I recently replaced the Nakamichi SR-2A in my secondary system with a Creek 5350SE that had been sitting in my closet for quite some time. I originally bought the Creek on Craigslist, but I quickly got distracted by some other finds and never subjected it to an extended listening session. I was excited to finally do so.
I was not disappointed. The Creek is smooth without sacrificing the detail we all crave. It has excellent highs and a rich mid-range. If I had to be critical, I’d point to the low-end, which seems to be missing some of the punch of a larger amp. But overall, the amp is addictive. Once I started an album, I was mesmerized and would listen to it all the way through. Lately I’ve been on a Thelonius Monk kick, and his albums Monk’s Dream and Sophisticated Lady sound incredible though this amp, paired with my newly acquired Dynaudio Audience 40 speakers, which I am going to write about separately (and was part of a big recent haul on Craigslist). The combo just sounds natural and non-fatiguing as it gets.
I also tried the Creek with my KEF Q100s, and was again reminded why I love those speakers so much. The KEFs had stronger bass, although it was not as punchy and clear as I’ve heard through them with other amps. But the highs and mid-range were again beautiful.
Overall, the Creek is a winner. If you can find one for about $250-350, you can’t go wrong. It will blow away anything out there today at that price point.
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