out on with the 4330.

Don't get me wrong the 4330 is technically a superior amp, it is far more detailed and due to it passive pre section and it has the ability to make vocals and strings sound like they are in the room with you (my pair of mission 751's help as well!) but as much as I appreciate its strengths the 4040s2 just sounds a bit more 'fun' and punchy. The 4330 also has a habit of making you VERY aware of a badly engineered track and has been the first bit of kit to make me realise that I will never bother spending more then 1k on any component, ever, unless every piece of music I own is an original vynil pressing of the relavent era which is unlikely.

Ideally I would like an amp that sounds 'fun' and pucnhy like the 4040 but still offer the very low noise floor of the 4330. I was wondering if anyone else with better experience of more modern Creek integrateds could tell me if the evolution amps have this balance right? I would like to try some other models of the same era as mine like the A50i or the 5250, 5350 etc but it is once in a blue moon when they come up on 2nd hand market.

Or even any other brand recommendations? (+/- £300) Not Naim, I know peole will mention the Niat 3 or 5, but I'd like something a tad less forward souding.

My kit:

Squeezebox classic + Arcam black box (tda1541a) soon to be lampized

Mission 751's and Epos ELS 303's (probs use the missions, so the bassier the amp the better)


Creek 5250SE is punchy (fast and articulated bass lines) and produces a very revealing midrange. It uses a MOSFET output stage just like the 4330, however the former uses an active gain stage and sounds brighter and sometimes harder.

If you are after a powerful bass heavy amplifier with the subtleness and sweetness of the 4330, I would recomend 5350SE and Classic 5350SE, that adopts a passive pre-amplification. Both are basically the same amplifier with some cosmetic changes. There's alto the Evolution 5350, but its PCB looks like different. I don't know whether Michael Creek has made deep modifications or it's just a layout redesign.


I have the 5350 evolution and am really pleased with it. It's a well engineered piece of kit and really shines with high quality flac files, particularly good with live recordings.

Most of my listening is via lapto, squeezebox and external dac The Creek has a warm sound but retains detail and depth.

I've tried to get my modest, digitally file fed system as 'analogue' sounding as possible, without the associated huge outlay!

Having said that, I've only ever owned amps by Kenwood, Yamaha and Arcam and the Creek is streets ahead.


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