CREEK Audio embarks on a new sonic journey with the Evolution 50A integrated amplifier, part of the veteran British manufacturer’s “next-generation” Evolution 50 range that will include a CD player, standalone digital-to-analogue converter and digital preamp.
The 55-watt-per-channel 50A (into 8 ohms, 85W into 4 ohms), finished in black or silver-brushed aluminum, stays true to Creek’s three-decade-old philosophy of high-quality sound at a real-world price, and features a number of firsts for the company.
Among these are a white-on-black OLED display for superior clarity and resolution, and a newly-developed, back-lit push button design that offers a more tactile feel to user. Ah, but this isn’t a smartphone, so what would draw the audiophile?
There’s the 200-watt toroidal mains transformer with separate windings for high and low current analogue and digital circuitry. Creek says this produces a good power-to-weight ratio and low magnetic interference. Also, several low impedance capacitors are used in parallel for an ultra-high spec capacitor to smooth DC and produce a very powerful and accurate sound from a small amplifier.
A completely new bi-polar transistor power amplifier circuit was developed by Creek senior engineer David Gamble for the 50A; this has a very high open-loop gain and low distortion. A a pair of Sanken 15Amp power transistors are used, with built-in thermal compensation for rapid bias tracking performance. The power amp section has a very low output impedance and can produce current of up to 26A, resulting in exceptional speed and control over most loudspeakers.
Gamble also designed a new analogue preamp circuit for a high levels of flexibility and control, via the 50A’s unbalanced and balanced inputs. The preamp features multiple input options, switched electronically or via gold contact relays, plus electronic volume, balance and tone controls.
Creek’s Sequel phono card and a new tuner module can be plugged in as options. As the Evolution tuner is no more in production, the new Ambit module has been developed for Creek by John Westlake and Dominik Peklo of Lakewest Audio.
The new design also applies to the remote handset developed for the full Evolution 50 range.
There’s no long wait for the anxious – the Evolution 50A is shipping now, priced at a reasonable £700.