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The older Cambridge gear such as the various A1, A2 and A3 amplifiers were designed by Michael Creek, so they had the same sound signature, they were just made in Asia instead of the UK which allowed for a lower price. Not sure about who designed the current crop of amplifiers, other than the T500 tuner is a toned down copy of Mike Creek's T43 tuner which is also made in Asia instead of the UK. The phono upgrade in the Cambridge is also a Creek creation.
The Creek gear will costs you double what the Cambridge gear cost (new and used). You do get what you pay for between Cambridge an Creek, however I still consider the A3i a total steal used. Two sold on eBay in the last month for about $225. You won't find a Creek for that price that is 60 watts and comes standard with phono. See the reviews at AudioReview.com
I just got mine this week, second system.
It killed the award winning Rotel RA920! It killed the Cambridge Audio 65 watter I think. The Creek is, well I had many opinions and finally I could make my own now I think.
I should say lean well to a certain point not lean sounding like Audiolab yes but clean/resolution/softer are a few words. This is a quality amp guranteed."MUSIC" yeah thats what I am looking for. If you like Jazz, Classical...anything from Charlie Parker, Chet Becker, Diana Krall, Particia Barber you will love this piece. The low level resolution is absolutely super. Use good source, and a good speaker to match like the Castle Richmond or ever the DM 303 and proper cables and you are going to be startled. I own a Jeff Rowland Concentra and its no where near it but I really really enjoy my music in the study like I have never before. I had them all. Rotel/Nad/Arcam/ the best budgets on the magazines covers you name it I had it. This is something a little different! Not super best buys from the Brits but yet it made it on their list as always! It looks are very very deceptive. Small, very small and intimidating next to any Japanese receivers but the sound will crush them into pieces I promise! Its got high quality sound. I dont know how they did it. Built feels good but I am no technician but I did my homework before buying about the built and they say its super so....
Try it and you wont be surprised. One thing I know is that I am a music lover and I have had alot of good and expensive gear. I have powercords at the moment that cost more than the creek. But one thing I assure. I can hear something good when I listen to my music. This is my best buy so far for under $500! Store demo and it was like new!
Anyway Good luck! Try it before buying is what I always say to all!