Evolution 2 Integrated Amplifier
Brand: Creek
RRP: $1575
Changes have been made to the amplifier to refresh the design for 2009, to match the new EVOLUTION 2 CD Player. However, there is no reason why it cannot work with the mk1 CD player also.

To achieve 80 Watts power into an 8 Ohms load and >140 Watts into 4 Ohms, the mains transformer has to be big. The Evolution 2 uses a 250VA toroidal transformer, which will provide enough current to almost double its output into 4 Ohms. To achieve high-end sound quality, no expense has been spared.

Separate windings are used for each of the high current high voltage and low voltage, analogue and digital circuits. A high capacity power supply using 20,000 micro-Farads of multiple smoothing capacitors are used to power the left and right power amplifiers and provide a very dynamic performance.

The Evolution 2 uses a high quality, Burr-Brown PGA2311, digitally controlled analogue volume control.  This allows the user to adjust the volume accurately, from 0 to -80dB. An analogue style rotary encoder, with 40mm solid control knob, is used to alter the volume from the front panel and display the relative level on a large blue coloured VFD.  Position 80 is the loudest and 0 is mute. To amplify the signals into the volume control circuit, a high grade Burr-Brown OPA2134 Op-Amp is used as a pre-amplifier.  Signal switching is performed by gold contact relays, which are digitally selected from a microcontroller, similar to the Destiny Integrated Amplifier.

The Evolution 2 is configured with higher open-loop gain, using a double differential input and driver stage plus discrete Darlington power output stage, using high current bi-polar transistors.  High grade polypropylene capacitors, bypassed with large value electrolytic capacitors, are used to couple and decouple the signal into the power amp.

To keep the amplifier safe, it is monitored by discrete transistor circuitry to protect against over-current demand, short circuits and DC offsets. Relays mute the input and separate the loudspeaker output in the case of faults.

The Evolution 2 operates conventionally with rotary controls for input selection and volume control and buttons for Tape selection and power On/Off. It has four inputs plus tape – including a new feature Direct AV, which bypasses the pre-amplifier and volume control to allow the power amplifier to be used in a 5.1 surround system.  Input selection is via the SRC3 remote handset or the rotary input selection control.  The display brightness can be altered from the SRC3 remote control handset.

 

Gold plated input and output sockets have been chosen to provide a good connection and appearance for a product at its price point. Loudspeakers are connected with 1 set of 4mm terminal binding posts, with plastic touch-proof covers. The amplifier also has a headphone socket which is becoming an increasingly rare feature of modern amplifiers.

Mains connection is via a standard, fused, IEC chassis plug. A high quality power cord, with suitable mains plug for the country of use is supplied.