Creek

Creek logo
  • Creek Audio Ltd
  • 12 Avebury Court, Mark Road, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7TA, England
  • Official website
  • info@creekaudio.com
  • +44 (0)1442 260 146
  • +44 (0)1442 243766

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Equipment[add model]

Creek manufactures or has manufactured the following equipment (click to expand models list):

CD-Players
 
Dynamic Speakers
 
Solid State Amplifiers
 
Tuners
 

General information [contribute]

Creek web site (December 2003): Established in 1982 and recognised for producing component electronics aimed toward the budget end of the market, Creek Audio has undeniably joined the ranks of British manufacturers whose products are acknowledged globally as being amongst the best there is at any price. Amplifiers, CD players, tuners and more, Creek Audio continues to be innovative in its designs and, as each new product is released, it becomes increasingly apparent that the company has been slowly but surely taking its products towards the 'high end'.

It is evident that the engineering design is extremely successful with world press comments such as:

And yet Creek products continue to sell for considerably less than the opposition - perhaps that is the reason why they are still, from time to time, referred to in the press as 'budget'. But 'budget' simply never enters the equation where quality and performance are concerned. The reverse is true.

Creek a name synonymous with exceptional products at affordable prices.




History[contribute]

Creek Audio website (November 2001):

The first Creek amplifier, the 99 GBP CAS4040, was launched on the UK market in1982 and created somewhat mixed response. Praise for its sound quality was tempered with disbelief that a fledgling British Hi-Fi company could be successful, taking on the established brands and undercutting their prices. However, what was not known by the reviewer of Creek's first product was that, Michael Creek already had a long experience in the audio industry.

1970 Michael Creek started working in his father's audio company Wyndsor Recording Co. Ltd, initially as a stock controller, then buyer, factory manager and then as a production engineer. Wyndsor made low cost 'reel to reel' tape recorders, record players, cassette recorders and FM/AM radios. Working for Wyndsor provided Mike with a broad understanding of how to run an electronics company from the shop floor upwards.

1976 Mike Creek left Wyndsor to form his own company - M.R.Creek Ltd - trading as a design consultant to the audio industry. He concentrated mostly on product development, but also bought and sold parts to audio manufacturing companies. He designed a range of high-end audio kits for Ambit International that were published in UK electronics magazines and demonstrated by Ambit at exhibitions in London in 1979 - 1981.

In 1981 Mike started manufacturing products to his own design. He based his first product on the Wyndsor philosophy of high quality at a low price. Designing the product proved less difficult, however, than choosing a name for the company. In the end the choice of Creek Audio Systems proved to be successful.

The 30 Watt - CAS4040 integrated amplifier was the first product, built in a metal case with a wooden cover, which was fashionable at the time. One year later, Creek launched a matching tuner CAS3040, also at 99 GBP, which was soon used as a benchmark in radio design. The initial success was achieved, working from an unused room in his home and space in his garage.

In 1983 when the demand exceeded 100 pieces per week, it became necessary to move to bigger and more professional premises. The new factory space and the use of a sub-contractor, enabled the company to grow very rapidly.

In 1985 Creek Audio was selling up to 1200 CAS4040 amplifiers and 350 CAS3040 tuners per month. In 1985 Creek introduced the more expensive 4140 integrated amplifier that excluded tone controls but was slightly more powerful. During that time the market became much more competitive, with up to six UK companies in fierce competition with Creek. However, Creek remained the market leader. Export demand came very soon after good press coverage in UK magazines, the export market developed and the 4040, 4140 and 3040 (later to become the 3130 and then T40) eventually sold to 20 different countries.

1988 Mordaunt Short (which was acquired the previous year by TGI PLC group, Goodmans and Tannoy) made an offer to buy Creek Audio Systems, to add an electronics capability to its loudspeaker sales. The offer was accepted, and Mike Creek carried on working for them as chief engineer. During his time with Mordaunt Short, Mike helped to introduce the 5050 and 6060 integrated amps. He also designed a series 2 and 3 versions of the 4040 amp, which had a radically different circuitry. Creek also successfully launched a loudspeaker, called the CLS-20 and later its first CD player, the CD60 and the matching DAC60. After his three year contract expired Mike left TGI to start a new company.

In 1991 Mike formed EMF Audio and started manufacturing in a small way, back at the family factory premises in north London. EMF made a 50W integrated amplifier and a Delta Sigma D to A converter, called Sequel and Crystal. These were more expensive products than those sold by Creek and new markets were established for them in Europe and the Hi-Fi hungry Far-East. The recession in the UK made home market sales more difficult.

In 1993 TGI decided to sell Creek Audio. Mike Creek together with partners from, Switzerland, USA and Germany purchased the rights to use the name Creek Audio.

A new company - Creek Audio Ltd - was formed and new products were designed. Creek Audio's sales and R&D department moved back to its original office facility, in north London. However, since most of the skills for making Creek products over the years ended up in the county of Hampshire, Creek Audio Ltd originally employed a group of ex -Creek employees who left TGI to work in a small facility near Havant. The first new products, launched in 1993, were a 40 Watt integrated amplifier 4240 , a 50 Watt Power amp A42 and P42 Pre-Amp. The CD42 took longer to develop and started production in 1995

In 1995 the USA distributor - Music Hall - ordered a miniature vinyl disc amplifier to be made in a small case. Music Hall's, Roy Hall, christened it the OBH-8 and from there the OBH range has increased to include phono pre-amps, headphone amps, remote controlled pre-amps, a 24 bit D to A converter and soon there will be a mono power amp, all in the original sizes case.

In 1997 Mike Creek, together with his American and his Swiss partner, bought - out the shares from their German partner. At present Mike Creek owns half of Creek Audio Ltd.

At the beginning of 1997, Creek Audio started introducing the very successful 43 series products and the higher-end 52 series. The 4330 integrated amp, was voted 'Budget component of 1998' by Stereophile in the USA.

The novel T43 AM/FM Tuner also received What Hi-Fi's 'Best Buy' award in August 1998. In France, the CD43 CD Player, with 24 Bit DAC, received the 'Diapason D'Or' award for the best CD player of 1998. The P43, A52SE and OBH-12 all received 5 Star reviews in Hi-Fi Choice and What Hi-Fi. Interest in Creek has significantly increased and product is now is great demand. This has necessitated finding a way to increase the production while maintaining the high levels of quality. Existing production facilities proved to be inadequate and therefore a decision was made to move it to a subcontractor in Kent. The subcontractor already had 15 years experience of assembling the circuit boards for Creek and after moving to bigger premises themselves, have now increased capacity for growth.

1999 Creek now supplies its products to 30 overseas countries and is currently working towards increasing sales in the UK, by targeting specialist retail shops and demonstrating its new product range to them.

EMF Audio still continues to trade, although it doesn't manufacture anymore. EMF acts as a design house for other companies wanting to manufacture goods, both in the UK and abroad. One of its clients is Cambridge Audio in London. It has designed the A1, A2 and A3i amplifiers, T500 Tuner and SRC-01 System remote controller which are made in China.

In 1999, Michael Creek acquired the loudspeaker business Epos, renowned for their quality, high-end products. See www.epos-acoustics.com

Significant Dates:

External links

Creek Audio

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