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Is Creek 5350SE a good headphone amp?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am looking at getting a small integrated with a good headphone socket. The Creek 5350SE is a nice integrated but I am not sure as a headphone amp. I can't try before I buy so I was wondering if anyone has experience and can compare it to dedicated headphone amps. If, for example, its only as good as a $100 dedicated unit, then there is not really any point.

Also if anyone has any ideas on small integrates that would be great. The Brinkmann looks nice but at $4k is to much money. Looking for something in the under 2k range.

Cheers, Shawn
post #2 of 15
5350SE is a good amp and works well on the headphones, however it has a high output impedance (470 Ohm) on the headphone socket and offers plenty of voltage. So the quality may depend on particular headphones used. It may be useful to connect a resistor about 47 Ohm in parallel to each headphone (inside the amp or as an adaptor outside) - it will reduce the output impedance and may improve the sound quality on some headphones.

Cheers

Alex
post #3 of 15
The question about integrateds gets asked a lot around here. You can probably search and find quite a few opinions.

For under $2,000 you can find a used Cary SLI-80. A lot of folks like it for both speakers and headphones. I know I liked mine when I owned it. Additionally, you might find a used VTL IT-85. For less money, some have said nice things about the Sophia Baby Electric.

Good luck. BTW I've never used my 5350 for regular headphones. It does well with regular speakers. I did not like it with the AKG 1000s however.
post #4 of 15

I just got a 5350SE and it sounds fabulous with the HD650. ANd I have heard the HD650 on quite a handful of amps by now. Higly recomended. Crisp, clear, punchy, full bassed, detailed, nice seperation and soundstage - and still keeping enough of that warmth.... 

 

If you need an integrated AND a headphone amp - just get this an keep it all in one box :)) The newer Creeks I haven't heard, but they are worth checking out.  


Edited by ardilla - 8/31/11 at 3:42am
post #5 of 15

Probably a dumb question, but here goes anyway:biggrin.gif
Is "A5350SE" the official type number? A store near me is selling that one for 600 euros - good value for money? Looking for a good all-in-one (solid state) integrated + headphone solution, for space and budgetary reasons. Headphones: HD 650, SR225i.

post #6 of 15

Only thing I find on googling A5350SE is this 

http://studio107.enstore.com/item/a5350se

 

But there seems to be two versions:

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQaEXXlW3rrvKJ9wiNOk0WOAPqSNW8x5dmozu5ajLdkG2Okm4rcEg

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR-6cCIb8thf1M_mxmRmoymC7dT_JgFj3bONg0m6b_Ypf6epiYA

 

 

 

 

 

I have the above. Probably they're identical inside, only different is the output-selector knob


Edited by ardilla - 8/31/11 at 3:52am
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardilla View Post

Only thing I find on googling A5350SE is this 

http://studio107.enstore.com/item/a5350se

Yeah, that's the one I'm after. Back off! ;-)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardilla View Post

But there seems to be two versions:

 

<snipped pics>

 

I have the above. Probably they're identical inside, only different is the output-selector knob

If I recall correctly from Google searches the newer model is also a (slight?) improvement over the older one sonically.


Edited by rappard - 8/31/11 at 4:40am
post #8 of 15

I have no idea.  Just get it :)

post #9 of 15

There are two amps - The original Creek 5350SE and the newer Classic 5350SE.

The original was favorably reviewed in Stereophile. Some users think the newer amp is less musical, more clinical sounding. I did own a Classic 5350SE briefly. It did sound a little clinical, a bit disappointing considering its high retail price. But it is very dynamic and punchy, and enjoyable to listen to.

It had a very good headphone jack, I was quite impressed with it when used with my HD580. It also has an excellent passive preamp section.

 

post #10 of 15

Which is which - is this the newer one?

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQaEXXlW3rrvKJ9wiNOk0WOAPqSNW8x5dmozu5ajLdkG2Okm4rcEg
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrao81 View Post

There are two amps - The original Creek 5350SE and the newer Classic 5350SE.

The original was favorably reviewed in Stereophile. Some users think the newer amp is less musical, more clinical sounding. I did own a Classic 5350SE briefly. It did sound a little clinical, a bit disappointing considering its high retail price. But it is very dynamic and punchy, and enjoyable to listen to.

It had a very good headphone jack, I was quite impressed with it when used with my HD580. It also has an excellent passive preamp section.

 



 

post #11 of 15

Yeah thats the newer one - Classic 5350SE

post #12 of 15

I do not find it "clinical" - it has a nice mid-range... but I think it can get on the bright/cold/bass light side if paired with the wrong speakers. It does a very nice job on two of the three sets I have available. 

 

vrao81  -What speakers did you use with the Creek?

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by vrao81 View Post

There are two amps - The original Creek 5350SE and the newer Classic 5350SE.

The original was favorably reviewed in Stereophile. Some users think the newer amp is less musical, more clinical sounding. I did own a Classic 5350SE briefly. It did sound a little clinical, a bit disappointing considering its high retail price. But it is very dynamic and punchy, and enjoyable to listen to.

It had a very good headphone jack, I was quite impressed with it when used with my HD580. It also has an excellent passive preamp section.

 


 

 


Edited by ardilla - 11/23/11 at 2:09pm
post #13 of 15

I emailed Creek about the output impedance: 

 

"The impedance of the headphone output is 47 Ohms. Regards, Creek Audio Ltd & Epos ..."
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonik View Post

5350SE is a good amp and works well on the headphones, however it has a high output impedance (470 Ohm) on the headphone socket and offers plenty of voltage. So the quality may depend on particular headphones used. It may be useful to connect a resistor about 47 Ohm in parallel to each headphone (inside the amp or as an adaptor outside) - it will reduce the output impedance and may improve the sound quality on some headphones.

Cheers

Alex


 

post #14 of 15

Sorry for the thread necro but...

 

Before I knew the output impedance I hooked my UE18 Pros up to my 5350 for laughs. I thought the sound was outstanding. Good enough that it made me angry I had spent so much $ on headphone amps. I had knelt down in front of my equipment rack to plug in the IEMs and load a cd into my trusty but seldom used tank like sony sacd player, and ended up just laying down on the floor and listening to an entire album, something I pretty much never do.  Then I went on the internets and read that the high output impedance makes the 5350 a "bad fit" for every headphone I own. What gives? Do I just prefer bad sound? Are there exceptions to the output impedance guidelines? I guess I find it hard to believe the engineers at Creek would choose high impedance if they also thought that ruled out use with most headphones. Am I just missing something? Thoughts?


Edited by mrip541 - 12/12/14 at 9:03am
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrip541 View Post
 

Sorry for the thread necro but...

 

Before I knew the output impedance I hooked my UE18 Pros up to my 5350 for laughs. I thought the sound was outstanding. Good enough that it made me angry I had spent so much $ on headphone amps. I had knelt down in front of my equipment rack to plug in the IEMs and load a cd into my trusty but seldom used tank like sony sacd player, and ended up just laying down on the floor and listening to an entire album, something I pretty much never do.  Then I went on the internets and read that the high output impedance makes the 5350 a "bad fit" for every headphone I own. What gives? Do I just prefer bad sound? Are there exceptions to the output impedance guidelines? I guess I find it hard to believe the engineers at Creek would choose high impedance if they also thought that ruled out use with most headphones. Am I just missing something? Thoughts?

 

 

Glad you enjoy your amp =) Your UE18's are Impedance 21 / Sensitivity 115,6 dB/1 mW, right?

 

Well - the impedance matching thing is a game of non-absolutes.. Generally, HP impedance is recommended to be significantly higher than the amp's output impedance. However, that is not necessarily imply that if not so, the sound quality is gonna suffer. It depends on how the headphone impedance varies across frequencies. Sometimes, a dismatch is making stuff sound better, because you simply tweak the sound to a preferable direction. Low impedance headphones on a high impedance amp usually sounds a bit fuller than a "proper" match. But then again - it all depends. A good amplifier with a "wrong" output impedance often sounds better than a lesser amp with a "proper" impedance match. 

 

The reason headphone amps are often high impedance, is because full size cans used to be high impedance devices, until the portable stuff came around. It also has to do with the components used. The impedance is not something you just set, it stems from the internal design. 

 

Bottom line - trust your ears, enjoy the music. Heavenly matches are found in surprising places =)


Edited by ardilla - 12/12/14 at 6:59pm
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