CD-player Creek Classic

The latest incarnation of Creek's mid-price CD player design is an evolution of the tried and trusted CD50Mk2. Adhering nicely to the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' school of design, the Classic incorporates a few choice modifications over its predecessor in order to keep things competitive.

The most visible change, albeit one that is still quite subtle, is a slight restyle to the casework in order to ensure that the unit matches physically well with its Classic series brethren. Under the bonnet, however, the tweaking has reached higher levels by a few useful additions. Firstly, improved circuitry and shorter signal paths have been fitted throughout the player and the power supplies have been upgraded with improved, low noise regulators and resistors. Twin mains transformers keep the supplies to critical areas separate for good isolation and the audio signal passes through a buffer before passing into the DACs for good immunity to shock and vibration.

Measuring 430x70x317mm and weighing 6kgs, the Classic CD is a compact and neat design and has analogue and digital outputs (both optical and coaxial).

In contrast to the other players in this test, which have a definite tonal character to them, the Creek proved remarkably neutral. No matter what source material was fed to it, the Classic CD remained composed, detailed and thoroughly enjoyable to listen to.

Soundstaging was excellent, with good detail retrieval from instruments and vocalists. Bass was pleasingly weighty and rhythmical without ever becoming wallowy or boomy, and high frequencies were smooth, sweet and tidy. Spinning Celine Dion's 'I'm Alive' once again revealed excellent weight to the sound and the sibilant nature of the track was well represented without becoming unpleasant. With the Creek, pianos and other acoustic instruments had good realism and depth to them.

Ultimately, the Creek is an excellent and 'safe' option. It is avery unflappable player and, whilst lacking the capacious soundstaging of the Vincent or the bass grunt of the Roksan, also sidesteps their downsides neatly, never becoming disagreeable or harsh.

Creek Classic CD-player photo