I have had both the Nait 5i and Creek 5350se.
My preference is the Nait. The Creek ia a nice amp, warm and laid back. It does everything right. The Nait more lively. Both have that British "sound".
It really depends on your likes/dislikes.
You can always buy one used, if you don't like it sell it on for not much loss.
I think it is a great amp for the money. I love my Creek 5350 SE. Many people rave about the Prologue as well, but I haven't heard it.
the creek is a great product. even shahinian names the creek as one of their recommended amps. the creek is laid back, the naim is livelier, and the bryston (my favorite of the three wouls be is the middle. the bryston is also made in north america(the creek is now from china), and sonically would be as 'neutral' as one could buy for the money. it would (of the 3) probably work the best with the widest variety of front ends.
I recently got a Creek Classic 5350SE with the MM phono board. It took a few weeks to break in and it really is a very nice amp. I noticed a marked increase in detail, range, depth and tightness of base. Soundstage is much bigger and required me to reposition my speakers. I am very happy with it. I use it with Dynaudio 52SE speakers, a VPI turntable and Arcam FMJ 33 CD player. I have not heard the Naim, I have heard good things about it as well.
As Muzikat says, the Creek sounds a little laid back do to its passive volume control/preamp section. You can add Creek's preamp module but I felt it caused some sonic degradation. The Creek has a warm, smooth sound.
I have never heard the Nait but I did prefer the Creek to the Bryston which was harder and had a touch of high frequency roughness in comparison.
Is it all that? Depends. In the right system yes. For the price,it is excellent.
perhaps if you mentioned what speaker you use people could make a recommendation.
if your speakers are average or above and you don't have a big room or are a headbanger, i would say a dared vp16 tube amp , bypass the vol. control with a simple mod, add a welborne labs remote discreet resitor vol. control, change out the bright driver tubes ($25) and you are good to go for a thousand or more dollars less than what you are planning to spend. then get a turntable. the nait sounds better than the creek, but do it my way and be happy for a while. the amp is cheap but it trounces a modified hafler and a oddyssey khartago (that was also souped up ). i have heard this amp drive axiom 60s very well although i use much more efficient speakers. i am in ft. collins co if you want to hear. good luck
Jaybo, not all of the creek are made in china, I have heard some of the less expensive pieces are but the new Classic 5350SE is made in UK. I checked again on the chassis of the amp and it says "designed and made in the UK". One recommendation I would give to anyone looking at the Creek 5350, give it some time to break in. I was initially a little disappointed as it sounded a little thin and aneamic. After a few weeks it really bloomed. Very fine little amp.
Thanks for all of the responses. Sounds like I couldn't go too far wrong with any of the three (Bryston, Creek, or Naim).
On a related note, has anyone compared the original 5350SE to the new Classic 5350SE? I read somewhere that it got the redesign because a supplier stopped making some of the parts. That, the simplification of the switching (input only), and the slight differences in watts and amps make me wonder if the new amp has all the virtues of the old.
the 5350se is a very fine little amp. Anyone still using this one or the Destiny model? Happy Listening!
I heard it and it's mediocore low fi at best.
Look into the Clones 25ir.
No affiliation, just a happy owner.
Jafant, I have a friend that replaced a ARC D115 MK 2/SP10 Pre combo for the Destiny Integrated with a pair of Montana Speakers. Would you believe the Destiny was better? Well not exactly but certainly quite nice without the heat, tube and age issues. When he switched speakers, because of a tweeter issue he couldn't resolve, the Destiny didn't meld quite as well with his new speakers which is always the key consideration when matching speaker to amplifier but it must be stated very clearly that this is a very nice integrated, more on the warm side of the spectrum but very nice for the money.
I lke ARC separates much better than their Integrated amps.
Regarding the ARC integrated amps, to my ears, the Rogue Audio gear is much better.