Home Review Creek 4040A integrated amplifier – Crikey!

Review Creek 4040A integrated amplifier – Crikey!

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Pros

  • Very good performance for this price class
  • Very good USB input
  • Complete
  • Musical enjoyment guarateed

Cons

  • Bass quality
  • Control buttons are not sensitive
  • Position volume control on remote

Price: € 1099

Build quality
Usability
Sound
Price

Digital with the Creek 4040A

Creek 4040A - schuinSomewhere you have to give in for a price tag of 1,000 euros. In the case of the Creek 4040A, the amplifier is significantly better than the built-in DAC. The shortcomings of the built-in DAC are easily audible with the classic playlist.

The critical track by Fanny Robilliard, with a violin and piano recorded at close range, is the litmus test. Compared to a better, externally connected DAC, there is less resolution and fewer overtones (harmonic doublings of sounds) are audible. Only this is not at the expense of the musical experience, which remains. You still feel the music and its expressiveness.

Streaming: Computer USB versus Primare NP5 over SPDIF

Playing music via Audirvāna on the computer with USB gives a lot of calmness and flow in the soundstage. To your senses, the amplifier does not have to work hard, there is plenty of head room left. This is remarkable in this price range. Of the digital inputs, USB proportionally gives the most depth of sound and the most depth in the stereo image. It is the preferable digital connection.

The Primare NP5 over SPDIF Coax, also with Audirvāna as its player, lags a bit behind compared to the USB connection. That’s not down to the NP5, this streamer is our benchmark in the price range. Combined with the Creek, it sounds even more transparent. in particular the mids and treble open up even more. It remains controlled, but with the character of the Creek, it risks becoming a little fresh.

CD listening: TOSLink versus Coax

Connecting the Audiolab CD transport with Coax SPDIF or over TOSlink is equivalent. TOSlink gives slightly more calmness and a somewhat rounded treble, but with less weight in mids than over Coax. That may be due to the chipsets used in the CD transport or in the Creek, that cannot simply be attributed to the Creek.

Peter Gabriel’s CD ‘i/o – the dark side mix’ is a good album to listen to via TOSlink, despite the rather intrusive mastering. All the subtle sounds in the mix are easily audible and tightly placed in the stereo image. The transparency of the playback is very good, it does not clog up anywhere and it all remains well under control. It’s the first time I’ve been able to listen to this CD without having to give my ears a break.

Via coax, Joe Jackson’s CD ‘Body & Soul’ has more attack, the transients are just a bit brighter with coax than with TOSlink.

Nevertheless, connecting the Audiolab 6000CDT over TOSlink is preferable. Because of the blackness and transparency in the reproduction and the good intelligibility of singers, TOSlink narrowly wins out.

Amplifier type
Integrated
Amplifier technology
Class D
Bridgemode
No
Amplifier inputs
  • Analog RCA
  • Digital Coaxial
  • Digital Optical
  • Digital USB
Amplifier outputs
  • None
Power
Specification #1
  • Resistance: 8 ohm
  • Value specified: 55 watt
  • Value measured: 51 watt
Specification #2
  • Resistance: 4 ohm
  • Value specified: 110 watt
  • Value measured: 91 watt
Dimensions
  • Width: 21.5 cm
  • Depth: 25.5 cm
  • Height: 6 cm
Weight amplifier
2.2 Kg
Build in dac
Yes
Production country
China
Measurements
Creek 4040A - Max Power - 8 Ohm
Creek 4040A - Max Power - 8 Ohm
Creek 4040A - Max Power - 4 Ohm
Creek 4040A - Max Power - 4 Ohm
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - THD-N
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - THD-N
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - response
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - response
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - response + phase
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - response + phase
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - response - single ended
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - response - single ended
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - residu
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - residu
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - crosstalk - single ended
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - crosstalk - single ended
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - 8 Ohms
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - 8 Ohms
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - 8 Ohms - single ended
Creek 4040A - 1 watt - 8 Ohms - single ended
Creek 4040A - Noise power grid
Creek 4040A - Noise power grid

Winkels met Creek

Hennesweg 20
6035 AD Ospel, NL
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