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Advice needed about Creek and headphone impedance

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I own a Creek OBH-11. I hate it more and more every time I bother with it. Here is the problem... today I purchased a Marantz CD5004, and a pair of beyerdynamic DT990 pro. I've hooked it up to my terrible little creek and i have found that I still can't get the volume dial past 9 O'clock without it being far too loud. Now the impedance of my Beyers is 250ohms, so why the hell can't I do more with the volume dial on the Creaky? the amp just seems too powerful.

I was under the impression that the higher the impedance of cans, the higher you could have the volume dial?

Is the Creak broken?

I am using the interconnects that were in the Marantz box so obviously not ideal, but I doubt that would have any bearing on volume.

I've got my first set up almost complete, the Creak is the weak link. Is the OBH 11 just too loud?

Any advice would be appreciated, every time I start a thread on this website, it's tumbleweed central, lol.




PS. From the Creaky manual "You are now the owner of a state of the art piece of equipment" or words to that effect... lmao.


PPS. The manual says the Creaky "can be connected to any medium output CD player"... what the hell does that even mean? What's a medium output CD player?

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'll check back in a month, just to see if anyone has bothered to reply :rolleyes:

post #3 of 10

Does that amp have switchable gain? I looked but I didn't see anything. Either way, with some headphones I can't turn the dial up much past 9 on my amp, especially if I use a different line level source. When I use my iPod, the volume usually sits somewhere between 10 and 11 for a comfortable listening level.


The output of the CD player that Creek is talking about is the line level voltage that's produced by a source. That's what I was talking about when I said a different source versus my iPod. If I remember correctly, the iPod puts out around 1V where normal line level is roughly 2V, which is why I have to turn the volume up louder with the iPod.


Maybe you just like a lower listening level. Which is a good thing, to save your ears. Also, is channel imbalance a problem? I know sometimes at very low levels on the volume pot the channels can become imbalanced. If this isn't a problem with your amp and volume level, I don't think you have much to worry about. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that you only have to turn the volume to 9 o clock.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply BrownBear smily_headphones1.gif

The amp doesn't have switchable gain. The low level on the volume pot doesn't seem to cause any channel imbalances. I just think head amp vol pots should have more "play" so any potential channel imbalances could definitely be avoided.
I should clarify, 9 O'clock is ear shatteringly loud, 8 O'clock seems to be the sweet spot, or just one notch below... funnily enough the volume pot on the photo of the amp on the Creek manual is 8 O'clock (or maybe half 8) like a hint or something, Creek subtly saying the amp is unusable beyond that point on the volume pot biggrin.gif
The output of the cd player is 2.25 V rms... is that average?

I need a better amp, but I blew my low budget on the cd player and Beyers. Time to start saving again lol.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
The Creek has a weird volume pot, not smooth action like most, but more like steps/clicks, so it's like digital or something... anyway, I've just turned the pot from minimum to max, there were 39 "clicks", I can only have the pot on the 5th "click"... one click above that and things are too loud.
Such low setting I have to use with 250ohm cans? I've a good mind to put the cans directly into the headphone jack of my CDP, and ditch the weird Creek altogether.
post #6 of 10

I believe that's called a stepped attenuator, when the volume knob has those clicks.


But you raise a good point that I was just thinking, why not try the headphone jack on your CD player? I've read in a few places that Marantz units can sound pretty good. I don't know, I don't have one myself. But what I mean is, if you prefer the headphone jack on the CD player to the amp, or can't tell a difference or something, then technically you could do away with your amp completely for now.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ah yeah that's right, stepped attenuator, I'm not that much of a fan of them if the Creek is anything to go by. I would like the volume a shade lower but it's impossible on that amp.
I'll try the headphone jack on my CDP, it has a nice little volume knob, that isn't stepped, so I can probably do more with it.
I'll try it with my 32 ohm Senn 429's, as well as my 250 ohm beyers. The manual says, 'headphone output: 18 mW/32 ohms (variable maximum)'. I don't really know what that means... perhaps lower impedance cans would be more suited to it. As long as nothing is overdriven or burns out or something it's all good lol.

I'm a noob in the world of hi fi, I just want a simple great sounding setup within a tight budget, I think I have it for the most part, the amp is the final piece of the puzzle.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
My CDP headphone jack isn't bad, but it's not great. My senn 429's just don't cut it compared to the beyers, so I quickly unplugged them and plugged in the beyers. The sound was okay, clean but one dimensional, lacking dynamics and less 3D than the Creek. The OBH 11 was more musical and far more dynamic, even with the cheap and nasty interconnects I'm currently having to use.
I think once I have a quality pair of interconnects and my cans have burnt in, perhaps the volume won't seem so loud. A Tacima CS929 would definately take the edge off and calm things down, I got rid of mine though a while back. confused_face.gif

Why does the Creek have to be so damn loud?

Oh yeah, forgot to say, the CDP volume knob is lovely, I could get it to the exact level I want, it's just a pity the music isn't nearly as involving as it is with the Creek.
Edited by Seifer01 - 3/1/14 at 12:22am
post #9 of 10

Well, if the knob bothers you, and honestly, I might agree, I'm not a huge fan of stepped attenuators either. But if it really bothers you, and you can notice a difference when you play music through the amp versus through the jack on the CD player, you could always think about selling the Creek amp and researching another amp, one with a normal volume pot.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm starting to come around more the CDP headphone jack, and it's plenty loud as well, meaning it seems to drive the cans quite well.

I very well might sell the Creek, I could list it as a novelty paper weight lol. I'll do a lot of research before investing in a new amp I know that.
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