Munich High-End Review

Having just returned from a very busy Munich High-End show we would like to say that ‘it’s nice to be home’, but with the UK seeing the wettest prolonged period in over 100 years, together with a double dip recession and government austerity budget, the sun and warmth of Munich was a welcome relief! The white sausages, honey mustard and wheat beer were also very tasty, but fattening.

The big news from Creek in Munich this month is the exciting announcements of forthcoming product releases that, among other things, will see it enter the ‘new age’ of digital audio reproduction at prices Creek is long renowned for.

The first of these new products to be released will be the OBH-15mk2 MM/MC Phono amplifier. This direct replacement for the original OBH-15 contains completely new circuitry developed by Creek’s multi-talented analogue engineer – David Gamble. With two switched inputs, it will suit most MM and MC cartridge types, with gain options of 40, 50, 60 and 70dBs. A range of resistance and capacitance options can also be selected from a bank of piano key switches underneath its body. Expected available is from July/August, depending on region. Price £300 in the UK, including sales tax.

The next eagerly awaited release is the EVOLUTION 50A integrated amplifier, also developed by David Gamble. This flexible new amplifier features 4 line inputs, balanced and unbalanced power-amp inputs and one pair of speaker outputs from its all-new 50 Watt power amp. In an unusual step, Creek will no longer offer a matching tuner but instead, an optional plug-in FM/AM tuner with all the performance. As with all Creek integrated amplifiers, the EVOLUTION 50A has the ability to be fitted with an optional Sequel Phono card for MM or MC cartridges. Expected available is from August/September, depending on region. Price £550 in the UK, including sales tax.

To compliment the new integrated amplifier Creek has developed a digital product, in collaboration with John Westlake and Dominik Peklo, offering a host of novel features and facilities. The EVOLUTION 50D is a CD player, high-end DAC and digital Pre-amp that sees Creek Audio entering into the world of digital connectivity and computer-based music storage. Primarily, this product should be seen as a very high-end DAC, with flexible digital pre-amp and built-in Slot Loading CD transport. At its heart, lies a ‘British-made’ XMOS event-driven multi-threaded 32 bit 8 core processor, programed to providing it with USB and SPDIF input, digital pre-amp with volume control, selectable filtering, sample-rate conversion, clock locking to external devices and several other novel features, including a ‘Bit Perfect’ test and analogue bit-depth enhancement.

To enable it to provide its shattering audio performance, the EVOLUTION 50D‘s contains 2x ESS SABRE DACs running in a ‘Dual Differential’ configuration, for increased dynamic range and lower noise. The balanced audio output of each DAC feeds a discrete transistor ‘Class A’ current regulated ‘CROSSII MOSFET’ buffer circuit, that also acts as a ‘Class A’ headphone amplifier output, controlled with a digital volume control. Expected availability is from September/October, depending on region. Priced in line with the Evolution 50A at £550 in the UK, including sales tax.

Finally, Creek Audio will offer a new DAC for the first time since its famous OBH-14 went out of production. This half-width DAC/Pre-amp will share all the features of the EVOLUTION 50D, except the CD transport. However, it will be fitted with a built-in FM/AM analogue tuner, as standard, designed to work automatically in all regions.

With all of these new products offering simply amazing performance versus value for money, we feel confident they will set new benchmarks in the audio industry.

More information on these forthcoming products will be posted very soon.