Creek Voyage i20: Unleashing the True Potential of Your Hi-Fi System

Introduction

In the world of audio equipment, finding a high-quality sound amplifier is essential for any music enthusiast or audiophile. The Creek Voyage i20 amplifier is one such device that promises to deliver exceptional sound performance and a seamless listening experience. Designed by Luke Creek, son of renowned audio engineer Mike Creek, this integrated amplifier combines sleek design with advanced technology to create a powerful yet compact audio solution.

The Creek Voyage i20 amplifier is crafted using only the highest quality materials, ensuring both durability and superior sound reproduction. With its analog preamplifier and digital-to-analog converter (DAC) combined with a power amplifier connected to a unique stabilized power supply, this amplifier offers an impressive range of features packed into an elegant and ergonomic design.

Whether you are a casual listener or a dedicated audiophile, the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier caters to all your needs with its versatile functionality. It boasts ten analog and digital inputs, allowing you to connect various audio sources effortlessly. The analog input sources can be inputted through three pairs of RCA connectors or a pair of fully balanced XLR connectors. The gold contact relays direct the input signals to the high-precision volume control chip, MUSES from New Japan Radio Company, ensuring precise volume adjustment with minimal distortion.

The i20’s preamplifier circuit is typically set at unity gain (0 dB), but each input can be individually amplified with a maximum step of 3 dB up to +12 dB if desired. Additionally, each input can be set to bypass the preamplifier and volume control, enabling you to use the i20 as a power amplifier with four inputs or their combination for customized setups.

For vinyl enthusiasts, the Creek Voyage i20 offers an optional phono board called Sequel mk4 Phono, which allows playback from moving magnet or moving coil turntables with high output. The Sequel board can be configured for amplification levels of 40 or 50 dB, capacitance of 100 or 200 pF, and RIAA filtering.

In addition to its versatile connectivity options, the Creek Voyage i20 also features a dedicated headphone amplifier, providing compatibility with a wide range of headphones. The headphone amplifier is directly connected to the preamplifier stage, ensuring powerful and high-quality audio output without any additional noise or loss in sound quality.

The digital-to-analog converter (DAC) of the Creek Voyage i20 includes multiple inputs for USB, SPDIF, optical, USB, and Bluetooth. The USB Class 2 input on the i20 ensures bit-perfect transmission of audio streams. Its multi-core XMOS streaming controller can handle a wide range of PCM and DSD signal sources with high resolution up to 32-bit/768 kHz PCM and 22.4 MHz DSD. The USB circuit is galvanically isolated from the DAC to eliminate common grounding loops and interference from external power supplies.

With its impressive technical specifications and comprehensive functionality, the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier promises to deliver exceptional sound performance across a wide range of audio sources. In the following sections of this review, we will delve deeper into its design and construction, functionality, sound characteristics, and overall performance to determine if it lives up to its claims and provides a truly immersive listening experience.

Technical Specifications

The Creek Voyage i20 amplifier offers impressive technical specifications that contribute to its exceptional audio performance. With a power output of 120 watts per channel at 8 ohms and 240 watts per channel at 4 ohms, this integrated amplifier is capable of driving a wide range of speakers with ease.

In terms of sound quality, the Creek Voyage i20 boasts a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 102 dB, ensuring clear and detailed audio reproduction with minimal background noise. Additionally, the total harmonic distortion (THD) is incredibly low at just 0.002%, guaranteeing accurate and faithful sound reproduction.

The amplifier features a variety of inputs and outputs to accommodate different audio sources. It includes three RCA analog inputs, two coaxial and two optical digital inputs, as well as one balanced XLR input. This versatility allows for seamless connectivity with various devices such as CD players, streaming devices, and TVs. Furthermore, the amplifier supports high-resolution audio formats with a maximum sampling frequency of 768 kHz and a bit depth of 32 bits.

The Creek Voyage i20 amplifier exhibits an impressive frequency response range from 1 Hz to 100 kHz, ensuring excellent clarity across the entire audible spectrum. It can drive speakers with an impedance ranging from 4 to 8 ohms, making it compatible with a wide range of speaker configurations.

Overall, the technical specifications of the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier highlight its ability to deliver powerful and precise audio performance while accommodating various audio sources and formats.

Design and Construction

The Creek Voyage i20 amplifier boasts an elegant and compact design that is both visually appealing and functional. The sleek black color adds a touch of sophistication to any audio setup. The amplifier is constructed using high-quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity.

One notable design feature of the Creek Voyage i20 is its efficient cooling system. The amplifier is equipped with a relatively small radiator, thanks to its innovative class G amplifier technology. This allows the amplifier to operate at optimal performance levels without overheating, even with demanding audio setups.

In terms of reducing interference, Creek has taken great care in designing the internal layout of the amplifier. The minimalistic approach to internal wiring minimizes signal degradation and unwanted noise, resulting in a clean and precise audio output.

The connectors and switches on the Creek Voyage i20 are of exceptional quality. The RCA and XLR inputs provide a secure and reliable connection for analog sources, while the coaxial and optical inputs offer versatile options for digital sources. Additionally, the presence of a headphone output on the front panel allows for convenient private listening sessions.

Overall, the design and construction of the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier showcase attention to detail and a commitment to delivering high-quality audio performance. From its sleek exterior to its well-designed internal components, this amplifier is built to impress both visually and functionally.

Functionality

The Creek Voyage i20 amplifier offers a wide range of connectivity options, making it highly versatile and compatible with various audio sources. It features ten analog and digital inputs, allowing you to connect CD players, computers, smartphones, and other devices effortlessly. The analog signal sources can be connected through three pairs of RCA connectors or one pair of fully balanced XLR connectors.

One notable feature of the i20 is the inclusion of a high-quality analog preamplifier. The input signals are directed to a high-precision volume control chip called MUSES from New Japan Radio Company. This resistor-ladder attenuator provides precise volume adjustment with a range of 80 dB in 1 dB increments, ensuring minimal distortion.

The i20’s preamplifier can be set to unity gain (0 dB), but each input can be individually amplified with a maximum gain of up to +12 dB in 3 dB increments if desired. Additionally, each input can be set to bypass the preamplifier and volume control, allowing for direct use as a power amplifier with four inputs or a combination of inputs for customized configurations.

For vinyl enthusiasts, the i20 offers an optional Sequel mk4 Phono module that allows playback from moving magnet or moving coil turntable cartridges. The Sequel module can be configured for amplification levels of 40 or 50 dB, capacitance values of 100 or 200 pF, and RIAA filtering.

Another noteworthy feature is the headphone amplifier integrated into the i20. It provides compatibility with a wide range of headphones and delivers powerful output without compromising on sound quality or introducing additional noise.

In terms of digital connectivity, the i20 includes multiple inputs for USB, SPDIF, optical, USB Class 2 streaming, and Bluetooth. The USB Class 2 input ensures bit-perfect transmission of audio streams and supports PCM signals up to 32-bit/768 kHz and DSD signals up to 22.4 MHz. The USB circuitry is galvanically isolated from the DAC, eliminating ground loops and external power supply noise.

In addition to USB, the i20 accommodates 24/192 SPDIF signals through two coaxial and two optical Toslink inputs, allowing connection to TVs, CD players, streamers, and other digital sources.

The inclusion of the Comet MK2 aptX HD Bluetooth module enables convenient wireless streaming from mobile devices or computers capable of delivering CD-quality sound.

Overall, the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier offers a comprehensive range of connectivity options, ensuring seamless integration with various audio sources. Its analog and digital inputs, along with the optional phono module and headphone amplifier, make it a versatile choice for audiophiles seeking flexibility in their audio setup.

Sound Characteristics

The Creek Voyage i20 amplifier delivers exceptional sound quality with its impressive range of features. The sound characteristics of this amplifier are truly remarkable, providing a captivating audio experience.

One of the standout features of the Creek Voyage i20 is its ability to reproduce details with precision. The amplifier allows for a clear and defined soundstage, ensuring that each instrument and vocal is distinct and well-defined. The level of instrument separation is truly impressive, allowing you to hear every nuance and subtlety in your music.

The bass response of the Creek Voyage i20 is powerful and impactful. It provides a solid foundation to the music, delivering deep and controlled bass notes that add depth and richness to the overall sound. Whether you’re listening to electronic beats or orchestral compositions, the bass response of this amplifier will impress you.

The treble clarity of the Creek Voyage i20 is exceptional. It offers a detailed and crisp high-frequency performance, allowing for an immersive listening experience. The amplifier ensures that every cymbal crash, guitar strum, or vocal flourish is reproduced with accuracy and clarity.

When it comes to the overall sound presentation, the Creek Voyage i20 excels in creating a balanced and natural sound signature. It maintains a neutral tonal balance, allowing for an accurate representation of the original recording. This makes it suitable for a wide range of music genres, from classical to rock to jazz.

No matter what genre of music you prefer, the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier will enhance your listening experience by bringing out the best in your favorite tracks. Its ability to accurately reproduce different musical genres showcases its versatility and adaptability.

In conclusion, the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier offers exceptional sound characteristics that will satisfy even the most discerning audiophiles. With its attention to detail, instrument separation, powerful bass response, clear treble clarity, and overall balanced sound presentation, this amplifier truly shines in delivering an immersive and captivating audio experience across various music genres.

Sound Performance

The Creek Voyage i20 amplifier delivers an exceptional sound performance that will transport you into a captivating auditory experience. With its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals, this amplifier ensures a high level of clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance across different frequency ranges.

When it comes to clarity, the Creek Voyage i20 excels in providing a detailed and transparent sound reproduction. Every instrument and vocal is presented with precision, allowing you to hear subtle nuances and intricate details within the music. The amplifier’s low distortion levels ensure that the sound remains clean and accurate, without any unwanted artifacts or coloration.

In terms of dynamics, the Creek Voyage i20 truly shines. It effortlessly handles both soft and loud passages, capturing the full range of dynamics within the music. The amplifier’s powerful output allows for impactful and dynamic sound reproduction, bringing life to your favorite tracks and making them come alive in your listening space.

The tonal balance of the Creek Voyage i20 is another standout feature. It strikes a perfect equilibrium between the different frequencies, ensuring that no part of the audio spectrum is overpowering or lacking in presence. The bass response is tight and controlled, providing a solid foundation to the music, while the midrange is rich and expressive, allowing vocals and instruments to shine. The treble is detailed and extended, adding sparkle and airiness to the overall sound signature.

Whether you’re listening to classical orchestral pieces with their intricate instrumentation or enjoying modern electronic tracks with their deep bass lines, the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier delivers an immersive sound experience that will captivate your senses. It brings out the best in your music collection, allowing you to fully appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship behind each recording.

Overall, the sound performance of the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier is nothing short of exceptional. Its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals with clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance makes it a true standout in its class. Whether you’re an audiophile seeking the utmost precision or a casual listener looking for a captivating sound experience, the Creek Voyage i20 will not disappoint.

Advantages

The Creek Voyage i20 amplifier offers several advantages that set it apart from its competitors in the market. Firstly, its compact and elegant design makes it a visually appealing addition to any audio setup. The use of high-quality materials ensures durability and longevity.

In terms of functionality, the i20 boasts an impressive array of features. With ten analog and digital inputs, including RCA and XLR options, it provides versatility for connecting various audio sources. The inclusion of a phono input option allows for seamless integration with turntables, catering to vinyl enthusiasts.

The integrated headphone amplifier is a standout feature, delivering powerful and high-quality sound for a wide range of headphones. This ensures an immersive and personalized listening experience.

The i20 also excels in its digital capabilities. With multiple inputs for USB, SPDIF, optical, USB, and Bluetooth sources, it offers flexibility in connecting to different digital devices. The USB input supports high-resolution audio up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM and 22.4MHz DSD, ensuring exceptional audio reproduction.

One of the notable advantages of the i20 is its Class G amplifier design. This innovative technology allows for efficient power delivery while maintaining low heat generation. It ensures optimal performance even with demanding speaker systems, making it suitable for both complex setups and simpler configurations.

Compared to other amplifiers in its price range, the Creek Voyage i20 stands out with its comprehensive set of features and exceptional audio performance. Its precise volume control and low distortion levels result in accurate sound reproduction across various genres. The inclusion of a high-resolution DAC further enhances the audio quality, revealing intricate details and nuances in the music.

Overall, the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier offers a compelling combination of design, functionality, and audio performance. Its versatility, attention to detail, and advanced technologies make it a standout choice among competitors in its price range. Whether you are an audiophile seeking pristine sound quality or a music lover looking for a versatile and reliable amplifier, the Creek Voyage i20 is a worthy investment.

Value for Money

The Creek Voyage i20 amplifier offers exceptional value for money with its impressive performance, extensive features, and competitive price point. When considering the overall package this amplifier provides, it is clear that it offers a compelling value proposition.

In terms of performance, the i20 delivers outstanding audio quality with its advanced circuitry and high-resolution digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The 32-bit DAC ensures accurate and detailed sound reproduction, while the low distortion levels of just 0.002% guarantee a clean and transparent audio experience. The wide frequency range from 1 Hz to 100,000 Hz allows for precise reproduction of both low and high-frequency sounds, resulting in a rich and immersive listening experience.

The i20’s extensive range of features further enhances its value. With multiple analog and digital inputs, including RCA, XLR, USB, coaxial, optical, and Bluetooth connectivity options, users have the flexibility to connect various audio sources to the amplifier. The inclusion of a headphone output on the front panel adds convenience for private listening sessions.

The build quality and design of the Creek Voyage i20 also contribute to its value for money. Crafted using premium materials and designed with elegance in mind, this amplifier not only performs exceptionally but also adds a touch of sophistication to any audio setup. The compact size ensures easy integration into any space without compromising on power or functionality.

Considering the price point of the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier in relation to its performance and features, it becomes evident that it offers excellent value for money. This amplifier competes with higher-priced models in terms of audio quality and functionality while providing a more affordable option for enthusiasts seeking high-fidelity sound reproduction.

Overall, the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier presents a compelling value proposition by delivering exceptional performance, offering an array of features, and doing so at a competitive price point. Whether you are an audiophile or someone who appreciates high-quality sound, this amplifier provides outstanding value for money and is a worthy investment for anyone seeking an immersive audio experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Creek Voyage i20 amplifier is a truly remarkable piece of audio equipment. With its combination of analog preamplifier and digital-to-analog converter, this amplifier offers both versatility and high-quality sound performance.

The design and construction of the Creek Voyage i20 are top-notch, with a compact and elegant chassis that is built to last. The use of high-quality materials ensures not only durability but also enhances the overall audio experience.

Functionality-wise, the Creek Voyage i20 offers an impressive array of inputs, including analog and digital options. The inclusion of a phono stage for vinyl playback and a headphone amplifier further adds to its versatility.

When it comes to sound characteristics, the Creek Voyage i20 delivers exceptional clarity, detail, and precision. The analog preamplifier with its precise volume control allows for accurate adjustments, while the power amplifier provides ample power to drive even demanding speakers.

In terms of sound performance, the Creek Voyage i20 excels in every aspect. Whether you’re listening to your favorite music or watching movies, this amplifier delivers a truly immersive experience with its wide frequency response and low distortion levels.

One of the major advantages of the Creek Voyage i20 is its value for money. While it may be priced higher than some entry-level amplifiers, the performance and features it offers make it well worth the investment for audiophiles and music enthusiasts.

For potential buyers, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. If you’re looking for an amplifier that can accommodate a variety of inputs and deliver exceptional sound quality, then the Creek Voyage i20 is an excellent choice. However, if you primarily listen to digital music or have specific requirements such as Wi-Fi or internet radio connectivity, you may want to explore other options.

Overall, the Creek Voyage i20 is a highly recommended amplifier for those seeking superior audio performance in a compact and elegant package. Its combination of features, construction quality, and sound characteristics make it a standout choice in its price range. Whether you’re a music lover, audiophile, or home theater enthusiast, the Creek Voyage i20 will undoubtedly enhance your listening experience and provide years of satisfaction.

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