Arcam Alpha 10 integrated amplifier & Alpha 10P power amplifier Robert J. Reina March 2001
I thought a comparison between the Creek 5350SE with a currently available and similarly priced and powered unit from a competitor—the Arcam Alpha 10 integrated (100Wpc, $1599, reviewed by Wes Phillips in Vol.21 No.12), would be interesting.
The Arcam Alpha 10 impressed, especially with its holographic, almost tubelike tactile reproduction of midrange timbres, particularly vocals. Its sonic perspective was a bit more laid-back and polite when compared with the 5350SE, and the Arcam seemed to resolve less high-frequency detail than the Creek. The 5350SE was more impressive at bass extension, definition, and high-level dynamic performance. Overall, I found the Arcam to be closer in performance to the older Creek, excelling in midrange resolution and body and a more relaxed high-frequency depiction; but the 4240SE was superior to the Arcam in bass definition and high-level dynamics.
Of course, I'm splitting hairs here; all three amplifiers are excellent performers. I would be much more forgiving of the shortcomings of the Creek 4240SE and the Arcam Alpha 10 had I never heard the Creek 5350SE.—Robert J. Reina