Should I buy a phono-pre or Creek phono board?

I have a new Creek Evolution 100A integrated amplifier. Should I buy the Creek Sequel phono board or should I buy an external product? The Sequel is $200. Here are the specs

I would like to spend as little as possible if I don't do the Sequel (i.e. <$500).
Price wise, an internal phono board costs way less than an external unit of equal quality,, not to even mentioning cabling costs. So if you like the Creek...
Dont worry about the sound just buy it because its cheap!!
Another nonsensical response. Congratulations.
again, if you like the Creek sound, which I'm assuming you do since you bought their amp...of course don't buy it simply because it's cheaper...
I mention it in part because when I bought the phono board for my Rowland Capri, because I liked it. I was shocked at how seemingly small and simple it was. It was relatively inexpensive and sounded great
No brainer to me. Plug-in, one less box, fewer cables, most likely optimized for your amp.

30 years ago, you got the phono preamp for free when you purchased your preamp, integrated, or receiver.

Like every other outboard (what they were called back in the day), the expense has grown astronomically for what you get.

Thanks everyone!

I think that I should buy the Creek plugin. It has decent specs and I can pop it in for $200. I'm sure it's decent if not great for the money.

I agree: why can't they pop these in for the $2k of the amp? I suppose this is the modern, new world economy we live in. And, fewer people buying product in the hifi world means economies of scale are harder for manufacturers to realize.

I will post a review once I do it. It may take a month or so.


I agree that Ebm response is not clear. I cannot tell if she/he is saying, "hey, you are cheaping out and not thinking about sound quality," or "don't overthink this whole thing, just get it because it inexpensive and going to be just fine for your needs."
For around $400 you can buy a new Vincent Audio tube based Phono pre that has been very well reviewed in TAS and stereophile. Regards,

I don't think it is either of those things. He just makes a hobby out of jumping in with a five to ten word response that is either silly, or unrelated to the topic. Then there are times when he has a sensible comment.
I had the Sequel installed when I purchased my 100A.  I think it sounds excellent.  I previously used a Musical Surroundings Phonomena II preamp and the Creek sounds just as good if not better.  I didn't notice any drop in performance from adding the Sequel.  I think it is a great option at $200 and would definitely recommend it.

Yes, I bought it in December 2015.  It sounds superb.  I've been very impressed with it. I have not A-B'd it against anything directly, but I like what I hear for sure.  So simple, direct design.  Well worth $200, especially since there are no additional boxes or wires. 


I also had the Ambit Tuner module installed on my 100A and I can't say enough good things about it.  I find myself listening to FM analog radio alot more than I would have ever thought.  It seems to have pretty good range and sounds fantastic! 

Yes, I have the tuner too.  It's superb.  

The Creek Evolution 100A is a gem.  Just awesome.  
I agree wirh EBM, its so cheap it should be bought. If you later want to seek better sound then a stand alone phono can be added. 
Disclaimer, I'm the Canadian sales rep for somewhat biased:) But my experience with the Sequel phono modules has been very positive! Not expensive, easy to install and sounds great!  Not to mention as the OP has said, 1 less box and 1 less set of interconnects.