Creek Audio 5350SE Integrated Amplifiers

5350SE

90 Watt per channel integrated amp.

User Reviews (45)

Showing 1-10 of 45  
Ed   AudioPhile [Aug 22, 2011]

Wonderful. I've owned many, many amps in my days and this does it right.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Clark   Audio Enthusiast [May 30, 2011]

This amp is overrated. His sound is very boring and relaxed. I do not recommend.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
11rufus11   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 21, 2010]

I bought this Integrated amp used for $650. I have had it for over a year now. I am astounded by the quality of sound every time I listen to my music collection. I will only describe the sound as extremely pleasing. I have not grown tired of the sound at all over this past year. This is a keeper for sure!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
msr_atty   AudioPhile [Jan 18, 2010]

I tend to think that some people who have dissed this amp are either listening to a defective unit or are listening to poor recordings. A common problem with the amp has been the drop out of one channel or the other, which can explain comments regarding a truncated soundstage or a problem with imaging. I had that problem for some time, until I finally had the ribbon cable removed and the amp hard-wired. In my subsequent experience, this amp is sweet and transparent, and has a very deep and wide soundstatge. It also is adept at imaging. Any shortcomings relate to sheer volume and oomph, which is a common complaint with passive SS integrated amps. It is definitely not a tube amp either. This is definitely an amp for those of you who listen mainly to jazz and classical music. It is very natural sounding - that could be good or bad depending on the kind of music you listen to. The amp is also quite revealing - and if the recording is poor, the amp will sound harsh. Try listening to SACDs and then tell me this amp sounds harsh! It is definitely one of the better SS integrated amps out there under $3k. As for the Creek Destiny, I understand that some techies (I mean people who actually repair the amps, have compared the sound over long periods of time and have no axe to grind ) actually prefer the sound of the 5350SE to that of the Destiny.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Arthur Gorniak   AudioPhile [Aug 11, 2009]

Hello,
I decided to write this review as there is a lot of misconception surrounding this amplifier. Let me start from the scratch - I bought this unit because of the rave reviews it was getting everywhere in US, without even listening to it. When the unit arrived I connected it to my Spendor S5e speakers and left it on for a week. My source was Arcam FMJ CD36 that fed the signal to Creek through Cardas Quadlink 5C interconnects. I listen to a lot of jazz (Miles Davis, Coltrane,Jan Garbarek,Tomasz Stanko,Dave Brubeck, Todd Gustavsen,Keith Jarret etc) as well as female vocal (Norah Jones,Diana Krall,Patricia Barber,Cassandra Wilson,Roberta Gambrini,Tracy Chapman,Christy Baron,Sherly Horn,Ella Fitzgerald,) and rock (Robert Plant,Mark Knopfler,Bjork etc). I expected from Creek to project holographic sound stage with warm-smooth sound that will allow me to listen to it for long hours. Boy I was disappointed !!!!!!!! I have never finished listening to "on the corner" session of Miles Davis without headache - this amp sounded dry and very fatiguing!!!!! I have a special room designated to my hi-fi equipment so I knew right away that there is something with that amp that I just hate! If you like warm,smooth sound with deep, holographic sound stage DO NOT BUY THIS AMP - as you will be very disappointed.
This amplifier is rated just average in European magazines which made me ask question why it is so well reviewed here???? Well I bet it has something to do with marketing!!!!
That is not the end of the story - I thought maybe that if I change my cables something will change so I started calling different audio stores and after explaining the problem with Creek sound they all said that that is NORMAL!!!!!! Nobody really like the way Creek sounds but everybody sells them!!!!
BE CREFUL and do a lot of listening before you buy this amp!!! You can buy way nicer equipment used at audiogon for less.
Just to let you know I got Unison research Unico SE new for $1600 and its sounds is simply amazing compare to this overrated Creek product!

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
aroostookme   AudioPhile [Aug 19, 2008]
Strength:

The Creek is clean and sounds great from lows to highs. It's easy to use. Simply a gem. Here's what I have found that I don'tsee in the reviews:

1: It will power a set of Gallo Reference 3.1's wonderfully. It will do an even better job at Snell A's and Kef Reference 4's. Really easy to handle Proac bookshelves, and all of these speakers shine with this amp.
2: It is not going to bring out the life of real power hogs like Dahlquist 10's.
3: All of the inputs are identical as inputs and you can run a CD (for example) on CD, Tuner, Aux, and so on.
4. It runs cool.
5: It will become your favorite amp in no time at all. I have several other nice amps, but this is easy to move and use and will do almost all of the work I need.

Just a terrific buy.

Weakness:

I find no weaknesses. This is THE inegrated amp.

I made the mistake of buying a used Creek 4330 integrated on eBay a few years ago for my bedroom. I did it purely on the words from Stereophile's review.

What happened was I had friends over recently to listen to jazz on the deck under the stars and rate imported beers. I used a set of Proac floorstanders, the small Creek, a Rega Planet, and Nordost speaker cables.

From classic jazz through British blues the entire night was amazing.

So why could a little Creek do so much? Well, I am not sure anyone adequately explains it but it drove me to pick up a Classic 5350SE and the results are even more phenomenol. The Proacs love the Creek and they both love Nordost. None of my stereo systems matrch like this.

That's my best tip. Not many people would ever need a hifi beyond this sound.

Similar Products Used: Krell, Cambridge Audio, Jolida, NAD, Vincent, Dynaco, Adcom, McIntosh.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
soremongs   AudioPhile [Jul 18, 2007]
Strength:

Has a very warm, detailed,uncolored sound. The remote control volume is very smooth and predictable.

Weakness:

Very long burn-in time. Runs hot. Cosmetics are mediocre.

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with anyone that says this amplifier is overrated. For being solid state and in this price range, you just can't beat it. The burn-in time for this amplifier is incredibly long. You'll know when it's burned in. It happens very suddenly. It'll hit you all at once. You'll find yourself listening to everything all over again, thinking "I wonder how this will sound?". I can understand why people can be discouraged with the "out of the box" sound.

Similar Products Used: conrad-johnson, Adcom, Harman-Kardon, Counterpoint
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
davidhohle   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 22, 2006]
Strength:

Musical, Bass, Seperation of instruments, Neutrality, Treble, Mids, Drive.

Weakness:

Zero and anyone who says so is a tube freak and should comment on tube electronics, not solid state.

PS, is as sweet sounding as expensive tube amps.

Amazing!
It was a Naim CD5X and NAIT5I V.S The Creek and A C.E.C. Tl51X. both systems coming at around $4000 CAN. The Naim being greatly reduced. The Creek CEC combo had it beat hands down! At retail price still a bargain! It is musical, never adding anything the source doesn't send to it. but when the music calls for great highs or deep deep bass, the creek delivers abundently! (On Quad 22L's)

I have listened to many many systems over the years. This system that comes at around $6500 CAN. WILL Without a doubt beat most systems at double or more the price. Thats a fact, and its partly if not mostly due to the amp.

The naim system had one of the top five cdplayers in the world in it's corner. Didn't matter. The cec pulled through and with the help of the creek obliverated it (imo)

It thrives in musicality and seperating instruments. Extreme frequencies, but don't let that scare you mid-range freaks. It's still brittish, and Voices are crystal.

Customer Service

5 star

Similar Products Used: Arcam, Naim, MF, NAD, Audio Refinment, NADS300, Cambridge Audio 840, Macintosh, Audiomat, Creek Evo, Byston. and so forth.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
gmartan   AudioPhile [Nov 18, 2006]
Strength:

Had a headphone jack.

Weakness:

Weak sounding with harsh sound compared to tube integrated. Poor value. Not even the jacks were copper. El Cheapo speaker binding posts.

I had the new Classic version of this amp in my den system for about a week while I was getting a small hum problem in my Unico integrated resolved. I swear this amp made my ears bleed. The Opera speakers that are so musical with the Unico sounded extremely harsh as well as weak. The Uniden powered my Martin Logan Summits pretty well although inferior to my MF TriVista mostly on the high frequencies and detail. The Creek was crap. Build quality was deplorable compared to other amps in this range.

Similar Products Used: Copland CSA14
Uniden SE
Musical Fidelity TriVista
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
ckazanci   AudioPhile [Jul 03, 2005]
Strength:

Good midrange, detail.

Weakness:

Not musical enough for me. Overrated.

I think the reason people are so fond of Creek 5350SE initially are mostly due to the rave reviews, and the classic style. In adition to the motorized volume control, a fancy motorized input switching mechanism. Arcam A85 was another choice, but it had all digital controls (including digital tone controls) and I thought Creek with its simpler design would sound more natural, musical, less processed... I bought Creek 5350SE initially. I used it over a year with my Dynaudio Audience 80's. It had good midrange and detail but lacked overall tonal balance and musicality, it felt dry. I wasn't happy, so I sold it at a huge loss, and bought the Arcam A85. I was happier. I kept it until I had to sell my whole system for financial reasons. Now after 2 years, I am looking to by a better system, and I am looking at the FMJ line. If you are in the market for an integrated, I strongly recommend that you consider the Arcam. Parasound Halo series also sounded good (pre+power) at a similar price. Do not do the same mistake, and assume that 'digital controls degrade the sound'. One of my friends owns a $20,000 Meridian system that has all digital controls and built in DAC's in speaker cabinets, and sounds allmost life-like.

Similar Products Used: NAD, Rotel, Plinius
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Showing 1-10 of 45  

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