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Creek Destiny review

Creek has improved the build quality of its latest CD player, and it's a smooth performer, but we'd like more excitement and attack Tested at £1400.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

If you're familiar with Creek, you'll have a good idea of what this Destiny sounds like; much to admire, but plays it a little safe sonically

Pros

  • +

    Reassuringly solid build

  • +

    smooth delivery

  • +

    even tone

  • +

    precision and agility

Cons

  • -

    Lacks excitement and attack

We feel like we're banging on, but the build and design of this CD player is worthy of recognition. We've been critical of Creek's efforts in this department in the past, so we're happy to report it's upped its game.

The casing is more substantial than previous efforts, while the tray, buttons and display are of the standard we'd expect for the money - unlike some rivals.

The Destiny builds on the standard set by the CD50 Mk2, a four-star, £850 player that's a good few years old now - but predictably looks to offer a real step-up in quality for the extra outlay. It retains, however, many of its sonic qualities, which is no bad thing.

Sweet as honey
Most obviously, it's a very smooth, balanced delivery. Listening to Daft Punk's Make Love, the normally calm, gentle, electric piano chords sound positively soporific, so rounded and relaxed is the Creek's take on proceedings.

Switching to REM's latest, surprisingly noisy, outing and there's never much danger of the sound hardening up or becoming abrasive. The flipside is that there is a lack of attack and drive, and for all the flow and fluidity of the Destiny's fine timing, we find ourselves craving some excitement.

Looking for thrills
It's more of the same when we change styles, with Kanye West's Stronger merrily highlighting the agility, pace and precision of the Creek's delivery.

The bottom end is pert and powerful, while the treble is clear and communicative and packs in plenty of character and emotion - but there's a distinct lack of thrill. This means we're less inclined to listen on, in spite of the Creek's otherwise effective performance.

So, while it's clear plenty has changed on the outside, with a reassuring solidity to the external workmanship, the inside remains distinctly Creek.

There's an admirable neutrality to the tonal balance, agility with fast action and that overall smoothness, but it's at the expense of a little vitality and drive. While we like knowing the Creek will never set our teeth on edge, we'd like it more if it took the odd extra risk.

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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