If you're going to keep the NHTs, get something with a LOT more juice than the Creek. I used to have a pair, and after trying many amps concluded that they don't really open up until you feed 'em some serious high-current power. Somebody mentioned on another forum that he loved the Creek with Meadowlark Kestrels; I have heard this combo too and I totally agree. I think the Creek will be better suited to speakers more efficient and darker (like the Meadowlarks, maybe Soliloquys) than the NHTs.
The NHTs rock but matching the rest of your gear to them (including wire) is VERY important in my opinion. You might try the new line of Audio Refinement seperates. Or B & K amps, or Plinius if you can afford 'em. The more power, the merrier.
I have the Creek amp with the M12's (and a Music Hall CD25) and am happy with it. Yes, the bass is lacking some. To get the base, I at some point will add a Sub, I think I was directed to REL, like the Storm. I am content for the moment though. The NHT's and the Rotel, can't comment. I have read the Rotel is a great CDP, top of the line Burr Brown chipset. Hope this helps.
PS- Don't settle for what you kinda like, if not sure, keep searching. There is alot out there!
I have the Creek with Vienna Acoustics Mozarts and a Rega Planet 2000 CDP, and couldn't be happier, but it took some time getting the cables right.
I had a Creek 4140s2 (circa 91') that had very open and agressive bass, however my impression of the newer Creeks (heard one around 99') is that they sound VERY GOOD but the presentation is a little smooth and polite, especialy in the bass. A friend of mine also had the same impression of a newer Creek in a completely different store.
So, based on the fact that the three of us seem to agree, I dont think the newer Creeks (although they ARE quite nice) are for your tastes. Just my opinion.
Great CDP, dont change it. That's one of the best of all the Rotels IMHO.
You might want to try the Nait 5 (?) however I agree with Jeff regarding cable & system matching. The speaker wire that works best in one combo can sound dreadfull in another, although I'm not an engineer and I have no idea why this cable interaction occurs.
The Musical Fidelity A3 integrated might have more teeth and give you what you're looking for but thats based more on my experience w/recent MF stuff; I havent heard the A3 in particular.
Does Mission still make amps? They were rumored to have good timing and a fairly energetic presentation.
Please post how your search goes. I have a similiar setup, basically the step down setup from yours... I listen to an equally diverse range of music and am also looking to upgrade... Was also considering the Creek!!!
Nakamichi AV-8 receiver
Marantz (Ah Tjoebs '99) CD player
Marantz 4200 DVD
NHT 1.5 speakers
NHT 10' subwoofer with external NHT 125W sub amp. This sub really works well with diverse music, the volume control on the sub amp is very useful for matching the amount of bass needed for the various types of music I listen to.
Kimber Kable 8tc speaker wire
Nordost Blue Heaven from CD to receiver
I really want to know how your auditioning goes and what you decide on going with?!?
NHTs are not the most efficient speakers on the planet...but they do have good bass...largely due to their sealed enslosure designs...as far as an amp...I would agree with some posts...the Creek is not a "rocker/rap" type of amp...for a less "refined" but more dynamic amp...the NAD c370 might be your ticket...about the same price too..
nooo, I will not go the NAD route...It is only about as good sounding as the Nak AV10 i'm currently using...the last thing i want to do is move laterally. Sure the NAD will sound different than the Nakamichi, but it certainly won't elevate the overall system performance.
As far as the same price as the Creek 5350se, I don't think so. The Creek is more expensive,without a doubt.
Perhaps the Creek is not the best match either, but my search continues...
Looking at the Primare a20. Not sure how this will perform with the speakers, but it can't hurt to try.
By the way, i've put off buying an integrated for a while - instead, i have upgraded my source with the addition of an MSB Link DACIII. I figure that I might as well start at the source in order to realize the full potential of any amp i choose...
(and let me tell you, the addition of that DAC makes a HUGE difference)
I would have to disagree with you there...the NAD intergrated...or for that matter any entry level intergrated from Rotel,Rega,Creek,and even Cambridge AUdio...will sound better than all but the best AV receivers...AV receivers are about "bells and whistles"...and the addition of a tuner introduces "crosstalk" interference...the C370 is by no means world class...but it is a very good solid state amp...and amp of the year in Britain...I listened to it on a pair of Maggie 1.6s...you would be surprised...not the build quality of Bryston...but for 1/3 the price...a very good performer...NHTs can be a bit bright...so what ever route you go...a warmer sounding piece IMHO would be ideal...good luck
Stephen...your right...I was thinking of the Creek 4330 mkII amp..which goes for $600...roughly the same as the NAD c370..sorry for the confusion...
A couple of amps "with balls" that might satisfy your bass desire (these are obscure brit amps that IMHO are much better than creek or NAD):
1) Hard to find Cyrus2/3 with external PSX power supply. You must have the external power supply to get enough power, but these guys really pack a bass punch.
2) Audiolab 8000C/P or even better 8000C/8000M/8000M monoblock arrangement. Can sometimes be had for good prices since they're relatively unknown in the US. The monoblocks have scary amounts of power and are very neutral.
The naim nait is a nice amp, but it's low powered, really for small rooms and/or efficient speakers. You'd need naim separates for your requirements.
I have never heard the creek5350, but creek amps are supposed to have a rather "polite" sound so I can understand why the bass may be insufficient for you.
Just thought I'd toss the cyrus and audiolabs in for your consideration because IMHO both are gems, and very underrated in the US.
Audiolab 8000s is being closed out at $650
The 8000s is a fine amp, but I don't think it has more power than the Creek5350. HOWEVER it's a steal at $650 and can later be biamped with an Audiolab 8000P found used here or on Ebay. An 8000s/8000P combination would probably (I have never heard this combination) be extremely powerful, able to drive almost anything. The closeout is at Artech ?
Artech has the 8000S for $549.
For $549 its a no brainer...wish it had phono though...
If you were looking 6-8 months ago, you could have had an 8000A (the amp that I have) with MM/MC phono, for around $449 when they closed it out. Mine is 17 years old, though.
try the Onix 60 watts integrated at www.av123.com.
There is a Soundstage review on the onix here:onix
just do the "search" for onix.